The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is a pure bred dog originating from Ireland. The four coat varieties are: Traditional Irish, Heavy Irish, English, and American. These dogs have a single coat which sheds very little hair, so they can be more easily tolerated by people allergic to other breeds.
Puppies have dark coats of either red, brown, mahogany or white. Their muzzles and ears may be black or dark brown. The dark puppy coat gradually grows out to nearly white before maturing into a wheaten-coloured coat as they get older. The adult coat may contain black, white, or darker brown 'guard' hairs in addition to the lighter wheaten-coloured hair. If adults ever have skin injuries, the resulting hair growth will be the dark color of their puppy coat before it eventually grows out to the wheat color.
The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog, which ranges on average from 17 to 19 inches in height and about 30 to 45 pounds in weight. The breed has a square structure and is well built. Its hair does not shed like most dogs; like human hair and Poodle hair, it keeps growing; they do need trimming and should be brushed and combed once a day. They are very smart dogs, and are easy to train. They love people, and they rarely have aggression issues.
The Irish coat tends to be thinner and silkier than the American variety. The Irish coat has a devoted following in Ireland and Europe. Breeders of the pure Irish type believe this is the original working terrier coat. The coat is not thin – breeders of the Irish type consider the American heavy coat to be 'bouffant', not that of the original working terrier type. There are a few breeders of the Irish type in the US and Canada. In the AKC conformation show ring, the judges do not always accept the Irish type well. The Irish is well received in the UK and Europe. The 'Heavy Irish' coat is usually a result of cross breeding between coat types – American/English coat with an Irish type. The Irish coat still requires daily brushing to stay free of matted hair.
The Wheatens seen in Ireland today are of the same size, shape and coat texture as those seen and documented well over 100 years ago. Evidence of this can be seen from the famous artwork 'The Aran Fisherman's Drowned Child' by Frederic William Burton. The breed standards for the English, American and Irish Wheaten state a Wheaten must have a single, soft silky coat.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soft-coated_Wheaten_Terrier
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