About animals

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier: The Basics of Proper Care


The breed began to be popular with the Irish in the 17th century. The first records of a soft-haired wheat terrier date back to this time. However, according to experts, this breed has been successfully bred before, but there is no mention of this. For this reason, it is generally accepted that the appearance of the breed dates from an earlier period. To find out the exact breeding time of the first representatives of wheat terriers is difficult. Experts agree that this breed is one of the oldest in Ireland.

These dogs were used and bred mainly by farmers. They helped the owners cope with mice and rats. In addition, terriers perfectly guarded cattle, defended the territory. They were taken to hunt rabbits and foxes.

Pedigree books with descriptions of the breeds appeared at the beginning of the 18th century, they were started by breeders from England, who became the first organizers of dog shows. As a result, it became necessary to define breed standards. Gradually clubs of dog breeders arose.

However, the Irish Wheaten Terrier infrequently became a member of the inserts. These dogs were mainly owned by peasants and sailors, for whom recreational activities were not of interest. The attitude towards dogs began to change since 1900, and already in 1937 they first received recognition from the Irish Kennel Club and took part in an exhibition held in Dublin.

The International Federation of Cynologists evaluated wheat terriers in 1957, and the leading American Association of AKCs noted them in 1973. Since then, the popularity of wheat terriers has increased. They began to show interest in them both in the USA and in other countries. In 2010, the representative of soft-haired terriers received 59th place in popularity in the states of America. However, these animals are still almost unknown and are more often acquired as a companion dog, and their hunting and protective qualities are practically not used.

Description of the Irish Wheaten Terrier

The latest adjustments regarding the description of the dog and the standards of its appearance were made in international directories in 1989, since then the requirements for the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier have not changed. Dogs must meet certain parameters of growth, weight, have a characteristic shape and size of the head, position of the ears, bite, color and quality of coat.

Appearance with photo

Whiten Terrier puppies at birth have a dark color, the coat gets a constant shade when the dog reaches the age of 2 years. The coat in dogs is very soft, slightly wavy and thick with a wheaten tint; the distinctive feature of the breed is the absence of undercoat. The hair on the head is long, as on the whole body, so the terrier's eyes are closed by bangs.

Male growth is in the range of 46–48 cm, and weight does not exceed 16–18 kg. Female individuals, as a rule, have a lower height - 43–46 cm, respectively, and their weight will be less - 14–16 kg.

The skull and muzzle of the dog are proportional in length, the cheekbones have soft outlines. A beard and dark eyes with a hazel tint stand out on the face. Wheaten terriers are characterized by the hanging shape of their ears, the inner edge of which is adjacent to the cheekbones. Representatives of the breed have a compact body, a small tail, upward. All the characteristic features of the appearance of the Irish dog can be seen in the photo.

Character and temperament

A characteristic feature of the Whiten character is a strong attachment to the owner, to the family. They are sociable, friendly, absolutely not aggressive, cannot stand loneliness, the society of people for them is the main reason for joy. These dogs love to travel, take long walks, like training, so they are easy to train. Exercises and tricks are remembered quite quickly due to their quick wit and obedience.

The Irish "wheaten", although it is considered a non-conflict breed, can relate to other animals with a degree of jealousy if it is not the only favorite in the house. However, their friendliness does not allow them to get involved in a fight and attack first.

Whiten Terrier maintenance and care

One of the most important points in the maintenance of a terrier is the care of its coat. Very soft, undercoat-free hair is prone to tangle formation. During molting, the absence of undercoat reduces the amount of hair falling out. To provide good care for the coat, you must adhere to the following rules:

  • comb your pet weekly,
  • use a metal comb for dogs,
  • comb should be in the direction of hair growth, starting from the neck area,
  • it is permissible to cut around the legs, ears, in the neck, chest and at the base of the tail, some breeders cut their hair over their eyes so that the dog can see better,
  • with the participation of the pet in the shows, a haircut is unacceptable - the show dog must have a look that meets the breed standard,
  • bathing is carried out if necessary and with carefully selected shampoo, as these dogs have sensitive skin, prone to irritation.

In addition, the Irish Terrier needs dental care. If you do not brush your teeth from early childhood, you can provoke the formation of plaque, which is removed only by a veterinarian. Already in puppyhood, you need to teach your pet to trim your nails and clean your ears.

