Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Other Names

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Wheaten Terrier
Wheaten
Softcoated Wheaten Terrier

Description

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, sometimes spelled “Softcoated Wheaten Terrier,” is a compact and squarely proportioned dog. The moderately long head is rectangular in appearance and in proportion with the body. The strong muzzle is relatively short compared to the skull and has a defined stop. The black nose is large for the size of the dog. The teeth meet in a scissors bite and the lips are black. The wide-set eyes are almond shaped and come in a reddish brown to a medium brown color. Light or yellow eye color can occur but is a breed fault in the written standard. The V-shaped ears fold forward and are level with the skull. The medium-length neck gradually widens into the body. The back is straight, forming a level topline. The front legs are straight and the paws are compact and round with black toenails. The high-set tail is either docked or kept natural. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. Dewclaws are usually removed. The single, wavy coat comes in shades of wheaten. Puppies are born dark brown and lighten to the final adult wheaten color by age two. There are two coat varieties, the American and the Irish. The Irish coat tends to be thinner and silkier.

Temperament

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is strong, agile and well-coordinated. It is a happy, playful, spirited and friendly terrier. Alert, it makes a great watchdog and barks at the arrival of guests. It is usually very loving with children and gets along reasonably well with other dogs. An unsocialized dog with a meek owner who does not know how and when to correct negative behaviors may end up with a dog-aggressive dog. Some of these dogs that were not raised with cats may not get along well with them. All it takes is some fast movement on the part of the cat, and the dog’s instincts will take over and he will chase them. The dog needs to be corrected right before it takes off after the cat. These dogs have a puppy attitude that remains with them throughout their lives. They are sweet-tempered, docile and self-confident. This breed needs to be taught, preferably when young, but older dogs can learn what is and is not acceptable behavior. It is very intelligent, so it will generally grasp quickly what is required of it. It has a straightforward nature and needs to be handled in a straightforward manner. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers bond closely with their family. They seldom bark unnecessarily. The Soft Coated Wheaten should be well socialized with other dogs while it is a young puppy, but adults can learn what is unacceptable behavior if they have an owner who properly communicates with them. In order to have a well-behaved Wheaten, you must be firm, but calm, consistent and confident with the dog. Meek owners will find the dog will easily take over the home and will be hard to control. Do not allow this dog to jump on humans. Jumping dogs are not “greeting” the human. Jumping is a respect and a dominancy issue.

Height/Weight

Height: Males 18 – 20 inches (46 – 51 cm) Females 17 – 19 inches (43 – 48 cm)
Weight: Males 35 – 45 pounds (16 – 20 kg) Females 30 – 40 pounds (14 – 18 kg)

Health Problems

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

Living Conditions

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is good for apartment life. These dogs are moderately active indoors and a small yard will do. This breed does not tolerate heat very well.

Exercise

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier can get by with moderate exercise as long as it is taken for daily walks.

Life Expectancy

About 12-15 years

Litter Size

About 5 – 6 puppies

Grooming

When grooming the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, the object is to achieve a natural look, and brushing can make the soft coat fuzzy. So using a brush is not recommended. Instead, frequent, even daily, combing of the long, profuse coat with a medium-toothed comb is recommended to keep it free of tangles—beginning when the dog is a puppy. Clean the eyes and check the ears carefully. Bathe or dry shampoo when necessary. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier does not shed in the spring and fall, but loose hair should be combed out of the coat from time to time. A well-groomed dog will shed very little. This breed is good for allergy suffers.

Origin

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier originated in Ireland and is possibly one of the oldest Irish breeds. It is related to both the Kerry Blue and the Irish Terrier. It was known as the “poor man’s dog,” working on farms as herders, protecting the border and as a hunter of vermin and small game. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was first imported to the United States in 1946. In 1973 it was recognized by the AKC. Some of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier’s talents are hunting, watchdog, herding and ratter.