The Irish Terrier

Irish Terriers, an Irish Terrier picture and finding an Irish Terrier for sale. For information on living with this breed, see Owning an Irish Terrier, a medium size dog, a true terrier dog. For breed details see Irish Terrier breed standard. See the Irish Terrier breeders for trustworthy people with Irish Terrier puppies for sale. See Irish Terrier clubs, or Irish Terrier rescue for more information.

The above quotation about the Irish Terrier, was made by Albert Payson Terhune (1872-1942), a renowned Rough Collie breeder and noted author of many absorbing dog books and magazine articles, such as the AKC Gazette.

The Irish Terrier is one of the oldest terriers, and certainly is the oldest to have come from Ireland. Documented evidence of its early existence, like most breeds however, is scant. There is some conjecture that, like the Welsh Terrier, the Irish came from a common ancestor, the now extinct English wirehaired Black and Tan Terrier. As evidence of this heritage, early litters of black and tan and brindled puppies were not unusual. Early litters came in a variety of sizes and colors too, but due to a concerted effort, all colors but red had been bred out of the breed by the end of the 19th century. It was first shown in Glasgow, Scotland 1875, as a recognized breed. By the 1880s, the Irish Terrier had become the fourth most popular breed in Britain. This popularity rapidly spread to the North American continent and in fact, the Westminster Kennel Club held classes for it in 1881. The Irish Terrier Club of America was founded in 1896 adopting for a while, the British breed standard. It was common practice in the 1880s to crop terrier ears, but in 1889 the Irish Terrier Club of England banned all cropping of ears, which initiated, after many debates, the eventual abolition of cropping, of all breeds in Britain. The breed was first registered in Canada in the years 1888-1889. In World War I, the breed distinguished itself for bravery, loyalty and pluck, earning many documented accolades, by serving as messenger and sentinel. Indeed, many a soldier owed his life to the bravery of the Irish Terrier. In America, the Irish Terrier ranked 13th of all breeds in the late 1920s. In spite of this promising record, the Irish Terrier did not remain one of the most popular breeds. Today, in fact, the Irish Terrier is rarely seen in the show ring with the exception of club specialty shows, where they are well attended even from far away countries.

Irish Terrier
Irish Terrier

As a multi purpose dog, the breed excels. They were sometimes called the Irish Sporting Dog, and for good reason. They are not gun shy, and may be trained to retrieve game birds from water, aided in no small part, by their webbed feet, soft mouth for said birds, and remarkable intelligence. In addition, this medium sized breed is unsurpassed as a friendly, affectionate, playful companion dog, adoring children and willing to protect those it loves, with undaunted courage. The breed is highly trainable, by means of positive motivation and short, fun-filled sessions, and it can excel in obedience trials to the highest levels and agility and other events. It is a hardy breed and does well in hot or cold climates, whether urban or rural settings. Daily exercise, in the form of a walk on leash, or run in a safe fenced area is essential as it has a dynamic mind and body. Although its wire, impermeable coat sheds water and dirt effectively, it still needs combing once or twice a week plus scissoring and clipping for pets, and stripping for show dogs, several times a year. Stripping is to be preferred to maintain the coat appearance and texture, as clipping will soften it and lighten the color. An Irish Terrier puppy might need some ear training as it begins to get its adult teeth. Patience is needed if you are searching for an Irish Terrier puppy as they are quite rare, but the national clubs usually know who is expecting litters, and can suggest some contacts. There is a clickable section worth reading called, Owning an Irish Terrier.

Height: Approximately 18 in. (46 cm) at the shoulder
Weight of Dog: 27 lb. (12.3 kg) – Show condition
Weight of Bitch: 25 lb. (11.4 kg) – Show condition
Playfulness: Very playful
With other dogs: Not good – a question of jealousy
Protection: Very good
Watchdog: Excellent
Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 years