Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are terriers that have more than typical terrier behaviors in their ancestry. They are dogs that performed well as hunting dogs, retrievers, farm and house guards and simply as companions during the history of the breed, which originated in the country of Ireland. In the days when the Wheaten Terrier was admitted to the Irish Kennel Club, the requirements for obtaining a championship title included requirements to perform in the area of ”expertise” for which the dog was supposed to function.
In terrier competition, the dog had to “go to the ground” and field trials against rats, rabbits, and badgers. The Wheaten did well in these areas and was admitted to the Irish Kennel Club as a Terrier in 1937. In 1943, the Wheaten was admitted to the Kennel Club of Great Britain and it was believed that the first Wheatens reached the shores of the United States. . in 1946. The American Kennel Club’s entry of the breed into the Terrier group occurred in 1973. The breed has gradually gained popularity and now over 200 Wheaten are always shown at the annual All Terrier Show held in the county of Montgomery in Pennsylvania. .
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a single, long coat that, as the name implies, is soft and wheat-colored. It requires almost daily brushing as it is a fine coat that “lints” easily. They are a dark apricot color when hatched and the hue gradually lightens to a wheaten gold color as adults. The Wheaten is a moderately sized dog, standing 17 to 18 inches at the shoulder, weighing 35 to 45 pounds. The dog’s eyes are usually well hidden under a “fall” of eyebrow hair and the ears are folded high on the skull, while the tail is docked.
The Wheaten is prone to developing eye and colon disorders and these things should be evaluated if the dog is to be used for breeding. It is important that buyers purchase their puppy from a reputable breeder, preferably someone who belongs to a local breed club or kennel club, as these organizations do everything they can to prevent “puppy breeders” from becoming members. Such clubs generally require breeders to sign a “code of ethical conduct” that prevents the sale of dogs without a written contract and health guarantee.
The Soft Coated Wheaten is a gentle dog that makes an excellent family companion dog. It shows little aggressiveness with other breeds and is kind to children and the elderly. He does a good job of protecting his home territory without acting too pushy. Wheat makes a good therapy dog, being just the right height for disabled people to pet from their wheelchairs.