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Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

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Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Softcoated Wheaten Terrier stacking as if in the show ring
Softcoated Wheaten Terrier stacking as if in the show ring
Alternative names
Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Country of origin
Common nicknames
Classification and breed standards
FCI: Group 3 Section 1 #040
AKC: Terrier
ANKC: Group 2 (Terriers)
CKC: Group 4 - Terriers
KC (UK): Terrier
NZKC: Terrier
Not recognized by any major kennel club
This breed of dog is extinct

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a breed of dog that originated in Ireland. There are four coat varieties, Traditional Irish, Heavy Irish, English, and American. They are often considered to be hypoallergenic.


Puppies have a dark coat of either red or mahogany. The muzzle and ears of Wheaten puppies may be black or very dark. The dark puppy coat gradually grows out into a wheat-coloured coat as they get older. The color can range from wheat to white, but white coats are not considered desirable by breeders and show enthusiasts. The adult coat may contain black, white, or darker brown "guard" hairs in addition to the lighter wheaten-coloured hair.

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog whose hair does not shed like most dogs; like human hair and Poodle hair, it keeps growing, needs regular trimming, and drops just a few hairs daily.


Wheaten terriers stay young at heart for many years. They are quite active. Their temperament is curious and friendly. Wheaten owners are familiar with the famous "wheaten greetin'" these friendly dogs treat visitors with. They are very sociable.

The Wheaten is a fun-loving, intelligent dog. It can be vocal, making it a good watch dog although no one should consider this breed to deter burglars as the dog will greet the burglar as a friend. His temperament should be such that he considers a stranger a friend he hasn't met yet.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is known to be less aggressive in nature than that of other terrier breeds.

Proper socialization with their environment and with other children and adults when they are young will ensure a stable temperament in a wheaten. We also recommend basic obedience classes at the very minimum to enable you to have a less frustrating co-existance with a wheaten.

Train ability in the breed is good, although the terrier stubbornness does appear on occasion. Consistency in training and positive reinforcement work much better in the training of a wheaten, as they can be very sensitive to physical correction.

Some wheatens love water while others will avoid it. Wheatens do well as a sole dog companion and can also be fine in a multi-dog household depending on the temperaments of the other dogs. Many wheaten owners go on to get a second one eventually. We have found that one of each sex make best companions for each other.

With both a short attention span and an energetic personality, wheatens are difficult to train as show dogs.


Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have a life expectancy of 13-14 years and they remain perky to the end.


The Wheaten was originally bred in his native Ireland to be an all-purpose farm dog whose duties would have included herding, watching and guarding livestock, and vermin hunting. This is probably why they are not as aggressive as other terriers, who were primarily vermin hunters. They are believed to be related to the Kerry Blue Terrier.

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