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While the exact history of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is unknown, it’s believed that for more than 200 years, the Irish developed the breed as an all-purpose farm dog, used for protecting people and property, herding livestock and hunting small vermin. Like most of the smaller, versatile, easy-to-keep dogs of the time, terriers were considered the working dogs of the working class, while the hounds and hunting dogs were reserved for the gentry. The Wheaten, in particular, with its unique combination of Terrier Group intelligence and Working Group steadiness, earned the moniker “Poor Man’s Wolfhound.” The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog probably shares a common ancestry with the Irish Terrier, the Kerry Blue Terrier and the shorter-legged Glen of Imaal Terrier, but its merry disposition and soft, silky coat likened to the color of ripening wheat set it apart. The first Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were brought to the United States in the 1940s, but it wasn’t until 1973 that the American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed. Today, you can find the Wheaten dog breed chasing just about anything that moves and showing its deep devotion to family with the exuberance of a puppy!

There’s even a special name for this unrestrained salutation: “The Wheaten Greetin!” It consists of a knock-you-down leap straight up from the floor to your face, followed by a bazillion doggie kisses. How does it do that? Well, the medium-size Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier dog was originally bred in Ireland to be a family companion and all-purpose farm dog, used to herd livestock and hunt small vermin. That means it’s lively, quick, sturdy and steady, able to chase small furry creatures as well as your average car with a youthful vigor it maintains well into old age. But that’s not all the Wheaten dog is known for. In addition to its famous “bounce,” the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier starts out as this soft, snuggly, rusty-brown pup (think your favorite teddy bear come to life) that turns into this spunky dog with a single silky coat of wheaten blond that gently waves in the wind!