Soft Coated Golden

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
fast facts

About Soft Coated Golden

16-18 inches
35-45 lb
12-14 years
Not Applicable
Best Suited For
active singles or families with kids and other pets, first-time dog owners, those looking for a companion animal
playful, loving, easy-going, friendly, stubborn
Comparable Breeds
Golden Retriever, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Soft Coated Golden Basics

The Soft Coated Golden is a fun and loving mix of the always happy Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the friendly, sweet-natured Golden Retriever. Without question an ideal family dog, this playful pooch gets along with kids of all ages and other animals so is a perfect fit for a multi-pet family. The terrier side of this dog can be a bit stubborn and is known to be overly-exuberant when displaying affection – often jumping up on strangers and trying to lick faces – however this bubbly nature can be toned down a little with early training. The challenge with this people-loving dog is not that he wants to be involved in all family activities, but he doesn’t do well when left on his own for longer periods of time. Both parent breeds are known to suffer from separation anxiety that can result in destructive behaviors and this means that an ideal home for this pooch is one where a pet parent is at home.

The friendly, playful Soft Coated Golden brings the sweet-natured Golden Retriever together with the fun-loving Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.


The Soft Coated Golden is a Designer Dog which means he dates back no further than the 1980s or 1990s, when breeders first began crossing two or more popular pure-breds to produce a dog that was healthier, often non-shedding and sometimes smaller and gentler than many of the foundation breeds. With the Soft Coated Golden, his pure-bred parents include the Golden Retriever and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and in spite of he himself being a fairly “young” breed, his parents have some pretty serious roots. The Wheaten dates back over 200 years to Ireland where he was bred to be a jack-of-all-trades farm dog. From herding to hunting to guarding livestock, this feisty little dog did it all. Across the pond in Scotland, the Golden Retriever was being developed by hunters who were looking for a dog that was capable of hunting on both land and water and could bring back waterfowl with a gentle “mouth” meaning without damaging the bird. He also dates back almost 200 years, to the mid-18th century.


Because the American Kennel Club (AKC) is all about advocating for the standards and well-being of pure-bred dogs, the Soft Coated Golden doesn’t qualify to join their impressive roster. That said, both of his parent breeds are members in good standing. The spirited little Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier joined AKC’s “terrier” group in 1973 and is described as being friendly, happy and deeply devoted while the sweet-natured Golden Retriever has been a member of AKC’s “sporting” group since 1925 and is described as being friendly, intelligent and devoted. I’m thinking we have a very loving and loyal dog with the Soft Coated Golden!


Because your Soft Coated Golden is a highly active dog, he will need a top-quality kibble that is rich in nutrients and specifically designed for a pooch of his age, size and activity level. As this dog comes from two breeds that are known to experience joint issues as they age, it’s important that you establish an ideal weight and develop a feeding routine that supports this. Plan to feed your dog two to three smaller meals throughout the day rather than allow him to free-feed and always opt for a food that is high in proteins versus carbs and fillers that will cause him to feel hungry and make him want to eat more. Treats should also be a top quality and doled out as earned versus in excess.

The Soft Coated Golden brings the people-pleasing personality of the Golden Retriever together with the often-stubborn nature of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.


The Soft Coated Golden brings the people-pleasing personality of the Golden Retriever together with the often-stubborn nature of the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier for a dog that can be a handful to train if left until he is older. While both breeds are highly intelligent and quick to pick up on commands, the Terrier side may develop a mind of his own and require a little extra patience when it comes to being responsive. Because this dog can become restless and distracted during the training process, it’s important to keep him engaged and with Goldens being known to have a keen-to-please personality and love of praise, you would do well to incorporate a few activities into your training regimen that will allow him to show off his abilities and qualify for some treats and encouragement. Because the Wheaten side of this dog has been known to consider himself the alpha dog of his pack, taking a firm, consistent approach that establishes rules and expectations will be the way to go. Rewards-based training that offers lots of praise and treats for a job well done will keep this busy boy intrigued and responsive.


By the time he has reached maturity, your Soft Coated Golden will weigh somewhere between 35 and 45 pounds. This weight will vary depending on your dog’s gender as well as which of the heavier Golden Retriever or lighter Wheaten Terrier DNA dominates.


