Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

June 3, 2020 // 6 minute read

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Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are medium-sized dogs known for their cheerful personality. They feature a silky, wavy coat that comes in colors of pale beige to shimmering gold. They are versatile and beautiful dogs known to have the ability to adapt to different living conditions. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is also a highly active dog and would do well with a person who loves outdoors as well.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Statistics

Dog Breed GroupTerrier
Breed SizeMedium
Height18-19 inches (male); 17-18 inches (female)
Weight35-40 pounds (male); 30-35 pounds (female)
Lifespan12-14 years

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Ratings

Energy level
Exercise needs
Requires attention
Friendly with family
Friendly with kids
Friendly with strangers
Friendly with other dogs
Prey Drive


The Soft-coated wheaten terrier is an ancient dog breed that originated from Ireland. However, their exact origin is unclear, but some historians suggest they have the same ancestors as the Kerry Blue and Irish Terriers.

It was only in 1937 when the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers were recognized as a dog breed by the Irish Kennel Club. And in 1946, the first of the dog breed arrived in the US. There were seven of them aboard a cargo of the freighter Norman J. Coleman. Two of these dogs went home with Lydia Vogel, and the next year, they were presented at the Westminster Kennel Club Show.

By 1962, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Club was founded in Brooklyn. And 11 years later, in the year 1973, the American Kennel Club officially registered the dog breed.


Soft-coated wheaten terriers are known to be more friendly than most terriers. The American Kennel Club describes them as loving, happy, and deeply devoted dogs. They love being close to their humans and shouldn’t be left alone for long periods.

As terriers, these dogs have high energy. They are incredibly playful, and they can bounce up and down to lick your face. That’s how they show their love. They also love children, so if you have one, there’s less to worry about.

They are sociable dogs, so expect them to be friendly with everyone. They will bark at strangers, which makes them excellent watchdogs. However, you can also expect to welcome them openly once inside your house.

They can be tolerant of other pets raised with them. However, some show signs of aggressiveness towards dogs of the same sex.

Early socialization and training are crucial to keep these dogs under control. You can use treats and praises if they do well. You might require a lot of patience when training them but never act harshly. Being consistent and firm is extremely important when it comes to these dogs.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog

Care Requirements

  • Nutrition: Soft-coated wheaten terriers need high-quality and well-balanced meals every day. It should contain a balance of all essential nutrients he needs to support his high energy. You can feed them with dog food or homemade meal, depending on your preference. But, it would help if you always took note that ingredients must be of high-quality. You can get protein from animal meat such as beef, lamb, chicken, or fish. You can add some fruits and vegetables on their diet too for some source of fiber. Avoid foods that contain artificial flavoring or coloring, by-products, and fillers as these have low nutritional value. Avoid grainy type foods, too, as these can be hard to digest. If your Wheaten is allergic to a particular ingredient, don’t feed him that to keep his coat and skin healthy. Another thing to take note of is the calorie intake. You can ask your vet for some guidance as to how much to feed your dog. This will depend on his age and activity level.
  • Grooming: Soft-coated wheaten terriers have a soft, silky coat that infrequently sheds. However, it requires moderate maintenance to ensure they always look best. Daily brushing their hair is extremely important to remove mats and tangles. This will also help in removing dirt and any loose hair. Baths should be done occasionally, depending on your Wheaten’s activities. But ears should be cleaned regularly to avoid infection. Pay attention to their nails too. It should remain short as long nails can be painful for dogs, especially active ones like Wheatens.
  • Exercise: Soft-Coated wheaten terriers have different energies that can range from medium to high. It does not diminish even with older Wheaten, so it’s something that you should take note of if you have this dog. They require a lot of exercise in one day. This could be in the form of long walks or plays. Make sure that you have a secured fenced area if you’re putting him off-leash. With their terrier background, these dogs have tendencies to chase prey, big or small. These dogs are most happy when they bond with their owners, so make sure to create activities that you can do together.
  • Health: Soft-coated wheaten terriers are a generally healthy breed. But there are some health problems you need to watch out. Some of the most common are progressive retinal atrophy and canine hip dysplasia. One major health problem this dog breed faces is protein deficiency problems, while the minor ones are renal dysplasia and Addison’s disease. There are some screening tests your dog can take for you to find out any existing diseases. For others, however, you would have to do some observation and take him for a check-up if there are changes in his behavior.
  • Lifespan: The life expectancy of Soft-coated Wheaten Terriers is 12-14 years.

Famous Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers

  • Holmenocks Gramachree: The first Wheaten registered by the AKC
  • Krista: A national diving dog champion

Puppy Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Fun Facts about Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers

  • Soft-coated wheaten terriers originated from Ireland.
  • They were called “Poor Man’s Dog” because Irish peasants are not allowed to own hounds, beagles, and spaniels.
  • Soft-coated wheaten terriers were all-around farm dogs.
  • Wheaten puppies are born with a dark color, and this color lightens as they grow older.
  • There are two coat types: heavy and Irish; the Irish coat type is finer and silkier than they heavy coat.
  • They were recognized as dog breeds in 1937.

Check Out Other Terrier Dog Breeds:
Airedale Terrier, American Hairless Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Bedlington Terrier, Border Terrier, Bull Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Cesky Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terriers, Glen of Imaal Terriers, Irish Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Lakeland Terrier, Manchester Terrier, Miniature Bull Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Norfolk Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Parson Russell Terrier, Rat Terrier, Russell Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Sealyham Terriers, Skye Terrier, Smooth Fox Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Welsh Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier

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