The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier (simply referred to as “Wheaten Terrier” or “Wheaten”) is a medium-sized breed with a distinctive silky coat.
Its single coat is soft, wavy or curly and usually comes in any shade between pale beige to gold, but some can have a few red, white and black hairs, with blue-grey shading around the ears and muzzle. There are four coat varieties: the traditional Irish, heavy Irish, English and American. The Irish coat tends to be the thinnest and silkiest of the four. They do not shed, but like Poodles their hair continuously grows and therefore requires daily brushing and regular trimming.
Male Wheatens stand between 46 and 51 cm tall and weigh 16 – 20 kg, while females stand about 43 – 48 cm tall and weigh 14 – 18 kg. The lifespan of the Wheaten Terrier is 12 – 15 years.
Wheatens should be given at least half an hour of exercise each day, but in general they do not require as much exercise as some terriers.
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Wheatens are intelligent dogs but can also be a bit wilful, meaning training can be a challenge. They’re very loyal, curious, and confident dogs, but can be distracted easily.
They are great with kids as they are sturdy enough to handle roughhousing, however, as with all dogs, they should not be left unattended with children, and children should be taught the proper way to behave around and interact with the dog.
Unlike other terriers, the Wheaten is not very territorial or aggressive towards other dogs or cats, and can get along well when raised with them. However, small pets like mice and rabbits should not be kept in the same household as any terrier, as it is their instinct to hunt these animals.
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Originating in Southern Ireland, it is probable that the Wheaten Terrier shares an ancestor with the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier, but little else is known about the breed. It was recognised as a breed by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937.
The terrier was the poor man’s dog, helping on the farm to get rid of vermin, hunting, and guarding property.
Wheatens first made their way to the US in 1946 and since then have found increasing popularity. They were recognised by the AKC in 1973, 11 years after the establishment of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America. As of 2013, the breed is the 51st most popular dog breed in the US.
They were first imported into Australia in the 1970s, and today there are only about 8 breeders in Australia.
Wheaten Health Initiative: http://www.wheatenhealthinitiative.com/
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Club of NSW: http://scwtclubnsw.com/
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of Victoria: https://www.facebook.com/The-Soft-Coated-Wheaten-Terrier-Club-of-Victoria-Inc-148118321913540/