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.