General Appearance
Medium-sized, compact, upstanding terrier well covered with a soft, wheaten-coloured, natural coat that falls in loose curls or waves. An active, short-coupled dog, strong and well built; well balanced in structure and movement, not exaggerated in any way. Standing four square with head and tail up, giving the appearance of a happy dog, full of character.


A natural terrier with strong sporting instincts, hardy and of strong constitution.


Good-tempered, spirited and game. Full of confidence and humour; a delightful, affectionate, intelligent companion.


Head and Skull
Flat, moderately long and profusely covered with coat which falls forward over the eyes. Skull of medium width but not coarse. Stop well defined, cheek bones not prominent. Distance from eye to nose not longer, and preferably shorter, than the distance from the eyes to occiput. Jaws strong and punishing, muzzle square with no suggestion of snipiness. Topline of muzzle absolutely straight and parallel with skull. Nose black and large for size of dog. Head in general powerful, without being coarse.


Clear, bright dark hazel. Medium size set under strong brow. Eye rims black.


V-shaped and folded at level of skull. Forward edge drops down slightly forward to lie closely along cheek, back edge standing slightly away from side of head. Leathers thin, small to medium in size, covered with coat and fringe.


Lips tight and black. Teeth large. Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Moderately long, strong, muscular and slightly arched. Without throatiness. Gradually widening toward, and running cleanly into shoulders.


Shoulders long, well laid back, and sloping inwards from points to withers. Not loose, fine, but muscular. Viewed from any angle, the forelegs perfectly straight. Good bone and muscle. Pasterns strong and springy. Chest moderately wide.


Compact, with powerful short loins. Back strong and level. Ribs well sprung without roundness, providing deep chest with relatively short coupling. Length of back from point of withers to base of tail should measure about the same as, or slightly less than, from point of withers to ground.


Thighs strong and muscular. Hindlegs well developed with powerful muscle and well bent stifles. Hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out.


Strong, and compact, turned neither in nor out. Good depth of pad. Toenails black.


Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Set on high, carried gaily but never over back. Not curled and not too thick.
Undocked: Set on high, carried gaily but never over back, not curled and not too thick. Tip may curve forward in a gentle arc. Length in overall balance with the rest of dog.


Free, graceful and lively. Well coordinated with long, low strides. Reach in front and good drive behind; straight action fore and aft. Head and tail carried high, the backline remaining level.


Soft and silky. Neither woolly nor wiry. Loosely waved or curly, but if curly, curls large, light and loose. The coat should not stand off but flow and fall naturally. Coat abundant all over body and especially profuse on head and legs. Length of leg coat sufficient to give good balance to the length of coat on head and body. There is no seasonal change in the length or texture of the mature coat. Over-trimming or stylising should be penalised. For show purposes the coat may be tidied to present a neat outline. Coat colour and texture do not stabilize until about 24 months and should be given some latitude in young dogs.


A good clear wheaten. A shade of ripening wheat. A white coat and red coat equally objectionable. Dark shading on ears not untypical. Often a slight fluctuation in the intensity of colour in mature coat, but overall effect should be light wheaten. Dark overall colour and the even darker markings often present in the immature coat, should clear by about 18-24 months.


Height: dogs: approximately 46-49 cms (18-191/2 ins) measured at the withers; bitches slightly less.


Weight: dogs approximately 16-20.5 kgs (35-45 lbs); bitches somewhat less.


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

The Kennel Club Breed Standard page  click here
Last change to Standard: February 2009


Character: A natural terrier with strong sporting instincts, hardy and strong constitution. A good watch dog, barking to announce the presence of a visitor. He jumps and kisses to express his affection and delight.


Temperament: Good-tempered, spirited and game. Full of confidence and humour. A delightful, affectionate and intelligent companion. 
Loves to help with gardening!!


Training and Exercise: The Wheaten is energetic and quick to learn and often stubborn. He is boisterous and extrovert, requiring patience and persistence in training. He is anxious to please his master and needs a constant, firm but loving approach to training.


An adult needs regular exercise of at least 30 minutes twice a day, however a Wheaten NEVER tires and will take as much exercise as you can give him. He loves to play with you and LOVES toys to play with. 


It must be remembered that puppies need less exercise with little and often on soft ground being best practice. Too much exercise can do lasting damage to growing joints!

Coat: The breed has two types of coat, Irish and Heavy. The Irish coat is sparser and as a puppy can be quite harsh, however through maturity this softens. The heavy coat looks mature much sooner than the Irish coat. Both need daily combing through puppy stage and both have coat changes through to maturity, attracting tangles if not combed.


The coat is a non-shedding, which has its advantages and often people with dog allergies can tolerate a SCWT. But this is not a given! As the coat is non-shedding it needs to be combed regularly in order to remove the old hair and prevent tangles.


 Generally this breed is a healthy breed, but it will only stay that way if we look after it and we do that by breeding responsibly and regular health testing.

AMARICY tests eyes, hips and also have regular blood tests.


What we are looking for:

 Eye Testing: Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). This is not a problem in SCWT’s but each puppy needs to be tested in order to eradicate the condition early if there are signs within the breed.

Hip Dysplasia: This is generally not a problem in Wheatens, but again if we test for it, issues can be discovered and dealt with early on.

Blood Testing: Renal Dysplasia (RD) is a specific kidney disease which manifests as a congenital abnormality of the kidney, resulting in degenerative changes and kidney failure. There is evidence that RD has existed in the SCWT, but there seems to be fewer cases most recently. Regular monitoring is essential.

Protein losing enteropathy (PLE) and protein losing nephrophy (PLN) are serious health problems that have been identified in Wheaten Terriers. PLE effects the gut and PLN effects the kidneys. The symptoms of these illness’s can mimic RD and Addison’s. It is prudent to state that a SMALL number of SCWT’s have been diagnosed with, or are suspected of having had, PLE and PLN in the UK. Early diagnosis of either of the problems means that, in some cases, it can be managed by diet and medication.