Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Caring and Family, Social Life, Physical Traits, Diet Info

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has its roots in Ireland and is an energetic, playful dog that makes an excellent pet for the whole family. They are medium-sized, hypoallergenic, and shed very little. Puppies have a brown coat that gets darker around the muzzle. Their coat gradually lightens in color until it’s creamy or white as they get older. 

Wheaten Terriers come in different types. Irish coated Wheaten Terriers have silkier, shinier hair that is easier to maintain. American/English Wheaties are fluffier and look more like giant teddy bears. Their thick coats develop more mats, so they need to be groomed more often. Overall, the Wheatie is a happy, loving canine companion and a joy to own.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are very intelligent and personable. Although they catch on quickly, they can be independent, sometimes making training difficult. Wheaten Terriers are medium-sized reminders of energy bunnies. Males weigh 35 to 40 pounds, and females weigh 30 to 35 pounds. They stand 17 to 19 inches high. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier females have 5 to 8 puppies per litter, and their expected lifespan is 12 to 15 years.

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What are the Breed Traits and Characteristics of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

Unlike other terriers, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed’s traits and characteristics focus more on serving as a fun and loving family canine companion than a rodent hunter. Wheaties are not snappish or scrappy like their other Terrier cousins. This breed is excellent with children and will keep them entertained for hours running around the backyard.

The Wheaten is also an ideal dog for novice dog owners but tends to be sensitive. Never use harsh words or hard training for the Wheaten, and it is best to socialize this breed early and often for best results. Despite this breed’s former role as guardians for Irish farmers, the Wheaten does not make for a good guard dog because he is uncommonly affectionate with strangers.

The Wheaten does very well with other dogs and loves to have fun. However, innate traits may make the Wheaten less ideal for socializing with medium animals, such as gerbils or rabbits, due to its prey drive and vermin hunting roots. High energy, bouncy, and fun-loving only begin to describe the activity levels and needs of the Wheaten, and this breed is remarkably easy to train. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier loves his people and wants to please them but requires much attention and activity.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Traits

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Information


Males 18 to 19 inches

Females 17 to 18 inches


Males 35 to 40 pounds

Females 30 to 35 pounds

Relation with family

Affectionate, Faithful, Playful, Energetic, Intelligent, Spirited.

Relation with children

Happy, affectionate, gentle, and playful 

Relation with other dogs


Shedding level


Drooling level


Coat type 

Single-layered, hypoallergenic coat 

Coat length

The outer coat is short, wiry, and close-lying

Coat grooming frequency

Daily brushing

Dogs Reaction/Openness to Strangers


Playfulness level


Adaptability level


Trainability level


Energy level


Barking level


Mental stimulation needs level



12 -15 years 

How Does the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Interact with Family?

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has become a versatile family dog far removed from their days as vermin hunters on Irish farms. Wheaties are adaptable to life in the city or country as long as they get the exercise and attention they need. They crave interaction with their human families more than anything else.

For those who like terriers but find their personalities a bit overwhelming, the Wheatie will be the perfect choice for a family pet. Although the Wheaten has typical terrier traits, like being a lively and happy dog, he tends to be less scrappy than some other terrier breeds we know. He’s highly people-oriented and loves kids, and his moderate size and exercise needs mean he fits well into most homes.

How Does the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Interact with Other Dogs?

The Wheaten Terrier may show signs of aggression toward other dogs of the same gender. Aside from that, though, they are of the “more the merrier” school of thought. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are good with other dogs, and they usually love to play with cats if adequately socialized or raised with them. Any other animal is fine, but as with any pet introduction, be sure to do it slowly and in a controlled environment to make sure that they like each other. 

If you are a multi-pet household, make sure you know that all the animals get along well before you commit to the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. As long as the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is socialized as a pup, he will get along with most other pets. However, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have a high prey drive, and other smaller pets will likely not be safe.

How are Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers with Older People?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are OK with older people; after all, Wheaties are OK with everybody. However, there might be a question about whether more senior people are OK with Wheatens. Their energy level might be overwhelming. Some believe Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are born with springs in their feet. Wheaties never calm down; they remain puppies forever. 

However, few breeds show their family more affection, loyalty, and love than a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Seniors will likely cope with the exercise needs of Wheatens. Still, they need daily grooming to keep their long flowing coats healthy and shiny. Fortunately, professional groomers are available. If necessary, they can reach out to doggy walkers to do the long walks while the seniors save their strength for playtime at home.

How are Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers with Children?

Wheaties are excellent with kids. They’re a perfect size because they’re big, but not too big. They are kind, playful, loving, and enjoy children. The affectionate Wheaten Terrier temperament means he loves playing with kids and adults, and they make for the perfect play partner for your child. They’re rarely aggressive towards kids, cats, or strangers, but be sure to socialize them. 

This breed is excellent with children and will keep them entertained for hours running around the backyard. Remember that no matter how well you know your dog, it is never a good idea to leave children under six years old alone with any breed – even the kind-hearted Wheaten. There is always the chance of a miscommunication that could lead to an accidental injury.

