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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dogs are highly sociable medium sized dogs with a great amount of energy and enthusiasm. This hypoallergenic dog breed originated in Ireland and is believed to be associated with the Kerry Blue and Irish Terrier dog breeds.

In earlier times, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dogs were primarily used for the purpose of herding and
guarding livestock and hunting vermin and small game.

Nowadays, these dogs are used for tracking, obedience and agility trials. In addition, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed dogs also make for good therapy dogs. They are also called Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers or simply Wheaten Terriers.

Physical Appearance

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed dogs are strong, athletic and compact in build with a squarely proportioned body. The head is moderately long, rectangular and in proportion with the body. The almond shaped eyes are set wide apart and are reddish brown to medium brown in color.

The large nose is black in color. The small to medium sized ears tend to fold forwards and are V shaped. The high set tail is generally carried upright. It can either be docked or kept naturally. Tail docking is considered illegal in certain countries.

Color: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies are usually born black and hair coat gradually lightens to become wheaten in color.
Height: The average height of these dogs is generally about 18 to 20 inches. Female Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are usually a bit shorter, that is, 17 to 19 inches in height.
Weight: The ideal weight of Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dogs ranges between 35 to 45 pounds. The bitches are generally around 30 to 40 pounds in weight.

Health Problems

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog breed has been known to be susceptible to fatal protein wasting diseases, Protein-Losing Nephropathy (PLN) and Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE). In case of PLN, the dog loses proteins from the kidneys whereas in PLE, the dog loses proteins from the intestines.

These dogs are also prone to Addison’s disease, Renal Dysplasia, Flea Allergies, sensitivity to anesthesia, bleeding disorders and other related dog diseases.

Life Expectancy: The average life span of these dogs is generally 12 to 15 years.
Litter Size: The average Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier litter size is about 5 to 6 puppies.

Grooming Requirements

As the name itself indicates, the hair coat is soft and silky in texture. It is moderately long and slightly wavy. Therefore, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier grooming consists of extensive regular bushing and combing of the hair coat, at least two to three times in a week. The abundant single hair coat sheds minimally.

Professional trimming of the hair coat is generally required about once in every two months. When the hair coat is unclipped, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dogs look a bit similar to Briards or Old English Sheepdogs.

Do not clip the hair coat too short or to often or else it can change the texture of the coat thereby making it less silky.

The hair coat in the American variety tends to be thicker but less silky than the Irish variety. Bathe your beloved Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier only when necessary and clean his eyes and ears on a regular basis.


Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier temperament is affectionate, lively, alert, energetic, confident, outgoing, loyal, sensitive, intelligent, sociable and cheerful. The puppy-like attitude of these dogs seems to remain so throughout the life. They are not as aggressive as other terrier dogs.

These dogs are generally gentle and playful with small children. But, they usually do not get along well with other pets in the house, especially smaller pets.

However, proper training and socialization can help in keeping these dogs disciplined in the company of other pets. They tend to bond closely with their owners and do not bark unnecessarily. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dogs make for good watchdogs.

Key Points

Though quick to learn and eager to please, still the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog breed is generally not recommended for inexperienced first time dog owners because these dogs can be strong willed and independent at times.

These dogs generally require plenty of physical exercise. Daily brisk walks, runs, fetching games are quite useful in meeting the activity needs of these active and highly devoted dogs.

They are moderately active indoors and do well in apartment situation when properly exercised. Plus, they should be given access to space in at least a properly fenced small sized yard for play sessions. Nonetheless, these dogs should not be exercised too much during hot weather as they are sensitive to extremely hot conditions.