Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Dog Breed
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, also known as the Irish Wheaten Terrier, the Wheaten Irish Terrier, the Wheaten Terrier and the “poor man’s wolfhound,” is a medium-sized, sturdy terrier that originated in Ireland several centuries ago as an all-around farm dog for poor tenant farmers. He is an alert and happy dog, with his silky, wheat-colored coat being a hallmark of the breed. The Wheaten is less “terrier-like” than most other terriers, with a much softer coat and a less aggressive or “forward” disposition. It still has a strong instinctive desire to chase smaller animals, especially cats, and it can be strong-headed. The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was fully admitted to the American Kennel Club in 1973, as a member of its Terrier Group.
The mature male Wheaten Terrier should stand 18 to 19 inches at the withers and weigh 35 to 40 pounds. Adult bitches should be 17 to 18 inches in height and weigh 30 to 35 pounds. The coat of this breed is different than that of any other terrier. It is abundant and single, soft and silky (rather than being double, hard and rough) and covers the entire body, legs and head equally. In the show ring, the Wheaten Terrier is never to be clipped, stripped or plucked. Any shade of wheaten – the color of ripening wheat - is accepted by the breed standard. This breed does not shed and requires regular grooming to prevent matting.
The Wheaten dates back at least to the 1700s, where records of the breed in County Kerry and County Cork are numerous. Wheatens were found throughout Ireland, but more so in the south and southwest, long before official reports were maintained. They apparently were common and ran fairly freely, having their litters in barns, brush and haystacks, with only the fittest specimens surviving. The Wheaten Terrier is thought to be the oldest Irish terrier breed.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are puppies for life. They are joyful, energetic and affectionate and never lose their love of play time. They are more friendly and easy going than other terrier breeds and generally get along well with other dogs. Wheatens are very people-oriented and enjoy the company of well-behaved children. Wheatens expect to be invited along for all outdoor family activities, and want to participate 100%. If they aren't included in a game,
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a compact, medium sized dog of square proportions. The coat comes in various shades of wheaten and has a wavy texture. The head is rectangular, long, with a defined stop and a strong muzzle. The V Shaped ears fold forward, level with the skull. The teeth should ideally meet in a scissors or level bite. The eyes are almond-shaped, brown and have a very lively, very terrier-like expression. The
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