Description & History

The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier comes from the west of Ireland and is believed by experts on Irish breeds to be the oldest terrier breed indigenous to Ireland.

Soft-coated Wheatens were seen on many farms and bred as working terriers. They were used for all types of work herding, guarding and controlling vermin. A breed that were also excellent hunters, they would get to grips with all forms of wildlife - rats, rabbits and badgers - and any other animal which presented a challenge.

In the early 1930's a member of the breed was noticed when it did particularly well in a field trial. This encouraged all those who were interested in Wheatens to bring them to the fore and make them a distinct breed.

The Wheaten was recognised by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937. Although the breed was introduced into Great Britain before the Second World War, it was not recognised by the British Kennel Club until 1943. It was exhibited at Crufts Dog Show for the first time in 1949.

The Soft-coated Wheatens of today, like their ancestors are full of energy, still have terrier instincts and are keen rabbiters.

Rosamund Walters.

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