Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – Complete Breed Info

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a warm and non-aggressive family dog that will use his voice to be heard if he feels that his family is in danger. Understand what makes their temperament particular and why this breed may be your next favorite.
Dog Breed Group:
Terrier Dogs
17 to 19 inches tall at the shoulder
30 to 40 pounds
Life Span:
12 to 15 years

Breed Characteristics:

Apartment Friendly


How well will this breed adapt to apartment living? Is the apartment size the most important factor when it comes to proper living conditions? Is the breed suitable for apartment living?

Good For First-Time Owners


Some dogs aren't suitable for first-time dog owners. Is this breed a good match for someone with no dog experience? Can training help them be on their best behavior with owners with no dog experience? Are they suitable to be handled by someone who is just entering the canine world?

Overall Sensitivity


Some dogs are sensitive. Certain breeds are rough on the outside, while having the softest heart on the inside. In other words, some dogs are 'thick-skinned' while some are 'easygoing.' Is this breed prone to sensitivity?

Tolerates Being Alone


Separation anxiety in dogs is a serious condition that can affect a dog's life quality. Is this breed prone to this condition? Can you leave him alone for hours? How destructive this breed can become when bored, neglected, or not loved enough?

Affectionate With Family


How affectionate this breed will be around his humans? Will he welcome new family friends easily or he will choose to be shy? Some breeds can be clingy with owners, while others don't attach a lot. Will this breed act as the family's best friend?



Some dogs will tolerate children, while others will adore well-behaved ones. Dogs and children should always be supervised, no matter how well trained the dog might be. Will this breed act as a nanny dog or he will stay away from children?

Friendly Toward Other Dogs


Some dog breeds cannot wait to run to the dog park and run with others. Others prefer to be with their humans, and not to be a part of a multi-pet household. Is this breed dog lover or not? How friendly this breed will be toward other dogs?

Friendly Toward Strangers


Some dog breeds tend to be reserved toward strangers and highly suspicious. Others are fast to walk away with them easily. How welcoming this breed is toward strangers?

Drooling Level


If you love to clean all the time drooling level in dogs is a trait that you should mind. Is this breed less likely to drool, or you will always need a towel on hand?

Easy To Groom


Heavier shedding during the shedding season is something that every dog needs to go through. However, some dogs shed just a bit all year round. Is this breed one of them? How often should you groom this dog?

Overall Health


What can you expect from this breed in terms of health? Are there any genetic conditions to vary about? Is obesity a major issue in this breed? By knowing more about the dog's health, you are learning how to help him live a longer and healthier life.

Prone To Obesity


Treats are a great addition to training sessions. Dogs love sweet bites of dog treats but they should be served in moderation. Treats can lead to obesity, next to poor nutrition. Can this breed gain extra weight from treats? How prone to obesity this breed actually is?

Trainability Level


Training some dogs is easier than others. How easy this dog will be to train? What can you expect? Some dogs are huge people pleasers and they will master commands easily, while others will try to outsmart you.

Intelligence Level


Dogs are smart beings. We do our best to train them, but they do still end up training us to adapt to their needs. How intelligent is this breed? Will he try to outsmart you? Or he will need multiple training sessions to master basic commands?

Prey Drive


Dogs were bred for a specific purpose. Those who were bred to hunt have natural instincts to hunt, even today. This is why many dogs, like Terriers, will chase other animals. They will also have a hard time concentrating on your commands when there is something small moving. Is this breed prone to following his prey instincts?

Barking Level


How vocal this breed is? Can you expect neighbors to ring you often to calm your dog? Or you can sleep without worries of hearing your Fido bark? Some breeds are highly vocal, others have unusual sounds, and some are silent. Is this breed prone to barking?

Energy Level


Low-energy dogs are happy with regular walks and indoor chill times. High-energy dogs are always ready for action. Is this breed a couch potato, energetic dog, or somewhere in between?

Exercise Needs


Some dogs are more than happy with a slow stroll down the street. Others need hours of active time to stay happy and fit. Is this breed demanding in terms of exercise? How much exercise this breed needs to stay happy and healthy?

