Learn More About the Wheaten Terrier

Softcoated Wheaten Terrier
The Wheaten Terrier, otherwise known as the Irish soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, hails from Ireland and was originally bred for farming purposes.

This dog has four coat varieties, which are the Traditional Irish coat, the Heavy Irish coat, and the British and American coats.

These single-coated dogs shed very little hair and are ideal pets for those who suffer from allergies.

Wheaten Terrier History

If you look far back into the history of the Wheaten Terrier, you will notice that this dog breed is originally from Ireland. This breed was originally bred to work on farms heading animals as well as hunting. 

This breed was extremely popular throughout Ireland and was finally decades later was recognized by the kennel club in Ireland. 

Later the breed was brought to the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s. It was then later inducted into the American Kennel Club in the 1970s.

Wheaten Terrier Appearance

Wheaton Terriers come in a variety of colors, including red, brown, white, and mahogany; however, the puppies are typically born darker.

Wheaten puppies’ coats generally grow to be a lighter, almost white colored coat before maturing into their typical wheaten-colored one, hence their name the Wheaten terrier.

Generally, their muzzles and small hairless ears are either black or dark brown and flop downwards. This breed of dog has a square structure and is relatively well-built.

This dog has hair that continues to grow like humans and Poodles. These dogs, once called the “poor man’s wolfhound”, are lovable non-aggressive dogs suitable for most people who have time.

Wheaten Terrier

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Temperament

The Wheaten Terrier is known to be a highly energetic dog that likes to play. This dog can be a little stubborn at times, and patience is needed together with constant positive training.

This an intelligent dog, but it will only respond well if it is trained with a positive approach as it has the tendency to get scared or slightly aggressive with harsher methods of training and socialization.

This dog loves people and will jump up at anybody trying to get close to them, showing their affection, and it has even been nicknamed the “Greeten Terrier” for its overly friendly nature.

As this dog was originally bred to be a farm dog, it does have strong preying instincts, and if there are other animals around, it needs to be socialized with them carefully.

This dog will stay loyal to its owners, and it also has a very protective nature, which is why this dog also makes a good watchdog.

While it does make a good watchdog with warning its owners of strangers approaching it does not make a good guard dog as it will bark at the strangers and then jump up on them and lick them in a friendly way.

Wheaton Terrier Size

The Wheaton Terrier is taller than it is big and it weighs between 30-40lbs (13.6-18) and measures 17-19 inches (43-48cm) in height.Wheaten Terrier

Wheaton Terrier Health Problems

These dogs, if looked after well have a long life expectancy of about 13-15 years. While they do have long lives they are, however, susceptible to genetic diseases.

The most common diseases that the Wheaton terrier suffers from are two protein wasting conditions known as protein-losing nephropathy, where the dog loses its protein via its kidneys and protein-losing enteropathy, which causes the dog to not fully absorb and process proteins properly.

These diseases can be fatal; however, if they are detected early, it is relatively easy to monitor through a strict diet and medicine.

Other less common diseases that the Wheaton terrier can suffer from are renal dysplasia, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease.

When choosing your puppy, it is best to check with the breeders about the parentage of the dog and ask them about any known hereditary illness.

Life Expectancy of a Wheaton Terrier

This breed can live typically around 10 to 12 years. This is just the average number based on dogs of this breed. You can, in fact, have a dog from this breed to live a lot longer. 

Depending on your dog’s health and parents health history will ultimately determine the life span of your dog. 

Living Conditions

This dog is suitable for an apartment, and although they can get quite excited indoors, this can be lessened by regular exercise coupled with attention.

Due to their excessive amount of hair, these dogs do not bode well in hot environments, and they prefer cool weather, so if an owner lives in a hot place, this dog is not recommended unless there is a good air-conditioning system to keep the dog at its ideal temperature at all times.

Wheaten Terrier Exercise

This dog is an active dog, but it only requires one long walk per day, preferably early in the morning or at dusk when the temperature has dropped.

