The Irish Terrier is a strong medium-sized dog breed from Ireland. It is somewhat longer than it is tall and has a long, flat head with a bearded muzzle, long whiskers, small, dark brown eyes, bushy eyebrows, and V-shaped ears. The ears fold toward the opposite outside corners of the eyes and have shorter, darker hairs than the rest of the body. The thick, wiry coat has a soft undercoat and comes in a variety of colours such as solid red, wheaten, golden red, and red wheaten.
Although the exact origin of the Irish Terrier is unknown, it is thought to be a descendant of the tan and black terrier-type dogs of Britain. It was used to hunt den animals such as water rats and otter. It was also used as a retriever and wartime messenger. This breed was officially recognised by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in the year 1985. Apart from being famous in North America, It can also be found in South Africa, Australia, and Europe.
The Irish Terrier is known to be energetic, courageous, intelligent, and playful. It is also loyal to the owner and affectionate with family members. This dog is always alert and on guard, willing to confront anything that threatens its owner's home. It is also aggressive toward dogs of the same sex and can fight to the point of injuring itself or other dogs if challenged. It can take on dogs much bigger than itself without thinking about the consequences.
With its extraordinary speed, grace, and endurance, the Irish Terrier is good in sports and agility. Its soft mouth and love for water make it a competitive hunting dog, capable of retrieving game birds both on land and from water.
Training and Exercise
To make sure that the Irish Terrier develops good behaviour and gets along well with other pets, you should train and socialise it properly from an early age. If you would like to learn about the best dog training techniques, it is advisable to ask for professional assistance from your local dog trainer.
Since the Irish Terrier is an active and playful dog, it needs plenty of physical and mental exercise to stay in perfect shape and be productive. Make sure that you walk, jog, run, or bike with the dog regularly, especially in the evenings after coming from work.
This dog is generally healthy and has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. However, it is prone to minor health problems such as cataracts, Von Willebrand's disease, and hypothyroidism. To make sure that the dog is healthy and safe from unknown diseases, it is important to visit your veterinarian for regular health clearances and vaccinations.
Although the Irish Terrier and young children are great playmates, they should be supervised whenever they are together to prevent unnecessary injuries. And since it does not do well with strange dogs, make sure that it is on leash and under control when around other dogs.
Being a clever escape artist with a strong desire to look for adventure, this dog should be kept in a properly fenced yard or compound. You may need a high fence to prevent the dog from jumping over. The fence line and wires should also sink into the ground to thwart digging.
The Irish Terrier's coat does not shed easily, making it easy to groom and maintain. Brush regularly with a fine comb or stiff bristle brush to get rid of dead hair and shampoo only when necessary. Also, brush the teeth and trim the nails regularly.