Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier FCI Standard
The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is an ancient all-purpose working breed that has served poor Ireland farmers since time immemorial. They used this dog for virtually every task that it was capable of doing. It eradicated agricultural rodents, herded cattle, drove it from the farmer’s house to the market place, hunted rabbits, foxes and other small mammals and guarded farmer’s homes at night. The breed was so renowned that it was used in development of several other dogs including the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier. It was kept almost exclusively for working so its owners weren’t much interested in its formal recognition or participation in Dog Shows. That’s way it entered official records only in 1937 when it was registered with the Irish Kennel Club.
The first members of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier arrived to America in 1946 but it was only in 1973 when it gained a complete recognition of the American Kennel Club (AKC). The United Kennel Club (UKC) followed the AKC and approved the breed in 1978. The breed deserved its popularity greatly due to its excellent personality but it still remains rather obscure to the general public. This nimble and tenacious dog takes part with great success in obedience and agility trials. Despite its primarily working background essentially all Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are now playing a role of a nice and loving family dog.
The breed is praised for its sociability and it tends to perceive all unfamiliar people as potential friends. In fact it usually has a nasty habit of greeting every guest in your house by jumping on him and trying to give him a kiss. The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is observant and wary enough to warn its owner about approach of a newcomer. Nonetheless it is commonly made out of excitation over perspective to acquire a new playmate and never out of some aggressive inclination. Of course, the breed is too affable and good-natured to make an acceptable guard dog.
The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is good with other dogs though with some exceptions. An issue with same-sex aggression happens rather frequently so it’s more reasonable to keep this dog only with dogs of the opposite sex. This breed expresses an outmost courage and persistence in a fight but it rarely acts as an aggressor. The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a well-developed hunting drive and is apt to treat almost every moving thing as a prey. That’s why it should never be off leash while being walked. Most specimens will tolerate a household cat, which it has known since its puppyhood, but some will chase and kill even a familiar cat at the earliest opportunity.
• renal dysplasia;
• stomach problems;
• Addison’s disease;
• skin problems;
• canine hip dysplasia;
• elbow dysplasia;
• eye problems;
• von Willebrand’s disease.
To reduce the amount of necessary maintenance its owner can visit a professional groomer every six to eight weeks. And even in this case the dog needs periodic brushing as well as nail trimming and teeth brushing. The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier sheds very lightly.
On the other side, the breed is notable for its stubborn streak so once it has made up its mind not to do something nothing can persuade it. At the same time it’s considered to be one of the most trainable among all Terriers and well-trained specimens usually compete with reasonable success in obedience and agility events.
The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier will happily accompany you in jogging or cycling and it’s tough enough for a lengthy hiking trip. This breed suits perfectly for an apartment dweller provided its need for physical activity is rightly satisfied. Be mindful that a bored and frustrated dog can become a pretty destructive, unruly, nervous and overexcited creature.