Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers originated in Ireland where they worked various jobs as herders, watchdogs, and hunting companions to Irish farmers. This breed is known for its silky soft coat.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 21 to 50 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Moderate
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are often adopted because of their close resemblance to a cute little teddy bear. Families will oftentimes surrender their dog because they did not do the research before adopting her. Wheatens need both training and attention and may not be the best pet for a home that includes small active children, who also require a lot of training and attention from adults. Like many other breeds, Wheatens are losing their homes due to an unstable economy that results in job and home losses.


The Wheaten is a loyal breed that just wants to be with her family, whether watching TV or hanging out in the backyard. Affectionate and smart, Wheatens are entertaining characters who excel as watchdogs. A Wheaten’s personality is so laidback and affectionate that the breed has been brought into hospitals to sit next to sick children as they have chemotherapy treatments. Wheatens thrive in a home with opposite-sex Wheatens.


Because they are gregarious and love to jump on people, a Wheaten may accidently jump on and subsequently knock over a toddler or a small child without meaning to do so. Same-sex Wheatens do not get along. An extremely active breed, Wheatens can overwhelm their family if they don’t get daily exercise.


Feed your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier a high quality dog food that is low in protein. Avoid products that are made in China due to recent product recalls from that country. Offer healthy treats in moderation. Carrots and green beans make ideal treats if your Wheaten needs to lose weight. Many Wheatens love hot dogs, which are a healthy treat if you give only small pieces each time.


A walk several times a day or plenty of time to romp in the backyard will provide your Wheaten with sufficient exercise. Be sure that you’re outside and involved with your Wheaten when he’s in the backyard. Most love to play with toys and will throw them up in the air, but they don’t really have the personality to retrieve balls.

Possible Health Issues

An overall hardy breed, Wheatens are susceptible to kidney disease.


Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers can thrive as apartment dwellers provided you take your dog for several walks each day or take him to the dog park to run around and expend energy. Many enjoy hiking and some are sheep herders. Wheatens who live in a confined space, such as a condo or an apartment in New York City, will do well in a doggie daycare a few times a week to socialize and expend energy. A fenced-in backyard also makes an ideal play area as long as someone goes out with the Wheaten and interacts with him.


Brush your Wheaten down to the skin at least twice a week and keep his coat “reasonably” short. Unless you want to trim your Wheaten yourself, take him to a professional groomer every two months.


Go into training with a positive attitude to ensure success. Praise and even a treat, such as a baby carrot, when your Wheaten obeys a command will go a long way in the process.


Wheatens will have just as much fun hanging out with other dogs at the dog park as they will playing with their toys in a fenced-in backyard. Some Wheatens even go to school. If a child is struggling to read, a Wheaten will “listen” to the child read so the child will not feel self-conscious or afraid of making a mistake.

We want to thank Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America for help with this profile.

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