Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was developed in Ireland for the purpose of farm and hunting dog. Their long, silky, and gentle wavy coat distinguishes them from all other terriers. And they are alert and happy dogs who combine with grace and strength. As their friendly and affectionate nature, Wheatens enjoy spending time with anyone willing to pet them.

Other Names Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Wheaten, Wheaten Terrier
Color Wheaten
Height Males: 18-20 inches. Females: 17-18 inches.
Weight Males: 35-45 pounds. Females: 30-40 pounds.
Life Span 12-14 years
Personality Friendly, Happy, Deeply Devoted
Exercise Energetic
Popularity #54
Groom Needs 2-3 Times a Week
Kids Friendly Yes with supervision
Dog Friendly Yes with supervision
Watch Dog
Family Dog
Litter Size 6-8

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Pictures

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Video


Friendly and playful, the wheaten terrier has origins from Ireland. They are known to relate well with children and other dogs. Wheaten puppies have coat colors of red, brown, mahogany, or white. As they mature, the reddish-brown coat gradually changes to an almost white, then to a wheaten-colored coat at full maturity. It takes 3 years for the adult coat to mature and the coat is likely to contain black, white, or dark brown hairs in addition to the lighter wheaten-colored hair. There are two coat types associated with wheatens, however, a wheaten comes in just one of the two colors and not both. There is the Irish-coat type which is silkier and wavier than the American coat type, also known as the Heavy coat type, and is the second coat type associated with the breed.

A male Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier stands somewhere between 18 and 19 inches at the shoulder and has a weight of 35-40 pounds (16-18 kg). A female Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier stands between 17 to 18 inches at the shoulder and has a weight of 30-35 pounds (13-16 kg).

They have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers are energetic dogs and would require patience and consistent positive training to learn new tricks as harsh  and impatience often result in fear and/or aggression. They are accustomed to cool weather rather than hot weather where they can easily become overheated. Wheatens, though not aggressive, usually bark at strangers and are protective of the families they belong to. They are seen as great watchdogs but poor guard dogs by many owners.

Living with Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft Coated Wheaten has a beautiful wavy coat with a soft and silky texture. The coat tangles easily, so it requires a fair amount of maintenance, daily brushing and combing is important to keep the coat tangle-free. Daily brushing with a thorough going-over with a pin brush or a slicker brush to remove dirt and loose hair, and use a thorough combing with a medium- and fine-toothed metal comb. Bathing and trimming every month is needed to maintain a neat look.

Besides, brush the dog’s teeth at least once a week to prevent tartar buildup and keep fresh breathe. Their floppy ears with long hair may be prone to ear infections, so check the ears every week for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up and clean with a soft cleanser and cotton ball. And trimming nails regularly will help prevent painful splitting, cracking, or broken nails.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a medium to high energy level that does not diminish, even in old age. They require a lot of exercise every day, give your dog at least half an hour per day which can be a couple of 15-minute walks, a walk and a good game of fetch, or practice for whatever dog sports the two of you enjoy. Enough exercise is ideal to keep this high-energy dog ​​happy, healthy, and tired out, also make a well-behaved housedog.

But the puppies shouldn’t be over-exercised because their joints and bones are still growing. Too much pressure placed on their joints and bones at an early age may cause a serious problem later in the dog’s life.

Generally, it is recommended to feed a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier with one and a half to two cups of high-quality dry dog food every day, divided into two meals. More importantly, the food amount should depend on the dog’s weight, size, age, and activity level. There should be fresh and clean water at all times. 

Some dogs are easy to get overweight, so you need to watch their calorie consumption and weight level all the time. Treats may be an important aid in training, but excessive intake can lead to obesity. Also, owners need to distinguish which human food is safe for dogs and which are not. If you have any problems with your dog’s weight or diet, just consult from your veterinarian.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are prone to the following health conditions: Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE), Protein-losing nephropathy (PLN), renal dysplasia, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, Addison’s disease…

Major concerns: protein losing diseases (PLE and PLN)

Minor concerns: Addison’s disease, renal dysplasia

Occasionally seen: CHD, PRA

Suggested tests:


Hip Evaluation

Blood Chemistry Panel

Ophthalmologist Evaluation

UPC/Micro Albumin (MA) Test

Total Annual Cost: $2889

Cost is estimated for the first year and may vary depending on many factors, such as dog food, health care, leash, collar, licensing, possible fencing, crates, training and obedience classes, dog-walking, grooming, treats, toys, flea, tick, and heart-worm meds, microchips, etc.

The Wheaten Terriers are still terriers although they are intelligent and eager to please, sometimes they may be stubborn and headstrong. It is recommended that starting early socialization and puppy training classes to help to ensure that they grow into well-adjusted, well-mannered companions. And persistence, consistency, and positive reinforcement are useful when training a Wheaten Terrier. 

Besides, the Wheaten Terriers are athletic breeds that do well in agility competitions and advanced tricks training, and it is a good way to burn off their excess energy. They are prone to be distracted, so various short training sessions would help keep the dog’s attention. 


Wheatens have been bred in Ireland as farm dogs for over two hundred years. They served in watching, guarding, and herding livestock, as well as hunting and killing vermin. They are closely related to the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier, thus share a common ancestry with them. “Poor Man’s Wolfhound” is the common name ascribed to the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier in Ireland, as they were not owned by the gentry. To avoid taxes, their tails were docked and kept to a specific size. Despite the breed was raised in Ireland for so long, it was only in 1937 that the Irish Kennel Club recognized the Wheatens. The breed was also recognized in Britain by the British Kennel Club in 1943.

In the 1940s, the first Wheatens were exported to Lydia Vogel in the United States of America and it was exported into Australia by Anubis Kennels in the 1970s. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1973.

Helpful Information


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