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Irish Terrier Information

Description

The Irish Terrier is one of the tallest of the terriers and is probably one of the oldest breeds. It has a distinctive beard, lively and alert eyes, bushy eyebrows and folded over triangular shaped ears. The short, fine hair on the ears is often slightly darker than the hair on the rest of the body. The Irish Terrier has long legs for its body size, and typically has a docked tail, although docking is no longer permitted in many areas. The coat is wiry and dense and is golden, wheaten or red in color. The body is somewhat square and sturdy, as is the head, but there is still the appearance of bundled energy in the dog. They have a flat and tapering head without much of a stop between the eyes and the muzzle.

Temperament

Like all terriers the Irish Terrier is a fun loving, playful pet that is fiercely protective of its owners. It is a wonderful family dog with older children and loves to romp and play. It is ferocious with other dogs and is not usually a good companion pet for cats or other non-canine pets. They tend to be very dominant and will often attack dogs much larger than they are. They love to please but can be stubborn and independent and tend to require a firm hand in training. The breed can be difficult to housetrain. The Irish Terrier will need to be kept in a fenced yard or on a leash as they will chase small animals, other dogs and even people. In addition they are known to dig and bark when bored or left alone, and are happiest when they are with their families at all times.

Grooming & Shedding

The wiry coat is relatively easy to keep with grooming on a regular basis. Unlike many breeds twice a week grooming is usually sufficient. They tend to shed very little hair and are often clipped for ease of care. As with the other terrier breeds the hair has a natural oil to keep it water resistant and hydrated. Avoid bathing the dog unless absolutely necessary to prevent stripping of the natural oils and dry, brittle hair.

History

Considered one of the original terriers, the Irish Terrier can be traced back in artwork to the 1700s. There is good evidence that the breed actually existed up to two thousand years, although it was likely less distinguishable from other terriers that were also bred during that time. The current breed of Irish Terrier originated in the County Cork in Ireland, where it was used as a hunting and watch dog.

Health Issues

  • Major Concerns: none
  • Minor Concerns: urolithiasis (crystals and stones in the urine)
  • Occasionally seen: none
  • Suggested tests: none

 

Characteristics

Height

18 inches (43 cm)

Weight

25-27 pounds (11-12 kg)

Lifespan

12-15 years

Exercise

High

Apartment

Yes

Families

Yes

Young Children

Yes - with socialization and training

Need exercise space

Yes

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