Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

  • Overview

    The Wheaten Terrier's distinguishing trait is his genial manner. This dog is a true family dog who responds well to the temperaments of those around him and almost always gives the appearance of being happy.

    Wheaten Terriers make excellent family pets because they love to bond with children and enjoy spirited play time. They are unfailingly droll and confident. These energetic goofballs love to amuse their owners and spend time in the company of those they love. If you don't mind putting up with some sloppy habits and you are willing to help your Wheaten Terrier stay active and well-groomed, then this breed will make a perfect addition to your family.

    View Grooming Diagram for soft-coated wheaton terrier
  • Personality

    Wheaten Terriers are characterized by their cheerful disposition. They are happy and carefree dogs who should never be timid or overly aggressive. Such anti-social behaviors are seen as a severe fault and are to be discouraged in breeding and through training. Wheaten Terriers are occasionally goofy and mischievous, especially if they are left alone or showing off for new friends. They are friendly and playful with children, which makes them wonderful family companions. They also appreciate meeting and socializing with other dogs, especially if they have plenty of exposure to new friends as puppies.

    Wheatens are sturdy dogs who were once best suited to a working life on the farm. Today, they love the opportunity to exercise and run. Their energetic, exuberant natures also make them appreciative of plenty of playtime with their owners. These are not dogs who will enjoy spending quiet time alone. They tend to enthusiastically greet their owners upon their return, which demonstrates the extent to which they prioritize their job as a companion.

  • Coat Care

    Wheaten Terriers have a plush single coat that rarely sheds. The tussled coat gives them an unfussy, casual appearance. The adult coat is soft, silky and never wooly or harsh. Adult coats develop a soft, subtle wave and should not be totally straight. The Wheaten's coat is distinguished from other terriers' coats because it is virtually non-shedding and does not need to be stripped. Puppies are born black. As they grow up, their coats lighten into the characteristic shades of wheaten that give the Wheaten Terrier his name. "Wheaten" hues are considered to be any color resembling the color of wheat, from light, creamy beige to a deep gold.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
brushing icon


Wheatens should be brushed thoroughly every few days to prevent matting and help the coat retain his soft texture and shiny color.

bathing icon


Wheatens can be messy dogs. They are not tidy in their habits, so they will not hesitate to track mud, food or debris through the house, especially on their long beards and hairy paws. Frequent bathing with gentle dog shampoo will help both your Wheaten and your house look their best.

hair clipping icon

Hair Clipping

The Wheaten's soft coat is prone to mats and tangles. If it is clipped and trimmed to about 3 inches long, the coat will be easier to manage and keep clean. Show dogs are groomed in the terrier style with the characteristic longer beard, whiskers and leg hair.

nails icon


Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

eyes/ears icon

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Curly and wavy coated dogs have large, sensitive ears covered in hair that  need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Poodles are prone to developing tear stains around the eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth icon


Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.