Photo: Deborah’s multi champion Soft coated wheaten terrier – Photography: Jean Lewis
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was known for more than 200 years in Ireland. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog breed was known as the poor man’s terrier. Throughout her history, the Soft Coated Wheaten was a versatile, hardy, hardworking dog who could do everything from hunt vermin to turn the spits in the kitchen.
Today, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized terrier, standing 17 to 19 inches tall and weighing 30 to 40 pounds. The head is well-balanced, the eyes are dark brown, and the ears drop forward. The body is compact and as long as the dog is tall at the shoulders. The tail is docked. There is no undercoat, and the outer coat is soft and silky. The coat may be any shade of wheaten. This coat requires some regular care. The soft coat can tangle and mat if not brushed and combed several times a week. Show dogs must be groomed in a specific manner; most Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier owners keep the dog’s coat short.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog breed needs a chance to run and play every day; these are active dogs who can easily get into trouble if bored. All exercise needs to be on leash or within a fenced-in yard; Wheatens do have a strong prey drive and will chase small animals. Socialization is important, as these dogs are wary of strangers.
Training the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can be a challenge. Although intelligent and cheerful, they can be stubborn. Training should be structured and establish the owner as the leader, while at the same time remaining fun and motivating. Wheatens love games, so trick training, agility, or other games should be incorporated into their training regimen. Many Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers do well in canine sports.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed needs an owner who can establish leadership without being rough or harsh. Although adult Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are usually good with children, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies can be rowdy. Most Wheatens are good with other dogs but some can be scrappy. Health concerns include eye problems, kidney disorders, Addison’s disease, and allergies.