How are Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers with Neighbors or Guests?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers, as a breed, are friendly and welcoming to all. They will treat neighbors and friends or other frequent guests as part of the family. The chances are good that the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier will greet neighbors and guests by launching itself into their arms. The Wheaten is not the best option for the family’s safety because they will likely even welcome perpetrators.

What are the Physical Traits of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

The Wheaten is a medium-size dog with a square body, a rectangular head, brown eyes, small to medium-size ears that hang down with the inside edge lying next to the cheek, and a docked or natural tail carried upright 90 degrees from the back, either straight or slightly curved forward.

Wheatens have a soft, silky single coat that covers the body in gentle waves. On the head, the hair falls forward to shade the eyes. The coat can be any shade of wheat, a light tan color.


Trait information




Males 18 to 19 inches

Females 17 to 18 inches


Males 35 to 40 pounds

Females 30 to 35 pounds




The skull and foreface are equal in length. The stop is defined. Flat between the ears and not too wide.

The well-balanced, long head is rectangular in appearance.


Medium, dark brown, or hazel in color.


Small to medium-size ears that hang down the side of their heads 


Strong and powerful, with tight, black lips





Exercise Needs



12 to 15 years


An abundant single coat covers the entire body, including the legs and head.

Coat color

Any wheaten shades


Set on high and not too thick, some docked to two-thirds of their original length.***


The front legs are straight, showing good bone and muscle 

Hind legs are well developed with powerful muscles.

*** Docking is forbidden in Europe, some U.S. States, and other countries.

How to Feed a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s adult size determines its dietary needs through all life stages. Thus, base your Wheaten Terrier’s diet on a medium breed’s unique nutritional and digestive needs throughout its different life stages. Most dog food companies have breed-specific formulas for small, medium, large, giant, and even toy breeds. 

It is always good to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with your vet to ensure you are prepared to deal with age-related issues as your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier grows. A veterinarian can advise on diets, portion sizes, meal frequencies, and all nutrition matters to ensure your furry friend lives a long life with optimal health. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times, and some of the essential nutrients are listed below:

  • Protein
  • Fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins

Avoid feeding your Wheatie from the table; all it does is add weight; instead, follow the advice below to ensure your furry friend’s optimal health.

Despite the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s medium size, it is an agile, athletic breed that needs food containing animal proteins and carbohydrates for energy, vitamins and minerals for digestive and immune health, and omega fatty acids for coat and skin wellness. A dog of this size, activity level, and demeanor will thrive best on premium dry food because this food type contains balanced portions of the above-listed ingredients.

However, your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s daily portion depends on life stage, health, metabolism, activity level, and of course, the brand and formula of food it eats. Feed your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier food formulated for a medium breed with recipes for puppies, adults, and seniors, or look for a brand developed for all life stages.

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s daily cups of food should be spread over 2 to 3 meals per day. Feeding Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers several meals instead of one meal per day can prevent life-threatening bloat. However, fresh drinking water must always be available for your furry friend. When in doubt, consult your veterinarian. 

An example of premium food specially formulated for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers and its benefits is listed below:

The best dry dog food for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers is Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Food for Dogs formulas.

Rachael Ray knows that when you use real ingredients, you get real flavor. In her recipes for Nutrish Super Premium Food for Dogs, she certainly doesn’t skimp or cut corners. Only the highest quality poultry or beef goes in, along with wholesome grains and veggies for meals that taste great and deliver the complete nutrition your dog needs.

Below is a list of the benefits offered by the Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Food for Dogs formulas in this range:

  • Contains added vitamins, minerals, and taurine.
  • All the formulas in this range feature real chicken, turkey, or duck as the #1 ingredient to support healthy organs and lean muscle mass.
  • Supports healthy digestion while encouraging energy levels with tasty wholesome grains and veggies
  • Does not contain any by-product meal, fillers, or added wheat or wheat gluten ingredients.
  • Made without artificial flavors or artificial preservatives.

When Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are healthy and active, every day is an adventure. That’s why Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Food for Dogs formulas are crafted with everything dogs need to thrive, starting with real protein as the first ingredient.

How Much Should a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Puppy Eat? 

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium breed whose puppies need high-quality puppy food formulated for a medium breed dog. It is essential not to feed puppies all their food at once, and they should have it spread over the day. When Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies become three months old, owners can provide them with three meals per day until they reach six months, reducing the food intake to 2 meals per day. Only high-quality and branded puppy food is acceptable. Guidance for feeding puppies is listed below.

  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies need slow, sustained growth to help prevent orthopedic problems, such as hip dysplasia. Raise them on a diet designed for medium-breed puppies. Whatever diet you choose shouldn’t overemphasize protein, fat, and calorie levels.
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers should be fed according to a schedule, spreading meal times two or three times per day. Getting the puppy accustomed to meals at specific times is better than leaving food out to allow feeding through the day.
  • The exceptions are Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers with medical conditions like hypoglycemia or low blood sugar because they need to nibble bits of food throughout the day.
  • Never feed your puppy from the table. It only encourages begging. Everyone in the family must follow this rule.

What are the Health Tests that Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers Should Take?

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a healthy, sturdy and well-muscled dog that will live a long, healthy life given proper care and nourishment. The average Wheaten Terrier lifespan is 12 to 15 years, and some live up to 17 years old. However, it is essential to know that all dog breeds are susceptible to certain diseases, and the Wheaten is no exception.

