You could earn SmartPoints on this page!SmartPoint Coin

October 12, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Wheaten Terrier

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Do you want a medium size breed that is great around children? Do you LOVE the idea of having a breed that is easy on allergy sufferers? The adorable Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier could be the dog you are looking for!

The Wheaten Terrier originates from Ireland. Although the breed has a long history in Ireland, it was only recognized in 1937 by the Irish Kennel Club. They are thought to be descendants of the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier.

Bred For

This is a terrier breed that was bred to hunt and kill vermin, but also to work on a farm for herding, and guarding the livestock. The Wheaten Terrier has a very strong prey drive, and typically will chase small animals living in the household such as a cat or rabbit. This sometimes makes the Wheaten Terrier not a good choice for a household that is already occupied by these small animals. A puppy that is properly socialized around small animals such as cats, might do fine.


The Wheaten Terrier height is 17-19 inches and they can weigh between 30-40 pounds.The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a great breed for allergy sufferers. Although there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, the Wheaten Terrier sheds, however it is very minimal. Their coat is soft with a slight wave to it, although puppies are born with dark coats their fur gradually gets lighter as they get older giving the wheaten coloring. The breed will maintain some of these dark hairs called "guard" hairs. Regular grooming is required for this breed as their fur can mat very easily.Their distinguished look is the their "beard" and the profuse amount of fur on their face area. Their body and head tend to be a "square" shape, with their ears being small, and in a v-shape that folds over. The nose is black and their eyes are either reddish brown or brown. Their tail is docked and held erect.


Friendly, smart, and great with kids are just some traits of the Wheaten's personality. They are known to be a loving breed that rarely has issues with aggression. However, like any young puppy, early training and socialization are imperative to keep these wonderful traits at the forefront. They do best with consistent and positive type training with a pet-parent that has an assertive, but calm personality. Wheaten's are happy to bark when strangers approach, but will not typically act on this in a negative way, making them a good watch dog, but a poor guard dog. This breed does best in cooler climates, and can easily overheat in hot weather. Special care must be taken during hot summer months.

Activity Level

Their activity level is high. This breed will do best with an active family that is willing to exercise them throughout the day. They might require two to three walks daily, 30-45 minutes per walk. If this breed is not properly mentally and physically stimulated, they can be extremely destructive and develop severe behavioral problems such as: chewing, (furniture, walls, and carpeting), barking, aggression, nipping, and much more. This breed requires every-day stimulation; they are not ideal for apartment or condo type living. A fenced in-yard is best for this breed, and do not assume they are happy to drain their own energy by being in the back yard by themselves. If you work all day, plan on dropping your Wheaten off at Doggy Daycare for a day full of fun and play!

Health Concerns

A typical life span for the Wheaten Terrier is 12-15 years. Some health concerns are two conditions that affect the kidney and digestive tract (which can be fatal if left untreated) called protein wasting conditions: protein-losing nephropathy (PLN) and protein-losing enteropathy (PLE). Renal dysplasia, inflammatory bowel disease, Addison's disease, cancer, food and flea allergies are other health concerns related to this breed.

Rescue First

As you begin looking for an Wheaten Terrier, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized, not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescues. By">adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!


Dog Breed Info

Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

More from Health Coach Victoria Swanson Others Are Reading

1 Comment

  • Great article...but I love reading about anything pets...

Comment on the Smart Living Network

Site Feedback