Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Breed Group: Terrier
Color: Puppies are born black, but lighten to the final adult wheaten color by about two years of age.
Height: Male: 18-20 Female: 17-19 inches
Weight: Male: 35-45 Female: 30-40 lbs
Description: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized, compact and squarely proportioned dog.
It is a strong dog that moves gracefully. The head is shaped like a rectangle, rather long, with a short, strong muzzle, jaws that are able to seize and grip prey well, and large teeth.
It has a defined stop. The ears are v-shaped and fold forward, level with the skull. The teeth should form scissors or level bite.
The almond-shaped eyes are hazel or dark brown. Light or yellow eye color can occur but is a breed fault in the written standard. The nose is large and black.
The strongback forms a level topline. The front legs are straight, with plenty of bone. The dewclaws should be removed.
The feet are round with black pads and dark nails. The tail is cocked and carried upright. Puppies are born black but lighten to the final adult wheaten color by about two years of age.
Temperament: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is an alert and happy animal – graceful, strong and well-coordinated. A playful and friendly terrier.
They make great watchdogs and bark at the arrival of guests. They are usually very loving with children and get along reasonably well with other dogs (provided they are socialized when they are young).
They do not get along well with cats. All it takes is some fast movement on the part of the cat, and the dog’s instincts will take over and he will attack.
They have a puppy attitude that remains with it throughout its life. Sweet-tempered, easy-going and self-confident. This breed needs to be taught when it’s young what is and what is not acceptable behavior.
It is very intelligent, so it will generally grasp quickly what is required of them. They have a straightforward nature and need to be handled in a straightforward manner.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers bond extremely closely with their family. They seldom bark unnecessarily. Though not as aggressive as many other terriers, males may be combative with other male dogs if challenged.
The Soft Coated Wheaten should be well socialized with other dogs while they are young puppies. This breed is increasing in popularity and is known in most areas of the United States, but it may still require some calling around to find a breeder.
Health problems: Prone to flea allergies and protein wasting disease (PLE and PLN).
Living conditions: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is good for apartment life. They are moderately active indoors and a small yard will do. This breed does not tolerate heat very well.
Exercise: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can get by with moderate exercise as long as it is regular.
Life expectancy: About 12-15 years.
Grooming: When grooming the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, the object is to achieve a natural look and brushing can make the soft coat fuzzy.
So using a brush is not recommended. Instead, frequent, even daily combing of the long, profuse coat with a medium-toothed comb is recommended to keep it free of tangles – beginning when the dog is a puppy.
Clean the eyes and check the ears carefully.
Bathe or dry shampoo when necessary. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier does not shed in the spring and fall, but loose hair should be combed out of the coat from time to time. A well-groomed dog will shed very little. This breed is good for allergy suffers.
Origin: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was used as a farm dog, herder, and hunter of small game and vermin in Ireland, which is his country of origin.
Though it is probably one of the oldest Irish breeds, its first public presentation was in 1933. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was first imported to the United States in 1946 and officially recognized by the AKC in 1973.