Meet the Loyal Irish Terrier- A True Family Dog

The Irish Terrier was a wonderful farm dog in Ireland, and it has become a favorite breed. These dogs are a nice size for a pet, and they are very trainable. They have been used as watchdogs, companions, and ratters.

Irish Terriers are medium in size, and they are known for their loyalty. With early socialization and training, these dogs make wonderful pets. They love to curl up and watch television with their families or go for long walks and play in the yard. These dogs are active and lively, and you will enjoy having one in your home.

Summary of the Irish Terrier

PersonalityIrish Terriers are intelligent, loyal, and playful
Size25 and 27 pounds
Life Expectancy12-16 years
Exercise RequirementsHigh Level Activity needed- running and multiple walks
Grooming RequirementsMinor shedding. Regular daily grooming and stripping a few times a year.
Good With Children?Yes, this breed loves children and makes a great companion
Health ChallengesNo major health issues. Some may develop Hyperkeratosis, Cystinuria, hip dysplasia, PRA, urolithiasis, Muscular Dystrophy, Obesity, or Skin Cancer.
Easy to Train?Wonderfully spirited dog that can be a challenge to raise and train

The Irish Terrier is a fearless dog, and it is courageous, loyal, and protective. These dogs need to be socialized and trained from puppy-hood. They are intelligent, and they respond well to training. However, you need to remember that they are terriers with a strong independent nature.

Irish Terriers are great watchdogs, and they will bark at noises. You need to train them because they have a tendency to bark too much. They are loyal and do well in families, but they do not like to be left alone for too much time. They will get bored and find ways to entertain themselves, including chewing up your things.

You need to give your Irish Terrier plenty of exercise. They love to go for long walks and play in the yard. You will need to keep this dog on a leash because it has strong chase instincts. It will chase small animals and cats, and its instincts are so strong that it will run into the street.

Irish Terriers are great with children, and they can get along with cats as long as they are raised together. They were bred to hunt rats, so you cannot trust them with smaller pets in the home.

They can get aggressive with other dogs, and they will fight with them. You will need to train this breed and make sure that you have control when other dogs are around.

You can have fun with this dog if you want to compete in agility or obedience. Irish Terriers also make great hunting dogs and show dogs. It can be hard to locate a breeder because they are not as widely bred.

Irish Terriers are medium in size, and they stand between 18 and 20 inches tall at the shoulder. They weigh between 25 and 27 pounds. They live between 12 and 16 years.

These dogs are nice dogs, but they have strong ratting instincts. They are also loving, independent, alert, and smart. These are some of their best qualities, but it makes them difficult at the same time. Training is a must with this breed.

The most important thing that you can do is socialize Irish Terriers right from the beginning. You can take your dog out on walks and stop to meet with the neighbors. You should also enroll in obedience training classes to make sure that you channel this dog’s energy and intelligence in a positive direction.

If you want this breed, you will need to locate a breeder. Because it is rare, you may have to put your name on a waiting list. All in all, these are great dogs if you have enough time for them.

Pet Highlights and Facts

Here are some highlights and facts about the Irish Terrier:

  • Irish Terriers are one of the oldest terrier breeds.
  • Irish Terriers are loyal companions and love their families.
  • The Irish Terrier breed makes a good watchdog, but may develop a barking habit.
  • Irish Terriers will dig and hunt small animals and rodents in your yard.
  • They need more than the average amount of exercise because they are very energetic.
  • Irish Terriers can be stubborn. You need to train them from a young age.
  • Irish Terriers should be socialized and trained from a very young age. They are wonderful dogs, but need training to set boundaries and let them know that you are in charge.
  • Irish Terriers do not always get along with other dogs. They will also fight other dogs, and they do not back down.
  • Irish Terriers should always be on a leash when they are outside because they will chase other animals. They have a very strong chase and hunt instinct.
  • Irish Terriers are between 18 and 20 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Irish Terriers weigh between 25 and 27 pounds.
  • This Terrier breed have a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years.

Irish Terriers Are Loyal And Playful – Great Family Dogs

Irish Terriers do well in homes with big yards. They love children and make great companions. They are fiercely loyal and protective, and they will bark. You can raise a cat with this breed, but they can be aggressive with other dogs, and they have strong instincts to hunt and kill small animals, especially rodents.

Make sure that you teach your Irish Terrier not to bark all the time. What might start as protection from strangers and intruders can quickly develop into incessant barking if you don’t take the time to teach your dog appropriate barking behavior.

You should not leave this breed alone throughout most of the day. It will become bored and find ways to entertain itself. They could chew up your belongings if they become bored from being left alone for too long. They also might start barking.

