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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed

Sara Ochoa

By Dr. Sara Ochoa

If you are on the quest to find an active and merry companion, you’ve come to the right place!

Meet the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier!

Hailing from Ireland, this gregarious farm-dog has become beloved as a family and adventure dog.

He loves children and is always looking for ways to make you smile.

This pup is extremely friendly and wants to spend all of his time with his favorite people.

Happy in the country or in the city, this medium-sized dog will go anywhere as long as he is with you.


What are the most important things to know about this breed?

Does he require a lot of grooming?

How does the wheaten take to training?

Is he friendly with other animals?

This article will cover these topics and more.

Below, you will find information regarding the wheaten’s appearance and personality.

We will discuss the breed’s needs when it comes to exercise, grooming, and training.

After that, you will learn about the overall health of the breed and what to expect from this pup.

Finally, we will dive into a brief history of this lovable dog.

Are you ready to learn about the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Let’s begin!



His name gives away the wheaten’s main features.

Namely, this merry terrier breed comes in one color: wheat!

His coat is a medium length and is both wavy and silky.

This breed doesn’t really shed much, but still requires substantial grooming.

We’ll cover specific grooming needs below.

But his single coat is beautiful, wavy, and soft, making the extra work worth it!


This pup is a medium sized breed.

Males will settle between 35-40 pounds, while females average 30-35 pounds.

The height of the wheaten is between 17-19 inches tall at the shoulder.

He has a square build topped with a triangular head.

Your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier won’t fully mature until he’s around two and a half years old.

But he will be fully grown by 8 or 9 months.


You can definitely see the terrier characteristics in his build and behavior.

However, the wheaten is considered one of the more calm terrier breeds.

Less aggressive than other terriers, this pup will win your heart in an instant.

Goofy and happy-go-lucky, this bundle of blonde fur will be an energetic addition to your family.




Often described as exuberant, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a ball of sunshine you didn’t realize you need in your life.

This pup’s excitement can be overwhelming for some folks, so make sure you are ready for his constant cheerfulness.

When you come home, expect to be joyfully greeted.

The wheaten may try to bound into your arms, smell all the scents you have picked up, and/or turn in circles until he’s tired to show his excitement!

Making sure that he has enough exercise will ensure that your pup doesn’t become destructive with boredom.

We’ll discuss exercise in the next section.


This breed loves children and is the perfect size to play with a bunch of tiny humans.

Additionally, his medium size makes the wheaten perfect for either a house or an apartment.

This breed does not need a lot of room to exist in, so don’t let your apartment prevent you from considering these pups!

It is important to note, probably ad nauseum, that the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is incredibly social.

He wants to spend as much time with you as possible.

If he is left alone for long periods of time, your pup may become depressed and listless.

if your lifestyle keeps you away from home for long amounts of time, this might not be the breed for you.



One thing that is essential for this breed is exercise.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was bred as an Irish farm dog.

These versatile pups were expected to spend a major portion of every day working.

From guarding the chicken coop to herding, the wheaten spent his days being incredibly active.


This need for movement is literally bred into these lovable furballs.

If you restrict the amount of exercise your pup gets, you might not like the result.

As mentioned above, the wheaten can become destructive if not given enough physical activity.

Walks, hikes, and playing outside with kids or other dogs are excellent ways to help your dog get all his energy out.

The most important thing to remember is that your wheaten wants to be with you.

Activities that allow your pup to exercise and spend time with you are ideal.


This breed is relatively friendly with new dogs and people, so playdates and dog parks are an option for exercise.

Just ensure that you have given your pup the appropriate socialization training before throwing him into a new situation.

When you spend enough time exercising your wheaten, he will adore you even more than he already does!




While the wheaten doesn’t require complicated grooming, he does need a lot of time dedicated to keeping his coat neat.

Even though his coat doesn’t shed, your pup needs constant combing to maintain its silkiness.

Because the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier’s coat is so silky, it gets tangled and matted very easily.

At least once a day, you will need to take the time to gently detangle his coat and brush through it.

This helps prevent large mats and tangles from developing.

And also removes any dirt he has picked up in his travels.

Depending on how active your pup is, you may have to repeat this process 1-3 more times each day.

As stated above, this grooming isn’t complicated, just time consuming.

If you are unable to commit to this amount of care, the wheaten might not be for you.


As with all dogs, keep an eye on your pup’s nails and trim them when they grow too long.

Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and, eventually, pain to your pup.

If you are unable to trim his nails yourself, find a local groomer to do it.

A well-groomed wheaten is a happy wheaten!



As with many working breeds, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is very intelligent and has a lot of energy.

This makes it imperative that you are prepared to spend a significant amount of time training your pup.

The wheaten is known for having a stubborn streak a mile wide.

