The Wheaten Terrier: A Real Wheat Heart

Jojay By Jojay, 16th Oct 2011 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Pets>Dogs

If you're looking for a dog who seem to be put on earth for the express purpose of loving people, the Wheaten Terrier just might be the dog for you.

The Wheaten is not full of love he is love

I gave up having a grandchild to spoil when my son turned 44.

I knew that young people were delaying child rearing, but
I didn’t relish the fact that if his wife became pregnant tomorrow, I would be nearly 78 years old when my grandson turned ten!

I got a life size picture of me not being able to take them on hikes, camping trips, Disneyland; Hell for that matter, a walk to MacDonald’s might be challenge!

And so (for the time being) I reconciled myself to being grandparent less in Seattle.

Enter the “Wheat Heart.”
And then my only son Jeff did something that changed, not only my attitude about not being a grandma, but shifted my priorities on bonding---he went out and bought a Wheaten Terrier.

It was love at first sight when my husband and I first laid eyes on her. Jeff named her Kona after the name of a moku or district on the big island of Hawaii.

He later learned there were also a Kona Brewing Company, Kona Coffee, and a Kona Mountain Bike.

The ‘grandparents’ of Kona bonded right from the start: I even teased my husband by calling him ‘Grand Paw.’ There’s not a week that goes by when we don’t see her.

Kona has enriched our lives in ways we didn’t think possible.
I’ve always been a dog lover, but I didn’t even know what a Wheaten terrier was.

My son suffers from allergies, and since the Wheaten is supposed to be hypoallergenic, he thought the breed would be a good choice for him and his wife.

The Wheaten terrier was bred in Ireland to be an all purpose farm dog: they herded sheep and hunted vermin.

When we took her on walks, we noticed that she would try to ‘herd’ anything that constituted a group. On a mountain trail, Kona could spot a squirrel hidden in the brush and inside seconds, her entire body would stiffen as she stared him down.

If we didn’t pull her away, she would have him in her strong jaws and that squirrel would never eat another nut again. ( Wheaten jaws are powerful enough to cut a small animal in two.)

Does that mean that a Wheaten terrier is mean or aggressive? Au contraire!

Wheaten Greetin’
The Wheaten Terrier lives to greet. They love people.
If you are the kind of person who instinctively pull back from the warm tongue greeting of a dog, the Wheaten would not be a good pet choice.

But on the other hand, if you relate to dogs (as you might a little kid, by giving him hugs and kisses) this dog’s for you!

The Wheaten show their appreciation and love for people by jumping on them, and licking their faces with their tongues.

When I first saw her to do this to a complete stranger, I got a little jealous. Wasn’t her greeting just reserved for me?

I couldn’t be sure if she could distinguish between Attila the Hun, or Santa Clause, but after observing the ‘subtle’ difference in greeting, I determined that she saved ‘the best’ greeting for people that she loved, and held back a little with strangers.

At least that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Coming to America
The first Wheaton were exported to the United States in 1946. But they weren’t popular right away and it took years for people to develop an interest in them.

It wasn’t until that they were recognized by the American Kennel Club that their popularity began to grow.

Just the Fact, Ma’am
Pure bred Wheatens are a bit costly, and like all breeds, they are prone to some diseases:
Some of which are renal dysplasia, inflammatory bowel disease, Addison’s disease, and cancer.

They are also prone to food and environmental allergies. And if you decide to get a Wheaten, it’s a good idea to discuss these health issues with the breeder.

Should you Decide to Get One
The Wheaten Terriers live a long life whose purpose (by all accounts) is the spreading of love and happiness to everyone that they come in contact.


Allergic Reaction, American Kennel Club, Dogs That Are Hypoallergenic, Wheaten Dogs, Wheaten Irish Terrier, Wheatin Greeting

Meet the author

author avatar Jojay
I am a published and produced playwright. I enjoy writing about anything that strikes my fancy as well as engages my passion for a lifetime of learning.
Also find my
writings at

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