Breed Group: Terrier
Height: Average of 18 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 25 to 27 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 16 years
The Irish Terrier lives life to the fullest. He adores people and can be good with the family kids. This fearless terrier is intelligent and stubborn, requiring consistent training and a tall fence. Full of beans, he wants to run, play and chase a few rodents and squirrels.
Did You Know the Irish Terrier is a Very People-Orientated Dog?
Intrepid and stylish, the Irish Terrier has been nicknamed the d’Artagnan of the show ring for his smooth confidence and winning ways. His other nickname is Daredevil, a nod to his utter contempt for danger.
With a spring in his step, a twinkle in his eye, and attitude in every fiber of his being, the Irish Terrier is a fiery a little dog. He may be almost exclusively a companion today, but that won’t stop him from behaving like the fearless, rat-killing farm dog he once was in his country of origin. The Irish Terrier is no laid-back lap dog. This is a dog who loves to run, chase and play, and woe to the squirrel who’s not a half-step faster than him. You’d better have a sense of humor and a lot of patience for dealing with the endless independence and antics of a dog whose stylish appearance is merely a veneer over the heart of a rogue.
The Irish Terrier usually weighs somewhere under 30 pounds, but carries himself like a much larger dog. He’s intelligent and fairly easy to train, as long as he’s trained with fairness, consistency, and a healthy appreciation for the little jokes some people might call “stubbornness.” Be particularly careful to nip any inappropriate barking in the bud.
Irish Terriers are very people-oriented dogs and they generally like children – at least those of their own family. Keep in mind, however, that adult supervision of playtime, along with training and socializing of the dog, is still required.
With other dogs and small furry creatures, it’s a very different story. The Irish was developed to work on the extinction of vermin, and he’s not likely to make a distinction when it comes to smaller pets, especially rodents. Cats may not fare well either.
While the show dogs require more careful attention to their coats, the grooming needs of pet Irish Terriers are modest: the rare bath, weekly combing or brushing to get rid of his dead hair, and the occasional professional or home clipping are all that’s required. A bonus: they shed very little.
Irish Terriers don’t do well if they’re left alone for long periods, and are not happy as backyard dogs. Let him live as a member of your family or you might find yourself with a lonely, bored, noisy, and destructive nuisance instead of a happy, well-behaved companion.
Other Quick Facts About the Irish Terrier
The Irish Terrier has a longer body and longer legs than other terriers.
The Irish Terrier has a long head with strong jaws; dark brown eyes full of fire and intelligence; small V-shaped ears that drop forward; and a docked tail. His dense, wiry coat hugs the body and can be bright red, golden red, red wheaten or wheaten.