Irish Terrier dog general features, temperament, health

Irish Terrier dog breed face

FCI #139, Origin: Ireland, Group 3.1 Terriers. Large and medium-sized Terriers.

Height: 16-18 in, Weight: 25-27 Ib

Grooming: High, Shedding: Low, Coat: Compact, weatherproof, wiry coat.

Color: Red or golden.

Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: High, Span of life: 12-15 years.

Breed: The history of this breed goes back in centuries. There is a reason to believe that a large Wheaten Terrier who once lived in County Cork (Ireland), is the ancestor of the Irish Terriers.

Breed in the modern sense, began to take it's shape in the middle of the XIX century. To this end, there were selected a small, compact dogs with a stiff red coat and with a fighting character. But even in 1870 white or gray terriers with too short or too long legs were met.

In 1879 in Dublin the first Irish Terrier Club was organized and there was approved the official description of the breed. This standard has reached our time almost unchanged. Since the Irish Terrier has never been an item of fashion,  up to nowadays he preserved his excellent natural qualities and disease resistance.

Irish Terrier dog breeds

Two wonderful dogs are deservedly called the ancestors of the breed. It is Killeni Boy from Dublin and champion Erin from Baltimore.

Breeding of these dogs resulted in a galaxy of great champions (Playboy, Poppy, Drolin, who became the mother of the famous champion Brikbet).

The first exhibition of Irish Terriers, organized for the purpose of official recognition of the breed, took place in Brighton (England) in 1876.

In 1889, the club canceled the docking of ears. In 1911 was founded the Association of Irish terriers. It's president was Marquis Bridelbey.

General Features: Large enough to impress the attacker, yet small enough to fit - in case of need - in a sports bag, he is dressed in rough to the touch, hard and shiny coat, resistant to water and dirt. Coat color must be bright red, wheat or gold. Ears are darker than the rest of the hair, the eyes are very dark. The nose of Irish Terrier is surrounded by a rigid unkempt beard, which, as it is not smooth, is always bristling. His limbs are straight and strong, standing under the optimum angles, covered with dense hair.He is the fastest of all the terriers. the whole appearance of Irish Terrier shows, that this dog is adapted to a rapid and prolonged running: sinewy legs, long muscular, flexible body, very deep chest, dry and high set neck.

Irish Terrier dog breeds photo

Temperament: Irish Terrier - with his temperament and exterior - is a typical representative of the group of terriers. A characteristic feature of his behavior - reckless courage, determination and disregard for danger. The ancestors of this breed were brave, persistent and daring. They boldly rushed toward danger, fought and died, but they never ran away from the battlefield.

The Irish Terrier is a harmonious combination of a pride and obedience, generosity and affection, courage and playfulness. The "soul" of Irish Terrier is characterized by love, grief, joy, anger, pride, shyness, sense of humor.

At first glance, the Irish Terrier is too simple. He haven't got the garish beauty and majesty of, let's say, the Afghan hound, but ... Look at him in the ring: a proud, self-confident dog, standing on the fingers, ready for a game or for a fight.

Who had ever owned the Irish terrier and reached the full understanding with him, will forever remain with this breed because this terrier is a pronounced personality.

Nobility and elegance of the Irish Terrier is shown in a long, dry head, neck, harmonious body. Slightly docked tail the dog is always carrying vertically and by this tale it is always possible to judge the Irish Terrier's health and mood.


By the expression of the muzzle, eyes, ears, by the whole pose of Irish Terrier one can judge the feelings and intentions of the dog. Being happy, the Irish Terrier is able to laugh, revealing his gleaming teeth in a smile. His facial expressions and well-modulated voice suggest a highly developed intelligence.

Irish Terrier should always be a little cocky and aggressive. Without such a typical behavior even anatomically very well-built Irish Terrier - is only a very beautiful dog, but not the "red devil" (a nickname he received at home in Ireland). Unfortunately, Irish Terriers have earned a reputation of a fearless fighters.  In essence they are the same fighters, like other terriers, but it seems that they take a fight as a great pleasure!

A characteristic feature of the Irish terrier is his exceptional ability to adapt to almost any circumstances. At home he is quiet and unobtrusive and can be so invisible, that it is easy to take him for some sort of a red carpet.  At the same time he will be happy to take part in the intrigues and even in the games, unusual for dogs - he quickly understand the meaning of those - this is typical for all Irish Terriers. However, this seemingly good-natured dog may, if necessary, be strict enough.

The Irish Terrier has an explosive, expansive type of choleric temperament, but there are sometimes, as in any other breed, overly nervous or vicious dogs, which should not be allowed into breeding.

Health problems: Irish Terriers are naturally a very healthy breed and they are not prone to any specific health disorders.

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