Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

The soft-coated wheaten terrier hails from Ireland, where it worked as a farmhand to guard the home, protect livestock from foxes and other predators and to control the population of rats and other vermin. Soft-coated wheaten terriers first arrived in the United States during the 1940s. In 1973, the American Kennel Club recognized the soft-coated wheaten terrier as a member of the terrier group.

The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed with square proportions. They have quite large heads with short muzzles. The ears are small, fold forward and are set at the side of the dog's head and pendant. SCWT's coat comes in two varieties: The American variety is slightly more heavy and coarse than the thinner, silkier Irish variety. The coats need to be trimmed regularly. They also need regular brushing. Personality: The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is joyful, energetic, affectionate, and will never lose their love of playtime. They are more friendly and easy going than other terrier breeds and generally get along well with other dogs.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier image
Breed Type
Life Span
12-15 Years
Other Names
SCWT, wheaten terrier, a wheaten and an Irish soft-coated wheaten terrier., Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Build Information

Length (Male)
13-20 in.
Length (Female)
18-20 in.
26 - 40 lbs
Litter Size
5 - 10 Puppies
Tail Dock or Crop
Preferred Climate
Any Climate

The soft-coated wheaten terrier is medium in size, standing at an average height of 60 to 18 inches at the shoulders and weighing 30 to 40 pounds. The body is powerful and agile. The coat is long, silky and wavy, and its hue may be any shade of wheaten or red. The muzzle displays the characteristic terrier beard, the hair on top of the head falls forward over the eyes, the button ears flip downward and the tail, which is usually docked, stands erect.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level
Energy Level
Good to Other Pets
Dominating or Submissive?
Guardian Skills
Aggressiveness Level

The soft coated wheaten is affectionate and exuberant in its greetings. The breed gets along with children. It can get along with other dogs if it is raised with them, but it has a strong instinct to chase cats and other small mammals. The soft-coated wheaten terrier is confident and independent, displaying a stubborn streak when it sees fit to do so. Soft-coated wheaten terriers tend to be boisterous, they love to jump on people, dig under fences and pull on the leash.

Obedience training and socialization from an early age is an important part of raising a dog that will obey commands and exercise acceptable manners.

It is also essential to provide these dogs with plenty of mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom and to keep them out of mischief. Soft-coated wheaten terriers make effective watchdogs.


Medium Maintenance
Coat Type

The silky and wavy coat of a soft-coated wheaten terrier tangles easily. Daily brushing or combing is essential to detangle the hair and prevent matting. Having the coat trimmed every other month will make the brushing task easier. The ears should be checked every week for signs of debris, and they should be kept clean and dry to prevent ear infections. Brush a soft coated wheaten terrier’s teeth daily as part of the grooming routine to prevent the onset of periodontal disease.

Common Health Conditions in Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers

Soft-coated wheaten terriers live average lifespans of 12 to 15 years. Some genetic health conditions to be aware of in the breed include renal dysplasia, protein-losing nephropathy, protein-losing enteropathy, Addison’s disease, hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

Insure your Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Learn more about pet insurance here to keep your pet healthy and request your FREE Quote now!

Breed's Talents and Facts

Moderately easy to train
Hunting Companion
Jolly for Jogging
Sighting Capabilities
Ideal for Tracking
Retrieving Skills
Pointing Breed
Herding Skills
Dutiful Watchdog
Security Guard Capable
Police Performer
Wet Water rescues
Assist Disable Owners
Dog Sledding
Able to Perform Dog Carting
Fun with Lure Coursing
Possible Schutzhund Work
Trainable for Tricks
  • For a dog that exudes sheer delight and welcomes you home with boisterous enthusiasm, the soft-coated wheaten terrier’s affection for you will always be apparent
  • The soft coated wheaten terrier originated in Ireland
  • The soft-coated wheaten terrier is also known as a wheaten terrier, a wheaten and an Irish soft-coated wheaten terrier
  • The soft-coated wheaten terrier is an exuberant and affectionate companion with a stubborn streak
  • The soft-coated wheaten terrier stands 16 to 18 inches tall and weighs 30 to 40 pounds
  • The soft-coated wheaten terrier has a high energy level
  • The soft-coated wheaten terrier requires daily grooming
  • The average lifespan for a soft-coated wheaten terrier is 12 to 15 years

Leave a review of this Breed

Is this information incomplete? Help us improve this dog breed profile, by submitting your information here.
Get a Quote!

Get A FREE, No Obligation Pet Health Insurance Quote within 5 Minutes