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Wheaton vs. Tibetan Terriers

33550 Views 11 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Willow's Mom
We are looking into a new terrier puppy and have centered the search around either Wheaton or Tibetan terriers. We have heard that Wheatons are very energetic and a "high maintenance" dog, but very loving and rewarding. We have also heard that Tibetans are very loving and loyal as well, but perhaps a bit aloof and/or not as affectionate?

Can anyone help out with this comparison? We are looking for a fun, warm, loyal dog and need some help with this decision!

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I can't help you much with this but my old landlady did have a Tibetan terrier. At least in that dogs case he was definitely fairly independent. He'd come over to say hi but then he'd go off by himself. Very different than his "sister" the lab who would follow you around everywhere. He was affectionate but not in the same lab kinda way if that makes sense.
Depending on what it is you like about terriers, the Tibeten may or may not be a good fit - they're not a true terrier. :p
Every Wheaten I've met has been very calm and well behaved.
My parents have a 2 year old SCWT named Lucy, and she is quite a character.

Wheatens are definitely high energy dogs - we've never managed to get her jumping on people under control and she's prone to spaz attacks. She was a pain in the butt at puppy class because she was too excited to function. That being said, she's very well behaved in the house - easy to potty train and has never shown the inclination to counter surf or chew.

The SCWT coat is very high maintenance - the fur is so soft that it tangles easily and picks up debris. As you probably know though, wheatens are non-shedding dogs so that is the bright side.

Lucy is actually a very independent dog. She's gives a "wheaten greetin" when my parents come home but then will often walk away to take a nap in another part of the house (on her back, which is hilarious). She's not really a snuggler.

In my experience, wheatens are true terriers in temperament and energy level. But she makes my family laugh every day and we love her! And a disclaimer of course: every dog is different so of course this won't apply to every wheaten!


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What you heard is basically correct. The Terriers are high energy while the Spaniels are slightly aloof/laid back by comparision. Both choices however require about 3 grooming sessions a week of about 30 minutes each....not sure if that's what you meant by high maintenance...they both are.
The Wheatens at my dog park get cut very short in the summer and this reduces grooming to near zero. Wheatens dislike the heat so the short clip keeps them much more comfortable.

They are not close to being the highest energy dogs in the park, but they certainly enjoy a good romp. One has a serious and obnoxious jumping problem, and one is a little possessive over sticks, balls, and the like, but other than that they are great dog park dogs. The smallest is 25 lbs and the largest 40.
I don't know a whole lot about Tibetan Terriers, but I absolutely adore Wheatons! If I was ever going to have a pure bred dog it would most definitely be a Wheaton.

We have about 6 that come to the vet clinic I work at and they have all been absolute loves! About half are pretty high energy, but with training and exercise that's can be worked with. They are all very loving and friendly though! One of them will let you do absolutely anything you have to do as long as you give him a belly rub!

Plus they are simply adorable!
I have a 7 month old Tibetan Terrier. She is an absolute love! She is my first TT but is the only breed I will ever have from now on. I also have 2 labs and have always had big dogs. We wanted something a little more portable, one that didn't shed much and a little less "mess" to clean up. I don't find Willow aloof at all. She is very smart and learns quickly but it's definitely a "when I want to" thing. She also is more mouthy than I would like but we are working on that. She is fun with capital letters! Loves to sit on our laps, sleep on the bed (or hers if she feels like it) and she's pretty mellow when she's not chasing the two old "aunties" around the house. The grooming is a bit intense right now as she is in the processing of blowing out her puppy coat but we will have her puppy cut for the summer. She does not deal well with the heat.
I highly recommend TT's but don't tell too many people. Don't want the secret to get out!


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There isn't enough money in this world to pay me to own a Wheaten! lol

I have boarded a few and worked with a few. While every one was rock solid stable and non aggressive, they were completely hyper, stubborn, and jumpy... just one of the more trying breeds I have worked with to be sure. I noticed things like spinning in frantic circles from excitement and similar- which I find extremely irritating.

The only dogs I ever dealt with that were more crazy were English Springer Spaniels.

So... sweet but wild!

Fraggle on the left is a TT and is very loving and loyal. He loves to dance with me and loves to give hugs and kisses. He has a title in Agility and Rally Obedience and though there have been more challenges training him than our Border Collie, I woudn't trade him for the world. He does have one quirk which is not necessarily common to TTs and that is he cannot catch. My next dog will be a TT. I have no experience with Wheatons so I cannot give an oppinion there.
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Oh yeah - the counter surfing is a problem right now. Not only does she surf, but she's a champion jumper and will use anything, including the Labs, to get a boost up! The TT breeder said she has to keep the snow shoveled away from the 6' fence because they only need a foot or so to be able to clear the fence.
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