Wheaten Terrier

by Steve Kruse

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Soft and silky, the wheaten terrier’s coat falls in wheat-colored waves. Because it has a tendency to mat, the coat requires a daily grooming regimen. Without it, the dog may experience biting and scratching to remove the mats.

Unlike other terriers, which have a well-earned reputation for hyperactivity, wheaten terriers tend to have calmer dispositions. While the dogs do have moderately high energy, daily exercise keeps them from crossing the line into the often frenetic dispositions of other terriers. These dogs like to run, chase, and jump, requiring close supervision in unfenced areas.

This breed is usually very friendly and inquisitive, requiring a high level of attention. They are very people-centered. Because of this, they thrive in homes where individuals have time to lavish them with love, affection, and attention as often as possible. The breed also loves kids, although young children may be frightened by how openly and excitedly wheaten terriers express their joy at being around them. The dogs may not make a good fit for a family with babies or toddlers.

Wheaten terriers stand between 17 and 19 inches tall and weigh between 30 and 40 pounds. They tend to be very healthy dogs that live 12 to 15 years.

About the author: Steve Kruse raises many dogs including shiba inu, wheaten terriers, golden retrievers, and various breeds of bulldogs. He serves as Director of the Iowa Pet Breeders Association and holds membership with the Southwest Iowa Pet Professionals.

Shiba Inus Combine Intelligence and Independence with Fierce Devotion to Owner

By Steve Kruse

StoneHenge Kennels

One of the dog breeds I find most interesting is the Shiba Inu. The Shiba Inu, which traces its roots back to the 3rd century B.C., has garnered international attention over the last few years thanks to the Shiba Inu Puppy Cam, an online recording of the daily lives of six puppies that went viral in 2008. 

The breed’s name stems from the Japanese word for “dog,” which is “inu.” Although the exact etymology of the word “shiba” remains unknown, some people believe that the name could come from the Japanese words for “red” and “brushwood.” Because of this and the dog’s small stature, people sometimes call Shiba Inu the “little brushwood dog.” The Japanese originally bred the Shiba Inu to hunt. Although the breed was revered, it nearly died out during World War II because of events related to the war and because of a canine distemper epidemic that swept the country immediately afterwards. As a result, all of the Shiba Inu dogs alive today are ancestors of three bloodlines that survived the hostilities and disease. The breed is considered a cultural treasure of Japan.

An American family that had been stationed in Japan brought a Shiba Inu back to the United States. The first American-born Shiba Inu puppies were part of a litter born in 1979. The Japanese standards for the breed call for a dog that is beautiful and dignified, with a “spirited boldness” and a good nature. Naturally clean, the dogs often groom themselves in a manner similar to that of cats, and they tend to be very easy to housebreak.

Dog Breeding Requires Skill, Knowledge, and Respect for the Animal and Breed

By Steve Kruse

StoneHenge Kennels

A good dog breeder dedicates himself or herself to continuing the breed by promoting its best characteristics. In order to ensure that the hallmarks of the breed pass from one generation to the next, the breeder utilizes his scientific knowledge and discerning eye to improve the breed, litter by litter, by eliminating weaknesses and imperfections. Each dog breed carries its own unique traits and purposes. By striving to produce dogs that meet the standards of the breed, the dog breeder creates a unique link between its historical significance and the future. Factors important to a dog breeder in pairing a sire and a dam include health, temperament, appearance, and genetics.

Learning about these factors takes time and energy, and many dog breeders choose to participate in national or specialty clubs so they have the opportunity to share information and ideas with fellow professionals. Clubs also provide a venue for dog breeders to showcase their dogs. The highly coveted prizes for dog shows, including obedience and performance awards, spur enthusiasm for the breed and inspire dog breeders to bring out the best in each litter of puppies. Stringent guidelines enforce standards for each breed, with the best dogs determined by how well they meet the carefully delineated criteria.

A good dog breeder also understands the proper treatment of dogs, basic medical care, and training. Because a number of dogs will reside at the breeder’s kennels at any given time, a good breeder houses dogs in comfortable, clean surroundings that create a healthy and pleasant environment. In addition, because many of the puppies or dogs will be placed with families or individuals, a responsible breeder spends plenty of time interacting with the dogs so that they will be social, well-tempered animals.

About Steve Kruse:

Steve Kruse is the owner of StoneHenge Kennels in West Point, Iowa. A dog breeder since 1986, Steve Kruse breeds English bulldogs.

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