First-time puppy owners may find it difficult to train this breed, so the wheaten is often recommended for experienced dog owners.

Most importantly, start your pup on obedience training as early as physically possible.

This will set a solid base for all of your dog’s future training.


After obedience training, socialization training is the next important step to take.

The wheaten falls into the middle of the socialization spectrum.

Making sure he is well-trained will help create realistic expectations for when your pup meets new people and animals.

With consistent and firm training, your wheaten can be a calm and loving participant in any social event.

Just make sure not to use a raised voice or harsh words with this breed.

The wheaten responds better to firm but kind correction.

As with any dog, it is best to encourage good behavior rather than break his spirit over bad.



The wheaten is generally a very healthy breed.

However, there are still a few potential health issues that this perky pup may be prone to.

One potential medical concern is Protein-Losing Nephropathy.

This condition occurs when there is loss of protein and plasma through the kidneys.

Symptoms can range from weight loss to kidney failure.

A very similar potential health concern is Protein-Losing Enteropathy.

While the symptoms are basically the same, this condition involves loss of protein and plasma through the gastrointestinal tract.

Neither condition has a cure but can be controlled and mitigated through diet and medication.


Another potential health issue is Addison’s Disease.

Your dog can develop this disease if his body doesn’t produce enough adrenal hormones.

Symptoms can include low energy, vomiting, and a poor appetite.

Once again, this issue is not curable, but is manageable through regular doses of the necessary hormones.

The most important step to getting a healthy dog is finding a responsible breeder.

While a breeder cannot 100% guarantee that your pup will never have health issues, they will be proactive in avoiding preventable issues.

This can be accomplished by testing breeding stock and not using any that test positive for potential health concerns.

In addition, there are some preliminary screenings your puppy can be given to asses his predisposition toward developing a harmful health issue.

It pays to ask questions.

Don’t hesitate to ask your breeder what health screenings they have done with your puppy!




The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier hails from the old country of Ireland.

It is very likely that he shares a common ancestry with the Irish Terrier and Kerry Blue Terrier, both of which also originate in the land of the leprechaun.

While his history as a working dog may not be illustrious, the wheaton has held an honored place in Irish farm culture for centuries.

Tasked with keeping rat populations low, guarding the farm, and even herding livestock, this determined pup more than earned his keep.


The breed first arrived in the United States in 1946.

From there, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has exploded across the country, gaining a loyal following.

In 1962, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America (SCWTCA) was founded by enthusiasts in Brooklyn, New York.

Finally, the American Kennel Club recognized the wheaten as its own distinct breed in 1973, solidifying his place in American hearts.

Since then, the breed has become among the most popular breeds for companion dogs.

His happy and energetic personality continues to gain more followers by the day.


Where Can I Find Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers?

As always, it is important to avoid both internet scams and puppy mills.

Beyond protecting yourself, you are also helping to prevent more dogs from suffering through these illegal operations.

The first step you need to take is to find a reputable breeder.

A good breeder will happily answer any questions you have.

Ask about breeding practices, medical testing and screenings, home environment, and why they got into breeding in the first place.

These and any other questions you can think of will give you a good idea of whether your breeder’s passion is for the puppies or the money.


The SCWTCA does provide a list of breeders on their website.

While all the breeders on the SCWTCA are members in good standing with the association, the SCWTCA does not take any responsibility for liabilities.

That list may be a good place to start if you are unable to locate a reputable breeder independently.

Just remember that, when it comes down to it, you are the one responsible for vetting whichever breeder you decide upon.




Q: Is this breed a good apartment dog?
A: Yes! As long as you can take time every day to take your pup outside for exercise, he will do well in an apartment.

Q: Does this breed require a lot of grooming?
A: Yes. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier’s silky locks require daily (sometimes several times a day) care to prevent tangles and mats.

Q: Is the wheaten good with kids?
A: Yes! This pup loves children and will get along well with any little ones you may have.

Q: Is it difficult to train a wheaten?
A: It depends. Wheatens are very smart and have an independent nature. The key is to be consistent and firm, but kind.


In Closing

Does the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier sound like the pup for you?

Active, good with kids, and happy-go-lucky, this breed will bring joy to any family he finds himself with!

As always, do your research and weigh the pros and cons of each breed to decide what will work best for you.

If you are ready, browse some Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies now!

Thank you for learning about this breed with me!

Until next time!



American Kennel Club. (2022, 6 5). Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Retrieved from American Kennel Club:

Petfinder. (2022, 6 5). Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Retrieved from Petfinder:

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America. (2022, 6 5). Home. Retrieved from Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America:

The Spruce Pets. (2022, 6 5). Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Retrieved from The Spruce Pets:

Your Pure Bred Puppy. (2022, 6 5). Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Retrieved from Your Pure Bred Puppy:


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