Caring for any puppy is work and requires certain guidelines to follow in order to keep him happy an d healthy. Some breeds require specific needs to be met in order for them to be healthy and grow to their optimum. Wheaten Terriers were bred to be farm dogs. They were used to hunt small game; badgers, rabbits and other small varmints. They date back about 200 years ago as far as records can tell, and it appears that they were developed to create a dog that was brave and quick-thinking, yet an attractive breed. They are very people-friendly dogs and show an exuberant personality, which makes them an excellent breed for families. Before you embark on getting any new pet, it is always a good idea to learn about the breed to see if the type of dog will make a good pet for your specific desires and lifestyle needs. If a Wheaten interests you, keep reading to find out seven tips for taking care of a Wheaten Terrier to see if this is a breed for you.
1. Healthy diet
Your new puppy will come home on a diet the breeder started him on. Breeders typically feed their puppies very high quality, highly nutritious food, and will ask you to continue the same diet. You can choose to change the brand of dog food you feed him, however, you will want to make sure to transition him gradually so as not to cause gastric upset. Choose a high quality dog food if you change. There shouldn’t be any byproducts added or high in carbohydrates. A high protein food and vegetables are best. You can opt to go with a kibble food, but you may want to add homemade foods to it as well. This can include raw food, chicken, cooked fresh vegetables or broth. Your Wheaten puppy should be fed 1.5 – 2 cups of food between 6 and 8 weeks old, which is when they grow the most. Reduce the amount once they get to 8 weeks old.
2. Socialize, socialize, socialize
Immediately upon joining your family, you need to start socializing your puppy. Get him acquainted with all kinds of situations, people, and environments. Socializing is key to creating a more peaceful, accepting and happy adult dog. If your dog is never exposed to other pets or dogs, you can’t expect that he will automatically know how to behave around them when he is older. The same goes for other people, including children. Take him to a dog park and let him socialize with other dogs to get used to being around them. Allow strangers to pet him and teach him how to interact with children while he is young. If you plan to have him ride in your car with you at all, you will want to get him used to car rides, so pack him up and drive short distances to start, and increase the time and frequency to get him accustomed to car rides and how to behave in the car. The more you socialize your puppy, the better behaved and happier you both will be.
3. Leash train
Another training session you will want to start immediately is leash training. Getting your dog accustomed to walking on a leash when he’s a puppy, will save you a lot of headache in the future. There is nothing more annoying than trying to walk a dog on a leash that wants to walk you. If you don’t start leash training early on, the older he gets, the more difficult it will become to try to get him to obey and be a good leash walker.
4. Crate train to start
Crates serve multiple purposes: they are a way of managing your puppy, as well as it helps to housebreak him. It also gives him a safe place to go when he feels tired, scared or just wants to get away and chill out. Dogs are den creatures by nature and crates can replicate a den for them. They feel secure and safe in cave-like spaces with the enclosure. During storms or anything that makes them feel like they need to retreat to a quiet place, a crate can give them that security. A nice soft blanket or pillow in it makes it even more appealing to them. Crates also help to keep your puppy contained in one area when you can’t always be right by him to make sure he’s not getting into trouble and destroying your personal property. If yo need help housebreaking your puppy, a crate is the perfect way to help teach your puppy to hold it until he is taken out, so long as you take him outside regularly.
5. Do not yell at your puppy for training purposes
Yelling or raising your voice in anger when training, will only make him nervous and maybe want to lose control over his bladder. You must be consistent when training him right from wrong but never scold him in anger and do not hit your puppy as a way of punishment. Simply tell him no, in a stern voice but never use his name in an angry tone, or he will learn to associate his name with something that he is doing wrong.
You will need to groom your Wheaten on a regular basis to keep his fur clean and tangle free. Starting your Wheaten getting used to being groomed, early on, is a good idea so that he gets used to grooming tools and the process. Wait until your puppy is calm and relaxed before bringing grooming tools around him, such as shortly after he’s eaten, so that he has a full tummy and satisfied, or after a good nap when he is not tired and cranky. Introduce one tool at a time and get him used to having it around him and touching him. As he grows, continue grooming him on a regular basis so that he realizes it is part of a routine thing. You can take your puppy to a groomer while still young, but just have the groomer bathe him and get him used to being in that environment and being handled by a groomer. Grooming salons are also good for getting him used to hearing and having other dogs and strangers around him.
7. Regular Exercise
Your Wheaten will be a highly active dog that needs plenty of exercise. Plan to walk your dog every day and get him about an hour, at least, of exercise. It is not only good for keeping him physically healthy, but he needs mental stimulation too, or your dog can start to show signs of boredom by way of misbehaving. A misbehaving dog is typically a destructive dog. Play games with your Wheaten, run, walk, play ball, whatever you like to do with your dog, make sure you get exercise and some fun in, every day.
8. Regular vet checks
Your Wheaten Terrier will need regular doctor visits to keep up with his shots and a physical to make sure nothing is developing that you are unaware of. They monitor his weight and over all health. If you don’t get regular checks, medical issues can develop that you don’t know about and treatments can be delayed in getting started by putting of doctor’s appointments. Spay or neuter your puppy while they are young so that it is less stressful on them and recoup quickly.