Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Breed description: Character & Co

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier


Descriptions of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier have been around for almost 200 years from the counties of Cork and Kerry in Southern Ireland. It became popular because of its versatile nature and thus the many possibilities of use. However, you should already have dog experience for the consistent education from the puppy age.

Origin of the Non-Haired Dog Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Southern Irish farmers, hunters, and residents used the versatility of the large terrier about 200 years ago. It guarded home and homestead, hunted and otherwise cuddled closely with its family. Original related dog breeds were the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier. The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is now recognized by the FCI as a completely separate breed of dog.

The breed characteristics of the Terrier

  • Appearance: High legs under a muscular body and a strong head; coat around the compact stature soft (therefore the epithet "soft coated")
  • FCI Standard: Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (40); Group 3 - Terriers; Section 1 - High-legged Terriers.
  • Breeding forms: Recognized only all shades in Wheaten color.
  • Other Physical Characteristics: Self-confident overall appearance; ears falling forward and small.
  • Head large in proportion to the body, but well proportioned
Banner: Shutterstock / Kate Grishakova
Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Character Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Young Dog Irish Soft Coated breed description
Alternate Name Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier , Soft-Coated Wheaten, Soft Coated Wheaten
Origin Ireland
Life expectancy 12 - 14 years
Care requirements high-maintenance
Activity level average to high
FCI group Large and medium sized Terriers
AKC group Terrier Group
KC group Terrier Group

Character of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Basically the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a playful and people-friendly dog. You can get a good grip on his Irish stubbornness through early training starting in puppyhood. Overall, its nature is fearless according to its original versatile use. Especially cuddling with you is very important to its between all daily activities.

Husbandry of the Terrier

Already Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies often learn faster than you as owners may sometimes like. But their eagerness to learn also helps with consistent training to become a cuddly family dog. You don't have to pay any special attention to their diet (except for species-appropriate food). However, dog experience is absolutely necessary for the attitude. Important for the well-being of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is extensive coat care. Besides combing and brushing, regular trimming protects against matting.


From the beginning of breeding, the hard-working, high-striding terrier proved to be extremely versatile. To this day, its watchfulness and willingness to hunt, its protective function, and its family loyalty have been preserved. Nowadays, the breed occasionally continues to be used as a guard dog. However, you can also satisfy the urge to move and the will to work through dog sports or sporting activities in general.

Irish Soft Coated dog on a road next to a meadow Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Character and Temperament Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier on a meadow Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier upper body

Typical diseases of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breed

Basically the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is characterized by a robust health. However, cases of hip dysplasia can occur. You can avoid this by asking the breeder for proof that the dog is HD-free when you buy it. Very rarely FPE (Familial Protein Loss Enteropathy) occurs. This can also be avoided by careful breeding selection.

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breeders - what to look out for

Unfortunately, a lack of dog experience often leads to an otherwise wonderful Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier finding itself in distress (i.e. in a shelter or even a sanctuary). So don't just look at the physical characteristics of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier breeder. This breeder should show good experience in raising Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers. You can observe the upbringing and physical condition of the puppies during at least two or three preliminary visits. A tip: Visit a dog school with your future dog, where you will be instructed and trained together with the puppy or adult four-legged friend.

Breed description Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppies are initially born with a dark coat. As they grow up, it becomes lighter and lighter to the desired wheat color. The shape is very soft, can be wavy or open curled. A coat change and therefore seasonal coat loss does not take place.

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier - size, weight and age expectation

  • Size: 46 to 48cm
  • Weight: 16 to 20 kilograms
  • Average age: 10 to 14 years
Fur length medium
Fur curly
Ear shape Tilt-ear
Tail short
Anatomy rugged
Size ♀ 43 - 46 cm
Weight ♀ 14 - 16 kg
Size ♂ 46 - 48 cm
Weight ♂ 16 - 18 kg
Suitable For suitable for allergy sufferers


Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Character and Temperament
Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier on a meadow
Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier upper body
  • Hip dysplasia (HD)

    Hip dysplasia (HD) is a genetic condition in dogs where the hip joint is not shaped properly. This leads to pain, stiffness and restricted movement.

Sources and relevant links


Accessed on 11.04.2023


Accessed on 11.04.2023

American Kennel Club

Accessed on 11.04.2023

Eva-Maria Krämer (2017). Der KOSMOS-Hundeführer. Franckh-Kosmos Verlags-Gmbh & Company KG.

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