Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier


Group: Terrier

Origin: Ireland

– Males: Ideally 18 1/2 inches (47 cm) at the withers;
– Females: Ideally 17 1/2 inches (44 cm) at the withers.

– Males: 35 to 40 lbs (16-18 kg)
– Females: 30 to 35 lbs (14-16 kg)

 Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Am/Can BISS Ch Paddington’s Waggish Wil Power

Photo credit: Cantex

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Breed Profile

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier originated in Ireland more than two centuries ago and was bred as an all-purpose farm dog and family companion. He was known as the poor man’s hunting dog and used to kill vermin, as a herding dog, and a watch dog.

The Wheaten is a self-confident, happy, inquisitive, and alert dog that is known to be less aggressive in nature than other Terrier breeds. He does enjoy activity, however, and is ready and willing to learn. He is lively and affectionate and maintains a puppy like attitude most of his life. This is a breed who thrives on human companionship and is considered a family dog in the sense that he is devoted to his entire family rather than an individual. He is also excellent with children with his patient and tolerant nature.

He has a non-shedding, hypoallergenic coat that is soft-textured and wavy. The colour of the Wheaten ranges from pale gold to warm honey and darker shading may be found on the ears and muzzle. The pads of the feet, nose, eye rims and lips should all be black in colour and the eyes are generally a dark hazel of brown. Puppies are born darker in colour and lighten as they mature.

Health Issues

The Wheaten is generally a healthy breed; however, like all dogs they are subject to certain health disorders including: Hip Dysplasia and Eye problems. Other health issues that affect the breed include Protein Losing Nephropathy (PLN), Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE), and Renal Dysplasia. These conditions affect the kidney and bowel function. The SCWTAC recommends that all Wheatens be routinely tested for these problems.

If you are considering the adoption of a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy’s parents have all health clearances. The SCWTAC recommends that all breeding stock be tested and cleared of any hip and eye disorders. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases. (For more information on selecting a breeder, see the articles on the main General Information page.)

Additional Health Resources:

Grooming Information

Because the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s coat is non-shedding, it should be thoroughly combed at least weekly. In addition, the coat is continuous growing meaning that it needs trimming every 2-3 months to maintain its shape.

The Wheaten’s nails should be kept short and may require trimming approximately every two week. The hair between the pads of his feet should be trimmed when necessary.

The Wheaten’s ears also require that they be kept clean to avoid infection and the hair in the ears may need regular plucking.

  • Grooming — This section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website includes tips, articles and information covering all aspects of dog grooming along with a listing of Groomers from across Canada.


Training Resources

The Wheaten is a very intelligent dog who is eager to please and easily trained. The best methods of training for this breed is through positive reinforcement, persistence, patience, and consistency. The Wheaten is a wonderful companion for both children and the elderly, however, as with all breeds, early socialization is important.

  • Training — For training information, see this growing section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website for tips, articles, as well as listings of training centres across Canada.


Additional Information

  • Clubs, Sports & Activities — For information on the many sports and activities you can get involved in with your dog.
  • Working Dogs — The Working Dogs section of the Canada’s Guide to Dogs website provides information and listings of organizations that are involved in various dog jobs, such as Guide Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Police Dogs, Protection Dogs, and much more.

Breed Listing

*NOTE 1: CHIC – The Canine Health Information Center “is a database of consolidated health screening results from multiple sources. Co-sponsored by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, CHIC works with parent clubs to identify health screening protocols appropriate for individual breeds. Dogs tested in accordance with the parent club established requirements, that have their results registered and made available in the public domain are issued CHIC numbers.” To learn more, visit:

*NOTE 2: The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) is the World Canine Organization, which includes 91 members and contract partners (one member per country) that each issue their own pedigrees and train their own judges. The FCI recognizes 344 breeds, with each being the “property” of a specific country. The “owner” countries write the standards of these breeds in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI, and the translation and updating are carried out by the FCI. The FCI is not a breed registry nor does it issue pedigrees.

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