Country of OriginIreland
Nicknames and Other NamesWheaten or Wheatie
Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Scientific NameCanis lupus familiaris
Breed TypePurebred
GroupTerrier Group
Bred ForHerding, watching, and
guarding livestock and hunting vermins
Recognized ByAKC, UKC, NZKC, ANKC, CKC, KC
Life Span12-14 years
Ideal WeightMale: 35-40 pounds
Female: 30-35
Ideal HeightMale: 18-19 inches
Female: 17-18 inches
Fur TypeSlightly wavy or curly, soft and silky
Common ColorsWheaten
AvailabilityWidely available
AchievementsAppeared in artwork by
Frederic William Burton
Suitable for ApartmentsYes
Used in World WarNo
Most Similar ToIrish Terrier

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is medium-sized dogs that were used for both herding and hunting. They are both suitable for city and village as long as they are provided with the exercise they need. They even adopt apartment life but they should be taken out regularly for exercise to keep themselves fit and healthy.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a sporty and well-balanced dog with a square outline. The head is in proportion to the body with small-medium sized ears. The chest is deep and back is strong. It has a single coat that covers the entire body and the texture is silky, soft and slightly wavy.

Origin and History

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was originated in Ireland as a working dog and also hunting dog who was used for controlling vermin and control cattle. The Soft Coated Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier hare the same ancestor and all were bred for the same purpose.

It was brought to the USA after World War II. They were mostly used by lower-class people from where it is also called “poor man’s wolfhound”.

The American Kennel Club recognized Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier in 1973 and today (April 2019), it ranks 50 of 193 AKC registered breeds. The Irish Kennel Club was the first to recognize this breed that is in 1937.

Is Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Child-Friendly?

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is friendly with children of all age. They are tolerant of the kids rough handling and do not mind their pulling and force hand.

Although they are child-friendly dogs, their interaction with unfamiliar kids should be supervised. Teach the kids how to behave around dogs, so that they do not have to face the aggression of the dog.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is child friendly
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier sitting with a boy.
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Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

Temperament: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a nice tempered dog. It is a sociable, fun loving, and very energetic dog. They sometimes do clownish behavior and make people around them smile or laugh. Therefore they make a great family companion. They are very playful and get along with other pets in the house very well.

Behavior: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a very energetic dog that likes to dig a lot. If you leave this dog in your backyard for a long time, it will dig up the ground and tear the flowers beds. They are a barker and will alert you if some strangers are approaching, which makes them a great watchdog.

They tend to bark at every single sight and every sound made in the are. Therefore, it is best to teach your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier to stop barking when being told.

Personality: The personality of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is joyful, energetic, and loving. Even when they grow up, they still behave like a puppy. It is fun to be around them as they are of high energy and do not let you feel bored. They expect to be involved in every household activities, so they should be given some work to do routine wise.


The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is moderately easy to train as they share one common trait with its cousin terrier, that is stubbornness. If firm leadership is developed upon them, training won’t be a hard task to do.

Start training from an early age and with basic commands. Praise them after every task is complete and reward them with treats to encourage them. Do not use force hand as they might get scared or even aggressive. Teach with a soft voice and with a gentle hand.


  • The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier ranks 50 of 193 American Kennel Club registered breeds as of April 2019.
  • This breed has appeared in artwork of “The Aran Fisherman’s Drowned Child” by Frederic William Burton in 1843.
  • It is reported to be one of the oldest Irish breeds of terrier.

Health Issues

General HealthHealthy
Common Health IssuesPatellar Luxation, Hypothyroidism,
Cataracts, Addison’s disease
Vaccination RequiredCanine Parvovirus, Rabies, Canine Coronavirus,
Leptospirosis, Canine Distemper,
Canine Parainfluenza, Kennel Cough
SheddingLow Shedder
DroolingLow Drooler
GroomingHigh and Professional Grooming Required
Weight Gain PotentialAverage
Separation AnxietyHigh Chance
Diets and SupplementsProtein: 22%
Fat: 8%
Omega-3 and 6 Fatty Acids
Digestive Enzymes

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is usually a healthy breed with a life expectancy of 12-14 years. However, during this years, they might suffer from few health conditions which are explained below.

  • Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism): It is a disease that is caused when one or both adrenal glands is damaged. It lies just above the kidney of your dog and this condition does not allow you to make enough adrenal hormones. This hormone is needed in every aspect to function the body parts. It causes an imbalance in circulating the levels of glucose, potassium, sodium, and chloride. The symptoms are abdomen pain, nausea, and vomiting. If these symptoms are seen, consult a vet and start treatment immediately.
  • Cataracts: This condition is usually hereditary but not always. Cataracts are a condition where there is cloudiness formed in your dog’s eyes. It is due to improper nutrition, low calcium, exposure to radiation, etc. It can cause blindness but it is not painful that affects the overall health of your dog. However, it can be treated with surgery, so consult your vet and start the treatment before it becomes late.


The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier comes in any shades of wheaten.


Cost: The average cost of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is between $800-$1000 USD. However, adoption cost lot less than buying directly from a breeder. A homeless puppy will get home and a great family. The adoption usually cost around $300 that includes all the expenses of taking care of the puppy.

Height and Size: The average height of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is between 17-19 inches. The average weight is between 30-40 pounds.

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