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Irish Terrier Breed
A Spirited Dog Of Unrelenting Courage!

Irish Terrier breed The Irish Terrier breed, which was (not surprisingly) developed in Ireland, has very old roots, although its exact origins are unclear. However, speculation has it that the Black and Tan Terrier and the Wolfhound are among its ancestors.

This breed first appeared in the show ring in 1875, though dogs greatly resembling them have been seen much earlier in paintings of 17th century.

Originally, the Irish Terrier worked on the farm as a tenacious ratter and guardian of family and property. He also did service in World War 1 as a messenger and guard.

As a hunting companion, he is very capable of tracking and retrieving his quarry both over land and in water.

The Irish Terrier is distinctive in appearance by his red coat and ever alert expression. There is a similarity to the Fox Terrier in his bodily structure, but the Irish is taller and longer-legged.

Personality and Traits:

Both highly spirited and courageous, this dog is headstrong when in pursuit of its objectives. Their tenacity and boldness has earned them the moniker of Daredevils.

They are intelligent dogs and extremely loyal to their family, but they need strong leadership. If you acquire an Irish Terrier, it is very important to establish yourself as the "alpha" presence in his life so that there is no ambiguity about who's the pack leader!

Kind/Firmness and consistency is recommended in training this breed, as well as early socialization to balance their strong protective instincts, and temper potential dog-aggressive traits.

This Terrier is a spirited and gutsy Irish dog known for its playfulness and affection to humans.

Appearance, Coat And Care:

irish terrier art print irish terrier art print
Height: 18 inches
Weight: 25-27 lbs.
Color variations: Red, Red-Wheaten, Golden Red

The double coat is harsh, wiry and weatherproof. It does not require a lot of upkeep and shedding is minimal, but hand stripping of the coat is needed periodically to maintain its attractiveness and color. Owners can have this done professionally or try it themselves with this excellent Pet Stripping tool.

Activity Level:

The Irish Terrier breed is very active with lots of stamina. He likes to have long daily walks, but should not be taken out off-leash.

He will greatly enjoy the chance of a free run if a secure area is available, but be warned that he is a clever escape artist.

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Space Needs:

Can do well in either apartment or house, providing sufficient opportunity for exercise is available. A securely fenced yard is ideal.


This dog enjoys the games and high-spirited play of children. Does best with older children who are mature enough to handle a high energy dog.

As always, no matter what the breed, activities between pets and children should be supervised by an adult.


Although a very protective companion, the Irish Terrier would be too challenging and energetic for an owner or family that enjoys a more sedentary lifestyle.

dog reading book

Reading Resources:

Irish Terrier Breed book

Irish Terrier (World of Dogs)
Covers origins and early history, the breed standard, selection, advice for new owners, care and basic training, feeding and health care, champions, kennels and breeders. Full color pictures.

The Doggies Want Your WOOF!

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› Irish Terrier Breed



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