Veterinary research has identified two conditions with a higher than the normal incidence in Wheatens. 

They are protein-losing nephropathy (PLN) and protein-losing enteropathy (PLE).

Addison’s disease and renal dysplasia (RD) have also been found. 

This does not mean that all Wheaten Terriers will have these diseases.

The list below indicates tests your chosen breeder should have done before selling purebred Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies.

  • Genetic PLN- Associated Variant Genes Test – once in a dog’s lifetime
  • Eye test – at approximately six to eight weeks of age
  • DNA Storage

Other tests and Xrays: Hip and Elbow Evaluation, Patella Check, General Health Check, including Heart, Vaccines, Fleas, and Worms.

What are the common health problems of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier has some health conditions that can be a concern. However, even healthy Wheaten Terriers should have regular veterinarian checkups. Owners should ensure the following list of health conditions are monitored throughout the dog’s life.

  • Hip dysplasia is a deformation that occurs and develops as Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies grow. It is caused by loose joints that prevent the ball part of one bone from sliding smoothly in the socket of the other joint bone. Instead, it grinds and rubs in the joint, causing painful wear and tear damage as the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier ages.
  • Elbow dysplasia happens when the growth of the elbow is disturbed. A condition called elbow dysplasia may ensue. While this condition is generally inherited, other factors, such as nutrition and exercise, also play a role in its development. Most dogs will display symptoms before the age of one – though some may not show any signs until several years old.
  • Eye Problems: Sometimes, Chinese Crested dogs inherit eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and gradual failing eyesight with no cure. These dogs can also develop glaucoma (eye pressure that leads to optic nerve damage) and primary lens luxation (dislocation of the lens in the eye). Medication or surgery may be an option with glaucoma (if caught early enough) and lens luxation.
  • Periodontal Disease in dogs is caused by the build-up of plaque and tartar on the teeth, which can lead to gum infections, bone loss, loss of teeth, and other serious health problems.
  • Patellar luxation occurs when the dog patella (kneecap), which normally sits on the groove of the femur (thighbone), shifts out of alignment. When luxation of the patella occurs, your dog may experience intermittent hind limb “skipping,” lameness, or a locking up of the limb at an odd angle.
  • Allergies in humans to allergens like pollen, mold, or dust make people sneeze, and their eyes itch. In dogs, rather than sneezing, allergies make their skin itchy. We call this skin allergy “atopy”, and Wheatens often have it. Commonly, the feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most affected. Symptoms typically start between the ages of one and three and can worsen every year. Licking the paws, rubbing the face, and frequent ear infections are the most common signs. The good news is that many treatment options are available for this condition.
  • Addison’s disease in dogs (also called hypoadrenocorticism) occurs when your dog’s adrenal glands aren’t producing adequate levels of corticosteroid hormones. If diagnosed and treated appropriately these dogs can live a long, happy life. The adrenal glands are two small glands next to the kidneys.
  • Juvenile Renal Dysplasia (JRD) affects young dogs of several breeds. Affected dogs show an increased amount of urination (unconcentrated urine), increased intake of water, vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss, eventually leading to kidney failure between the ages of 6 weeks and 4 years.

You can minimize the chances of serious health concerns in a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier by purchasing a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier from a reputable breeder who engages in responsible breeding practices and screening for common diseases and conditions.

Is Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Hypoallergenic?

Yes, these Wheaties are Hypoallergenic. These delightful, affectionate, playful dogs are very gentle with little kids and robust so that they can stand up to rough play. Their soft, silky, wavy, single-layered coat is hypoallergenic and rarely sheds. That is because their coat has a different structure than other breeds of dogs, wherein the hair grows out long and silky, unlike other dogs with short coats or fluffy fur. Therefore, their coats can be more challenging to maintain, but they shed a lot less. 

What is the Exercise Need of a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

The Wheaten Terrier is a high-energy dog (even in its older golden years) that requires at least 30 minutes and probably more like an hour of exercise every day. At least half of this time should be spent on long walks, jogs, or runs, and the rest can be devoted to ball games and other playtimes.

It is recommended that you have a fenced yard or enclosed space nearby in which it can run and play. When you venture out of the yard, you should keep this dog on a leash because its instincts may take over and cause it to chase after small animals and objects. This dog’s soft, silky coat can also become warm and overheated in the summer, so you should take special care to find shade and rest in sweltering weather.

What are the Nutritional Needs of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

The nutritional needs of a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier include high levels of specific nutrients. The essential nutrients for the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier are listed below.

