The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier has a long history in Ireland and is believed by many to share his lineage with Kerry Blue and Irish Terriers, although there is no written evidence for this. His many virtues were preserved by legends, some of them going back as far as Spanish Armada. The Wheaten was mainly used for hunting small game and guarding livestock. He was a true working dog with courage and tenacity being his strongest points. It was not until 1937 that this terrier became known as the Wheaten.
Being a terrier in spirit, aggressive, suspicious of other dogs, full of zest for life and stamina, he is a loyal family member. The Wheaten Terrier is a happy and friendly dog. He loves and trusts everyone. He makes a good watchdog, barking at doorbells and unusual things in the neighborhood, but he will not guard his home.
Some people who are allergic to dogs say that they can tolerate Wheatens; however, the allergic reaction largely depends on the person. Some people are allergic to dog saliva, rather than the dog hair and dander. If you are allergic to dogs, it might be best to spend a few hours at a Wheaten breeder's kennel to determine if you can tolerate a Wheaten Terrier.
Photo courtesy of Soft Dog City
Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Outline
Other Names: Wheaten
Country of Origin: Ireland
Utilization: Farm dogs used for keeping down virmin and for hunting badgers and otters
FCI Classification: Group 3: Terriers; Section 1: Large and medium sized Terriers (without working trial); AKC Classification: Terrier Group
Size: Medium (15-19 inches at shoulders)
Coat Type & Colors: The Wheaten's wavy (or loosely curled), non-shedding coat is soft, abundant and wheaten in color, but it takes almost 18 to 24 months to fully develop. Wheatens are not outdoor dogs. Their coat quickly mats, even if meticulously groomed. Puppies usually resemble bear cubs and may have dark markings, which should clear with maturity. Color can be wheaten only.
Litter Size: 6
Life Span: 11-15 years
Grooming Requirements: The non-shedding coat requires regular attention to remove dead hair and to prevent matting. In Britain, this breed is shown in full coat, and in Ireland and other countries it is more heavily trimmed. Pet Wheatens are often clipped to leave about 1 inch of coat.
Personality: Very intelligent, loyal, protective and affectionate with his family, courageous, cheerful.
Social skills: Pugnacious, aggressive and scrappy, Wheatens are somewhat high-strung around other dogs. Cats, small rodents (hamsters, guinea pigs) are usually seen as prey.
Suitability for Children: Wheatens are good with sensitive and well behaving children, but should never be left alone with a toddler or a small child. Wheatens are known to jump up on people and an exhuberant Wheaten can knock down a small child in little time.
Exercise Needs: Medium. Being moderately active dogs, they need daily walks and some playtime with their owner. Make sure you have a fenced yard, since these curious fellows get easily distracted and will rush to investigate.
Train Ability: >Wheatens are quick-witted and can be highly responsive to training if the trainer or owner has a lot of imagination to make the process funny and enjoyable. They learn commands easily, but due to their terrier nature, they can be stubborn and independent. Do not expect your Wheaten to be a big winner in obedience trials.
Health & Behavioral Issues: Cataracts, hip dysplasia, kidney diseases, hypoadenocorticism, microphthalmia, protein-losing enteropathy and nephropathy, retinal dysplasia.
Keywords: Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, Terrier Irlandais A Poil Doux, Irischer Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Irlandés