The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is generally considered to be a fairly healthy, hardy and stoic breed of dog. The fact that the average lifespan of a Wheaten Terrier is 13 to 14 years, bears this out. However, like most breeds, there are some diseases which can affect the breed.

Some of these diseases are hereditary, whilst others are not proven to be and can be common to dogs regardless of which breed they are.

The Club considers it is important to provide advice to all Wheaten Terrier owners on matters of health, and this section aims to provide information on the diseases we know can affect Wheaten Terriers. We aim, with the help of our Members, to monitor any incidents of these diseases and developments of them within the breed.

The Club wants to ensure that our Members consider all aspects of soundness, good health and temperament when breeding, to ensure Wheaten Terriers continue to be a strong and healthy breed both now, and in the future. We include this commitment as part of our Club’s Code of Ethics, from which the relevant section is shown further down on this page.

SCWT Health Notice Board

The information included in the SCWT Club of GB Health Notice Board is provided to give you some general advice if you are at all concerned about the well-being of your Wheaten. All information provided is current at the time of publication. A copy of the Health Notice Board can be obtained from the health team. To request this, please email them using the following link – Health Team

The Wheaten is generally a healthy dog with very few hereditary health problems. However, from time-to-time concerns may arise.



There have recently been some enquiries about the effect of anaesthetics on Wheatens, as some people, who may be new to the breed, had heard that they needed to take special care. Although this was true in the past, with the advent of modern anaesthetics there is no more risk to Wheatens than there is to any other breed. For further reassurance talk to your vet about it when booking your dog in for any procedure involving anaesthesia.

Breed Health & Conservation Plan

The Kennel Club, with input from the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Club’s Health Team, have published the SCWT Breed Health and Conservation Plan (2020).

A copy of this document can be downloaded from the following link – SCWT Breed Health Conservation Plan 2020

Extract from the SCWT Club of GB Code of Ethics


18. I will make every effort to keep informed of any problems within the Breed with regard to soundness, temperament, hereditary defects, etc.

The Committee for its part, will inform the membership of any developments in respect of the above via the Health Notice Board of the Bulletin, as soon as the information is to hand.


19. I will inform the Committee of any serious problems that I have with my dog’s health, particularly where the Veterinary diagnosis indicates a disease of potentially genetic origin.

The Committee for its part will offer advice and support and, where there is a possibility that this disease is hereditary, will seek verification from the appropriate professional experts. I accept that the Health Secretary will, in the event of confirmation of a hereditary disease, provide clear dissemination of the information to the affected dog’s breeders and to the membership.


20. I will endeavour to take advantage of any scheme devised to test the dogs for any known serious health problems or hereditary defects and inform the Health Secretary of the results.


21. I agree to co-operate with any health directives and associated breeding recommendations made by the Club following advice from the relevant experts. (Refer to Code of Ethics section 28, points c, d, e, f & g for recommended health tests.)


22. In order to facilitate the keeping of full health records, I will inform the Secretary of the death of my Wheaten at whatever age.