  • Protein: Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers need natural animal protein, valuable for the amino acids essential for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s health. Equally important is the fact that protein builds lean muscles and provides energy.
  • Fat: Animal protein provides adequate fat, an additional energy source that boosts the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s metabolism. However, there is a fine line between enough and too much. Excessive fat levels in the dog’s daily diet could result in weight gain and, ultimately, obesity. Most importantly, adults and senior Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers need lower fat levels than puppies.
  • Carbohydrates: Although carbs are not essential nutrients, they are crucial energy sources. Giving the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers sufficient carbs will provide energy, encouraging the body’s protein absorption to build lean muscle. Beware, though, too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity.
  • DHA: It is one of the components of omega-3 fatty acids. It promotes proper eye and brain development in Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies, and DHA develops cognitive development in puppies and slows cognitive decline in older dogs. Furthermore, omega fatty acids benefit aging Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers by treating chronic kidney disease and canine arthritis. Omega-3 oils improve the coat health of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.
  • Micronutrient: Taurine is one micronutrient that aids heart health, and other valuable micronutrients for promoting strong joints in Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are chondroitin and glucosamine.
  • Minerals: Beneficial minerals for a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s growth include a healthy balance of phosphorus and calcium. Pre- and probiotics and chelated minerals provide additional health to the diets of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers.

What is the Shedding Level of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

The Wheaten sheds only lightly as a single-coated breed, meaning he has no undercoat. He’s often touted as being nonallergenic or hypoallergenic. However, the Wheatens shed significantly more as their coats prepare for summer and winter.

How much grooming does a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier need?

The Soft Coated Wheaten has a beautiful wavy coat with a soft and silky texture. It tangles easily, so daily brushing and combing are essential to keep the coat tangle-free. A slicker brush and stainless steel metal comb are the tools of choice for this job. Bathing and trimming every four to six weeks will keep the coat styled.

Be aware that the coat does not develop fully until the dog is mature. So, a puppy or adolescent Wheaten may lack the waves seen in the adult coat or have deeper coloring with black tipping. The proper wheaten color and waves should develop by the time he is two years old.

It is important to begin grooming the Wheaten when he is very young. An early introduction teaches the independent Wheaten that grooming is a normal part of his life and to accept the handling and fuss of the grooming process patiently.

Coat grooming is essential for various reasons, as listed below.

  • Grooming gives your dog a healthy look and promotes hygiene. 
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of skin infections.
  • Grooming promotes the growth and development of a lustrous and shiny coat.
  • Grooming allows you to check for fleas and take early preventive and treatment measures.
  • Proper grooming lowers the risks of ear infections since you can check the ears and wipe them dry after regular grooming.
  • While grooming, you can check the skin folds for any skin problems and alert the vet before they worsen.
  • Grooming boosts the bond between you and your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.

Your dog should be calm during grooming. Short walks before the grooming session could calm your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier enough to make the grooming process the ideal time for bonding with your furry friend. You can also give your Wheatens their favorite treats to munch on while you groom them. Grooming must be an enjoyable and stress-free process for your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. 

What is the Drooling Level of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

As a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier owner, you could expect to find your furry friend’s drooling is minimal. However, drooling is a natural process, and the primary triggers of drooling are listed below. However, if drooling becomes excessive a trip to the vet is recommended.

  • The thought of delicious meals like a favorite treat or meat
  • Sexual excitement, like when a male Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier spots a female Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier in heat, causes drooling. Likewise, a female in her heat cycle might drool if she picks up the scent of a male
  • Excitement and agitation make dogs drool
  • Excessive heat, especially during summer
  • Mouth and throat problems like fractures in the mouth, throat, or esophagus
  • Plaque build-up can also irritate the mouth and cause excessive saliva
  • A foreign object stuck in the throat prevents swallowing, thus causing drooling 
  • Growth in the mouth also stimulates drooling
  • Stomach upsets
  • The main symptom of diseases like kidney disease, liver problems, seizures, botulism, and rabies is drooling
  • Motion sickness and anxiety. Dogs who do not like traveling will get anxious whenever they board a car. Stress makes dogs pant and breathe with open mouths, thus causing drooling.

What is the Coat Type of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

The name of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers says it all. They have soft, silky, single coats that cover their entire bodies. However, there are two types of Wheaten Terriers with different coats.

Irish: Soft, silky, and finer. You can see their body shape quite well beneath their flowing locks of wavy hair! Irish coated puppies look scruffy, and it takes them longer to develop their full-grown coat. Wheaten Terriers with Irish coats don’t mat as easily and don’t require as much grooming.

English /American: These coats are thicker and fluffier and make your Wheaten look like a big teddy bear. Puppies grow their big-dog coat faster with this coat type. While all Wheaties require a lot of grooming, these coats require the most.

What is the Coat Lenght of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier? 

The abundant coat covers the entire body in long gentle waves, with a fall of hair over the eyes.

The color is any shade of wheaten, ranging from pale beige to shimmering gold. If you look closely, you might find the occasional red, white, or black hair, and the muzzle and ears sometimes have blue-gray shading.

Puppies have their own distinctive look. They’re born with dark coats that lighten with age. Often, the final color doesn’t emerge until pups are two years old, and the coats aren’t wavy until the dog reaches maturity.

What are the Social Traits of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed?

The social traits of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier are affection, playfulness, and friendly nature. Wheaten Terriers are intelligent and learn fast, but they can be bored with long training sessions. Wheaties are fun-loving and have the charm to lighten you up when you are not in a happy mood. Other social traits of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are listed below.

