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13 Wheaten Terrier Pros & Cons: What To Consider Before Bringing One Home

Ed Malaker

By Ed Malaker

Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier standing and looking directly at camera

Wheaten Terriers are popular canines from Ireland that can make fantastic additions to any home or farm. They are hard-working yet loving and affectionate dogs. However, like any breed, they have a few pros and cons to consider before you make them a part of your family. Keep reading to better understand what it’s like to own one of these dogs.


Wheaten Terrier Appearance and Origin

The Wheaten Terrier, also known as the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, is a medium-sized breed with a soft and silky coat that’s typically a pale brown, resembling blooming wheat, which is what gave them their name. They usually stand between 17 and 19 inches and weigh 30–40 pounds. They are one of Ireland’s ancient native terrier breeds, originally used as all-purpose farm dogs tasked with various roles, including herding, guarding, and hunting rodents. The American Kennel Club recognized them as a unique breed in 19731.


Pros of Owning a Wheaten Terrier

1. Friendly and Affectionate

Wheaten Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, especially compared to other terriers. When properly socialized, they enjoy being around people and are usually good with children and other pets.

wheaten terier dog with his owner
Image Credit: Denis Babenko, Shutterstock

2. Playful

Wheaten Terriers are playful and lively, making them great companions for active families or individuals, especially children.

3. Low Shedding

Unlike many other terrier breeds, Wheaten Terriers have hair instead of fur. While they still require grooming, they don’t tend to shed much, making them more suitable for people with mild allergies. They also don’t make as much of a mess around the house.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Image Credit: Audrius Vizbaras, Pixabay

4. Intelligent

Wheaten Terriers are intelligent dogs that are eager to learn and please their owners. They can excel in various dog sports and obedience training and are capable of completing complex tasks around the house.

5. Adaptability

Wheaten Terriers can adapt to different living situations, including apartments, as long as they receive sufficient exercise and mental stimulation.

wheaten terrier lying on sofa
Image Credit: Joseph Hendrickson, Shutterstock

6. Good Watchdog

Wheaten Terriers have a protective instinct and often alert their owners to potential intruders with their barking.

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Cons of Owning a Wheaten Terrier

7. Grooming

Wheaten Terriers have a soft, silky coat that requires regular grooming. Their hair can become matted if you don’t brush it frequently, and some owners opt for professional grooming at least once or twice per year to keep it manageable, which can be time consuming and expensive.

groomer combing ears of curly dog Labradoodle
Image Credit: Dikushin Dmitry, Shutterstock

8. High Energy Level

Wheaten Terriers are energetic and require regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. They may become bored and exhibit undesirable behaviors like digging or chewing on furniture without sufficient physical and mental stimulation.

9. Stubbornness

Like many terrier breeds, Wheaten Terriers can sometimes be stubborn, making training challenging for new dog owners. Consistent and positive reinforcement-based training is essential. Begin your training when the dog is still a puppy, and get them into a routine with short scheduled sessions.

irish soft coated wheaten terrier puppy
Image Credit: SubertT, Shutterstock

10. Barking

Unfortunately, Wheaten Terriers can be prone to excessive barking if you don’t socialize and train them starting from an early age.

11. Health Concerns

Wheaten Terriers are prone to certain health issues, including hip dysplasia, kidney disease, and skin conditions, so choosing a reputable breeder who screens for these health problems is important if you are not adopting from a shelter.

veterinarian examining miniature schnauzer dog with stethoscope
Image Credit: Budimir Jevtic, Shutterstock

12. Slow Maturity

Wheaten Terriers tend to mature slowly, both physically and mentally, and may exhibit puppy-like behavior for an extended period, which can be both endearing and challenging. They will need close supervision and more attention.

13. Separation Anxiety

Wheaten Terriers form strong bonds with their owners and stay puppy-like for longer, which can lead to separation anxiety if you need to leave the house, making this breed challenging for people who need to go to work. Even people who spend most of their time at home may need to train their pets to stay home alone so they can run errands.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Laying in Grass in Autumn
Image Credit: C_Gara,Shutterstock

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Different Types or Variations of Wheaten Terriers?

There is one main breed of Wheaten Terrier, but variations in coat color and slight differences in appearance can occur within the breed.

Do Wheaten Terriers Make Good Therapy Dogs?

Wheaten Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, which can make them suitable candidates for therapy dog work. However, successful therapy dog training and certification are necessary.

Are Wheaten Terriers Good for First-Time Dog Owners?

Wheaten Terriers can be a good choice for first-time dog owners who can commit to their training and grooming requirements. However, they may require extra patience due to their independent streak.

Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier close on blurred meadow background in summertime.
Image Credit: bohemama,Shutterstock

Are Wheaten Terriers Prone to Any Specific Allergies?

Wheaten Terriers are not particularly prone to allergies but can develop skin sensitivities. Regular grooming and maintaining a clean coat can help prevent skin issues, as can a healthy diet that contains omega fats.



Wheaten Terriers are wonderful dogs that are more affectionate than many other terriers and form strong bonds with their family members. They adapt well to different living environments and can be happy in a large farmhouse or small apartment. With training, they get along well with children and other pets, and although they require a great deal of grooming, they don’t shed much and are ideal for people who suffer from allergies. Downsides include frequent barking, stubbornness, and a high energy level that requires plenty of walks.

Featured Image Credit: bohemama,Shutterstock

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