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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

 Photo of Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Photo: By Jill Terry

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Books

Group: Terrier - Breed Standard


The Wheaten was originally bred in his native Ireland to be an all-purpose farm dog whose duties would have included herding, watching and guarding livestock, and vermin hunting. This is probably why they are not as aggressive as other terriers, who were primarily vermin hunters.


Height: dogs: approximately 46-49 cms (18-19½ ins) measured at the withers; bitches slightly less. Weight: dogs approximately 16-20.5 kgs (35-45 lbs); bitches somewhat less.


Wheaten terriers stay young at heart for many years. They are quite active. Their temperament is curious and friendly. Wheaten owners are familiar with the famous "wheaten greetin'" these friendly dogs treat visitors with. They are very sociable. The Wheaten is a fun-loving, intelligent dog. It can be vocal, making it a good watch dog although no one should consider this breed to deter burglars as the dog will greet the burglar as a friend. His temperament should be such that he considers a stranger a friend he hasn't met yet. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is known to be less aggressive in nature than that of other terrier breeds. Some wheatens love water while others will avoid it. Wheatens do well as a sole dog companion and can also be fine in a multi-dog household depending on the temperaments of the other dogs. Wheatens enjoy chasing squirrels.

Breed Health

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have a life expectancy of 13-14 years and they remain perky to the end. Hip dysplasia and Progressive retinal atrophy are occasionally seen.


Proper socialization with their environment and with other children and adults when they are young will ensure a stable temperament in a wheaten. Basic obedience classes may enable less frustrating co-existence with a wheaten. The breed is generally trainable, although the terrier stubbornness does appear on occasion. Consistency in training and positive reinforcement is the best method in the training of a wheaten, as they can be very sensitive to physical correction. With both a short attention span and an energetic personality, wheatens can be difficult to train as show dogs. See our books on training

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