Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Lifestyle needs

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium sized, exuberant and fun-loving dog.  He is typically very sociable and like all terriers has a mind of his own.  He is a family dog who wants to join in with whatever is going on.  He is sturdy and active and responds well to obedience training.  Daily grooming of his longish, soft coat is necessary.

Inbreeding coefficient – COI

(should be as low as possible)

The breed average COI is 7.3%

See A Beginners Guide to COI.

Effective population size (EPS)  193.68

EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population (KC registered dogs).  It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservation biologists and below 50 puts a breed at grave risk.

Health and welfare problems due to conformation

(body shape and physical characteristics)
  • Long hair around the Wheaten’s face will cover his eyes if not kept thinned.

BVA/KC Health Schemes

  • Hip dysplasia (abnormality of the hip joints causing pain and disability): breed mean score 11.6 (ideally parents should be lower)

DNA tests available

  •  Degenerative myelopathy (CDRM) (degenerative disease of the spinal cord, causing hindquarter weakness, loss of feeling and paralysis)

Unofficial (breed club) schemes

  • Blood test for normal kidney function (breeders are recommended to blood test breeding stock and pups)

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents (or check the KC’s health test results finder). If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other diseases reported

(for which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
  • Atopy (hypersensitivity to pollens and other protein particles – causes intense itching)
  • Lymphangiectasia (resulting in protein losing enteropathy (inflammatory bowel disease, chronic diarrhoea)
  • Renal disease (protein losing enteropathy)
  • Cancer (various) (older dogs affected)
  • Addison’s disease (hypoadrenocorticism) (failure of the adrenal glands, causing listlessness, depression and weight loss) (rare in the UK)
  • Multiple ocular defects

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

List of Dog Breeds