The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, also known as simply the Wheaten or the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, is a dog breed that originated in Ireland. This breed is considered to be one of the oldest Irish breeds, with a history that potentially dates back over 200 years, where they were kept as all-purpose farm dogs, performing tasks like herding, watching and guarding livestock, and hunting pests. The breed was officially recognized by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937 and later by the American Kennel Club in 1973. It wasn't until the late 1940s that the breed was first introduced to the United States.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but may suffer from conditions such as protein-losing nephropathy and protein-losing enteropathy, which are both serious genetic diseases that affect Wheaten Terriers more commonly than other breeds. They may also be susceptible to hip dysplasia, Addison's Disease, renal dysplasia, adult paroxysmal dyskinesia, degenerative myelopathy, and microphthalmia.
These dogs are loving, devoted and gentle. Wheatens are typically known for their friendly and deeply devoted nature. They are energetic and playful dogs that love to be in the company of their family. These dogs are highly sociable and usually get along well with children and other pets. They're intelligent dogs, which can make training easier, but it also means they can be a bit stubborn at times. As with all breeds, early socialization and consistent, positive reinforcement-based training are important.
In Ireland, Wheaten Terriers were sometimes referred to as the "Poor Man's Wolfhound."
They are well-known for their "Wheaten Greetin'," a term used to describe their enthusiastic, sometimes jump-filled, greetings when they meet people.
While they do not shed heavily, their coat requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.
This breed was recognized by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937.