The Soft Coated Golden a super playful and affectionate dog that displays the friendly, sweet-natured personalities of his parent breeds He does well with children of any age as well as smaller animals and other dogs which makes him a great family dog however if not properly trained, he does have a tendency to jump up when excited which can become a nuisance behavior. The terrier side of this dog can often consider himself the alpha dog of the pack, so leadership needs to be established early on through his training. Because he feels he is an important member of the family and wants to be involved in all activities there is the potential that he will not do well when left on his own. Both parent breeds are known to suffer from separation anxiety if left on their own for longer periods and this, coupled with a need for mental stimulation means the ideal home for this dog is one where there is at least one family member at home during the day.

Common Health Problems

Because of his Designer Dog status, your Soft Coated Golden is likely to be healthier than either of his pure-bred parents. This type of cross-breed was developed specifically to cancel out many of the health issues that can plague the foundation breeds, so you will likely enjoy a happy, healthy dog for a long time. That said, it’s always important to understand what your new pup could potentially inherit down the line and with the Soft Coated Golden, that can include certain cancers from the Golden Retriever as well as joint issues including hip dysplasia from both breeds. The terrier side of this dog can bring concerns related to his kidneys (renal dysplasia) and skin conditions including allergies that can result in infections as well as growths and tumors. Although this may sound like a lot to take on, it’s quite possible that your Soft Coated Golden won’t see a sick day in his life.

Life Expectancy

Your medium-sized Soft Coated Golden is going to be quite an active dog and as long as he receives regular exercise, a diet designed for his age, size and energy level as well as annual check-ups with your vet to keep his health on track, you can expect he will live a long, healthy life of between 12 and 14 years.

Exercise Requirements

The Soft Coated Golden is the offspring of two very active breeds of dog and he will require regular daily exercise that should at minimum, include a good long walk (or two). Because this dog excels at agility and has a keen-to-please personality, you should consider adding agility activity to his exercise regimen – like catching a ball or Frisbee and returning it. Goldens love acknowledgement for performing tasks and this is sure to become his favorite part of the day if you throw in the odd treat as a reward. Additionally, with this dog being so social, an off-leash park where he can interact with other dogs and run off some energy is another great way to supplement to his daily routine. Both parent breeds of this dog are known to love swimming, so a local lake, pond or pool would be a welcome change on a hot day. Because of his high energy level, this pooch can become bored, restless and destructive so don’t skip this important daily need.

The Soft Coated Golden considers himself an important part of the family.

Recognized Clubs

Also known as the Soft Coated Golden Retriever and the Golden Wheatie, the Soft Coated Golden’s Designer Dog status means he will never qualify to join the American Kennel Club’s purebred registry however he is recognized by some of the lesser known clubs including the Dog Registry of America, Inc. (DRA), the Designer Dogs Kennel Club (DDKC), the American Canine Hybrid Club (ACHC), Designer Breed Registry (DBR) and the International Designer Canine Registry (IDCR).


As his name implies, the Soft Coated Golden’s fur will have the look and coloring of a Golden (although he is typically born with a black coat that eventually fades to a rich Golden brown) but it will be thicker and much softer than his retriever counterpart. The upside is that unlike the heavy-shedding Golden, this dog leans more towards the low-shedding Wheaten Terrier and will be much easier to maintain. While daily brushing will still be needed to prevent his silky fur from becoming tangled and matted, you won’t be dealing with the copious amounts of loose hair and shedding that is common with the Golden. This boy’s ears will most certainly be floppy so plan to include a quick, weekly inspection and cleaning to prevent a build-up of dirt and bacteria that can result in smelly fungal infections that are common to dogs with long ears. And because this breed is almost certainly going to be a water-loving pooch, be sure that his inner ear is always properly dried to prevent a build-up of moisture.


The happy-go-lucky Soft Coated Golden pup is a playful, people-loving pooch from the onset and while he gets along with everyone, obedience training and socialization is still important to achieving a great family dog. Why socialization when he already knows how to play nice with other animals and loves kids? Because he is known to become overly exuberant and jump all over people, trying to lick their faces – cute when he’s small but not so much when he becomes bigger. So, allowing him to experience new sights, sounds and smells in a controlled environment where he can be taught to contain his excitement, is important. Because this dog can also be a bit head-strong and the terrier in him will always lead to him becoming easily distracted, plan to begin all training while he is still very young and willing to listen. This pooch comes from two breeds that are known to experience joint issues later in life so be sure that his playtime and exercise sessions are gentle and don’t over-tax tiny limbs – injures now can present as serious issues as he ages.

Photo credits: Anna Hoychuk/Shutterstock; Merrimon Crawford/Shutterstock; Hide Inada/Shutterstock

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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