Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – Coats:
History: When the breed was founded in Ireland in the 1930’s the Wheaten
fanciers felt it was important to have not only the texture of the coat (soft) but the colour
(Wheat) in the title of the breed name.
Many folk ask ‘what is the difference between an Irish and heavy coat’?
Genetics and Ancestry – In the early days of the breed, ocassionally a heavier coated puppy was
born in a litter. As the heavier coats matured more quickly, the breeders in Europe and
the USA favoured this coat and so the decription ‘heavy coat’ was used.
Therefore, for this purpose we will use the terms ‘Irish’ and ‘heavy coat’
The Wheaten coat is unique, it is a single coat of hair not fur. During the adolescent stage,
usually between the 9-24 months, the coat can be very pale and straighter but never
woolly and the texture should still be soft. It’s a difficult stage to manage because the coat
forms knots and matts, so it is important to groom daily. Please see our grooming
videos on combing and dematting
The coat matures
through different stages, not only in colour and texture but weight. After 24 months the
coat should have matured to be soft and silky, any shade of ripening wheat and which falls into
loose waves or curls.
Another important note is; do not be decieved by coat presentation, which can vary from country
to country. Sometimes the Wheaten coat is blow dried so it looks straigher but that doesn’t mean
the coat isn’t correct, see dog three from the USA which illustrates this.
Our gallery shows three Wheaten Terriers, recorded from puppy to maturity.
The first in the Gallery is Kiara, born in Ireland
Link to the Irish
(FCI) Breed Standard: (opens in a new page)
The Irish coat is a sparse and finer (ie less hairs per square inch) and it takes longer to mature.
puppies ISCWTs can have differing coat textures and colours. This varies from little or no coat
to a more abundant single coat. Their colour can be fawn, golden, or red with or without grey
or black tips to the coat and can be harsh or soft in texture. Only puppies are permitted to have
black shading on their beard.
the coat matures it becomes softer and the colour changes from a red hue to a shade of light
At twenty months Kiara's coat is maturing nicely and by four years her coat has wonderful sheen
and loose waves.