Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier


Believed to be the oldest of the four native Irish terriers, SCWTs (or Wheaten Terriers) were the general purpose farm dogs of tenant farmers, particularly in Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford counties. They were used for herding, rat catching, hunting, and as a watchdog and family companion.


A medium-sized, compact, terrier. Well balanced in structure and movement, not exaggerated in any way. They are a hardy, natural terrier. A happy dog, full of character.

Grooming and Physical Needs

  • Grooming Needs: The coat is a stunning feature, but it IS hard to maintain the wheaten coat in perfect condition. Regular thorough brushing or combing is essential. Shaping and trimming should be done about every 6 to 8 weeks.
  • Coat Type: Abundant, soft texture, silky, wavy or loose curls. The colour of ripening wheat. Pups are often born with a reddish brown coat and may have black markings. These disappear and the coat acquires its wheaten colour as the pup matures. Being a slow maturing breed, it may take two to three years to develop the correct colour and texture.
  • Moulting: Very little shedding.
  • Exercise Needs: Moderate exercise, requires daily walks. Secure fencing is essential.
  • Average Life Span: 12-14 years.


  • Family: ‘People-oriented’ dogs who love to be involved in whatever you’re doing. May be too boisterous for families with toddlers and young children.
  • Temperament: Good-tempered, spirited and game. Full of confidence and humour.
  • Trainability: Intelligent, but like all terriers they are independent thinkers. They require patience and consistent, positive reinforcement. Wheatens enjoy the physical and intellectual challenges of regular attendance at training programs.
  • Sociability (Other Pets): Usually get on well with other dogs. As terriers, they have a high prey drive and need to be well socialised from a young age if they are to live with cats and other small animals.
  • Barking: Generally low tendency. They don’t usually bark without a reason.


Often exceptionally good at agility, herding, or tracking. Some do well at obedience.


Some wheatens may be prone to skin allergies. There is a small possibility of the inherited protein losing diseases, PLE and PLN, but breeders now use a DNA test to exclude affected dogs and bitches from their breeding program.