The history of the wheaten terrier is a bit baffling, as he has been rumored to exist since long before the days of breeding records. Survivors of the sunken Spanish Armada, over two hundred years ago, was said to have dragged themselves ashore in Ireland to the greetings of soft, wheat colored, and squarely shaped dogs. The mingling of the ancient wheaten terrier to the Kerry Blue terrier is also brought to question, but the enthusiasts and experts of the American Kennel Club are quite content to set any bloodline rumors to the side. The wheaten terrier, as well as the Kerry Blue, is as respectable, desirable, noble, and beautiful today as he was rumored to be so long ago.
He is of a medium and square build, with a soft, wavy texture to his wheat colored coat. Life is as joyous to the wheaten terrier as it is for the rest of his spunky family tree, and his agile discrimination and willing attitude are also among his strongest assets. He offers the ultimate intermingling of terrier tenacity and vigor with the proud, steady ethic of a work dog. Thought to have been bread for this purpose, as well as for protecting his masters from both vermin and predators, it makes perfect sense that he is so beloved and trusted now with the protection of his human family.
He is expected to be alert and responsive when being handled in the show ring, but also to betray the calm and sensible aspect which defines his personality so distinctly from his fellow terriers. Because his breeding and evolutions are unknown, experts are forced to piece together pieces of history, folklore, and the consistency of his earliest recorded standards in order to determine what is expected of the wheaten terrier today. The American Kennel Club strongly assumes that his forefathers, and the curators of this breed, would be most proud and thrilled with his well respected status.
The wheaten terrier has been recognized by the Irish Kennel Club since 1937, and was inducted into the breed listings of the American Kennel Club on May 1st, 1973. The first breeding stock of this breed introduced to the US was imported by a Massachusetts woman by the name of Lydia Vogel in the 1940’s. The real movement and circulation of this breed in America, however, did not pick up steam until the Irish families of O’Conner and Arnold imported their breeding stock in the latter part of the 1950’s.
As strong as he is graceful, and as happy as he is content, the wheaten terrier can easily and readily adjust to nearly any living conditions. His ideal situation, however, would find him romping and scouting through rough fields and country sides, in search of new game and in constant awareness of potential dangers to his adopted human family.