Irish Terriers are intelligent, loyal, and playful, and you will enjoy this breed as long as you have enough time to give it plenty of attention and take it on long walks.

Origins and History of Irish Terriers

The Irish Terrier is one of the oldest breeds of terriers. It is thought to have originated in Ireland and England, although its exact origins are unknown. It appeared at a dog show in Scotland in 1875, and two Irish Terriers were producing many champions by 1879.

The Irish Terrier became very popular throughout the 1880s. In 1889, the Irish Terrier Club passed a rule that all Irish Terriers born after this time must have uncropped ears.

This caused a huge controversy because most terriers had cropped ears. This change eventually led to all ear cropping being banned in Great Britain.

In 1881, the Irish Terrier made its first appearance at the Westminster Kennel Club show, and four years later, the first of this breed was registered with the American Kennel Club. This led to the formation of the Irish Terrier Club in America in 1896.

Irish Terriers were known for their bravery and loyalty, and they were used in World War I as sentinels and messengers. They were praised as being brave and also being loyal companions.

What is surprising is the decline in popularity of this breed over time. They are not seen often at dog shows, and they are difficult to find.

Breed Size

The Irish Terrier is a medium sized dog. It stands between 18 and 20 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 25 and 27 pounds when fully grown. They are a bit bigger than Welsh Terriers but have a similar body type. They are study and graceful, and they are well-balanced.


The Irish Terrier combines many great qualities because it is such a versatile dog. It was bred to be a hunter, a guard dog, and a companion, so it is intelligent, alert, and loyal.

These dogs are also bold and curious. This adds up to a wonderfully spirited dog that can be a challenge to raise.

It is important to train and socialize Irish Terriers from a young age to manage all of their quirky traits. They can be aggressive with other dogs, so it is really important that you teach them how to listen.

Their intelligence creates a need for mental stimulation, and you need to provide them with training and activities that keep their brains engaged.

The Irish Terrier is a great watchdog and will bark at strangers and intruders. However, they are friendly and like people, so they will warn you, but they won’t stop an intruder.

They do not choose one person in the family; rather, they love all family members.

When you see a litter of Irish Terriers, you should watch how they interact with each other. You want the one in the middle of the pack. You can see how they interact so that you can choose the personality type that will fit in best with your family.

It is very important to socialize your Irish Terrier from puppyhood. You should expose it to sounds, people, children, and other animals to make sure that it grows accustomed to them.

You should take the dog out for walks to meet strangers and enroll in obedience classes where it will have a chance to interact with other dogs.

Irish Terriers are wonderful dogs, and they have big personalities. They have a lot of energy and are very intelligent. They make great pets as long as you have the time to interact with them and allow them to exercise.

Health and Life Expectancy

Irish Terriers do not have a lot of common health problems, which makes them a pretty healthy breed. You should always make sure that you buy your dog from a responsible dog breeder who gets regular health screening done to make sure that they are breeding healthy animals.

In spite of this, there are some conditions that you should be aware of. Take a look at the following.


This condition causes the dog to get hardened, cracked footpads. It is rare in the United States, but a genetic test has recently been developed for this condition.


This condition is also uncommon, but it causes bladder stones, and you should ask your breeder about it.

Muscular Dystrophy:

This is also a rare condition, but it does affect some Irish Terriers. It affects the muscles, and it progresses over time. You will usually see symptoms early on, between one month and three months of age. It is a genetic disease, and it can lead to muscular atrophy.

Dental Disease:

Dental disease is common in dogs, and you need to brush your dog’s teeth to remove tartar and plaque buildup. Without preventative care, your dog can develop an infection that can lead to much more serious problems.


There are viral and bacterial infections such as rabies, parvo, and others that can be prevented with vaccinations. Make sure that you have a regular schedule to vaccinate your dog.


Obesity can cause much bigger problems and impact the joints, the back, and the heart. The best way to prevent obesity is to feed your dog a high-quality dog food, and do not share people’s food. If you give your dog treats, make sure that you limit it to a few times a day. Give your dog plenty of exercise to avoid obesity.


Cataracts cause blindness in older Irish Terriers. You will notice that the lenses of your dog’s eyes become cloudy. Most dogs have no trouble adjusting to this condition, and there may be surgical options to preserve or restore your dog’s sight.


This disease causes hairs to grow inside of the eyelid and they rub the surface of the eye. It can lead to corneal ulcers and chronic eye pain. There are treatment options, including removing the hairs completely.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):

This is a genetic illness where the dog’s eyes are preprogrammed to go blind. This condition does not cause pain, but there is no cure for it.

