The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

By BarkUpToday

Image Credit: Pixabay

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier originated from Ireland and belongs to the UKC/AKC Terrier Group. It is believed that this breed comes from ancient dog breeds found in Ireland for many thousands of years. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is thought to be related to the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier.


There were three wonderful Terriers that came from Ireland. The Wheaten Terrier, the Kerry Blue Terrier, and the Irish Terrier. All these terriers have similar bloodlines and were bred for the same purposes. The Wheaten dog breed was used as farm dogs and had to guard chicken, chase rats, herd cattle, and bird-dog. This all-purpose dog breed relaxed at the end of the day and became a great companion dog to farmers. The Wheaten arrived in the U.S in the 1940s.

Physical Description

The confident Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed that has a square shape. With a long rectangular head and small drop ears that point forward, this breed has a large black nose and almond-shaped eyes. The eyes are reddish-brown or plain brown.

The Wheaten is deep-chested and has a docked tail that is held erect. The Wheaten has a single coat that is slightly way and very soft. The coat is thick on the head, covering the eyes, and forming a beard. The Soft Coated Wheaten can be any shade of Wheaten.


Dogs       18-19 inches      

Females   17-18 inches


Dogs         35-40 pounds

Females    30-35 pounds

Life Expectancy

12-15 years


The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is of a playful yet stubborn temperament. This breed is confident, loyal, and thrives on being with family. This is a dog breed that cannot be left alone for long periods. This is a happy dog breed that is alert and is always interested in its surroundings. The Wheaten is less aggressive than other terrier breeds but is sometimes provoked by other terrier breeds. 

Socialization should begin during puppyhood, and positive puppy training should focus a lot on housetraining and tailored toward the Wheaten’s wonderfully sweet temperament. This is an active dog breed that needs plenty of exercises. Terrier breeds are experts at digging and escaping. This breed is excellent with children and other dog breeds. 

The Wheaten does well in participating in family outings. This is an intelligent dog breed that is so easy to get along with. The Wheaten does well living in an apartment but needs frequent daily walks and trips to the dog park to socialize with other dogs and people. 

Activity Level


Special Needs

The Wheaten Terrier needs an active home. This breed needs plenty of regular exercises, positive dog training, and socialization.

The Wheaten breed needs to be socialized from puppyhood and should never be isolated from people, other dogs, and animals. This breed bonds closely to all family members, including children. 

Wheaten needs to constantly interact with people so that he does not become bored and mischievous. Positive training needs to tailor the specific temperament of this breed. The Wheaten is a happy and outgoing dog breed. That said, because it is also alert and energetic, the Wheaten has to have lots of environmental stimulation combined with exercise. 

All family members need to be on the same page with positive dog training methods. Although it may be difficult not to spoil this dog breed, it’s best to be on the same page as the rest of the family about your Wheaten and is not allowed to do at home. The Wheaten Terrier should live indoors and may have housetraining issues if not trained positively beginning at puppyhood.

Possible Health Concerns

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier may be susceptible to the following health conditions:

  • Protein-Losing nephropathy (PLN) This is a disorder of the glomerulus and is characterized by protein loss in the urine. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers have a genetic predisposition to this.


  • Protein Losing Enteropathy (PLE) This is where protein is lost in the intestine. In both conditions, Wheatens are hypercoagulable, and some have died from thromboembolism, with more pulmonary-related ones.
  • Addison’s Disease. This is also called hypoadrenocorticism and is caused by a deficiency of adrenal gland hormones. It is mainly found in young to middle-aged Wheaten Terriers. Signs include extreme vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, dehydration, and a gradual loss of body condition. Consult with your veterinarian if your Wheaten has any of these symptoms.
  • Renal Dysplasia. This is a developmental or genetic defect of the kidneys. Wheaten pups and young dogs have an unusually high rate of this disease. Up to 70% of the kidneys can be damaged before any symptoms show up. This is a genetic condition brought on by recessive mutation.


The Soft Coated Terrier does well with moderate exercise. An energetic walk around the block or fun romps at the dog park will suffice. This breed enjoys dog training classes, obedience, agility, and some rally sports. The Wheaten has lots of energy and needs the mental stimulation provided by canine sports; as usual, excessive exercise should never be undertaken during hot or humid temperatures. All dog breeds need to be protected from extreme temperatures. This dog breed enjoys playing around with family members, and loves Frisbee, and going to the dog beach. Agility is fun for all dog breeds. Slower dogs can take part as well, so if your Wheaten enjoys jumping small jumps, it’s worth a try. It is also a family sport where you can bring along all family members and make it a family day with your furry best friend.


High-quality dog food is recommended for the Wheaten. All dogs are different, and some dog food brands will be better suited for your Wheaten. When it comes to dog foods, understanding your dog’s current health and nutritional needs is paramount. There is no best diet since all Wheatens have different dietary needs, so it’s always wise to find the best dog food to match each dog. That said, consult with your veterinarian for advice when changing your Wheaten’s diet. Consult with your veterinarian if your Wheaten has a medical condition or is pregnant or lactating, and you need the best nutritional advice.

Here’s what to look out for when choosing dog food for your Wheaten:

  • Healthy ingredients
  • Fresh meat
  • Vegetables and fruit
  • No controversial ingredients
  • No added hormones and steroids
  • No unnamed meat sources
  • The correct ratio of macronutrients
  • By-products in dog food are acceptable when they are organ meats
  • Dog food should not be overly processed


Essential ingredients should include whole meats, fruits, or vegetables in their top five elements are considered good foods. Those that also add healthy antioxidants like blueberries, cranberries, pomegranates, and pumpkin are ones to purchase!

That said, organic, natural, and preservative-free with no artificial ingredients are also vital to a well-balanced and high quality dog food! Keep in mind that pups need to be on a puppy food formula and adult dogs on adult dog food formulas. Senior dogs also should be on a senior dog food formula.


The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a short silky coat that requires daily brushing. Use a slicker or pin brush for the removal of dirt, old hair, and dandruff. A medium-sized metal comb helps to remove tangles or matting. Try opening the matting with your fingers to prevent hurting your Wheaten.

Nails should be trimmed when needed, and ears wiped daily to check for infection or tenderness. Many Wheaten pet parents prefer taking their Wheatens to a professional groomer since this breed does best with a professional clipping. 

Adopting a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

This is such a terrific breed to adopt. With a sweet and fun temperament, the ever-playful Wheaten Terrier is an actual sport! This breed is a game to partake in any canine sporting activities. Additionally, with such a sweet temperament, the Wheaten makes for an easy and calm outing. 

Some normal behaviors may occur after adoption, including digging holes, barking, or perhaps being slightly depressed. Give your Wheaten time to adjust to his new surroundings, and entertain him with non-toxic and safe dog toys and healthy dog treats. The Wheaten enjoys the comforting scent of people, most especially family, including children. 

If you’re adopting a puppy Wheaten, allow your puppy to dig in an allocated spot in your garden by burying a few favorite treats. Visit this spot every day and encourage him to dig there, praising him and rewarding his efforts. Keep in mind that this is a dog breed that enjoys digging.

Enjoy this fun dog breed with plenty of trips to the local dog beach! The Wheaten Terrier loves to hang out, swim, and play Frisbee! This breed loves to swim!


Thanks for visiting.

Woofs & Wags! 


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