Are Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers Hypoallergenic Dogs?

Just because you have dog allergies doesn’t mean you can’t experience the joy of man’s best friend. Many dog breeds are considered allergy-proof or hypoallergenic.

One possible breed option is a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are playful and child-friendly dogs that can easily thrive in various environments. As a result, these dogs make excellent pets for all families. 

are soft coated wheaten terriers hypoallergenic
Are soft coated wheaten terriers hypoallergenic dogs?

If dog allergies concern you or your family, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier may be a breed worth considering. These fluffy angels have physical traits that reduce the risk of spreading allergens. 

Read on to learn more about the hypoallergenic qualities of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

Is a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Hypoallergenic?

For most people with dog allergies, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier should cause no or few allergic reactions. Each individual has different levels of sensitivity to allergens, but the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is considered to be hypoallergenic since the allergy risk is significantly lower than with other breeds.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are hypoallergenic due to the characteristics of their fur. Unlike many other dog breeds, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has one coat of hair. A single coat of hair is significantly different from multiple coats of thick fur.

A dog with a single coat of hair is quite similar to a human in that they don’t shed a large amount of hair each day. The hair is soft, shiny, and will continue to grow instead of falling off. The hair length on a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier may give them the appearance of a dog that’s bad for allergies, but the opposite is true.

Dog hair and fur only become an issue for allergies when the hair has left the dog’s body. Because a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier isn’t shedding as much hair, they aren’t releasing as many allergens or irritants into the environment, thus making it qualify as a hypoallergenic breed. 

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier at the park
A Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier standing at the park.

What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?

A dog is hypoallergenic when its physical characteristics reduce the risk of exposure to dog-related allergens. Technically speaking, no dog breed is entirely hypoallergenic.

A dog allergy is an allergy to substances in a dog’s body, such as dandruff, urine, and saliva. All dogs will carry these substances, regardless of whether they are classified as a hypoallergenic breed.

A dog breed is called hypoallergenic when the physical traits of the dog reduce the risk of allergens spreading into the environment. A major requirement for a hypoallergenic dog is a low rate of shedding. Allergens such as saliva or dandruff are often spread through loose pieces of fur that float in the air or cling to furniture, so a dog that doesn’t shed much is releasing fewer allergens than a dog that does shed. 

If you have a dog allergy, you can still have an allergic reaction to a hypoallergenic dog. This is especially true if you have a highly sensitive allergy to dogs, as even the smallest amount of dog dander or saliva could cause you to have symptoms.

Dog owners with mild allergies usually have no issues with hypoallergenic dogs and can use over-the-counter allergy medications to treat minor symptoms. To mitigate potential allergic reactions, wipe down surfaces regularly and keep your dog well-groomed. You may also want to avoid irritation from allergies by keeping your pet dog out of your bedroom, as the presence of allergens in the bedroom, where you spend all night sleeping and breathing the air, can intensify symptoms. 

dog owner combs pet
A dog owner gently brushes a dog’s hair.

Are All Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Not every Terrier breed is classified as hypoallergenic, but Terriers are still considered an optimal breed for dog owners who suffer from allergies.

Most Terrier breeds have low rates of shedding, meaning that they are less likely to spread dander, urine, and other allergens into an environment. 

If you want an allergy-friendly Terrier, look for Terrier subtypes with coarse hair that sheds minimally. In addition to the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, some examples of hypoallergenic Terriers include:

  • Kerry Blue Terriers
  • Yorkshire Terriers
  • Airedale Terriers
  • Dandie Dinmont Terriers
  • West Highland White Terriers
  • Irish Terriers
  • Scottish Terriers, and
  • Norwich Terriers.

However, some Terrier breeds are not ideal for dog allergies. For instance, the Boston Terrier is an adorable pup that can cause miserable conditions for an owner with allergies. Ironically, Boston Terriers are themselves allergy-prone, meaning they often have watery eyes and excess mucus and saliva.

As a result, a Boston Terrier’s allergy flare-up will cause an allergy flare-up for humans as well, spreading saliva-related allergens throughout the home. 

Yorkshire Terrier in the forest
Yorkshire Terrier is standing on a wood.

History of Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are Terriers with soft, wheat-colored hair. The breed originated in Ireland, where the dogs mostly worked on farms. Since Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were bred for general farm work, they are adept at activities such as herding, guarding livestock, and hunting small prey.

Today, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers occasionally serve as therapy animals

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers were first accepted as an official breed in 1937 by the Irish Kennel Club and were subsequently recognized in 1943 by the British Kennel Club and in 1973 by the American Kennel Club. 

The dogs are usually medium in size and are known for their silky, dark blond hair. Although the hair rarely sheds, it can grow quite long and requires regular grooming. 

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are extremely friendly, gentle with children, and easy to train. As hypoallergenic dogs with a playful and positive temperament, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are an excellent breed for a young family. 

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier open mouth
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier with an open mouth.

Final Thoughts

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are a great dog breed if you are looking for a hypoallergenic pet. Like many Terrier breeds, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier sheds very little hair, dramatically reducing the rate at which allergens such as dander and saliva are released into the air.

Although individuals can be allergic to many of the proteins found in a dog’s body, having a hypoallergenic dog will decrease your exposure to a dog’s excess bodily fluids and material. 

Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are kind, intelligent dogs who love to play. Since they are bred as farm dogs, these pups are eager to help and ready to learn new skills, making them a great hypoallergenic dog breed for children and people with special health needs.