Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Height: 17 - 19.5 inches.
Weight: 30 - 45 lbs.
Life Span: 12 - 14 years.
Litter Size: 5 - 6 puppies.
Country of Origin: Ireland
Activity: High. They have a typical terrier mentality.
Guard-dog: Medium - Low
Description: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized, hardy, well balanced sporting terrier, square in outline. They are distinguished by their soft, silky, gently waving coat of warm wheaten color and their steady disposition. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, when trimmed for show, have blocky appendages and a long face. They have smaller drop ears and a soft covering of medium length fur all over the body. The fur on the face is profuse and often covers the eyes. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are a jolly breed who will retain their carefree puppy-ness right into adulthood. Puppies are born dark apricot but lighten to a clear golden wheaten color by two years of age. They do not reach full maturity until at least two years of age. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were once a dog of commoners, simply often ignored as a breed. But the breed of today has become somewhat popular in countries around the world, and makes quite the friend. They are playful but stubborn, being the self-confident terrier that it is. Although, they are less aggressive than your average terrier. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a one-of-a-kind family dog that can also serve as an all-purpose farm dog.
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Colors: A good, clear wheaten, the shade of ripening wheat; white and red equally objectionable; dark shading on ears not atypical. Any shade from light wheaten to golden red.
Coat: Soft, silky, wavy and profuse. It is especially profuse on the head and forms a beard and covers the eyes. The rest of the body is covered in shorter fur.
Temperament: Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are lively, loyal, energetic and fun. They have puppy characteristics well into their adult years. Playful and exuberant, the Wheaten Terrier matures slowly, only becoming fully mature at 2 years of age. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are like the common terrier, inquisitive, peppy, somewhat protective, stubborn and still playful. They are self confident, but less aggressive than the average terrier. They love to be with family and absolutely loathe being alone.
With Children: Yes, gets along well with considerate ones.
With Pets: Yes, they usually accept other household pets, but they should be socialized at a young age to get along with cats.
Special Skills: Hunting dog and family pet.
Care and Training: Constant care is needed to maintain the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier's flowing coat. Daily combing with a medium-tooth comb is recommended to keep them tangle free. Trim fringes from ears, feet and under the tail. Give them regular brushing of the teeth, nail clipping and ear and eye cleaning. Bathe or dry shampoo them only when necessary. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers need moderate but regular exercise to prevent boredom. A daily walk should suffice. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers need to be trained from an early age. Highly intelligent, they will learn quickly, although stubborn. They have a straightforward nature and should be handled in a straightforward manner.
Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Problem Solving - High. This breed is intelligent but can be stubborn.
Special Needs: Exercise, firm but positive training, grooming, and socialization.
Living Environment: Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers Adapt well to urban living. An apartment is fine if they are exercised daily. Owners of a Soft-Coated Wheaten should be calm and patient with no overbearing tendencies.
Health Issues: PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), colitis, Addison's disease, cancer, hip dysplasia, kidney diseases and allergic skin problems.
History: There are no exact origins of the Wheaten Terrier but soft coated terriers have existed in Ireland for many centuries. A dog of the poor, in the 1700s laws were established preventing certain people from owning a dog that was worth more than 5 lbs. Thus, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were prevalent among the poor, soon becoming unnoticeable to fanciers. It is believed the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier may have been crossed with a blue dog that swam to shore from a shipwreck in the Tralee Bay around 190 years ago. This blue terrier was said to have bred with the soft coated terriers native to the island, and from this came the Kerry Blue Terrier. This breed is also said to have been a progenitor of the Irish Terrier. They were originally used to guard the farm and its animals and sometimes to hunt game or be a water retriever. Used as an all-purpose farm dog, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is also thought to be related to the Glen of Imaal Terrier. They were used as companions, herding dogs, to hunt rats and rabbits, and generally as a dog-of-all-trades. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier came to the United States around the 1940s, but was recognized by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937. In 1971 the British Kennel Club accepted this wavy-haired breed, and finally was recognized by the AKC in 1973.
First Registered by the AKC: 1973
AKC Group: Terrier Group
Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 3), KC (GB), UKC