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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

A compact, upstanding terrier, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is named for their distinctive soft coat. Gently waved or curled, the soft silky coat should be profuse on the head and legs with a natural look, although some tidying for the show ring is permitted. 

13 – 15 years
14 – 18kg
43 – 51cm
Any shade of warm ripening wheat, but never red, nor white. The ears may be dark too
UK Kennel Club Groups
The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys more than two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks, alerts and may be physically protective/suspicious of visitors
  • Might not like other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier breed can be prone to:
- Hip dysplasia
- Protein losing nephropathy¹ which is a condition where the kidneys do not work properly and protein is lost into the urine.
- Protein losing enteropahy¹ which is where protein is lost from the intestines, and this is normally associated with inflammatory bowl disease in this breed. 
- Addison's disease² which is a condition where a dog's body is unable to produce a normal level of natural steroid (called cortisol).
- Degenerative myelopathy³, a condition which causes progressive paralysis in a dog's hindlimbs.
- Renal dysplasia which is where the kidney does not develop properly and so cannot function normally.
Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
None but there are several recommended schemes that the Kennel Club recommends which can be found here.

¹S. L. Vaden et al, 'Food Hypersensitivity Reactions in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers with Protein-Losing Enteropathy or Protein-Losing Nephropathy or Both: Gastroscopic Food Sensitivity Testing, Dietary Provocation,and Faecal Immunoglobulin E', 2000, Journal of Veterinary 
²S. L. Vaden et al, 'Internal Medicine Familial renal disease in soft‐coated wheaten terriers', 2013, Journal of Veterinary and Emergency Critical Care 
³M. Kohyama et al, 'Degenerative myelopathy in the Collie breed: a retrospective immunohistochemical analysis of superoxide dismutase 1 in an affected Rough Collie, and a molecular epidemiological survey of the SOD1: c.118G>A mutation in Japan', 2017, Journal of Veterinary medical Science


This is a strong terrier, muscular, compact, and with a sense of fun. A Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier will want to be included in everything you do, and can prove a trustworthy companion in the right home. As with all terriers, there is the sparkle of mischief in their eyes and this is a breed that will keep you on your toes even with frequent training!  

Intelligent and quick to learn, the Wheaten is also independent and will require motivation in the form of positive reinforcement training using food, toys and the opportunity to perform enjoyable activities. 

Did You Know?

  • A Wheaten named ‘Caidantes Time After Time’, pet name Danny, won the Guinness World Record for Most Performances by A Dog in A Theatrical Production, with 1365 appearances as ‘Sandy’ in the stage show ‘Annie’. 
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were once known as a ‘poor man’s dog’ as the Irish peasants weren’t allowed to own hounds or spaniels by law. They were also referred to as the ‘poor man’s wolfhound’.
  • Poorer farmers would use Wheaten’s for every farm job imaginable including livestock herding, vermin hunting, protection and gun dogs.
  • A Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier called Krista was very successful in the 2016 National Diving Dog Championship. Krista jumped an impressive 10 feet and 2 inches into the water, nearly placing her in the top 10 against larger breeds such as Retrievers.
  • The breed is often depicted in Victorian art and you can spot one in Frederic William Burton’s 1843 piece, ‘The Aran Fisherman’s Drowned Child’.