  • Elderly-friendly: Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers love playing with their family, from children to grandparents, but seniors who live in apartments away from their families might struggle to keep up with the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s energy. Hiring a walker might be a good idea if the owner can’t take them for 30 to 60-minute walks, play in a dog park, or both. If the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is exercised enough, it will spend several hours of calmness and sleep. 
  •  Children-friendly: Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers enjoy running around or chasing after children and playing catch is one of their favorite games. Wheatens are sensible enough to take care when young children are part of the play. However, supervision is essential in such circumstances. Socialization is crucial for kids and dogs.
  • Family-friendly: Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are the perfect canine companions for active families. They are not couch potatoes and prefer to spend most of their time outside. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers will always be ready to join a family member jogging, skateboarding, cycling, or hiking.
  • Pet-friendly: Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have a high prey drive and might chase neighborhood cats, squirrels, or other small animals. They’ll also go after small pets such as rabbits, mice, or gerbils you may have, so make sure your young terrier is not around when you let them out or clean their cages.

How Do Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers Interact with Strangers?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers love people, and that includes strangers. Although your Wheatie might bark when a stranger approaches the front door, it will more likely be a welcoming bark than a bark to warn you of imminent danger. That is also why your Wheaten Terrier will not be effective as a watchdog or a guard dog.

Is the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Playful?

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier’s temperament traits make him a faithful, playful dog who is everyone’s friend, including children. They never grow up. Like a puppy, the playful Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier temperament means your Wheaten will want to kiss you and play with you all day long. If you want a happy-go-lucky companion to wrestle and romp with, the Wheaten is a perfect choice.

Are Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers Protective?

Wheaten Terriers were used to protect farms and families, and their protective nature is present today. They are devoted dogs with deep loyalty to their owners. They love everyone, so they are more likely to greet newcomers with a wagging tail than aggression. Of course, after they’ve done their job and alerted you to their presence with an alarm bark.

What is the Adaptability Level of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

Wheatens are confident and adaptable, and they tend to get along with other animals as well. It makes your Wheatie an ideal dog for any living condition, whether it’s a house with a big backyard or a smaller apartment. Exercise is essential but not unmanageable, and a daily walk or some romping in the doggy park will be sufficient. 

Remember that Wheaten Terriers do not tolerate heat, so dog owners should minimize activity in hot weather. Taking your furry friend for a morning or evening walk is best during times of high temperatures. Getting your Wheatie to spend some energy during the day will ensure calm and restful evenings. The Wheaten is, by his very nature, a family dog. It doesn’t matter where you go or what you do, as long as you take him with you.

What are the Personality Traits of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

The sweetie Wheatie is happy, affectionate, and just a little bit stubborn. He jumps and twirls when he’s happy. The soft coat that gives him his name is lovely to touch but needs a lot of grooming to stay that way. He’s devoted to his family and makes a good watchdog.

It’s essential to socialize them when they’re young to get used to tiny hands, tail tugs, and unsolicited hugs. Despite being branded with that “Terrier” name, the Wheaties are much more friendly and laid back than your typical terrier. Don’t be fooled; these guys can be massive furballs of energy.

Despite their medium size, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are energetic dogs with big personalities to match. They’re keen to learn new things and can be easy to train in the right hands. They love to play and interact with their owners at any given opportunity so they can be great companions.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are a very adaptable breed. They are happy in various situations, which is why they are such popular pets. They fit in well with most families as long as you have plenty of time to spend with them.

What is the Temperament of a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier?

The energetic Wheaten Terrier is spirited and occasionally hyperactive but less so than other terrier breeds. They are friendly and alert and are not known to resort to aggression. They are often excited to greet their people upon returning home. These greetings are often overzealous, even if the family has been away only a short time. Fans of the breed lovingly refer to this enthusiastic reception as the Wheaten Greetin’. Wheatens make devoted companions with a slight terrier-like stubborn streak.

Can Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers be Aggressive?

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers generally aren’t aggressive and can get along with most dogs and other pets. However, they’ll chase small, furry creatures outside, including roaming cats.

Can Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers be Dangerous?

Like any other animal, a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier may become dangerous if they are scared or have to defend itself. Although they may not scare intruders, Wheaten Terriers could be dangerous in the home. Parents need to teach children how to respect dogs of all breeds from an early age.

Kids must learn that Wheatens don’t like interference when they eat, and dogs dislike people touching their feet and faces. When kids overstep these rules, dogs may react aggressively. Injuries with traumatic consequences can happen in the blink of an eye when dogs and kids are left unsupervised.

Do Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers Ever Attack?

No, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are not likely to attack people. That does not mean they will not attack animals. They have an innate prey drive that might be triggered when neighborhood cats or the odd squirrel dares to sneak into your backyard.

Can Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers Kill Humans?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have never and will likely never kill a human. While Wheaten Terriers may growl and show teeth when provoked or maltreated, killing a person would be entirely out of character for a Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier.

Do Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers cope with being left alone?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers become attached to their families and prefer to spend time with them. While you can leave your Wheatie alone for several hours per day, she needs plenty of exercise due to her high energy level. Alone time is punishment for breeds like the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Expect exuberant barking, jumping, and face licks upon your return home. Some Wheatens may suffer from separation anxiety or become destructive when left home alone. 