Pet Feeding Rules

The organization of proper nutrition and the selection of a diet for whiten directly affects its health and life expectancy. Owners need to know that dogs of this breed often suffer from allergies, digestive upsets and are prone to obesity. Given these features, the pet should choose a diet with a low protein content. A large amount of meat food can cause skin allergies, fatty foods negatively affect digestion.

It is better to include vegetables, various cereals and fruits in the daily diet. The list of prohibited products includes:

  • fresh bread
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • fried, smoked and spicy,
  • bean
  • bakery products,
  • cabbage,
  • grapes.

Bowls for food are best installed on special stands in accordance with the growth of the pet. Feeding should take place at the same time. The dog should eat its one-time serving right away.

Feeding puppies is practically no different from feeding adult dogs. The only difference is that puppies are fed more often and less. When reaching 4 months, the number of pet meals should be reduced to 3 times a day.

Life expectancy and health

Wheaten terriers are centenarians, as their average life expectancy is 12–16 years. However, this requires proper care, timely vaccination against major serious diseases of dogs, periodic treatment of parasites.

Despite their rather good health, the Whiten have a tendency to some ailments peculiar to dogs of this breed and transmitted genetically. Such diseases include:

  • eye diseases (glaucoma, cataract),
  • weakness of the skin, or Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which is expressed in a decrease in collagen levels,
  • allergies
  • protein loss enteropathy, manifested in impaired absorption of proteins (globulin and albumin),
  • amyloidosis,
  • kidney pathology (dysplasia),
  • metabolic disorders leading to overweight,
  • hip dysplasia.

Veterinary practice has shown that soft-haired dogs are often particularly sensitive to anesthesia, especially to those products that include barbiturates. For this reason, procedures using anesthetics should first be discussed with your veterinarian.

Parenting and training

Soft-haired terrier - the owner of a beautiful character. He is obedient, educates and loves training. You can spoil a dog only by limiting mobility, lack of training and physical exercises.

Puppies of this breed are quick-witted and mindful of their actions. They are easy to accustom to walking, they quickly understand that it is impossible to spoil houses. Corruption of things, toys, shoes is the behavior typical of puppies, but for little “Irish” this is more likely the exception. They deliberately relate to their actions and remember the rules established by the owner.

Both an experienced breeder and a person who had no previous experience in training can train a pet. A dog of this breed will be a great friend for an athlete who daily runs in nature. Whiten is very fond of jogging and exercise, which in combination with training teams and tricks give a good result.

With the help of education, you can also make an excellent guard out of the terrier. Representatives of this breed have protective qualities at the genetic level.

Tips for choosing a thoroughbred puppy

Soft-haired dogs are most popular in the Scandinavian countries, they are also loved in Canada and the USA. In Russia, there are very few breeders of this breed. In some large cities you can find a kennel, but at the right time puppies may not be there. Usually offspring from parents with a good pedigree are booked. Sometimes those who want to get a puppy have to wait several months for him.

Before choosing a future pet, you should carefully study the pedigree of the parents and get acquainted with the breeder. Particular attention should be paid not only to the external data of the father and mother of the offspring, but also to their temperament and character, since such features can also be inherited.

The breeder is obliged to competently organize the maintenance of babies in the first 2 months after birth. Professional care of an experienced breeder will make it possible to purchase puppies with good health and a stable psyche.

Description and photo

The Irish Wheaten Terrier is a medium sized dog of strong build, not squat, but not excessively tall. It can be described as a station wagon, because this terrier was once used as a shepherd, and as a hunting dog, and as a guard dog. Below you can find a description of the breed of wheat terrier adopted by FCI (International Cynological Federation).

Appearance and standard

Country of origin: Ireland.

Life span: an average of 11-13 years.

Litter: more often from 6 to 12 puppies.

Group: terriers.

Purpose of the breed: previously hunting (hunting objects - rodents, badgers, otters, foxes) and guard, in modern times also a companion dog.

Recognized by: FCI (International Cynological Association).

Coat color: various shades of ripe wheat - from very light to golden-red.

Wool: soft, silky, with a silk sheen, flowing (cannot be fluffy), no longer than 12.7 cm (5 inches), without undercoat.

Molting: slight in spring and autumn.

Head: rather massive, but not rough, proportional to the body.

Ears: small or medium, hanging, at the base may be slightly darker than the general coloring of the body.

Teeth: large and strong with a scissor-shaped or straight bite (undershot or overshot mouths are not allowed).

Body: proportional, the loin is short and powerful, the same can be said about the back, the neck is strong, of medium length.

