Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers


Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers

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Breed Notes:

For many years, all terriers in Ireland were collectively referred to as Irish Terriers. References of a wheaten colored dog of the size of the current Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier exists but not under a separate name until 1937 when it was differentiated from the others based on coat type. Of the many terrier breeds in Ireland, the Soft Coated Wheaten was never popular with the aristocracy, thus became the common folk's otter and badger hunter, cattle drover, and guard dog. It was first registered with the Kennel Club of Great Britain in 1943, the American Kennel Club in 1973, and the Canadian Kennel Club in 1978.
A friend of the common people, the Soft Coated Wheaten was a family dog as well as a hunter. Thus he is a gentle and loyal pet. He is lively and puppyish well into old age. This is a breed that does not shed its coat.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized hardy dog. His head is rectangular in appearance and moderately long. The skull is flat between the ears. There is a definite drop off (stop) between the skull and the muzzle. The muzzle is powerful and strong, with a scissors bite. Skull and foreface should be of equal length. The eyes are dark red brown to brown in color, medium sized, almond shaped and set fairly wide apart. The ears are small, fold over level with the skull and drop slightly forward with the inside edge next to the eye. The nose is black and large. The neck is of medium length and strong. The chest is deep. The legs are straight and well boned. The back is strong and level. The body is rectangular in appearance and relatively short coupled. The tail is docked and carried gaily. As the name implies, the coat is a major characteristic of the breed. It is an abundant single coat that covers the entire body with an extra profusion over the eyes. The texture is soft and silky with a gentle wave. Coat color may be any shade of wheaten from light to golden reddish. Blue-gray shadings on the ears and muzzle are acceptable. Average height is between eighteen and nineteen inches. Average weight is between thirty five and forty five pounds.


zupnick@cmsu1.cmsu.edu of Missouri writes:

Great dog.
We are on our second Wheaten. Love the breed. He has to be involved with everything that is going on and loves to go for car rides. Our first Wheaten was very healthy, but our current dog has had skin problems caused by allergies. The allergies stared when the dog was one year old. It has been a very frustrating situation for both owner and dog. We have not been able to resolve the problem. But we love him!


david-monroe@columbus.rr.com of Ohio writes:

Great dog &shyp; "neighborhood dog."
Our Wheaten is one year old this month. He is a beautiful dog with a wonderful personality. He weighs 40 pounds now, but we still hold him and carry him like a baby. He is so friendly that we often find a neighbor in the yard playing with him. He is trained to the electric fence, is in the yard often, and has more friends than the rest of the family combined.
The dog has a great personality. He is funny and curious, but he almost never barks and he does not dig like some Terriers. I would recommend him for a family if the children are older than five. The breed is good with all children, but his enthusiasm for people might be too much for a toddler.


Name withheld by request of California writes:

Great snow dogs.
Wheatens are great snow dogs. Ours loves cross-country skiing with us and revels in rolling in the snow and pushing it around with his shoulder and nose. He can easily run 10 km or more to keep up with us. But beware of ungroomed trails and deep, fresh snow. Ours once became bogged down in a snowdrift and ended up with ice encrusted on his fine hair, and we had to put him in the bathtub to thaw out! These are the best dogs, and such great pals and fun!


blod@onetel.net.uk of England writes:

Good and bad (mostly good).
Well, there is so much I could say about this breed, so I'll keep it brief. Plus points: fantastic greeting EVERY time you come in the door, even if you've only been gone five minutes, great character, loves attention, loves people. Negatives: needs training right from the word go, this is a VERY strong-willed breed, needs a LOT of exercise as they really do have boundless energy, my dog is twelve years old and just as active as he was at twelve months, they need grooming at LEAST every other day to keep their coats in order. All in all this is a fantastic breed which will reward you with love, loyalty and lots of fun, as long as you are prepared to spend the time with them that they need and be firm with the training. (Cannot be stressed enough, a poorly trained Wheaten will not win any popularity contests! Don't let their stubborn side develop.) If you do this, then you will have a furry little friend for life.


dretail@aol.com of Encino, CA writes:

Lovable and gentle.
My Wheaten is full of love. She loves people and is gentle with kids. Since I took her for early obedience training and worked regularly with her, she is very well-mannered (even though her first instinct is to be overly excited and jump up on people to greet them). If you aren't willing to bathe a dog every other week and go to the groomer every six to eight weeks, don't get a Wheaten. If you are willing to train and groom, this is the most lovable non-shedding dog you can have.