Can I leave my Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier at home?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers tend to become anxious and withdrawn when left alone for some time, but they will not be affected if some of the family members remain behind. When they are left in isolation, they display signs of separation anxiety. Some Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers tend to form strong bonds with one family member. When that person has to go somewhere, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier will be OK if the rest of the family is there, if the pup is properly socialized.

Can Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers be left alone for 8 hours?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers need company, and they do not enjoy spending time alone for many hours because they are predisposed to anxiety. Isolation for more than a couple of hours could cause separation anxiety. Don’t get a Wheaten Terrier if you must leave him on his own for hours on end. You can, however, leave him alone for short periods.

Leaving your Wheatie alone for more than four hours at a time is not recommended. If there is no other way, getting a dog walker or a sitter for a part of the day could prevent separation anxiety. Once they become anxious, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers tend to chew whatever they can find and dig holes wherever they can. 

How to Train a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Wheaten puppies are adorable, with long, silky coats in wheat-like warm shades of light brown. But these sweet-looking puppies can become stubborn dogs who are too much to handle for owners unwilling or unable to provide their Wheatie pups with the proper guidance, training, and socialization early.

If you wait until he’s six months, you’ll have a much bigger task and a more headstrong dog. Puppy kindergarten by the time he is 10 to 12 weeks is recommended. But a word of caution: the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is easy to train when your voice is calm, and your touch on the leash is light, giving only verbal corrections to this sensitive breed, for example, praise, gentle guidance, or food rewards.

  • Praise good behavior by making a fuss. Your Wheaten Terrier will know if you fake it.
  • Time commands wisely because corrections after the fact will confuse your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.
  • Be consistent and persistent. Never let it slip because your Wheaten Terrier will learn to obey only sometimes.
  • Be the pack leader and show happiness while training your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier.
  • Making your Wheatie sit and wait for your command to start eating will confirm your status as pack leader.
  • Training your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier with love in your heart will avoid Wheatie seeing training as punishment.

Don’t forget you’ll need to give Your Wheaten Terrier fair, consistent training, or you’re likely to end up with a badly-behaved dog whose favorite hobbies are escaping from the backyard and jumping on everyone who comes into the house.

How Frequently does a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Bark?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers don’t generally bark a lot. While each puppy is an individual, this breed as a whole isn’t considered overly yappy or vocal. If your dog is left alone or bored, they may start barking like many other breeds. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s willing temperament means they can easily be trained not to bark excessively.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers do not bark without reason. Training and socialization can control excessive barking, but Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers will always bark when necessary.

Below is a list of bark types that owners will learn to recognize. 

  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers hate being left alone, and one way of coping with loneliness is barking. 
  • A lack of exercise and anxiety can also trigger barking.
  • Alarm barking is when your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is barking to alert you of approaching danger. Alarm barking can save you from danger; however, Wheaten Terriers may bark before ascertaining that there is a real danger. 
  • Another type of barking is demand barking, where a Wheatie feels entitled to something or your attention and would bark as a way of demanding their rights. This type can be lowered through proper training and ignoring the barking.
  • The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier uses arousal barking to show their frustrations.
  • Boredom barking signals that your Wheaten Terrier is tired or bored due to being left alone or infrequent exercises. 
  • Frequent barking can be a nuisance to both the owner and neighbors. Some types of barking tend to be monotonous and continuous. 

What is the need for Mental Stimulation of a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Constant stimulation throughout the day is required to keep your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier happy. Brain games are a great and easy way to stimulate his mind, so be sure to rotate a few of these games throughout the week to keep your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier occupied.

Wheaten Terriers are smart and learn fast, and they need regular mental stimulation. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers’ playful and intelligent nature further calls for frequent mental activity. There are different ways of mentally stimulating your Wheatie, and some of them are listed below.

  • Playing with interactive games or toys, including dog puzzles and canine board games.
  • Encourage sniffing during regular evening walks.
  • Provide healthy chews like dehydrated sweet potato strips. Chewing for more extended periods calms the brain, thus lowering stress levels.
  • Hide and seek games
  • Drop and fetch games
  • Regular walks

These mental stimulation techniques should start at an early stage. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers who are six years and older tend to have problems with their thinking ability. The primary signs of mental disorientation are listed below.

  • Excessive anxiety.
  • Frequent accidents.
  • Failure to recall previously learned commands.
  • Changes in sleep and wake patterns.
  • Low interest in physical activities.
  • Poor social skills.

What are the Breed Standards of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

Physically, Wheatens are stocky and robust-looking. They have short tails like macaroni noodles and tiny droopy triangular ears. When their hair is cut traditionally, they have long, straight beards and long bangs covering their eyes. Wheaten Terriers are born dark, and they slowly get lighter and more wheat-colored with age.

Some of the breed standards of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are given in the table below.

Breed Standards 

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Information 


Any shade of clear wheaten is acceptable, from pale to golden red


Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are classified as a medium breed

Eye Color 

Dark brown or hazel in color


Weight is 30 to 40 pounds.


Height 17 to 19 inches at the withers

Average lifespan 

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years

What is the General Information about Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

The Wheaten Terrier, also known as the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, is one of three terrier breeds originating from Ireland. Its original purpose was to be an all-around versatile farm dog that could hunt vermin, protect the chicken coop, and herd animals. This breed was trendy among the common farmers, who were restricted by law from owning hounds or beagles that were bred exclusively for ownership by the gentry. As the purpose of a farm dog steadily declined, the Wheaten eventually morphed into more of a pet and companion.

