Fédération Cynologique Internationale

The Kennel Club

United Kennel Club

Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier


ORIGIN

:
FCI
Ireland.

PUBLISHED

:
FCI
27.01.2001.
KC
February 2009

UTILISATION

:
FCI
Wheaten Terriers were always used by small farmers to kill vermin or help with the work about the farm. They were used for a long time in the difficult job of hunting badgers and otters.

CLASSIFICATION

:
FCI
Group 3Terriers
Section 1Large and medium-sized Terriers
Without working trial

KC
Terrier
UKC
Terrier

BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY

:
FCI
The history of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has been somewhat obscured by its closeness to the other Irish Terrier breeds. The Wheaten is probably the oldest of the four breeds. Its existence for at least 200 years can be inferred from textual references to "soft-coated" dogs. The relation of the modern Irish Terrier to the Wheaten, though less well documented, appears to have been the result of deliberate breeding experiments. So the humble Wheaten probably has a fairly mixed ancestry. Despite the long history of the Wheaten, it wasn’t until 1937, that the Soft Coated Wheaten was officially recognised by the Irish Kennel Club. The breed has grown steadily in popularity since and is now well known world-wide.
UKC
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is an old breed, probably of over 200 years. It is one of the terriers of Ireland and most likely shares common ancestors with the Kerry Blue and Irish Terriers. As with many terriers, it was a dog of the common, working people and had to earn its keep. It was used to hunt otter and badger and as a guardian against intruders. As old as the breed is, it did not receive recognition as a separate breed until 1937. The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1978.

GENERAL APPEARANCE

:
FCI
A hardy, active, short coupled dog, well built, giving the idea of strength. Not too leggy nor too low to the ground.
KC
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.
UKC
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium size, well balanced, short-coupled dog with a distinctive single, flowing wheaten colored coat. He gives the appearance of a hardy, active terrier, neither leggy nor too low to the ground.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS

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

BEHAVIOUR / TEMPERAMENT

:
FCI
Spirited and game. Good tempered. Most affectionate and loyal to his owners. Most intelligent. A trusty, faithful friend, defensive without aggression.
KC
Good-tempered, spirited and game. Full of confidence and humour; a delightful, affectionate, intelligent companion.
UKC
The Wheaten is an even-tempered, intelligent, friendly dog. He is spirited and game, willing to defend but not aggressive. He does not exhibit the sharpness of temperament that is sought in some of the other terrier breeds.

HEAD

:
FCI
In general powerful without being coarse. Long, in good proportion to the body. Hair same colour as on body.
KC
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.
UKC
The well-balanced, long head is rectangular in appearance. It is powerful, with no suggestion of coarseness, and in proportion to the body. The skull and foreface are equal in length. The stop is defined.

CRANIAL REGION

:

Skull

:
FCI
Flat and clean between ears, not too wide.
UKC
Flat between the ears and not too wide.

Stop

:
FCI
Defined.

FACIAL REGION

:

Nose

:
FCI
Black and well developed.
UKC
The nose is large for the size of the dog and black in color.

Muzzle

:
FCI
Foreface not longer than skull.
KC
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.
UKC
The strong, powerful muzzle is well-filled-in below the eyes; the cheekbones are not prominent. The lips are tight and black. There is no suggestion of snipiness.

Jaws/Teeth

:
FCI
Jaws strong and punishing
Teeth large, regular; scissor or level bite (i.e.edge to edge) neither undershot nor overshot.
UKC
A full complement of strong, large, white teeth meet in a scissors or level bite.

Cheeks

:
FCI
Bones not prominent.

Eyes

:
FCI
Dark, dark hazel, not too large, not prominent, well placed.
KC
Clear, bright dark hazel. Medium size set under strong brow. Eye rims black.
UKC
Medium in size, set well apart and not prominent. Dark brown or hazel in color. Expression is alert and self-confident.

Ears

:
FCI
Small to medium, carried in front, level with skull. Dark shading on base of ear allowed and not uncommon, accompanied by a light wheaten coloured overlay. This is the only area of the dog where under-coat is allowed. "Rose" or "flying" ears are objectionable.
KC
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.
UKC
Ears are small to medium in size. They break level with the skull, dropping slightly forward. The inside edge of the ear lies next to the cheek, pointing to the ground rather than to the eye.

NECK

:
FCI
Moderately long and strong but not throaty.
KC
Moderately long, strong, muscular and slightly arched. Without throatiness. Gradually widening toward, and running cleanly into shoulders.
UKC
The medium length, clean, strong neck is carried proudly. It widens gradually, blending smoothly into the body.

BODY

:
FCI
Not too long. Length from withers to base of tail approximately the same as from ground to withers.
KC
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.
UKC
The body is strong and short coupled, with a deep chest and well-sprung, but not barrel-shaped, ribs. The back is short and broad, loin is short and powerful, and the topline is level. The Soft-Coated Wheaton Terrier gives the impression of being square in proportion.

Back

:
FCI
Strong and level with even top line.

Loin

:
FCI
Short, powerful.

Chest

:
FCI
Deep, ribs well sprung.

TAIL

:
FCI
Well set, not too thick. Carried gaily but never over the back. The tail is docked so that two thirds of its original length remains assuming it is in proportion to the dog. An undocked tail is permitted.
KC
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.
UKC
Set on high and not too thick, generally docked to two-thirds of its original length.

LIMBS

:

FOREQUARTERS

:
KC
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.
UKC
The shoulder blades are well laid back and cleanly muscled.