Limbs: strong, muscular, parallel to each other.

Tail: not very fat, lowered, does not rise above the back, at the request of the owner it can be stopped by a third.

The size: in males at the withers 46-48 cm, bitches slightly lower.

Weight: in males - from 18 to 20 kg, bitches are a little easier.

Character Features

An energetic, hardy, balanced dog who loves to play. Very smart, loyal, able to defend the owner, but not aggressive. Extremely loyal to the owner. Due to its hunting instincts, it can attack a cat or squirrel, but if it grows with a cat, it does not touch it.

He gets along well with children, likes to play with them. It adapts well to environmental conditions. It maintains a cheerful character for life, subject to constant contact with the owner and regular active walks. Sometimes stubborn, but it gets better by proper training.

Soft Coated Terrier

The history of the Irish Wheaten Terrier is very interesting. As reported in the FCI's breed description, this dog is close to other Irish Terrier breeds, and in all likelihood is the oldest of them. At one time, such breeds of terriers as Glen of Imaal, Irish and Kerry Blue were bred in Ireland. They were intended exclusively for the aristocracy and were not accessible to the people more simply. But since there was a request for a similar breed from below, a wheat terrier appeared over time.

The ways of the formation of the breed at the initial stages are very foggy, but soft-haired dogs are mentioned in sources two hundred years ago. It is believed that the handsome wheat man did not appear spontaneously, but as a result of targeted selection. The owners of these dogs were mostly farmers. Their pets were used in hunting badgers and for the extermination of rodents, for the protection of livestock and farmsteads, they even looked after the children.

Nevertheless, the wheat terrier has long been in the shadow of its aristocratic counterparts. Only in 1932 did dog handlers seriously pay attention to him after a successful performance at a hunting dog competition. Already in 1937, the breed was recognized by the Irish Kennel Club, and in 1957 it was entered on the FCI register.

How to choose and how much a puppy costs

When choosing a puppy of the Irish Wheaten Terrier (like a puppy of any other breed), it should be remembered that only a purebred pet can demonstrate all the best qualities of this breed. Therefore, you need to buy in nurseries or from attorneys of breeders. When buying, you can use the services of a veterinarian who will examine the puppy that has attracted you. It is recommended not to lose contact with the breeder or nursery - they can usually be consulted in case of difficulties with the pet.

Wool and bathing

Although representatives of this breed are not susceptible to heavy molting, it is advisable to comb them daily, otherwise the animal’s hair quickly tangles and falls off. Start combing from the neck, continue along the torso. For this procedure, it is recommended to use a metal comb.

Twice a year, a pet is cut. They try to bathe it infrequently, so as not to spoil the appearance of the coat and not cause allergies. If the dog still needs to be redeemed, use special shampoos.

Brushing teeth, ears

It is best to teach your pet to brush your teeth at an early age. For cleaning, you need to use special veterinary toothpastes. The procedure is carried out using a special device or simply wrapping gauze on a finger. You need to brush your teeth at least once a week, do not bring to the formation of tartar.

Ear cleaning is carried out as necessary. To determine when this need has come, you need to regularly inspect the auricles. The accumulated sulfur is removed with a cotton swab, moistened with a special oil, which can be purchased at a veterinary pharmacy.

Infection screening

The immunity of Irish wheat terriers is good, so they carry viral diseases of the digestive system (enteritis) well, on their feet.In this case, the symptoms are usually smoothed out, you can simply not notice them. However, if vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy are observed, it is urgent to consult a veterinarian.

If prokusi appear on the skin of an animal, then they can become a hotbed of bacterial infection. It is important to find places with damaged skin in time, cut the hair there and treat the wound with an antiseptic.

In summer, babesiosis is especially dangerous - a disease caused by blood parasites, the transmitters of which is one of the types of ticks. If the infected animal does not receive timely help, it dies within 4-5 days. Symptoms of this disease are lethargy, lack of appetite, fever, blood in the urine - all this requires an urgent visit to a veterinary clinic.

If reddish or brownish spots appear on the skin of the dog, and she actively combes them, then the pet is affected by a fungal disease. For an accurate diagnosis and the appointment of a course of treatment, you must consult a veterinarian.

Breed activity

The Irish Wheaten Terrier, like any hunting dog, should receive adequate physical activity, that is, long walks (2 hours a day), active games, field trips. Otherwise, the pet may develop aggression, it begins to bark for no reason, spoil things. A good option is to accompany the owner during a bike ride.

