Glen of Imaal Terrier

Type: Terrier

Height: 12.5 - 14 inches (maximum).

Weight: Males & Females: 34-36 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 14 years.

Litter Size: Unknown

Country of Origin: Ireland

Activity: Low - Medium. However, they are always ready to get up and go.

Watch-dog: Good

Guard-dog: Good


Description: The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a scrappy, medium sized terrier who is mainly used for working. Known as a tough little Irish dog with great strength, this breed is longer than it is tall and has a double coat of medium length, which should give the appearance of great substance for their size. They also have a very distinctive head with half-pricked ears, along with bowed forequarters with turned out feet. Glen of Imaal Terriers have a "shaggy dog" appearance to them, and only require a quick brush to maintain this look. They are sturdy, stoic and brave. Glen of Imaal Terriers are known for being feisty dogs in the past, but have been bred down to have an affectionate and kind disposition. They are loyal, happy, and good with children and most other pets, but are not willing to back down from a fight. It is said that the only way to release the Glen of Imaal Terrier from his grip is to "choke" him out of it, pressing the fingers on the throat until he releases. They are excellent ratters and were once mainly used to hunt badger, a vicious underground creature. Glen of Imaal Terriers are a hardy, spirited dog that is gentle and docile toward its family. Less energetic than other terriers and highly trainable, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is ideal for someone longing for a loving companion who can be useful around the house as well.

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Colors: Brindle, blue, or wheaten, all shades of.

Coat: Breed is double coated, harsh-textured, weather-resistant outer coat is a of medium length. The undercoat is soft.

Temperament: Has great courage when called upon and can be very feisty with badgers, foxes and vermin, but otherwise the Glen of Imaal Terrier is fairly calm and gentle. They are rather docile terriers, more calm than regular terriers. They are affectionate and loyal to their owners, and do well with children. Because of a

With Children: Yes, good with children.

With Pets: Yes, good with other dogs, but sometimes they will chase cats or other pets that resemble vermin. They have a high prey drive.

Special Skills: Known for intelligence and the ability to learn quickly, as well as a family pet.

Care and Training: Regular brushing, strip the coat once or twice a year. Regularly plucking of hair in the ear canals. Daily exercise. Glen of Imaal Terriers love to swim, but are not the best swimmers. Will respond to positive praising. They make excellence candidates for obedience training. They are known to be very intelligent and to learn quickly.

Learning Rate: High. Obedience - Medium. Glen of Imaal Terriers can be stubborn and independent, but are quite efficient at being trained. Problem Solving - High.

Living Environment: A fenced yard is a must, they are also diggers and should be supervised in the yard. They are also rather adaptable. The best owner for this breed would be an active or sedentary family living in the city, suburbs or rural countryside.

Health Issues: Glen of Imaal Terriers have a tendency to overeat. Other health concerns include skin defects, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and allergies.

History: The Glen of Imaal Terrier comes from the Wicklow County of Ireland, in the Glen of Imaal region, from whence their name came. They are cousins to the Kerry Blue Terrier, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier and the Irish Terrier. Originally bred to rid the home and farm of vermin, Glen of Imaal Terriers made use hunting fox and badger as well, as they are able to go to ground and draw or pull out badgers from their holes. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the breed was used by soldiers who were given land in the Glen of Imaal. Glen of Imaal Terriers were known not only to pull out their prey from underground, but to attack and fight to the death as well. This breed was also often used in one-on-one Glen of Imaal Terrier fights, pitting one against the other and making bets. During their excitement in the ring, Bull Terriers and other Bulldogs may have added to the mix of the Glen of Imaal Terrier. This breed also served as a "hamster" for turnspits in old Ireland. Meat handlers used these dogs to run in a wheel, much like the wheel of a hamster, for hours. These wheels would turn the spit on which meat was held, cooking the meat thoroughly and evenly. Their strong hindquarters and long bodies made them excellent for this job. The Glen of Imaal Terrier has been around for along time, but simply went unrecognized until as recently as the 1930s. Many believe the breed did not come about until then, but in reality it has been in Ireland for centuries. There are many Irish tales describing how the Glen of Imaal Terrier came about, including stories of half snake half human people, that the breed was half Celtic hound and half mongoose, and even that the breed came to be known by inhabiting an army camp and fitting in to the cannons perfectly. In the 1950s enthusiasts Paddy Brennan and Willie Kane created a bigger reputation for the little dog, resulting in more popularity. Today the breed is still rare in the U.S. They are tough little Irish dogs, known for being a hard working terrier.

First Registered by the AKC: October 2004

AKC Group: Terrier

Class: Terrier

Registries: FCI, UKC, AKC, TKC, NZKC, KC (UK), ANKC