History and Origin: This breed is from Ireland having been developed there and related probably to the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier. They were considered the poor man’s dog as only the wealthy could have tall dogs such as Wolfhounds and sporting dogs. Wheaten tails were docked to avoid taxes. The wheaten was used in Ireland for over 200 years as a capable farm dog, able to guard livestock, kill vermin, herd farm animals and was even used successfully as a bird dog. The breed was accepted by the Irish Kennel club in 1937 and by the AKC in 1973.
General Appearance: Rather shaggy single coated medium sized dog with a bushy thick beard and eyebrows that fall forward to cover much of the face and protect the dark eyes. Somewhat wavy abundant coat covers the entire body and legs and is low shedding. Drop ears, large black nose, black foot pads. Size Males 18 ½ inches ideal — females 17 ½ inches ideal weight males 35-45 pounds– females 30-35 pounds
Coat and Colour: Coat abundant over entire body, soft silky texture with a gentle wave that flows when the dog is running. Minimal shedding. Always a shade of wheaten or golden in colour. No other colour is acceptable except for blue grey shading on muzzle and ears. Puppies are born dark coloured and lighten with age. Coat never wiry or harsh feeling. This breed will require regular brushing in order to prevent mats and to keep the dog looking tidy.
Feeding: Choose a quality kibble with good nutrional value for this energetic breed. Typically good eaters. Soft mushy foods could be avoided in order to keep beard clean and dry. Special water bowls called water holes will help to prevent wet soggy beards when drinking.
Training and Obedience: The wheaten is an energetic breed and can be trained in many dog sports, although as a true terrier he may have a willful stubborn streak which can test a trainers’ patience and special techniques may need to be employed to keep him focused. A very versatile breed, they can excel in a number of performance areas including obedience, agility, rally, dock diving, fast cat, barn hunt, herding and as therapy dogs. They will cuddle gladly with seniors and the soft fur is magic to the touch of aging fingers.
Activity: This breed is playful, lively, vigorous and fun loving. They are a great family pet, good with children and not quite as aggressively reactive around other dogs as some of the feistier terriers. Their energy level is generally high however they are able to settle and relax at home with family when all is quiet. They love to go for walks but always on leash, likes water, can swim, are not compulsive diggers or jumpers. Tolerate cats.
Temperament: a very happy and joyful breed, generally outgoing and comfortable with people. He has a spirited personality and is game for whatever comes his way. A confident show dog or family pet, this breed has it all and can do it all with consistent fair training and praise.