Degenerative Myelopathy:

This is a neurological condition that causes weakness and poor nerve function in the hind legs. Your dog will become more and more weak in these limbs and may eventually lose function completely. There is no cure, and you can test for this genetic condition.

Mast Cell Tumor:

This is an aggressive type of skin cancer that can be found in Irish Terriers. They can be removed surgically. Your dog can even be cured of this cancer by removing the tumor.

Hip Dysplasia:

Irish Terriers are less likely than other breeds to develop this condition, but it is a possibility.

The hip is a ball and socket joint, and when dogs develop this condition, the ball, which is the end of the femur, doesn’t fit into the socket, or the hip, properly. Instead of sliding back and forth smoothly, the ball and the socket rub against each other, which can lead to arthritis and loss of function of this joint.

Hip dysplasia is hereditary, and certain types of exercise and obesity can make it worse. You should make sure that your dog eats a balanced diet and gets exercise every day.

If your dog develops arthritis, glucosamine can help to reduce inflammation. You can get it from your vet or buy treats with glucosamine or chondroitin in them.

Dogs often begin to present symptoms of hip dysplasia early on, but it can appear later in life. The important thing is to know what to look for so that you will pick up on it at any age:

  • Decrease in activity
  • Decrease in range of motion in hind legs
  • Difficulty standing, jumping, climbing stairs, or running
  • Hind leg lameness
  • Bunny hop-like gait
  • Loss of thigh muscle mass
  • Excessive shoulder muscles to make up for hind end lack of function
  • Pain and discomfort
  • Stiffness


This condition leads to dry flaky skin that is itchy. Puppies are usually born with this skin condition. There are treatments that include special shampoos and creams, but there is no cure for this disease.


This condition occurs in the thyroid gland. It can lead to other conditions, such as hair loss, obesity, epilepsy, lethargy, and other skin related afflictions. It can be treated with diet and medication.

Life Expectancy:

The Irish Terrier breeds have a life expectancy of 12 to 16 years.

Irish Terrier Care

Irish Terrier Puppy

The Irish Terrier is a medium sized dog, but it has a lot of energy and it needs both exercise and mental stimulation. You need to take your dog for long vigorous walks and make sure that it gets at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.

It is important to keep your Irish Terrier on a leash because they have a strong chase instinct and will chase other animals. In addition, they can be aggressive with other dogs, so you should socialize them from an early age.

Obedience training will help with this personality quirk and give them the mental stimulation that they need.

As with most terriers, the Irish Terrier will dig, so you need to make sure that your yard is secure. Do not leave these dogs alone unsupervised for long periods of time or they will grow bored and dig and chew.

You should use positive training methods and be firm, but kind. These dogs respond well to praise because they love people.

Irish Terriers are lower maintenance than some other breeds, so you only need to brush them once or twice a week. They do have an undercoat, so you will need to strip them a few times a year as well.

You should feed your Irish Terrier a high-quality diet and brush its teeth a few times a week. They love swimming, so this is a good form of exercise for your dog. They also love long walks or hikes and playing in the yard. Anything you want to do will make your dog happy.

Irish Terriers make great watchdogs and will bark at intruders or strangers, and this can become a habit where they bark all the time.

Make sure that you train your dog when to bark and when not to so that it doesn’t end up barking all the time and annoying the neighbors.

Irish Terriers are very energetic, and they are smart. You can sign up for agility training or obedience training, and your dog will love showing off the new skills it learns.

You can use a crate to train your puppy and help prevent chewing. Just be sure not to leave your dog in the crate for too many hours at a time. The crate can be left opened for the dog later on, and it will be a safe space where your dog likes to go and rest.

Irish Terriers make wonderful pets, but you must have the energy and the time to take care of them. They are smart, energetic, spunky, and loyal, and if you enjoy these traits, you will really enjoy having one as part of your family.


You should feed your Irish Terrier one to one and a half cups of high-quality dog food every day. The exact amount will depend on your dog’s age, stage of life, activity level, and body type. Dogs that are more active will need more food.

When you feed your dog a higher quality dog food, your dog will actually need less of it. The food you choose should be packed with important vitamins and minerals. Most dog food is specifically for dogs in different stages of life, including puppy, adult, and senior.

Do not feed your Irish Terrier people food as it can quickly make them overweight and lead to obesity. You can check your dog’s weight by feeling its ribs. You should be able to feel them, but not see them. If your dog is overweight, you should make a plan with your vet to correct it as this can lead to further health problems.

When you feed your Irish Terrier, measure the food and feed it twice a day. This is better than leaving food out for the dog to eat at will. You will notice if your dog loses its appetite, which can be a sign of another problem. You will also have more control over the dog’s diet, which is important for maintaining a healthy weight.