Since this breed is very active, it is important that this dog breed gets around sixty minutes of exercise a day. You do not need to all the exercise requirements for this breed at one time; you can break it up into multiple sessions throughout the day.

Remember, it can be easy to get your dog its required exercise; you can do a variety of things to get your dog active; some examples include a run, playing fetch, and also dog park play with other dogs.

Wheaten Terrier Adult

Wheaton Terrier Feeding

The Wheaton Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed, so this breed will need two cups of dog food per day. Please make sure you are dividing up the two cups into much smaller meals throughout the day.

Remember that this breed can get overweight easily, so make sure you are not overfeeding this breed. Make sure that you consult your veterinarian if you think your dog may need more food. 

Remember to always feed your dog a high-quality food and food appropriate to their age whether your dog is a puppy, adult, or senior dog. 

This breed has been known to have digestive issues with gluten, so try to pick out a food that is gluten-free. 

Wheaten Terrier Coat

You will find two different variations when it comes to the coat of the Wheaten Terrier. The first is the more traditional Irish Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier’s coat that  it will be softer and have a wavy texture.

Have you ever seen the beach wavy hairstyle? Well, when you look at this breed, their coat has that same look and texture.

The more Americanized version of this breed has a thicker coat. The coat does still have that wavy appearance. People often associate this breeds coat with the look and feel of wool.

What Colors do they come in?

Typically you will only find this breed in a few colors, they are:

  • Black
  • Cream
  • White
  • Dark Red Hues

Softcoated Wheaten TerrierWheaten Terrier Grooming

The hair of the Wheaton terrier is naturally curly and if it is brushed, it tends to get too fluffy, therefore using a typical dog’s brush is not recommended if you want to achieve its natural look.

Instead, the dog’s hair should be combed with a wide-tooth comb on a daily basis to keep its coat tangle-free. This dog does not shed a lot compared to other terrier breeds, but still, the dead fallen hair needs to be combed out to prevent it from getting over clothes and furniture.

This dog has sensitive skin and should only be bathed with hypoallergenic shampoo when necessary. Over bathing could result in the dog developing skin conditions such as eczema.

Wheaton Terrier Training

When you start training this dog breed, you will want to start with short sessions. Smaller sessions multiple times a day and throughout the week will help to reinforce the training.

Remember, when training always to reinforce positive behavior. This helps your dog know what they are doing is good.

Also, make sure to socialize your dog when it is a puppy that way, it will curb aggression and help your dog to not be so scared around people.

Wheaten Terrier Puppy

Wheaten Terrier Puppies

The Purebred Wheaten Terrier can cost around $900 and even up to $1,400.  Remember to do extensive research on the breed and the breeder selling the dog.

You want to make sure that you trust the breeder, and you have seen the parents of your puppy in person as well as their health papers from a vet.

Definitely make sure that you feel totally comfortable with the breeder before you make your purchase.

Don’t forget once you get your puppy home with you that you get a well checkup done on your dog to make sure there are no health concerns. 

Also, remember that you can always check your local rescues to see if they have any older Wheaten Terriers for sale if the price from breeders seems too expensive for you. 

Wheaten Terrier Litter Size

A female Wheaten Terrier can have around eight puppies in one litter. Just remember the amount of puppies can vary from dog to dog, but this is the typical size. 


As these dogs love the companionship of humans, this is not an ideal dog if the owners are away from the house all day. It is the perfect dog for all ages as long as the family can give it the time and exercise.

It is also ideal for allergy sufferers due to its low-shedding coat. Additionally, these dogs make great watchdogs as they will bark excessively when strangers approach, however, they do not make good guard dogs as they will more than likely jump on the stranger and cover it with licks when it reaches the home.

Close relatives of the Wheaten Terrier

Here you will find a few breeds that closely resemble the Wheaton Terrier

  • Irish Terrier
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Polish Lowland Sheepdog

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