Playfulness Level


Some dogs never lose that puppy spirit, not even in their senior years. Others are more serious and prefer having a job to do. Is this breed demanding in terms of playfulness? Can you expect playfulness in their senior years as well?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is known as an Irish farm dog that has interesting personality treats, like being devoted and friendly canine with a pinch of stubbornest, just to remind you that he’s a terrier. This dog with wheaten coat demands your attention and time investment when it comes to grooming. Discover if Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is hypoallergenic if they can swim and when they are fully grown.

Quick Facts

Real name: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Other names: Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Soft Coated, and Softcoated, Wheaten, Wheatie
Origin: Ireland
Breed type: Terrier Group
Weight: Male 14–20 kg (31–44 lb), Female 13.6–15.9 kg (30–35 lb)
Height: Male 45 to 50 cm (18 to 20 inches), Female 43 to 46 cm (17 to 18 inches)
Lifespan: 10.7 to 12.5 years
Color: Wheaten or ginger
Coat: Soft and silky, loosely waved or curly

What Were Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Bred For?

The Wheaten was originally bred in Ireland during a period of two hundred years to be an all-purpose farm dog. At the time, a full-time purpose dog had to perform actions such as watching, herding, guarding livestock, and even hunting and killing. This breed has a connection with the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier and the Irish Terrier.

Soon after the recognition of the breed in Ireland in 1937, seven Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies arrived in the States. However, the breed gain interest in 1957 and almost 20 years later in 1973, the American Kennel Club recognized the breed. Nowadays, this breed is fully considered to be a terrier, not a working dog, and an amazing faithful companion.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier History Timeline

  1. The Irish Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1937.
  2. The British Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1943.
  3. Lydia Vogel was the first owner of the breed in the States.
  4. During the 1970’s the breed was imported to Australia by Anubis Kennels.
  5. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1973.

Today, the breed is known for competing in agility, obedience, and from time to time being used in animal-assisted therapy.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Physical Appearance

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog, well balanced and noticeable square in outline. Their coat is what makes them so recognizable when it comes to their appearance. Their coat is primarily silky, soft, and gently waving. As a medium-sized dog they usually don’t grow over 18 to 19 inches at the withers for males, and 17 to 18 inches when it comes to females. Overall, they have a well-balanced body.

Their head is a rectangular-shaped in proportion to its body with dark reddish-brown or brown eyes of medium size. Eyes are almond-shaped and ears are small as well. Their nose may seem a bit larger, but it’s always black. Legs are straight and well-boned, while the hind legs are well developed and compact. The tail is always set high and up to 90 degrees and in most cases it’s docked.

When Are Soft Coat Wheaten Terriers Full Grown?

As a medium-sized dog, this breed grows fast and they reach their maturity fast. If you are a proud Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier owner or you are thinking about welcoming one in your home, you will witness full growth of your Terrier at the time he reaches 6 months of age.

So, you can expect for your Terrier to be full-grown around 6 to 8 months.

Soft Coat Wheaten Terrier Personality

This is a smaller breed that comes with a highly interesting personality. They have strong personalities and a nice amount when it comes to a sense of daily humor and overall fun. They are great companions and as such, they are more than trustworthy. They may misbehave, but they are overall high-spirited in the way that will keep you entertained.

All in, they high-spirited nature will be always shown in the nicest possible way. They are also eager and quick to learn, but they are in the first place terriers, meaning that they can show a certain train of stubbornness.

Are Soft Coat Wheaten Terriers Good Family Dogs?

This breed will demand some extra time and love from you if you want to have a really strong bond with your dog. Moreover, this breed is great to interact with people and to live with others. Interestingly, they are great watchdogs, but inferior guard dogs. Why? They have this strong belief that everyone is their friend.

Terriers are great with people and amazing with closest family members, especially children to whom they may be even overprotective. When it comes to protecting the youngsters they don’t care that they are not big – they will have a posture of the world’s biggest and toughest guard dog ever. They just care and love family that much.

Fast fact: They don’t make good kennel dogs.

Are They Good With Other Animals?

This breed is known for being willing to share their playtime and living space with other animals, including cats and dogs. However, that is only possible if they are raised with them. When it comes to other pets, the situation is significantly different. So, other pets including reptiles, birds, and rodents should be kept away.

Terriers heritage includes ridding vermin on farms, so they will for sure try to kill them. If you insist on having this dog breed and a bird, make sure to always keep them separately. They are not outside dogs so you can use that in your advantage when it comes to welcoming new and different pets in your home.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Grooming

You will have to invest some time in grooming your dog if you want his coat to be healthy, shiny, clean and tangle-free. The adult coat comes in between the ages of 7 to 24 months and this is the crucial period for setting proper grooming procedure and moves. The earlier you teach your dog to be groomed the easier it will be for the both of you.