Coat and Grooming

Irish Terriers have dense wiry hair with a soft and furry undercoat. The hairs grow very close together and protect your dog’s skin. This double coat protects Irish Terriers from all forms of weather as well as other animals and conditions outdoors.

Irish Terriers can be many shades of red, including bright red, golden red, and wheaten. Sometimes they have a small white patch of hair on the chest, and puppies can be born with black hair that will fall out.

You need to brush your Irish Terrier a few times a week with a bristle brush. In addition, the undercoat requires stripping a few times a year. You can also clip the coat or go to a dog groomer, but this is an important part of caring for your dog.

Because they have a topcoat that is dense and wry, they do not shed much. They are somewhat hypoallergenic for this reason. They still have dander and can cause allergies, but they are less of an allergen than other breeds.

You should clip your Irish Terriers nails one or two times a month. If you can hear the nails on the floor, it is time to clip them. In addition, you need to brush their teeth a few times a week, and daily is best if you have time.

Some people train Irish Terriers ears to create the folded look, but this is not a necessity. If you wish to do this, you should ask your breeder or your vet about it. It is normally done by gluing and taping the ears at a young age, between four and eight months old.

Children and Other Pets

There is an old myth that leprechauns gave Irish Terriers to children as playmates because they have enough energy to keep up with a child and they are great companions and babysitters. They are still great with kids, but you should make sure that they are supervised and that your children know how to act appropriately with dogs.

Children need to learn not to grab or pull a dog’s tail, and they should leave the dog alone when it is sleeping or eating. It is a bad idea to leave a child under six years old alone with any dog.

Unfortunately, Irish Terriers can be aggressive toward other dogs. They need socialization from an early age to reduce this tendency. In addition, spaying and neutering will help with this. However, you should always be cautious because this is an instinct that is within most dogs of this breed.

Irish Terriers can get along with a cat, but they may chase it. They have a strong chase and hunt instinct, and they will run after anything that runs from them. In addition, they will not get along with rodents or other small pets because they were bred to kill those kinds of animals.

If they are with another dog, they may be more aggressive with cats and join together against them. You should be careful with other animals when you choose an Irish Terrier for your home.

Irish Terrier Rescue Groups

Irish Terriers make wonderful family pets, but some people do not educate themselves about the breed before bringing their new dog home. This can be a challenging dog to have if you aren’t prepared to train it. They are low maintenance in terms of grooming, but they need more socialization and obedience training than many other breeds. They also are very energetic and need a lot of stimulation.

Some people choose to give up their Irish Terriers, and they need new homes. There are different rescue groups that are dedicated to finding homes for any Irish Terrier in need.

Irish Terrier Club of America:

The Irish Terrier Club of America has many resources for this breed. They promote responsible ownership of Irish terriers, and they maintain breeding records. If you know of an Irish Terrier in need, you can contact them and they will help.

They have contacts throughout the United States, and they will locate and take in any Irish Terriers in need. They will try to get in touch with the breeder who originally bred the dog, and often the breeder will take responsibility for the dog. They evaluate all dogs that are located and make sure that they are placed in appropriate situations with loving families who are prepared to handle the challenges of adopting a rescue dog.

They have several requirements for adoptions of the rescue dogs, including the following:

  • A fence that is at least five, but preferably six feet high
  • No other animals in the home if there is no experience with terriers
  • No small children if there is no experience with terriers
  • Dog must live inside the home

They will also get involved in situations concerning Irish Terriers being produced in a puppy mill or sold in a pet store. These rescues are handled by individuals. Puppy mills are cruel and you should never buy your dog from one. They subject dogs to deplorable conditions and produce dogs that are unhealthy with dispositions toward a number of health conditions.

Irish Terrier Rescue Network (Facebook):

You can also find Irish Terrier Rescue networks on Facebook. They are dedicated to rescuing and finding loving forever homes for Irish Terriers that have been abandoned, neglected, abused, or are unwanted.

These organizations not only provide help for these dogs in need, but they have valuable resources to educate people and teach them how to properly care for these dogs. Buying a dog is a huge responsibility, and your dog should be a family member. Irish Terriers are well-suited to be a family companion, but they should never be left outside unattended for hours on end.

There are many other rescue groups that are not specific to Irish Terriers, but they may have one within their organization. If you are interested in this breed, you need to learn as much as you can about it. Not every breed is a good fit for every family, and Irish Terriers are no exception.

These dogs are wonderful, loyal, and smart, but they require attention and time outside. If you don’t have time to spend with your dog, you should not bring one home. Irish Terriers will become stressed out if they lack attention, so make sure that you have learned all you can about this breed and that it is the perfect fit for your family.



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