Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers Dog Breed
Aliases: Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Wheaten Terrier
|Life Span:||10-15 years|
|Litter Size:||5-6 puppies|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||apricot as puppies, wheaten only acceptable in adults. Some darker coloration of blue-gray on ears is acceptable but not encouraged.|
|Male Height:||18-20 inches (46-51 cm)|
|Male Weight:||35-45 pounds (16-20 kg)|
|Female Height:||17-19 inches (43-48 cm)|
|Female Weight:||30-40 pounds (14-18 kg)|
| General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.
|Living Area:||indoors with regular exercise and a small yard. Makes an ideal apartment dog with routine walks and play times.|
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium sized dog that is very squarely and solidly built without appearing to be heavy or chunky. The breed is very athletic with a good bone structure through the legs and body providing strength as well as the ability to move quickly through all types of terrain. The legs are relatively long for the size of the dog and well furnished, making them appear a bit larger than they actually are.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a rectangular shaped head when viewed from almost any direction. The muzzle is shorter and very strong looking and covered by longer hair or slight bearding that makes the muzzle appear wider. The nose is black and rather large, covering the end of the muzzle. There is a definite stop between the muzzle and the eyes, and the eyes themselves are dark brown to hazel and lighter eyes are considered a fault of the breed. The longer hair of the eyebrows may fall forward over the eyes and the bushy hair on the eyebrows really highlights the facial expressions and eye movement. The ears are rather wide and the bottom and form and inverted triangle that are folded forward so the ears blend into the rounding of the skull. The curly, longer hair on the side of the face blends with the hair on the ears.
The neck is short and strong and flows into the sloping shoulders. The chest is moderately deep and wide and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier appears substantial when viewed from the front. The topline is level and the tail is carried upright when natural or docked. Traditionally the tail has been docked rather long but this practice is no longer allowed in many countries. Even when natural the tail should not curl up over the back.
The coat of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a single coat that is very thick but not coarse or wiry like the other terrier breeds. The coat is to be wavy but not curly, and it also cannot be straight. The puppies are born with a dark apricot coloration that gradually fades to the wheaten color when the dog matures. There is a slight amount of blue or gray shading permissible on the ears of the mature dogs but this is the only deviation from the solid wheaten color that is allowed in the show ring.
A single, silky relatively long and wavy coat that covers the entire body at the same length. The coat should be wavy but not curly and should not be straight or frizzy looking in appearance. The face will have a noticeable beard and for show purposes the coat cannot be clipped or plucked. The dog will shed very little with proper coat care and is recommended for those people that have dog allergies. The breed does not shed seasonally.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was first bred in Ireland and is one of the three varieties or breeds of large terriers. It is likely a cross between a Kerry Blue Terrier and one of the larger mixed terrier breeds popular in the Irish farming communities.
The breed has existed in Ireland for hundreds of years but was not formally accepted and shown until 1933. It came to American in 1946 and was not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1973. The breed is steadily gaining in popularity in some areas of North American but is still relatively unknown by many people.
The first Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were used as hunters, killing rodents and other vermin that plagued the farmhouses and outbuildings in both cities and rural areas. They were also trained as retrievers and used as herding dogs in various areas and at different times.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is not typically of many of the terrier breeds in that it is less independent and stubborn than most of the other dogs in this group. Like all terriers it does have some stubborn or independent behavior but this is usually quickly corrected with proper training and socialization. The breed is very easy to train and will usually understand what the owner is wanting within a few repetitions. Like all terriers they quickly become bored and non-responsive to repetitive styles of training and need both a challenge and a constantly changing routine.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier gets along well with other dogs provided it is socialized as a puppy. They are an excellent companion dog for other canines, but are often not good with cats unless they have been carefully socialized and raised with cats since they were a puppy. Although the prey instinct is not high in Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier the fast and often erratic movement of a cat seems to trigger their chase instinct, often with disastrous results.
Male Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier may be more dog-aggressive than females so neutering and socialization is particularly important. The breed is not as likely to become a problem barker as many terriers, and will usually bark just to let the family know when someone new or strange has arrived. They may be somewhat stand-offish with new people but generally accept people after a few visits.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a puppy at heart and loves to play and romp well into their senior years. They are great dogs with children and have few problems with interacting with kids as long as the children respect the dog and know when the dog has had enough. They are not prone to snapping or biting like many of the terriers are. The breed is protective of children and will also listen very well to commands by children, making it an ideal playmate for kids.
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier bonds very closely to its family and does best when it is constantly with the family. Although they can tolerate some time alone they do best in a house where they are an active part of the family on a daily basis. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier will be the first to the door to go for a walk or run but will also be content to just lie down and relax with the family after a busy day.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier ranks #130 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here