Shoulder

:
FCI
Fine, well laid back, muscular.

FORELEGS

:
UKC
Perfectly straight with good bone and muscle.

Forearm

:
FCI
Perfectly straight viewed from any angle. Good bone and muscle.

FEET

:
KC
Strong, and compact, turned neither in nor out. Good depth of pad. Toenails black.
UKC
Small and compact. Dark nails are preferred but other colors are acceptable.

Forefeet

:
FCI
Small, not spreading. Toenails preferably black but varying dark colours allowed.

Hind feet

:
FCI
See Forefeet.

HINDQUARTERS

:
FCI
Well developed with powerful muscle.
KC
Thighs strong and muscular. Hindlegs well developed with powerful muscle and well bent stifles. Hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out.
UKC
The hindquarters are well muscled.

Thigh

:
FCI
Strong and muscular.

Stifle

:
FCI
Bent.

HIND LEGS

:
UKC
The hind legs are well developed with powerful muscles. The stifles are well bent; turning neither in nor out. The hocks are well let down. When viewed from behind, the rear pasterns are parallel to each other. Dewclaws should be removed.

Hock

:
FCI
Well let down, turned neither in nor out. Hind dewclaws should be removed.

GAIT / MOVEMENT

:
FCI
Straight action fore and aft, going and coming. Elbows tucked in. Side view free, light co-ordinated movement.
KC
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.
UKC
Typical gait is free, graceful and lively, accompanied by good reach in the front and a strong drive behind. Leg action is straight in front and rear and the elbows are held neatly to the body.

COAT

:

HAIR

:
FCI

A single coated dog. Texture soft and silky to feel and not harsh. Young dogs excluded from this. Trimming permitted.
Trimmed dogs: Coat cut close at neck, chest and skull, and left especially long over eyes and under jaw. Whiskers encouraged. Profuse feathering on legs. Body coat trimmed to follow the outline of the dog but not sculpted. Tail trimmed close and neatly tapered.
Untrimmed dogs: The coat at its longest not to exceed five inches (12,7 cm). Soft, wavy or loosely curled with the sheen of silk. Under no circumstances should the coat be "fluffed out" like a Poodle or an Old English Sheepdog. Dogs shown in this condition should be heavily penalised as they give a wrong impression of type and breed. Special attention is drawn to puppy coat development. Pups are seldom born with the correct coat of maturity, care must be taken when assessing this point. They go through several changes of colour and texture before developing the mature adult coat. This usually occurs between 18 months and 2½ years.
Pups: Are seldom born with the correct colour or texture coat. They come reddish, greyish and sometimes clear wheaten. The masks are generally black. Sometimes there is a black streak down the centre back or black tips to the body coat. These dark markings clear away with growth.
KC
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.
UKC
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier coat is a distinguishing characteristic of the breed, one that sets it apart from all other Terriers. An abundant single coat covers the entire body, including the legs and head. The coat on the head falls forward, shading the eyes. There may be evidence of undercoat on the ears, but never on any other part of the body. The soft, silky coat has a gentle wave. In both the puppies (under one year of age) and adolescents (under two years of age), the mature soft, wavy coat is generally not yet evident. The properly presented Wheaten shows the neat Terrier outline, but the coat must be long enough to flow when the dog is in motion. The coat must never be clipped or plucked. Any sharp contrasts or stylizations are discouraged. Any dog that is overly trimmed or sculpted is to be removed from consideration for class placement. The coat on the head is blended to present a rectangular outline. The eyes should be obvious, but not fully exposed. Ear fringe should be removed, but not down to the ear leather. Sufficient coat must remain on the skull, cheeks, neck and tail to balance the proper length of body coat.

COLOUR

:
FCI
A good clear wheaten of shades from light wheaten to a golden reddish hue.
KC
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.
UKC
Any shade of clear wheaten is acceptable, from pale to golden red. (Occasional red, white or black guard hairs may be found on close examination). Puppies frequently have a red or gray cast, a black mask, and black tipping on the body coat. These markings clear with age.

SIZE

:
KC
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.
UKC
Height at the withers for males is between 18 and 19 inches, for females, somewhat less. Males 40-45 pounds; females proportionally less.

Height at withers

:
FCI

Dogs 18-19 inches (46-48 cm).
Bitches somewhat less.

Weight

:
FCI

Dogs 40-45 lbs (18- 20, 5 kg).
Bitches somewhat less.

FAULTS

:
FCI

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.
  • Nervousness. Viciousness.
  • Nose any colour other than black.
  • Undershot mouth. Overshot mouth.
  • Overall mature coat not clear wheaten colour.
KC
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.
UKC
Color: Mature coat not a clear wheaten.

SERIOUS FAULTS

:
UKC

Characteristics: Nervous or aggressive temperament.
Teeth: Undershot bite. Overshot bite.
Nose: Any nose color other than black.
Ears: Rose, or fly away ears.
Coat: Any of the following coat textures in a mature dog: Woolly, harsh, crisp, cottony, curly, stand away. In addition, a straight coat in adults.

DISQUALIFYING FAULTS

:
FCI

  • Aggressive or overly shy.
  • Yellow eyes.
  • Dull, thick, woolly or cottony textured hair.
  • White coat. Brown coat.
Dogs carrying any of the above eliminating faults should never be bred from.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
UKC

(An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.) White or brown color.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid. Viciousness or extreme shyness. Yellow eyes. Albinism.
Eyes: Yellow eyes.


Anatomical Features of the dog

N.B.:

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