PJC5755@aol.com of Connecticut writes:

Best breed ever.
I had a SCWT back in the '80s. I lost him to kidney failure. He was a super dog always there giving his loving kisses and affection. Just recently rescued a four-year-old male who is just as loving as the first. Yes, the grooming is a must but well worth it. The time put into the grooming certainly outweighs the time cleaning up after a breed who is constantly shedding. Great with kids, listens well. The SCWT is a wonderful family pet.


Name withheld by request of Canada writes:

Best dog!
I have a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. He is an angel. He sleeps in his kennel and learned how to sit in two hours! He loves everyone, and no one can escape from his Wheaten kisses! And when he's tired he just wants to snuggle. He is a great dog. I would recommend the Wheaten to people who have a lot of extra time (grooming, playing, exercising, and loving). All in all I think they are the best dog!


Name withheld by request of Pennsylvania writes:

Excellent dog!
This is probably the best dog I have ever owned. He speaks for a treat. He does play a little rough once in awhile, lightly gnawing on my fingers and feet. He's excellent in the car, and with children and other pets, even strange cats and dogs. He is a lot of work to groom, but well worth it. His hair is always cut short because he is just so cute like that.


goldiegirl_27_@hotmail.com of Wisconsin writes:

Favorite animal.
I have a Wheaten Terrier. I've grown up around Wheatens, since my mom groomed them. They never abandon you and they are so loving. If it were up to me I'd never get another breed of dog.


Name withheld by request of Connecticut writes:

Great dogs, but not for everyone.
My second Wheaten (a male) is now thirteen months old and just a wonderful character. He has grown up to be bigger than the usual average at 50 pounds but has a great personality, a real clown and is very loving and friendly &shyp; almost too friendly as everyone and I mean everyone he meets gets the royal and high energy "wheaten greetin." He was great as a puppy and housebreaking was fairly easy. These are not dogs for everyone however. A lot of grooming is required and their energy level is high&shyp; regular exercise is a must, not an option. They also like to be very involved in your daily life and are not very happy if not included on a regular basis. Obedience training should also be considered to be a mandatory part of their upbringing due to their lifetime long puppy-like personalities, high energy levels and their tendency to be somewhat stubborn at times. But after having a wonderfull female for nearly fourteen years and this guy for one, there is no other breed I would even consider,


dstovall@gci.net of Anchorage, AK writes:

I can't imagine our home without our Wheatie!
Our Wheaten is eighteen months old now. When we walk in the door he jumps up and down &shyp; a full six feet &shyp; and you get a slurp on the cheek. He sleeps on our bed, goes everywhere with us; he's a great sailing buddy as we sail on weekends. He's ALWAYS with us &shyp; under foot, going anywhere. He's incredibly smart, sometimes too smart. He learns things quickly, and is a necessary part of our family, giving us friendship, making us laugh, seemingly feeling our emotions. He LOVES snow. He doesn't like to hear any arguing, hates being ignored, manages to get his own way by being "cute," and gives us a positive reason to go home every night. We've had other good dogs, but have never totally loved a dog like we do our Wheaten.


pmbatchelder@aol.com of Oswego, IL writes:

Fun-loving and very loyal.
We love our two-and-one-half-year-old Wheaten. He is truly part of our family. He is always ready for a walk and loves to play "catch" with his ball. The only drawback is that the grooming is nonstop unless he gets practically shaved. It truly can be a daunting task.


tedcr1@aol.com of Sunrise, FL writes on 8/31/01:

The most amazing dog I've ever known!
Our five year old female Wheaten is without a doubt one of the most intelligent and fun dogs I've ever known. She loves to play around the house with us. There must be two dozen or so words that she understands. She reacts to words such as car, pool, swimming, bedtime and many others. At least once a day she has us in stitches with her antics, especialy when she goes into her crazy dog routine which consists of spinning in both directions, racing around the family room and bouncing off of the couch and loveseat. Taffy is paper trained, and she will let us know when she has gone to the bathroom because she knows she will be getting a treat. Sometimes however she tries tofake us out. If someone happens to use her bathroom she will follow that person and try to weasel a treat out of them. All in all I find the breed to be absolutely fantastic. I intend to have Wheatens around me forever!


hifco@aol.com of Connecticut writes on 3/15/01:

Be wary.
Attractive. Sure. And they have excellent P.R. ... but ours was incourrigible! It vied for attention with the children for two years, it defecated on the guest room bed anytime we had company. We tried everything we could to keep it from running off any time it had the chance. The last straw ... a play session on the floor resulted in a through-the-cheek bite to our eight year old daughter. We hear the dog is happy with its adoptive mom ... she lives alone and gives the dog FULL attention.