Where to Buy or Adopt a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

A purebred Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s price can range between $900 and $1,400. Lower prices are generally available within shelters and rescues, but puppies from well-known breeders can cost as much as $3,000 from top breeders. 

If you want to bring a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier home, you should not rush. The only “purebreds” available upon request are not the real thing and are likely bred on puppy farms. The more realistic way is to put your name on a waiting list, and while you’re waiting, learn as much as you can about this giant dog in the cutest little dog body.

Finding a reputable breeder or rescue facility is crucial. A good breeder will match you with the right puppy and will, without question, have done all the health certifications necessary to screen out health problems as much as possible. They are more interested in placing pups in suitable homes than making big bucks. 

Be wary of breeders who only tell you the good things about the breed or make irrational promises to promote their puppies. Be especially suspicious when you are offered a two-for-the-price-of-one deal. 

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies are adorable, and it’s one of the reasons they are so popular. Cute puppies sell, making Wheaties a favorite of puppy mills and greedy, irresponsible breeders. Do your homework before buying one of these little dogs, and you’ll be well rewarded with a beautiful companion dog.

The best way to ensure you get a healthy Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy from a breeder or a rescue organization is to reach out to the registered organizations for the specific breed, if available. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is recognized by the AKC, UKC, and FIC, listed below, along with other registered kennel clubs that might put potential Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier owners in touch with reputable breeders. 

  • American Canine Registry
  • American Kennel Club
  • America’s Pet Registry
  • Canadian Kennel Club
  • Dog Registry of America Inc.
  • Federation Cynologique Internationale
  • Kennel Club of Great Britain
  • North American Purebred Registry, Inc.
  • American Canine Association, Inc.
  • Australian National Kennel Council
  • Continental Kennel Club
  • National Kennel Club
  • New Zealand Kennel Club
  • United Kennel Club
  • Irish Kennel Club
  • Canadian Canine Registry
  • Club Espanol De Terriers

If you manage to track down Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier breeders, make sure you go to the facility and insist on meeting both the puppies’ parents so that you can get a feel for their temperament. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies are often peppy and playful, all should have cheery expressions and kind eyes. 

It might take some time to find a legitimate breeder, and travel may very well be in the cards. Steer clear of backyard breeding by avoiding sales sites and ad pages. When you select a breeder, make sure they have proof of successful, healthy litters with any documentation necessary.

You might find a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy or a rescued adult to adopt or buy from abroad, but not all countries allow importing adopted dogs. Those whose countries will enable the importation of Wheaten Terriers may find the logistics challenging. 

Procedures include obtaining certification from a vet to prove the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is fully vaccinated and providing all the additional required veterinary documents before the travel. Furthermore, your country must approve the veterinarian to authorize the importation, and it will be your responsibility to ensure you use the services of a certified vet.

What are the Rescue Clubs for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

There are millions of homeless dogs worldwide; many are purebreds needing homes. Adopting a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier can be life-changing, not only for the dog but also for the adopter. If you prefer adoption over purchasing a pup from a breeder, then your first stop should be the National Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Rescue website. A Wheaten Terrier rescue group is an excellent idea if you want to adopt an older dog or even a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier mix.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier mixes adopted from a shelter may share physical characteristics of the breed, but their temperament may not match the breed standard. Shelters and rescues attempt to determine each dog’s personality through a series of evaluations; even if the dog’s temperament does not follow the breed standard, you can get the dog that suits your home. 

The adoption fee for a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier from a rescue group or animal shelter will probably be between $200 and $300. Most dogs from rescue groups and shelters will be vaccinated, microchipped, spayed/neutered, and vetted before adoption

You can also reach out to your local rescue organization or animal shelter and ask if they have any Wheaties or related mixes available for adoption. If not, you can always put your name on a list so that when one comes in, you’re the first one they call.

Below is a list of registered rescue centers and kennel clubs to reach out to for guidance.

  • The National Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Rescue Association
  • The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of Great Britain
  • Canada Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Rescue – ADOPTIONS
  • The Irish Wheaten Terrier Society,
  • S’Wheat Rescues & Adoptions, Inc. 

Facebook is another resource for pet adoption. You can search for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier rescue groups in your region.

You can also search for adoptable Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers online the reliable websites such as

  • AnimalShelter 

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier mixes may be available for adoption in shelters and rescues. If you want to adopt an AKC registered or a mixed breed Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, the best first step is to contact shelters and breed-specific rescues to let them know you’re interested.

Below is a list of several Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier mixes.

  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x Beagle mix = Wheagle
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x Bulldog mix = Bully Wheaten
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x Cavalier King Charles Spaniel mix = King Wheaten
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x Cocker Spaniel mix = Cocker Wheaten
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x Havanese mix = Hava-Wheat
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x Labrador Retriever mix = Wheatador
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier x Miniature Schnauzer mix = Soft Coated Wheatzer

What is the History of the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Said to be descended from the Kerry Blue Terrier and the Irish Terrier, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier was an all-purpose farm dog for centuries. The first record of a Wheaten Terrier was in 1785 in County Kerry, Ireland. However, the type was likely common before then. Legally, only the gentry was allowed to keep hounds and hunting dogs; the terrier was a breed allowed for farmers.

