Choosing a puppy and a breeder

Start by locating a good breeder by contacting your local Kennel Club or Association (Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of …) contact the breeder and have a conversation on the phone.  The breeders will be interviewing you as well, to see if they believe you are a suitable person for one of their puppies.  Breeders will be happy to talk to you and answer your questions. 

When you go and visit the breeder overall appearance and cleanliness of the property is an obvious giveaway.  Do not go and meet someone at local petrol station visit their home and see the mother with her puppies. Are the breeder's older dogs healthy, well behaved and friendly? It will give you an idea on what your puppy will be like as an adult.  Have a good look at the mother (dam) and father (if possible) of the puppies before you choose one. The pedigree of the puppies should provide an experienced breeder with an insight into what your puppy will grow to be. Discuss with them, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  It is also prudent not to bring you re children on your first visit to see the puppies you do not want to fall victim to pester power.

A lot of breeders could have waiting lists for their puppies. Good breeders are always popular, puppies may not be available as soon as you decide you are ready, expect to wait and if you are on a breeder’s waiting list please let them know if you get a puppy elsewhere.

Are the pups raised indoors with plenty of human interaction right from the start? Your breeder performs the all important role of beginning the puppy’s socialization process and house training, a lot of breeders will use noise CD s to help socialise puppies, these can be very beneficial.  How do the puppies react to being handled, the pups should also be very comfortable with being handled by people of all shapes and sizes.

Ask all kinds of questions - don't hold back. A good breeder will be happy for you to ask just about anything. Ask about the puppies food requirements, the breeder should supply you with a diet sheet, and some of the food they have been feeding the puppies.  They should also be able to suggest where you can buy the food.  Make sure the breeder will provide you with basic instructions regarding your puppy. Things like health care advice (vaccinations, worming), feeding schedule information and also ongoing support should be offered.  They should also give you some tips on grooming your Wheaten puppy.  Although they will not have a full coat till after two it is important to regularly groom the puppy coat as a training exercise.  

Put your trust in a good breeder when choosing a dog, they will have your best interests at heart. Listen and take on board their advice and recommendations. 

At first, observe the litter without disturbing them. Look out for things like how the pups interact with each other. An active, playful pup is very desirable, however if all the puppies have been feed recently the likely hood is they will all be curled up in a big heap asleep.

Do a general visual health check of each puppy. They should be nice and round - not fat, and certainly not skinny. Have a close look at the pups eyes, ears, gums, teeth and rear end. You want to see bright eyes, a shiny and clean coat, and no sign of any discharge or debris. 

The puppies should be confident, look out for a little pup who struts up to you and your family with head held high and tail wagging with excitement. A bit of a cheeky lick on the hand is also ok. Wheatens love to lick !

Be wary of a shy and fearful pup when choosing a puppy. Pups at the 8-10 week stage shouldn't show any sign of these undesirable traits. Many people end up selecting a puppy such as this because they feel sorry for them. Don't fall into this trap - it is not a valid reason for picking out a puppy!  It's no good for anyone and you will most likely regret your decision for many years to come.   

Pick the puppy up when you are sitting comfortably, hug him and cradle him. This is a bit of a test, if he reacts by squealing and wriggling and doesn't settle down, this is not a good sign. You may experience problems with a puppy such as this. A little struggle is ok, followed by quickly settling down and peering back up at you. Be guided by the breeder regarding letting children near the puppies.  

Check the Vet records of your puppy including vaccination and worming record.  Also check that your Puppy is micro-chipped.  It cannot be registered with the Irish Kennel club if it is not micro-chipped .

Choosing a puppy is an important step towards ensuring you end up with a healthy, well adjusted and happy long term companion  Once you've made the big decision and chosen your puppy it is advisable to have your Veterinarian do a thorough examination of the pup. A lot of breeders will encourage this practice.  It is a good idea to keep in touch with your breeder via email and by sending them some photos, they can also be a fountain of knowledge, it will be much easier for you to contact them with any problems you are having if you have kept the lines of communication open. 

Once you bring your puppy home it is then your responsibility to provide proper socialization and obedience training. This will shape the temperament and behavior habits of your puppy and set him up to thrive in society.   Wheatens need good basic training of sit and stay, leave it and the recall.