We make a diet

The diet of wheat terriers has its own characteristics. So, they do not need a significant amount of protein food, they can be given more cereals, vegetables, fruits. You should not give your pet fatty, smoked, salty, spicy foods, sweets and freshly baked bread, beans and grapes. But in general, it is believed that ready-made high-quality feeds, both dry and canned, are ideal for such a dog.

Solid food feed puppies begin at three weeks of age. First, the food is diluted with warm water to a mushy state. Do not breed dry food with cow's milk, often this leads to indigestion. Up to 4 months, puppies are fed 5 times a day, then the frequency of feeding is gradually reduced to 2-3 times a day.


Irish wheat terriers are stubborn, so you need to go through with them at least a general training course. Otherwise, they may become uncontrollable. In the process of training, difficulties with pets usually do not arise, they learn quickly, literally grab everything on the fly, but do not like to be scolded.

About possible diseases and vaccinations

Representatives of this breed have good immunity and rarely get sick. Nevertheless, regular visits should be made to the veterinarian. The owner also needs to know the symptoms of infectious diseases in order to start treating the pet in time - this was mentioned above.

Vaccinations are given to these dogs against the following diseases: plague, enteritis, hepatitis, parainfluenza, leptospirosis, trichophytosis and rabies. The first vaccination is given to two-month-old puppies. During the change of teeth, vaccination is unacceptable, it can harm the animal.

As you can see, the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is distinguished not only by its spectacular appearance, but also by its remarkable character traits: devotion, liveliness, cheerfulness and great energy. All this is complemented by high intelligence. There are some difficulties in its content, but they do not stop the many people around the world who have become the owners of this wonderful dog.

Species and standards of the breed

The Irish Terrier is a fairly small breed. This dog is mobile, has a strong athletic build. Outwardly, they resemble wire-haired fox terriers, which is not strange, since these breeds are direct relatives.

The height of the adult at the withers is about 45 cm, and the average weight is 12 kg. Their distinctive characteristics also include developed leg muscles, a long head, which tapers somewhat in the area between the ears. The tail is set high, usually it is docked.

The color of the Irish dog has a solid, most typical shade - bright red, wheat and yellow-red. There may be a small amount of white hair on the legs and chest.

How to choose a puppy

This dog is a wonderful pet. He is distinguished by a developed mind, nobility and courage, he gets along wonderfully with children. But before you take this dog to the house, you must be sure that you can devote enough time to it. The Irish Terrier is the most prominent representative of the breed of terriers, so she needs regular walks, active games and field trips.

Young Irish Terriers.

But if you are not afraid of such difficulties, then boldly start this animal. The search for a puppy should start with visits to specialized exhibitions. Here you can personally see the best representatives of the breed, talk with the breeders, understand which lines of Irish Terrier puppies and kennels are the most interesting.

If you seriously want to take part in exhibitions, however, you do not have enough experience to choose a puppy, then you can turn to an expert with experience. It will be useful to listen to the recommendations of the breeders, as they know best about the pros and cons of their dogs.

The most important factor that determines the external characteristics of an animal and its character traits is heredity. Therefore, it is better to meet the parents of your future pet. It is necessary not only to evaluate the appearance of the dog, but also to find out its physical and mental state.

Regardless of whether you choose an animal by standards or focus only on your preferences, puppies of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should be examined for their health. The dog should have a soft stomach, its skin should be clean, its nose should be cold. It is also important to remember that the nursery should also be perfectly clean.

Specialists recommend paying special attention to the character that Irish Terrier puppies have. Of course, first of all, it is worth focusing on your preferences, but experts advise paying attention to energetic, courageous and active dogs that have no signs of aggression.

Home Content

The Irish Terrier is distinguished by its good health and unpretentiousness, so keeping it simple enough. These dogs have a hard coat that can be cleaned by itself. Also, their positive feature is that they do not have the characteristic smell of "dog", as evidenced by the numerous reviews of the owners.

All that is required of the owner includes the following aspects:

  • clipping
  • regular combing
  • prevention of contamination of the ears of the teeth in the form of brushing.

It is also recommended to pluck the dog’s coat several times a year. This is necessary in order to remove dead hair. This procedure also helps to improve the dog’s coat and skin. You can bathe the animal as necessary, but it is advisable not to do this more often than once every two months.

The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a very mobile dog, so the owner's task is to provide her with walks, the opportunity to be in nature and active games.