The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier The breed standard describes the ideal adult Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier (SCWT) - both in temperament and appearance. A quality breeder measures her/his dogs against the standard so that the dogs (s)he produces and future generations of the breed will match the Standard as close a possible.
General Appearance - The SCWT is a medium-sized, hardy, well balanced sporting terrier, square in outline. he is distinguished by his soft, silky, gently waving coat of warm wheaten color and his particularly steady disposition. The breed requires moderation in both structure and presentation, and any exaggerations are to be shunned. He should present the overall appearance of an alert and happy animal, graceful, strong and well coordinated.
Size, Proportion, Substance - A dog shall be 18 to 19 inches at the withers, the ideal being 18 1/2. A dog shall be 17 to 18 inches at the withers, the ideal being 17 1/2. Major Faults - Dogs under 18 inches or over 19 inches; bitches under 17 inches and over 18 inches. Any deviation must be penalized according to the degree of its severity. Square in outline. Hardy, well balanced. Dogs should weigh 35-40 pounds; bitches 30-35 pounds.
Head - Well balanced and in proportion to the body. Rectangular n appearance, moderately long. Powerful with no suggestion of coarseness.
Eyes - Dark reddish brown or brown, medium in size, slightly almond shaped and set fairly wide apart. Eye rims black. Major Fault - Anything approaching a yellow eye.
Ears - Small to medium in size, breaking level with the skull and dropping slightly forward, the inner edge of the ear lying next to the cheek and pointing to the ground rather than to the eye. A hound ear or a high breaking ear is not typical and should be severely penalized.
Skull - Flat and clean between the ears. Cheekbones not prominent. Defined stop.
Muzzle - Powerful and strong, well filled below the eyes. No suggestion of snippiness. Skull and foreface of equal length.
Nose - Black and large for size of the dog. Major Fault - Any nose color other than solid black.
Lips - Tight and black. Teeth large, clean and white; scissors or level bite. Major Fault - undershot or overshot.
Neck, Topline, Body - Neck medium in length, clean strong, not throaty. Carried proudly, it gradually widens, blending smoothly into the body. Back - strong and level. Body compact, relatively short coupled. Chest is deep. Ribs are well sprung, but without roundness. Tail is docked and well set on, carried gaily but never over the back.
Forequarters - Shoulders well laid back, clean and smooth; well knit. Forelegs straight and well boned. All dewclaws removed. Feet are round and compact with good depth of pad. Pads black. Nails dark.
Hindquarters - Hind legs well developed with well bent stifles turning neither in nor out; hocks well let down and parallel to each other. All dewclaws should be removed. The presence of dewclaws on the hind legs should be penalized. Feet are round and compact with good depth of pad. Pads black. Nails dark.
Coat - A distinguishing characteristic of the breed which sets the dog apart from all other terriers. An abundant single coat covering the entire body, legs and head; coat on the latter falls forward to shade the eyes. Texture soft and silky with a gently wave. in both puppies and adolescents, the mature wavy coat is generally not yet evident. Major Faults - Woolly, harsh, crisp or cottony, curly or stand-away coat; in the adult, a straight coat is also objectionable.
Presentation - For show purposes, the Wheaten is presented to show a terrier outline, but the coat must be of sufficient length to flow when the dog is in motion. The coat must never be clipped or plucked. Sharp contrasts or stylisation must be avoided. Head coat should be blended to present a rectangular outline. Eyes should be indicated but never fully exposed. Ears should be relieved of fringe but never taken down to the leather. Sufficient coat must be left on the skull, cheeks, neck and tail to balance the proper length of body coat. Dogs that are overly trimmed shall be severely penalized.
Color - Any shade of wheaten. Upon close examination, occasional red, white or black guard hairs may be found. however, the overall coloring must be clearly wheaten with no evidence of any other color except on the ears and muzzle where blue-gray shading is sometimes present. Major Fault - Any color save wheaten. Puppies and Adolescents - Puppies under a year may carry deeper coloring and occasional black tipping. The adolescent, under two years, is often quite light in color, but must never be white or carry gray other than on ears and muzzle. however, by two years of age, the proper wheaten color should be obvious.
Gait - Gait is free, graceful and lively with good reach in front and strong drive behind. Front and rear feet turn neither in nor out. Dogs who fail to keep their tails erect when moving should be severely penalized.
Temperament - The Wheaten is a happy, steady dog and shows himself with an air of self-confidence. His is alert and exhibits interest in his surroundings, exhibits less aggressiveness than is sometimes encouraged in other terriers. Major Fault - Timid or overly aggressive dogs.
Source: American Kennel Club
Approved February 12, 1983
Reformatted July 20, 1989