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Adopt a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen



Area of origin:


Original function:

vermin hunting, herding, guardian

Average size of male:

Ht: 18-19, Wt: 35-40

Average size of female:

Ht: 17-18, Wt: 30-35

Other names:


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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Temperament

The Wheaten makes a playful companion at home and a fun-loving partner in the field. He is affectionate, congenial and much gentler than most terriers. He is generally responsive to his family's wishes but can be headstrong at times. Most are good with children and usually good with other household dogs and pets. He may dig or jump.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Care

This is an athletic dog that needs a good daily workout, either in the form of a moderate to long walk or an invigorating game in the yard. He should be allowed loose only in a safe area because he still loves to hunt and chase. The Wheaten is best suited as an indoor dog. His long coat needs brushing or combing every two days. As a nonshedding dog, loose hair becomes entangled in the coat and will mat if not combed out. Bathing and trimming every other month is necessary to maintain the desirable coat and silhouette; pets can be better managed if their coats are clipped to about 3 inches, but then they lose the breed's typical outline.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Health

Major concerns: protein wasting diseases (PLE and PLN)
Minor concerns: renal dysplasia, allergies
Occasionally seen: PRA, CHD, vWD, heart problems
Suggested tests: blood and urine protein screens, eye, (hip), (cardiac)
Life span: 12-14 years

Interested in the history of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog breed?

One of only three large terriers of Ireland, the soft-coated Wheaten terrier originated as an all-around farm dog, perhaps serving in this function for hundreds of years. Besides the ever-essential terrier function of extinguishing vermin, he also helped round up stock and guard the homestead. He was later even known to be trained as a gun dog. His early history is largely undocumented; however, he is mentioned as a progenitor of the Kerry blue terrier. The Wheaten was a comparative latecomer to the show scene. Only in 1937 was he granted breed status in Ireland. For many years, an Irish championship required that a dog not only prove himself in the ring but also in the field over badger, rat and rabbit. The English Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1943, and in 1946 the first Wheaten came to America. The breed did not instantly catch the public's attention, but instead he took his time building a firm basis of support. In 1973 the AKC granted recognition. The soft-coated Wheaten terrier has remained a breed of only moderate popularity.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

Shelters with Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dogs

Some animal welfare organizations with Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers ready for adoption:

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