The Wheaten Terrier’s tail was docked to mark it as a farm dog. Wheaten Terriers were used to rid farms of rats, act as watchdogs, and accompany owners on the hunt—a general use dog. Though the Wheaten was common across Ireland for centuries, the Irish Kennel Club didn’t recognize the breed until 1937. The American Kennel Club recognized the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier in 1973.

What is the Average Maintenance Cost for Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

The prices of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers range between $900 and $1,400. The cost of a puppy from a registered breeder could vary, depending on the breeder you select, the location, the sex of the puppy, and, of course, the demand for the breed at the time. 

The bloodline of the puppy and its parents could also affect the price. You will be hard-pressed to find this breed in a shelter, but if you do, the price could be $300 to $500, based on the cost of care provided while keeping the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier and extras like vaccinations and sterilizations. 

It is always best to consider annual expenses related to maintaining your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier and its wellbeing before making the purchase. The first year will be the most expensive, as puppies require extra vet care and more one-time purchases like microchips, sterilization, licensing, etc. You can expect to spend about $6,900 for your dog’s first year. After that, the price will go down to about $2,100 a year. 

Food and medical only, excluding toys, food and water bowls, cages, doggy blankets, beds, etc., could cost an average of $850. The most regular annual expenses for dogs similar to the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier are listed below.

  • Food items
  • Veterinary care
  • Vaccinations
  • Preventive medicine
  • Toys
  • Pet insurance
  • Pet Supplies

Other potential expenses include training, socializing, doggy daycare, dog sitters, dog walkers, etc. Grooming would likely add a significant amount to the maintenance costs of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers because they need occasional professional grooming to trim and bathe the Wheatie’s silken coat.

How to Name a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Choosing a name for your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier involves essential building blocks, including the significance of the sound. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier’s name will mean something to the humans in the dog’s life, but for your canine companion, only the sound matters.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers respond best to two-syllable names that are not short enough to be confused with single-syllable command words like “sit,” stay,” “come,” and “down.” However, the names should not be long enough to become puzzling.

It is always a good idea not to rush into choosing a name. Spend a week or so with your new Wheaten Terrier pup, and its character traits might be all the inspiration you need. Call out any name ideas, using different tones and sounds for the two syllables, and watch your puppy’s reaction to the sound. Remember, you must compose a sound that your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier will recognize from a distance, among many other sounds.

Choose a name that could sound different in regular interaction, yelling, or calling your Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier. Below is a list of suggestions of names for Wheaties.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed Names

Honoring their Irish Roots

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Boy Names

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Girl Names


A legendary 54-foot tall Irish Warrior Finn MacCool


The Irish word for throne


A reference to Irish musical artist Van Morrison


A reference to a leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of a rainbow


A nickname for Saint Patrick


Irish for dog


Irish for little darkness


A name meaning pure


A sprig of clover and the symbol of Ireland


Chased all over Ireland to find the pot of gold

What are the Different Types of Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers?

All Wheatens can claim ancestry in the Irish working man’s dog: A versatile, intelligent, and rugged all-purpose farm dog. The Irish Wheaten and the North American Wheaten are not different enough to be classified as two breeds. They are different enough from each other to be almost different breeds altogether. “Irish” and “North American” refer to their coats. 

Both are single-coated, but the “Irish” type is lighter in color. It is also less full, lays closer to the body, and is wavy, soft, and silky. Because this coat grows slower, it can take a few years to look its best, and until that point of maturity comes, such puppies can look endearingly scruffy. 

While also soft, the “North American” coat is full and lavish from an early age. Puppy coats can mat quickly, but in adulthood, it becomes easier to maintain. These coats soak more quickly in the rain since they don’t contain the natural oil found in the other type of coat.

What Dog Breeds are Similar to the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier?

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers may not be too difficult to find, but purebreds are expensive and involve long waiting lists. Finding a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier at a rescue center might be equally challenging because they are so popular. However, as wonderful of a dog as the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier may be, they aren’t for everyone. Here are some dogs that are similar to the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers.

Below is a list of similar breeds that might be a good match for your family.

  • Irish Terrier – One of the quintessential Irish breeds, this terrier has a bright red coat, a bold temperament, and a friendly and charismatic personality. Terrier fans will find a lot to love with this breed.
  • Kerry Blue Terrier – Originating from the southwestern county of Ireland, which bears its name. The Kerry Blue Terrier is an alert, animated, and friendly farm dog turned companion with a light gray or deep blue fur coat.
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier – The gentle but brave Glen of Imaal is a short-legged farm dog with a wheaten or blue-colored fur coat. It is named for the isolated valley south of Dublin from which the dog originated over the centuries.

Michael Brady

Michael is an animal-lover who specializes in marketing. He started running Dog Food Care with his mother, Sarah, after leaving his office job. Michael gained enough flexibility in his schedule to be able to adopt a dog of his own and welcomed Emmie the dachshund into his home in 2020.