Camacha Nevan owned by Rob and Monique Hubner


“We have a moral obligation to look after them to the best of our ability so that they can be handed down to our successors as they were originally developed.”   Maureen Holmes

It is very important to always breed to the standard. Below are examples of correct and incorrect points of the Irish Wheaten Terrier. The information in italics after the section of the standard explains the image and is not part of the official standard.

FCI Standard No. 40 Origin – Ireland

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 F.C.I.: Group 3 Terriers
Section 1 Large and medium sized Terriers
Without working trial.


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.

A hardy, active, short coupled dog, well built, giving the idea of strength. Not too leggy nor too low to the ground.

Below is a comparison of early wheatens to modern Irish Wheatens. Keep in mind that grooming styles have changed through the years and the early dogs were mostly ungroomed:

From left: Charlie Tim, Kingdom Leader, Cheerful Charlie

From left: Camacha Nevan, Gaelic Wheatens Dawn Rebel, Strongbows Conway Fintain, Feanaro Eireann Kylemore

Spirited and game. Good tempered. Most affectionate and loyal to his owners. Most intelligent. A trusty, faithful friend, defensive without aggression.

HEAD: In general powerful without being coarse. Long, in good proportion to the body. Hair same colour as on body.

Classic heads.

Skull: Flat and clean between ears, not too wide.
Stop: Defined

Nose: Black and well developed.
Muzzle: Foreface not longer than skull.
Jaws: Jaws strong and punishing.
Teeth: Teeth large, regular; scissor or level bite, (i.e. edge to edge) neither undershot nor overshot.
Cheeks: Bones not prominent.
Eyes: Dark, dark hazel, not too large, not prominent, well placed.

Below is an example of well placed eyes, not too large or prominent, and of a good, dark hazel colour. Next to the photo of eyes is a photo of hazel nuts. These rich, reddish brown shades are the generally accepted colours for the eyes of the Irish wheaten

Below is an example of a wheaten with incorrect yellow eyes and brown nose pigment. Yellow eyes are an eliminating fault.

Ears: 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.

Proper placement and size of ears is shown above on the classic heads. Also below:

Ear Shading
Deeper shading is allowed on the ear. Red shading is permitted

Below is an example of incorrect ear colour and dull, straight coat texture

NECK: Moderately long and strong but not throaty.

Neck is moderately long and strong but not throaty. Should blend smoothly into shoulders.

BODY: Compact. Not too long. Length from withers to base of tail approximately the same as from ground to withers.
Back: Strong and level with even top line.
Loins: Short, powerful.
Chest: Deep, ribs well sprung.

TAIL: 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.

A properly set on tail is carried above the horizon of the back but never over the back (at the 2/3 point). The perfect tail should also be shaped like a military saber with a gentle curve.

A curled tail distracts from the look of the wheaten and if the curl is tight, the tail is considered to be carried over the back, which is incorrect.

Shoulders: Fine, well laid back, muscular
Forelegs perfectly straight viewed from any angle. Good bone and muscle.

Well developed with powerful muscle.
Thighs: Strong and muscular.
Stifles: Bent.
Hocks: Well let down, turned neither in nor out. Hind dewclaws should be removed.

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

In the following photos, the wheatens are in excellent, natural poses showing correct angulation

Below are examples of over angulation along with incorrect coat types. Note that the first dog also has a curled tail.

Straight action fore and aft, going and coming. Elbows tucked in. Side view : free, light co-ordinated movement.

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.
Are seldom born with the correct colour or texture of 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 maturity.

A good clear wheaten of shades from light wheaten to a golden reddish hue.

Below are examples of correct coat type and colour that is typical in the mature coat of the Irish Wheaten Terrier. Adult Wheaten colour can range from a pale shade, like wheat flour (but NOT white) to a deep golden-reddish. The colour is always warm shades and never brown. Texture of the coat is silky with a characteristic sheen. It is never cottony or wooly and should not look dull or lifeless. There is a range from gently waving to loose curls. The coat is never kinky or straight.

Below are examples of puppy coat. Puppy coats can take up to two years to fully change. Typically, a puppy coat is very harsh, as shown below, until the wheaten is almost a year old. Gradually the coat changes and may become very white and possibly wooly or fluffy for the next year. By the time the puppy is between 18 months and up to as late as 3 years, the correct, beautiful Irish coat comes in. It is a late maturing coat and should not be expected to be correct until after 2.

Below is an older puppy whose harsh coat is beginning to show change.

Below is an example of coat colour in an adolescent Wheaten under two years. The harsh puppy coat generally turns very light. After 18 months to two years (sometimes longer) it changes into a beautiful warm wheaten colour.

Below are examples of excellent mature Irish coats on Honeyrag’s Pacific Ocean, Honeyrag’s Island Duke, Geijes Kilmore, Maroc Iniskea and Killeshin Grainne. The mature coat on an Irish wheaten is silky, with a beautiful shimmer. Colour ranges from the colour of wheat flour to ripe wheat in a field. There is a liveliness to the natural but subtle shading of the coat. An overall solid colouring might indicate that the coat has been dyed. Compare these lovely coats and colours to the incorrect coats below :

Below are examples of incorrect, dull, thick, wooly or cottony coat types:

SIZE (Height & Weight)
Height at the withers: Dogs 18-19 ins (46-48 cm).
Bitches somewhat less.
Weight: Dogs 40-45 lbs (18 – 20.5kg).
Bitches somewhat less.

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.
• Nose any colour other than black.
• Undershot mouth. Overshot mouth.
• Overall mature coat not clear wheaten colour.
• Nervousness. Viciousness.

• 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.

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

The following images are of a figurine of a wheaten handmade by Maureen Holmes:

Compare the figurine to Irish Ch. Briankeen JR: