Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are commonly characterized by the traits that contributed to their original use as a general farm dog, including being active, alert, and watchful. They have a unique ability to bounce or leap straight up off the floor as part of greeting behavior or when very excited. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are quite intelligent, and can compete in dog sports such as agility, flyball, tracking, and obedience as sport from which they receive physical and mental stimulation while bonding with their families. Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers can also bond with people as animal-assisted therapy dogs. Their reputation as a good family dog means they can be around children; however, as with all dogs, extremely close supervision is needed to prevent accidental injury to the child or dog and to avoid the dog's subsequent development of fear-based defensive aggression.
Created in Ireland sometime between the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is believed to be one of the oldest terrier breeds native to Ireland. This Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was created to be an all-purpose farm dog and companion. It proved to be good at a variety of farm related tasks, including herding, watching and guarding livestock, and hunting vermin. This breed's first official recognition was in 1937 by the Irish Kennel Club. The breed was introduced to the United States in 1946, and very slowly gained supporters including the creation of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of American in 1962 and recognition by the American Kennel Club in 1973.