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Glen Of Imaal Terrier
An Irish Treasure!

Glen Of Imaal dog The Glen of Imaal Terrier originated in Ireland's county Wicklow and was named after a glen in that region. Not much detail is known about their development, but it believed they joined the ranks of the dog world in the 1700s. Today the gene pool is not very large which can it more time consuming for those wishing to obtain one.

Glens were used on farms as ratters and to hunt foxes and badgers. On other occasions, they were pitted against other dogs in fights.

Another unique service provided by the Glen, was working a dog wheel to turn the meat on a kitchen spit. His short-legged profile made him just right for the job.

The Glen of Imaal is a very attractive and confident little dog. His somewhat shaggy look gives him a mischievous expression.

Personality and Traits

Glen of Imaal Terrier is an intelligent dog with the expected courage of the terriers. However, unlike many small dogs, he is not a barker - at least not without very good reason, which makes him a good watchdog.

He is a very social dog and a good family protector. While being both agile and playful outside, he is more of a snoozer inside the home.

Glens are responsive to their owners and should be obedience trained because they have a bit of stubborn streak. They can also be aggressive toward other dogs, so socialization in this area is wise.

On the positive side, this confident dog is strong and very flexible and enjoys success in agility competition, as well as conformation and earth dog sports. The best approach to training a Glen is with kindness and consistency, mixed with playful interruptions.

Appearance, Coat and Care

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Height: 14 inches
Weight: 34-36 lbs.
Color variations: Wheaten, Blue or Brindle in all shades.

The coat is of medium length and harsh with a soft undercoat. It rarely gets matted if it is maintained with regular combing and brushing about twice a week.

Hand plucking is recommended every six months. Selective trimming around the ears, paws, beard will maintain a more neat appearance. Also, regular removal of hair growth in the ear canal is needed to prevent infections.

While shedding is minimal with this breed, this means that brushing is more important to remove dead hair to keep the coat healthy.


Glens are generally considered to be quite a robust little dogs that, with good care, can live up to seventeen years, although the norm would be more around thirteen or fourteen.

The main health conditions that can affect the breed include hip dysplasia and inherited PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) which can lead to blindness. Since PRA is acquired genetically, there is a test to assist breeders in determining if the conditions for this disease exists in dog they might be considering for breeding.

Activity Level

The Glen of Imaal Terrier does not have a high exercise requirement. He is quite adaptable to a moderate level of activity, though he is playful and does have good stamina.

Space Needs

This breed can live quite happily in either a house or apartment providing he is taken out for walks and fresh air.


Excellent and gentle companion for children, and very willing to join in their games. Even so, since children and dogs are unpredictable, activities between them are always best supervised by an adult.


Loyal and devoted companion for the elderly or more sedentary family. However, some exercise and outside walks should be provided.

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Book Recommendation

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Glen of Imaal Terrier: Special Rare-Breed Edition

A complete owner guide that includes information about the breed's ancestry, character and standard, proper selection, feeding, training, health care and behavior. Also advice about preparing for the puppy, housetraining and potential puppy problems. Many full color photos.

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