Name withheld by request of Canada writes on 10/8/00:

Practically perfect.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are great dogs. First and foremost, they are perfect for neat and tidy people because they don't shed, and for the same reason, they're great for people with asthma because the dog hair doesn't aggrivate allergies. All they need is a regular grooming session and occasional brushing. They're very energetic and spunky (if that's what you like) and are wonderful with kids. I find that they have incredible tolerance for little kids poking them or touching them. My dog will growl from time to time, but I have never known her to bite. However, as I said before, if you don't like energetic, fiesty dogs perhaps you should look elsewhere. Wheatens are always excited to see their owners (the trademark "Wheaten Greetin'" comes to mind: when the owner walks in the door, the dog jumps up and licks their face!) and are very enthusiastic about playing around in the backyard or going for "walkies." Anyway, in a nutshell, Wheatens are wonderfully tempered, enthusiastic, energetic, loving pets!


rickashey@hotmail.com of Vancouver, B.C. writes on 8/25/00:

The most loveable dog!
We have a 9 month old Wheaten Terrier and he is the best dog I have ever had .. .and he certainly has made us popular. Everytime we are out for a walk someone always comments on how beautiful or how well behaved he is and unfortunately, we can't take any credit! He has also been labelled the happiest dog at the park! He does not have an aggressive bone in his body but he does have a sixth sense of when to be protective with strangers or other aggressive dogs. He is very loving, affectionate, playful and loyal. His only bad habit is that he is very good at playing innocent when he knows he's gotten into trouble thus making it very hard to reprimand him when he looks at you with those puppy dog eyes like "Oh, you mean I wasn't supposed to do that?" I would reccommend this breed to anyone that can give them as much love as they give you!


k_hindfelt@hotmail.com of Sweden writes on 8/25/00:

Not for just any dog owner!
They may look sweet - but one has to remember that they are working terriers with lots of energy. If the dog doesn't get a chance to do obedience, agility, search & resque or something else worthwile, it might use all its energy to trash your house, yard or something else. The Wheaten needs a firm hand and an owner that can combine this with lots of TLC. A Wheaten trains easily provided that one knows how to work with it, traditional methods of training just doesn't cut it! Do keep in mind that the wonderful coat requires quite a lot of work. They do have a marvelous sense of humor & I sincerely recommed the breed to experienced owners, but it might not be the best breed to get if its going to be your first dog ever.


Name withheld by request of Green Bay, WI writes on 4/12/00:

I would recommend Wheatens to anyone with a loving home.
Wheatens are the best dogs that I have ever owned. They are very smart, friendly, and super cuddly. We had one male, who just passed away last week, and one female, I have never in my life felt closer to a pet than I did with those two. I would recommend these dogs to anyone with children who may be looking for a fun loving, yet gentle dog, or someone just looking for warmth and companionship.


trigubalicia@yahoo.com of Buenos Aires, Argentina writes on 2/27/00:

I have fallen in love with this breed.
They are always happy, loyal, obedient and easy to train. They don't shed and adaptable to your lifestyle. They are intelligent and soft to touch. They are kind to children. I want to be home with this breed.


Name withheld by request of Washington, DC writes on 2/15/00:

Lovable, friendly, great with kids.
I had two beautiful SCWTs and I can't tell you enough good about this breed. I never owned another dog that loved me as much. They are all terrier, and active and lively, but will put up with much abuse from young children with patience and understanding. They like to play herding games, and will not retrieve a ball or bone no matter what you do. As for the coat, it is beautiful and soft and doesn't shed. It requires more maintenance than a shedding dog, but for my pet dog I used to just buzz cut him in the summer and leave it at that.


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