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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier | Dog Breed Info: Pictures, Traits, & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Height: 17 – 19 inches
Weight: 30 – 40 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Wheaten of any shade, blue-gray on ears only
Suitable for: Active families, looking for an outgoing and low-shedding dog
Temperament: Friendly, affectionate, playful

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is one of those dogs that you can’t help but love. Their happy face is irresistible. They’re also as playful and affectionate as they look. This Irish pooch has a long history as a working dog, helping out wherever he was needed, with whatever task. This medium-sized terrier is everything you’d expect with a bit of stubbornness in the mix.

This breed is outgoing and friendly. While sensitive, he is relatively easy to train with no significant health concerns other than the issues that all small dogs face. He is an intelligent pup that can take to city life in an apartment well. His grooming needs are also minimal, making the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier worth a look for a family pet or individual companion.

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Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Puppies


The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier isn’t much different from other of its class in several ways. They are friendly, making them an excellent choice for homes with children and other pets. While they are willful, they are not too challenging for first-time dog owners. Their history of various jobs means they are smart animals and can adapt to different situations well.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a relatively healthy dog. Potential issues include a higher prey drive and a tendency toward wanderlust. Prospective owners must take an active role in training to curtail any bad behavior concerns. Like many breeds in its class, grooming is more involved than merely brushing him occasionally. On the positive front, he doesn’t shed a lot.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

1. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was a versatile “workhorse” in Ireland.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was an all-purpose farm dog that performed a lot of tasks. That’s part of what has endeared it to Ireland and enthusiasts around the world. His intelligence equipped him for various jobs for the pooch known as the “Poor Man’s Wolfhound.”

2. It took the world a long time to recognize this Irish breed.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a long history as a human companion. However, it tools global registries a while to recognize this breed. For its native Ireland, it was 1937. The British Kennel Club came around in 1943. The American Kennel Club approved the standard in 1973.

3. The Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier lingered in the AKC’s Miscellaneous until 1973.

AKC provides a controlled pathway for rare breeds to join the association’s ranks. The Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier stayed in AKC’s Miscellaneous Class until October 1973 when it finally became officially recognized.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier 🧠

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is typical of his class when it comes to his learning ability and picking up new skills. He is a friendly dog and not prone to nipping. The pooch does have a higher prey drive, due to its history as a hunter of rats and other pests. That instinct also applies to cats and small dogs if they run away from him.

The dog is sensitive. You’ll have better luck with training if you use positive reinforcement, i.e., treats. He is a breed that wants to please his owner. He has a moderate tendency to bark or howl, like many terriers. His history includes work as a hunter. That fact has fueled his wanderlust just to chase after a rabbit or rat.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are friendly canines. They’ll get along fine with everyone in the family, including the kids. Their easygoing nature also extends to strangers. The essential thing is that you must socialize them properly as puppies. That includes other people outside of the household and other pets. Their activity levels will make them an excellent companion for children and able to keep up with them.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is friendly with other dogs, especially if you’ve socialized them. We’d suggest taking the same precautions to introduce new animals on neutral ground. The higher prey drive might be a problem if you have cats or other small pets. On the other hand, you’ll have on-site pest control if you have a rodent problem.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier in forest

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Things to Know When Owning a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Bringing a pet into your home is a big decision that requires careful thought. Learning about all the ins and outs of a particular breed’s personality and quirks is part of the process. Let’s delve into some specific information to help you make an informed choice to find out if a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is right for you.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Small and large breeds differ in their growth and metabolism. Therefore, the primary concern is to get a food that is formulated for their needs. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are active dogs, which can help prevent issues with obesity. However, you still must watch their caloric intake to avoid unhealthy weight gain. We’ll suggest sticking with a high-quality diet because of their gorgeous coat.

Exercise 🐕

Enough exercise is just as essential for the mental health of your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier as it is physically. They will do well in a confined space as long as you take them on frequent walks. These dogs are so playful that getting one is a no-brainer if you have kids. You may find it easier to keep them in a fenced yard because of their tendency to run and chase other animals.

Training 🦮

You’ll need a firm hand with training to prevent the undesirable traits in these dogs. They have a stubborn streak, which isn’t uncommon for terriers. They also have a tendency to dig, which comes with being a rat hunter. The best way to train the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is with love and persistence. They are sensitive to harsh words, so be gentle with them.

Grooming ✂️

Regular grooming is vital for the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier for both his physical health and quality of life. You must brush him regularly, even if he isn’t a big shedder. It will help prevent mats and keep his soft, wavy coat looking its best. You may need to trim the fur around his face in between grooming sessions. We’d also suggest cleaning around his eyes to keep on top of tear stains.

You must also check his ears frequently and pull hair to prevent ear infections and mites. We recommend making it a regular task to help him get used to this procedure. You don’t necessarily have to take him to a professional as long as you keep up with the brushing and combing.

Health Conditions ❤️

This breed is susceptible to a few chronic health conditions. On a positive note, you can get pre-screening for some of them. You may need to provide your pup with a special diet for gastrointestinal and metabolic disorders. Breeders who are a member of the national club will register their litters with the Canine Health Information Center which can give you peace of mind.

Minor Conditions
  • Ear infections
  • Gum disease
Serious Conditions

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Male vs Female

Both sexes are similar in size. Their personalities are similar without a lot of significant differences, especially in altered dogs. Males are sometimes more docile with a milder stubborn streak. However, training is the best way to keep undesirable traits in check.

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Final Thoughts

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is its best salesperson. The dog is adorable with a loving and playful nature to match. There is more work involved in grooming and training. However, they are an affectionate family member who will bring staunch loyalty to the table. They are relatively long-lived with few major health issues.

That makes them an excellent choice for the apartment dweller who wants a playful companion that doesn’t shed a lot. Their intelligence and trainability add to the many reasons to consider this cute canine as an addition to your household.

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Featured Image: Vadim Petrakov, Shutterstock

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