Showsight Presents the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

IS THAT A SOFT COATED WHEATEN TERRIER?

by EMILY HOLDEN

A LITTLE HISTORY I have been asked this question many times during the past for- ty-nine years. Fortunately, it has always been in public parks or on walks and never in the show ring. My first Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier was wrong in every way. I bought him in 1969 and had great plans for sweep- ing the miscellaneous classes with my beautiful dog. After all, the newspaper ad promised a show quality pup, per- fect in every way, from fine old Irish stock. What he turned out to be was a walking, growling exception to every principle we hold dear in our breed’s description of type. While he won his first two shows, I still learned very quickly that he was not what I wanted to be showing. I feel very sorry for our new enthu- siasts who win big with their first dog, especially if it is professionally handled. They miss out on all the great learning experiences available to those of us who start with dogs that we are willing to admit are less than perfect. What really matters is that breeders and exhibitors actually have the desire to learn, and that they search out the best mentors; people who have bred consistent cor- rect type, those that have bred multiple winners, and who are good teachers. In 1969, we Wheaten folk were still feeling our way toward AKC recogni- tion and the development of a breed standard. In 1973, the year of AKC recognition, there were 33 entries at the Montgomery County Kennel Club show and the entries could easily have represented 15 different breeds. Abby’s

Cloverlane Connaught was one of the 1973 champions and is used as the example of the SCWT in the AKC Book of Dogs

CH Amaden’s Duke of Pearlcroft

CH Amaden’s Bugger Vance

280 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2018

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