A compact, hardy, medium-sized, sporting dog, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a squarely proportioned, well-balanced animal. Gracefully moving and solid, its long, rectangle shaped head has a strong, short muzzle with slight bearding, a defined stop and a level or scissor bite. The profuse fur on the Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers face often covers their dark brown or hazel, almond shaped eyes. V-shaped ears are level with the skull and fold forward while the Wheaten has a large, black nose. The hair on the terrier’s ears and longer curly hair on the side of the dogs face blends together. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers have relatively long, straight legs and feet with dark nails and black pads. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a strong, short neck, and wide, moderately deep chest. Because they have banned the docking of the terrier’s tail in some countries, their upright tail can be either docked or natural.
The single, abundant, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers same length, silky, wavy fur covers the dog’s body in gorgeous waves. On the terrier’s abundantly furry face is a fall of hair that covers the dog’s eyes along with a noticeable beard. Their coat color is normally anywhere from a pale shade of beige to a brighter gold color with slight blue-grey shading on the ears and muzzles of some dogs. All Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are born dark but usually they lighten around two years old to the adult wheaten color.
Originally, poor man’s dogs, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were versatile dogs that helped guard the farm against both human and animal intruders, got rid of vermin and were herders and hunters. Ireland is the Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers country of origin and believed to be one of the countries oldest breeds of dog. It was not until 1933 that they first publicly presented or showed the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. In 1946, they imported the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier to the United States but it took until 1973 for the American Kennel Club to recognize this breed officially.
Happy, alert, well coordinated and strong, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are playful, happy, friendly, very loving dogs that are not as stubborn and independent as many terrier breeds. Even into adulthood, these terriers have puppy characteristics and do not reach maturity until two years old. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are peppy, inquisitive, love being with their human family and dislike being alone. Stubborn, somewhat protective and independent, these terriers make good watchdogs and bark when someone is on the property or at the door. They make poor guard dogs because they are too friendly. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers love children and get along with other dogs and pets when raised with them. They need early socialization and exposure to different experiences, sounds, sights, people, and animals to grow up into a happy, well-rounded dog.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are a healthy dog breed but some diseases or health problems these dogs are prone to include Protein-Losing Nephropathy or PLN. Some symptoms of this disease in which the kidneys lose excessive amounts of plasma and proteins are diarrhea, labored breathing, weight loss, and abnormal swelling. Flea allergies, allergic skin problems, kidney problems, and Hip dysplasia sometimes occur in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. When purchasing a new puppy, find a reputable breeder that checks the parent dogs for genetic and other health problems. Make sure they provide you with a health clearance certificate for the puppy and both parent dogs.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a single coated, light shedding dog that requires daily grooming using a medium-toothed comb to prevent knots and tangles. To keep the terriers hair from becoming fuzzy or frizzy, always use a comb instead of using a brush. Only bathe or dry shampoo the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier when necessary, using a mild, good quality dog shampoo and conditioner. Because it does not have seasonal shedding, it is an excellent dog choice for allergy sufferers. Trim the fringes from under the dog’s tail, feet, and ears. Regularly clip the dog’s nails, brush its teeth, and clean the eyes and ears. Be sure to watch for any type of ear, eye, or skin infections or problems.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are active, versatile family dogs that can live in the country, suburb or city, as long as they get the attention and exercise required. Energetic, playful, and exuberant terriers, they require moderate exercise to keep from becoming bored. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a moderately active dog indoors so but still requires a daily walk and exercise or activity time in a secure fenced yard. This breed of dog loves to play and be in the center of the activity and action. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, like most terriers, should be on a leash or in a fenced yard when outside because they love chasing after squirrels and other small animals. Highly people oriented dogs that adore children; the Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are always ready for a hike, jogging, or playing ball. They are great therapy dogs and do well in dog sports such as herding, tracking, Flyball and agility.
A very intelligent breed, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier quickly understands what their human companions want. They do wonderful in dog events such as hunting, agility, and obedience. Like all dogs, socialization and training should begin at an early age but it is important to use only positive training methods such as rewards, patience, and encouragement. Keep the sessions short, interesting, and fun so the dog does not lose interest.