The history of Irish Terriers dates back to hundreds of years, but the exact dates are not known. Some sources claim that Irish Terriers are related to black-and-tan terriers while the others state that they are related to the Irish Wolfhound. The first official presentation of the breed was in Glasgow dog show in 1875. As the name says the breed comes from Ireland.

The Irish Terriers have been used during wartimes as messengers, and they have earned themselves a nickname daredevil - as to indicate the courage of the breed. The old Irish manuscripts say that the Irish Terrier is poor man’s sentinel, farmer’s friend and gentleman’s favorite, as to point out the various qualities of this breed. The Irish Terrier was also a beloved breed of the famous writer Jack London.

General appearance and nature

The general appearance of the Irish Terrier shows speed, style and courage. It is a compact muscular dog.  The color is from red to wheaten, a small patch of white on the chest is permissible. The coat is harsh and wiry, not curly. The coat needs trimming at least twice a year, thanks to which the Irish does not shed and is therefore a very convenient breed. The eyes are dark and full of fire and animation, ears are V-shaped, tail is carried proudly up.The height is about 47-50 cm and the weight about 13-15 kg.

The Irish Terrier is a loyal devoted friend of the whole family, it is not a ‘one-man’ dog but rather a ‘one-family’ dog. The Irish is an active companion, always ready for action. He wants to be with the family, if you are watching TV, the Irish will be watching TV (preferably on the sofa), if you are sleeping, the Irish is sleeping (preferably on the bed of course!). 

The Irish Terriers are well trained and also good agility dogs but one has to bear in mind that this proud terrier wants to be a partner never a slave, which means that they do have own opinion, and definitely soft teaching methods should be used. The Irish are said to be the least stubborn of the terriers and that makes them quite easy to handle, however they can show their attitude towards other dogs (especially if we are talking about two males). 

The Irish Terriers are generally very friendly with children and are willing to take part in their games. Some of the representatives of this breed have proved to be great hunters and are used even nowadays as hunting dogs.

The breed is generally healthy and long living because it has never been overly popular and there has never been too extensive breeding. There are no special feeding requirements and as the breed is medium sized, the puppy growth stage also normally passes with no problems.
The Irish Terrier is suitable for both country or city living and he can deal well with a cold climate. The future owners have to take into account that the Irish Terrier is an active dog and therefore needs regular long walks and exercising daily.

For full breed standard and more information, please visit the following sites:

The Irish Kennel Club

Writer: Kairi-Liis Ustav