The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is medium sized, well balanced, sturdy and very attractive. This breed is largely recognized for its distinctive soft and silky wheaten colored coat along with a steady cheerful disposition which is considered less scrappy than other terriers. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier originated in Ireland and was used as an all purpose working farm dog to herd, guard and protect livestock as well as hunt small game. Wheatens are very people oriented and were also used as companions, just as they are today.
While the complete history of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is left up to debate, records indicate these type dogs have been well known in Ireland for over 200 years. In addition, it is believed the Kerry Blue and Irish Terrier largely contributed to this Irish breed.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was first imported to the United States in the 1940s by Lydia Vogel, however, it was not until the ’50s a genuine interest was taken in this breed. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in the Terrier Group in 1973.
Height: The height for a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can be 17 – 19 inches (43 – 48 cm).
Weight: The weight of a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is between 30 – 40 pounds (14 – 18 kg).
Coat Type: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a single coat which is soft and silky with a slight wave. The coat should be left in its natural form, so when grooming, a wide or medium tooth comb is suggested as opposed to a brush. Regular combing is essential in order to maintain the coat and help prevent matting. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a very light shedder.
Color: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier coat can be any shade of wheaten.
Temperament: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a steady disposition which is merry, friendly, playful and affectionate. Lively and exuberant. They are great with well behaved children, yet usually not recommended for much younger kids since Wheatens are so active and require a lot of time and direct attention from their owner. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier does well with training, however, it needs to be done in a proper manner. Firmness and consistency are imperative – both in training and leadership of the owner. Wheatens can be stubborn and headstrong and will give it their best shot to be in charge, which of course an owner must never let happen. Wheatens require patience and never should be harshly treated. What is required of an owner is a lot of time, attention, dedication and leadership skills – this is a breed that loves people and thrives on their companionship. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is very alert and will bark at strangers, however, this is not an aggressive type of dog. This breed is known to greet people by jumping up on them giving kisses – a trait which is hard to break. A daily walk is sufficient exercise for a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Also, they must be kept on a leash or in a secure area.
Health Concerns: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a healthy breed, although it is susceptible to protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) and protein-losing nephropathy (PLN). Other health concerns include renal dysplasia and Addison’s Disease (endocrine or hormonal disorder). Wheatens can also suffer from flea allergies. The average life expectancy for a Soft Coated Terrier is 12 to 15 years.
• The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is called Wheaten for short.
AKC: Terrier Group
ANKC: Terriers Group 2
CKC: Terrier Group 4
FCI: Group 3 Section 1 Large & medium-sized Terriers