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 following section is taken.

Extract from the 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.