St. Patrick’s Day Special – About the Irish Terrier Dog Breed

Irish Terrier Dog Breed

Irish Terrier Dog Breed

In celebration of the upcoming holiday, we have put together some great information on an Irish dog breed – The Irish Terrier.

The Irish Terrier dog breed, also known as the Irish Red Terrier, originated in southern Ireland. His origins are obscure and often debated, but he is definitely Irish. He used to come in black and tan, but now he is just red or wheaten – red being the preferred color, or wheaten with red shades. The Irish Terrier dog breed was very popular in England in the 1800s. He became very popular in the US in the 1920s and gained notoriety in World War I where he was used as a messenger and sentinel. But his popularity has since declined and today the Irish Terrier dog breed is relatively rare in the US as compared to other AKC dog breeds.

Terriers as a whole originated from hound dogs. Tenacious traits found in a few hounds were encouraged and bred into the brave and spirited terriers of today. The Irish Terrier dog breed is no less brave or spirited than any other terrier. He is not only a great hunter of small to medium-sized vermin, he is also an excellent guard dog. The Irish Terrier dog breed is known for his family loyalty. Also, as a working dog, he is non-tiring, enthusiastic, and fearless. And as a pet, he is playful at which his playfulness can be rather entertaining. If not working as a hunting dog, the Irish Terrier dog breed needs a good walk or rigorous play daily.

Although the Irish Terrier dog breed is a loyal family pet, he can be rather aloof and strong willed. He’s generally not needy for attention. He doesn’t care for strangers and may not get along well with other pets unless raised with them. Careful training is needed to overcome his stubborn nature. Positive reinforcement is highly recommended with this dog breed. If he is not encouraged in his training with treats, toys may work best as a reward due to his high prey drive. The Irish Terrier dog breed may also be inclined to dig and bark.

The Irish Terrier dog breed stands at about 18 inches tall and weighs about 25 to 27 pounds. In proportion to his size, the Irish Terrier dog breed has longer legs and a longer body than other terriers. He has a long and narrow head and small intense eyes which are dark hazel in color. His ears are v-shaped and folded forward. His tail is set high and about 1/4 of it is docked off. As previously stated, the Irish Terrier dog breed is generally red in color. He can also be reddish/golden, red/wheaten, or just wheaten. His coat is of medium length and wiry. The wiry coat of the Irish Terrier dog breed needs to be brushed 1-2 times per week and he needs scissor shaping every three to six months.

As compared to most purebred dog breeds, the hereditary health concerns of the Irish Terrier are relatively few. Trouble with urinary stones are a possibility, but even that is uncommon. Despite the general healthiness of the Irish Terrier dog breed, be cautious if purchasing from a breeder. Research the breeder thoroughly and make sure the puppies are bred in a healthy environment and not a puppy mill type environment. Ask for proof of health exams and evaluations and see if the breeder is a member of the Irish Terrier Club of America. A good breeder who breeds for the love of the dog breed will be a member of this club.

The Irish Terrier dog breed can have bad habits like digging, barking, and stubbornness, but he can make a great house pet. He is devoted to his family and fun to play with. He can be trained if trained and motivated properly. If introduced to other pets at a young age, he can do well with other dogs and even cats. General lack of health issues is another plus with this great Irish dog breed.

(Some of the information for this dog breed came from “The New Encyclopedia of the Dog” by R. Bruce Fogle.)

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One Response to “St. Patrick’s Day Special – About the Irish Terrier Dog Breed”

  1. Jessie Says:

    Irish breed and he’s a red-head too

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