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 UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 7.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

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: breed mean score 11.6 (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia: score should be as low as possible ideally 0:0

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : No EBVs are currently available for this breed

DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)

  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Protein Losing Nephropathy (PLN)
  • Paroxysmal Dyskinesia (PIGN)

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening 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. 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
  • Lymphangiectasia (resulting in protein losing enteropathy)
  • Cancer: Mammary neoplasia
  • Perinuclear antineutrophilic cytoplasmic auto antibodies (pANCA)
  • Familial nephropathy (renal disease)
  • Kidney disease
  • Congenital Eye Disease

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

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