Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier - Breed and Grooming Tips

As its name implies, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is prized for its coat, which is soft, silky, with a gentle wave, and of warm wheaten color. Underneath, however, is a formidable dog that leaves no doubt as to his terrier origins. Square and medium-sized, he is happy, steady, self-confident and alert to his surroundings.

A Look Back

Known for more than 200 years in Ireland, the "Wheaten" shares common ancestry with the Kerry Blue and the Irish Terrier, but was not owned by the landed gentry. They were the poor man’s dog, an all-purpose farm dog, given to patrolling the borders of small farms, ridding them of vermin, herding sheep and hunting with his master.

Right Breed for You?

Wheatens tend to be less scrappy than other terriers but they are true terriers and will be more active than many other breeds, enjoying plenty of exercise every day. They relate well to children and can adapt to city, country, and suburban life. The Wheaten is single coated and sheds minimally, but needs regular grooming to keep its coat mat free.

Source:  American Kennel Club -


General: A Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier or the “Wheaten” requires a lot of grooming attention. Daily brushing is ideal, but most people do not have time to brush their dog daily and it becomes a weekly event. It is very common for a pet owner to keep the dog trimmed short, this is easier to maintain the coat and prevent tangles and skin problems. A Wheaten in a show coat or with a shorter trim should be groomer every 4 – 6 weeks to keep up with toe nail trimming, ear hair pulled and ears cleaned and sanitary trim. Wheaten’s are known for their soft silky hair with a slight wave and for the wheaten color they come in. Wheaten’s should have a single coat and does not shed very much so they are a good breed for people with allergies.

Brushing: Be sure to spray on the Aloe Hydrating spray or Aloe Silk Hair Restore at the beginning of the brush out to add moisture and silk proteins to the coat, this adds elasticity to the coat and helps keep the coat from breaking. If you find any tangles or matts, spray on the Detangling and Dematting Spray or the Quick Finish Styling Spray to help remove the tangles.

Eyes: Wheatens’s are prone to having eye tear stains with the fall pattern on the face. Tear Stain & Spot Remover should be used daily to help control the stains and discoloration under the eyes. Optisoothe Eye Wash should be used in the eyes on a regular basis. Facial Cleaners are also a great way to control staining and you can pick the scent you like best to wash the face daily or weekly depending on the needs of your dog.

Ears: Wheatens need to have the ear hair pulled each time they are groomed. Put a little Ear Powder inside the ear canal and pull the ear hair from the canal; follow with Ear Care and clean only as far as you can see. This will prevent the wax inside the ear canal from closing over and causing ear infections.

Bathing:  Weather you have a show Wheaten or a trimmed Wheaten they should be bathed and conditioned at least monthly to keep the coat in great shape. First bathe with Hypo- Allergenic Shampoo for a general dirt removal then target the specific need of the dog. Full coated dogs should use the Silky Show Shampoo and Silky Show Conditioner to add silk proteins to the coat and add elasticity to the coat and prevent breakage of the coat. Pets with a shorter trim that have a normal coat can pick from any of the fragrant shampoos types that they will smell for the days to come. Be sure to follow up with a conditioner like Luxury Remoisturizer to keep the coat in great shape.

Show dog tips: Quick Finish Styling Spray while drying the coat to help prevent breakage. Aloe Silk Hair Restore to keep a soft silky finish and prevent matting between grooming. Aloe Hydrating Spray when brushing the coat. Silky Show Shampoo and Silky Show Conditioner will add silk proteins and elasticity and a great shine to the coat

Paws: Paw Balm should be used weekly to keep paw pads soft and pliable. This makes the pads less likely to dry and crack.

Tools: A brush and a comb are basic essentials to keep your Wheaten in tip top shape. After brushing you need to check the dog over with a metal comb to be sure the coat is mat free. Your groomer may need to use a dematting tool to help remove the tangles, if the tangles are too bad shaving might be the best option. Clipping the nails every 4 weeks will help keep the quick at proper length.

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