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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Irish native with a distinctive coat and strong sporting instinct

Colour and texture of coat, two of the breed’s main features are described in its name. Some claim the Soft Coated Wheaten to be an ancestor of the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue. The Wheaten was used for hunting badger and otter. The breed was recognised by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937 and in 1943 by The Kennel Club. The hallmark of these merry extroverts, and what sets them apart from other terriers, is the silky, gently waving coat. It runs from a pale beige to a shimmering gold, recalling the color of ripening wheat.

Wheatens have established excellent credentials as family pets. When properly trained and socialised, they make enthusiastic and durable playmates for kids. They are said to be not quite as scrappy as many other terrier breeds, and they adapt well to either town or country living. Wheatens aren’t yappers by nature, but they are alert sentinels who will bark to signal the approach of a perceived threat. Wheatens are exuberant and inquisitive dogs who require fenced-in running room, plenty of human interaction, and enough intensive training to ensure that they will be good neighbours and obedient house dogs. If you enjoy lavish displays of affection, the Wheaten might be the pet for you. The breed is famous for what longtime fanciers call the ‘Wheaten greetin’ – the bonkers welcome home that awaits all Wheaten owners, whether returning from a jaunt around the world or a trip to the corner shop. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are confident and friendly. They typically get along well with children and other dogs, but they can have difficulty resisting the urge to chase after small furry pets like cats.

Read more about the history of this breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the The Kennel Club UK. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKTerrier
Bred ForFarm helpers
Rare BreedNo
Country of OriginIreland
TemperamentConfident, Affectionate, Intelligent
Exercise NeededUp to 1 hour a day
Size of Home NeededSmall
Height at Withers – Females (Average)Slightly less than males
Height at Withers – Males (Average)46 – 49 cm / 18 – 19½ in
CoatMedium, Soft and Silky
Life Expectancy12 – 15 years
  • Irish peasants owned Wheatens because they were not permitted to own hounds, Beagles, or spaniels; by law, those breeds were reserved for the gentry – people who had money to their names. Wheatens became known as the “poor man’s Wolfhound.”
  • Farmers used Wheatens to perform pretty much every job on the farm – protecting home and barnyard; herding stock; hunting rats, foxes, badgers, and other destructive pests; and some were used as flushers and retrievers in the bird fields of the Irish countryside.
  • Wheaten puppies are born a dark brown and lighten to a shade of wheat by the time they are two. It’s one of the things that makes the puppies just too cute!
  • Their beautiful coats can get matted easily and require a brushing and combing every time they have been playing outside. They require daily brushing and combing, weekly trimmings, and baths once a month.
  • As they lack an undercoat, this breed does not shed much, making them a better fit for those with allergies.


Breed standards vary throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed, click to view them. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site.

Thanks for reading!

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