Canine Breed Menu



Breed Organization
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Wheaten Terrier, Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Life Expectancy
Approximately 12-14 Years
Litter Size
Average 4-6 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Terrier
Breed Appearance
Puppies have dark coats of either red, brown, mahogany or white. Their muzzles and ears may be black or dark brown. The dark puppy coat gradually grows out to nearly white before maturing into a wheaten-colored coat as they get older. The adult coat may contain black, white, or darker brown "guard" hairs in addition to the lighter wheaten-coloured hair. If adults ever have skin injuries, the resulting hair growth will be the dark color of their puppy coat before it eventually grows out to the wheat color.

Breed Description
Head: Long and powerful. Flat skull, not too wide. Pronounced stop. Powerful, "fearsome" jaws.
Ears: Small to medium size. Carried forward, breaking level with the skull.
Eyes: Not too large. Dark hazelnut or dark color.
Body: Short, compact. Strong neck without dewlap. Deep forechest. Ribs well sprung. Short, powerful loin. Straight topline.
Tail: Not too thick; carried gaily. Docked to one-third its natural length (after the sixth vertebra).
Hair: Abundant, soft texture, silky, wavy or loose curls. Must not exceed 12.7 cm at greatest length.
Coat: Any shade from light wheaten to golden-reddish. The texture and color of the puppy’s coat passes through several stages before attaining its permanent color at one and one-half to two and one-half years of age.
Size: Dog: 46 to 48 cm (18-19 in).Bitch: 43 to 47 cm (17-18.5 in).
Weight: Dog: 15.7 to 18 kg (35-40 lb).Bitch: 13 to 15 kg (29-33 lb).

Originating in the county of Munster, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is one of the oldest Irish breeds. He is thought to be the ancestor of the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier. He was used on Irish farms to guard livestock and the farm and to hunt vermin. The breed was not recognized by The Kennel Club until 1943.

This rustic, energetic, courageous, and bold dog is rather independent and stubborn. He is very affectionate, devoted to his owner, and is a playful, gentle, happy pet. Wary of strangers, this good guard dog threatens with his bark but is not aggressive. Strict training is required.

Prone to protein wasting disease (PLE and PLN) and flea allergies.

He needs considerable space and exercise to maintain his mental health. Regular brushing is required. Grooming may be required from time to time.

Livestock Guard, Hunting Dog, Guard Dog, Pet.

Horse Herd