Irish Terrier


The Irish Terrier is probably one of the oldest terrier breeds in the world. For many hundreds of years, these dogs lived side by side with people, being a universal companion and assistant in various human endeavors. The ancestors involved in the formation of the breed may have been a black and tan terrier (now considered extinct) and a slightly larger wheaten-colored terrier.

Despite the long history of its existence, the Irish Terrier was presented as an independent breed only in 1875, at a dog show in Glasgow (Scotland), where he was recognized by Scottish and British dog breeders. The main progenitors, from whom many modern lines trace their ancestry, are two dogs – Erin and Kilney Boy.

In 1880, these dogs became the fourth most popular breed in Great Britain, and after 9 years, at the peak of their popularity, they got into a major scandal that affected many other breeds in the country. It happened in the following way. The English Kennel Club has issued requirements that all Irish Terriers have cropped ears. Moreover, what most of all angered the breeders and owners of dogs was the refusal to accept for official registration those individuals that did not manage to register with their ears cut off by a certain date. Public outrage reached such proportions that ear cropping was eventually banned, first for Irish Terriers and then for other breeds.

Interestingly, unlike many other breeds traditionally developing in England or Europe, the Irish Terrier was recognized in America almost at the same time as England, namely in 1881. This suggests that the English colonists tremendously appreciated these dogs, and took them with them, going to new places.

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Irish Terriers distinguished themselves during the First World War by delivering messages and first aid, as well as helping to track down the wounded. Many soldiers in their diaries and interviews for newspapers noted the fearlessness and intelligence of these animals.


The Irish Terrier is a strong, agile, slender dog of medium size, with a long neck and an athletic build. The limbs are of medium length, the ears are drooping, the muzzle is “with a beard”. The coat is hard, red. The color can be red and wheat.


The Irish Terrier breed has a cheerful, open and friendly character. Moreover, this manifests itself not only in the family circle, but also in relation to even strangers, to your friends who came to your house and whom the dog sees for the first time, to children, and in general – simply in relation to the surrounding world.

Kindness, responsiveness and playfulness, one might say, are the main distinguishing aspects of the personality of these dogs. However, do not think that this is a useless good-natured person who can only please others with his funny behavior, and is not suitable for any job. This is absolutely not the case.

If you live in a private sector, the dog will be an excellent watchdog for you, and you will definitely find out about the approach of danger or just strangers. Also, all small rodents like rats or moles will be mercilessly exterminated, the Irish Terrier knows a lot about such things. It runs in his blood.

On the one hand, their playful and good-natured nature is good, but on the other hand, with a lack of education and training, this can create certain problems for the owner. At least because the dog can simply run away from you while walking to explore the surrounding and such an interesting world. Moreover, this breed does not think at all about the consequences, as if in their minds there are absolutely no concepts regarding causal relationships.

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Of course, it would be strange to expect a deep knowledge of the law of karma from a dog, but many breeds realize that there are consequences from actions. But the Irish Terrier is not. And he needs to be taught this, sometimes for a long time.

This breed may not perceive other dogs very positively, and education will help here. The Irish Terrier needs physical activity, long walks, activity, play, otherwise his high energy level will not find an outlet, and his character can become destructive, which will directly affect the condition of your furniture, shoes and door frames.

Children are treated well, in this regard, problems arise extremely rarely. Usually, a dog is equally friendly with all family members, and equally perceives them as owners, without singling out someone specifically as the main one.


The Irish Terrier breed of dogs needs education and the formation of behavior, as their character can often simply ignore the wishes of the owner. Especially if the wishes of the owner run counter to the wishes of the dog itself.

It requires consistent, kind but firm leadership, but putting the dog on a chain, handling it rudely is highly discouraged. From this, the character will become timid, cowardly and indecisive, although initially the breed is not prone to such qualities.

In the process of training, try to build the learning process in such a way that it takes place in the active phase, as boring and inactive training will quickly become uninteresting to the dog.

Common diseases

The Irish Terrier breed is in good health, but here is a list of diseases that you may encounter:

  • dysplasia of the hip joint;
  • dysplasia of the elbow joint;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • von Willebrand disease;
  • thrombopathy;
  • eye problems.

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