Groom your dog with a proper brush, specially designed for his coat. In addition, make sure that you always have on hand an adequate grooming tools.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers have an amazing coat, but it can get easily tangled so you should groom it several times a keep, or perfectly whenever your dog comes inside from the dog’s park. Also, you should comb your dog every day, have a weekly trimmings, and have baths once a month.

If you are not sure how else to groom your dog and what does grooming includes, you can check with your veterinarian and reach out to a professional groomer.

Does A Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Shed?

If you are not a fan of shedding, you will more than love this breed. They don’t shed in the spring and fall, but they lose hair when they are combed. When it comes to adult dogs, it’s the same, they shed very little. As such they are considered to be non-smelly dogs: these dogs are usually the first choice for apartment owners.

If you or your family members are suffering from any form of allergies this breed should be more than welcomed in your home. Furthermore, a well-groomed dog will shed very little.

Are Soft Coat Wheaten Terriers Hypoallergenic?

These dogs are not one-person dogs and they will easily go with anyone. Their willingness to explore new areas with people, next to their appealing look makes them one of the most desirable dog breeds. Also, people love them because they don’t shed a lot and they are considered to be hypoallergenic. However, this may be or not true – it depends on the person level of sensitivity.

Before you invest in this breed, make sure that you visit (together with the allergic person) breeder’s home and interact with the dogs to determine the level of tolerance.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Health

Overall, this breed is considered to be a healthy breed, although any dog may have a number of inherited conditions that he may suffer from. For this breed, its typical to inherit kidney disease or gastrointestinal disease. In some cases, they may inherit a specific skin disease or even allergic skin disease.

This is a long-lived breed in general, but to maintain that longliveness proper vaccination and regular check-ups should be incorporated from puppyhood.

Some Wheatens suffer from food and environmental allergies, and can be prone to developing the skin disease known as atopic dermatitis. Some other health conditions seen in Wheatens are cancer, Addison’s disease, renal dysplasia, and inflammatory bowel disease. That being said, it’s important to always discuss your puppy’s history with a breeder and demand for proper documentation and medical tests.

Good to know: Some Wheatens have a gluten intolerance. This condition may require a special diet.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Training

Wheatens are known among dog lovers as a breed that requires a specific amount of time and energy when it comes to proper training and socialization. They have a mind of their own, which can make training a challenge. So, make sure that you are a proper knowledge when it comes to training, to use positive reinforcement techniques, and arm yourself with patience and consistency. And dog-proof your backyard (if you have) or you can expect to see more than a dozen of holes every day. They just love to dig, like any other Terrier.

Like with any other breed, early socialization is the key to having a well-trained dog. Otherwise, you will have a very challenging time when it comes to training your puppy. This breed is sensitive to harsh treatment, so focus on consistency, and not on firm discipline. Their spirit needs to be saved by any cost and not to be broken. Having a proper exercise plan may help with teaching your Wheaten right from wrong and speed up your training.

Good to know: Avoid having training sessions outside, as this breed don’t do well in heat.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Exercise

This breed has a medium to a high energy level that simply doesn’t diminish or goes away. Even in old age, this breed is still active and playful. Simply said, they will need a significant amount of exercise every day to keep them busy and safe. They have a strong prey drive, so you can expect from them to run and chase anything small and moves, such as squirrels, all the way to the cars.

Make sure that you keep your Wheaten on the leash all the time. If your Wheaten bonded to you, bear in mind that you are expected to be the one leading the team to the park and overall, daily exercise sessions. Furthermore, if you are a pool, even the small and remote one, you can expect to see your Wheaten spending most of his time, during the summer, in it chilling and swimming, especially if you’re having children.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – Key Takeaways

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a pure breed terrier originating from Ireland. Form there they went a long way to the States and Australia. They are mostly known due to their unique coat that requires additional attention and regular grooming. They are great family dogs that are amazing with children.

Although they are small in size, you can expect to hear a lot from them, in terms of barking. So, if you are looking for a dog that’s medium-sizes, athletic, doesn’t shed much and acts as a joyful puppy through his all life, you found your perfect match.

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