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Irish Terrier

Irish Terrier Dog Breed Information

In a Sentence:

A spirited and energetic breed with a distinctive red coat and a loyal, affectionate personality.

Scientific Name:

Canis lupus familiaris.
Type:Mammal

Size:

Irish Terriers are considered a Medium-sized dog breed.
Weight:11-12 kg.
Height:46-48 cm (18-19 inches) at the shoulder.
Length:45-50 cm.

Lifespan:

The average lifespan of an Irish Terrier is 12-15 years

Behavior:

What type of dog is a Irish Terrier, how do they behave and what temperament do they have? See below for a detailed overview of their traits and personality.

Personality & Temperament

Irish Terriers are known for their lively, friendly and outgoing personalities. They are intelligent, curious and energetic dogs that love to explore and play. They are also known for their loyalty and affection towards their owners, making them great family pets.

Irish Terriers are highly independent and can be stubborn at times, which can make training a challenge. However, with patience, consistency and positive reinforcement, they can be trained to follow commands and behave appropriately.

These dogs have a strong prey drive and may chase after small animals, so it’s important to keep them on a leash or in a secure area when outside. They also have a protective nature and will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger.

Irish Terriers are known for their love of attention and will often seek out affection from their owners. They are also playful and enjoy games such as fetch and tug-of-war. They thrive on human interaction and can become bored and destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

Overall, Irish Terriers are lively, friendly and loyal dogs that make great companions for active families who can provide them with plenty of attention and exercise.

Intelligence

Irish Terriers are considered to be highly intelligent dogs. They are quick learners and have a good memory, which makes them easy to train. They are also known for their problem-solving skills and their ability to think independently. However, like all dogs, their intelligence can vary depending on their individual personality and training.

Trainability

Irish Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, which makes them relatively easy to train. However, they can be stubborn at times and require consistent and patient training. They respond well to positive reinforcement techniques such as treats, praise and playtime. Early socialization and obedience training are important for Irish Terriers to develop good behavior and manners. With proper training and socialization, Irish Terriers can become well-behaved and obedient companions.

Sleep

Irish Terriers typically sleep for 12-14 hours per day, but this can vary depending on their age, activity level and individual needs. Puppies and older dogs may require more sleep, while highly active dogs may need less. It’s important to provide your Irish Terrier with a comfortable and quiet sleeping area to ensure they get the rest they need.

Bark

Irish Terriers are known to be vocal dogs and have a tendency to bark. They are alert and protective of their family, so they may bark to alert their owners of any potential danger or strangers approaching. However, with proper training and socialization, excessive barking can be minimized.

Drool

Irish Terriers are not known to be heavy droolers. They may drool occasionally, but it is not a common trait of the breed.

Lick

Irish Terriers are moderate to heavy lickers. Like most dogs, they use licking as a way to communicate and show affection, but excessive licking can also be a sign of anxiety or boredom. It’s important to monitor your Irish Terrier’s licking behavior and address any underlying issues if necessary. Regular grooming and dental care can also help reduce excessive licking.

Jump

Irish Terriers are known for their athleticism and agility. They are capable of jumping up to 5 feet high, which is quite impressive for a medium-sized dog. However, it is important to note that excessive jumping can put a strain on their joints and should be avoided. Proper exercise and training can help maintain their physical and mental health.

Dig

Irish Terriers are known to be moderate diggers. They have a natural instinct to dig, which can be traced back to their history as hunting dogs. However, with proper training and exercise, this behavior can be managed. Providing them with a designated digging area or providing them with plenty of toys and activities can also help redirect their digging behavior.

Good Fit for You?

Is a Irish Terrier the right dog for you? Keep reading to find out how compatible you are with a Irish Terrier.

Exercise

Irish Terriers are an energetic and active breed that require a moderate to high amount of exercise. They should have at least one hour of exercise per day, which can include brisk walks, runs or playtime in a fenced yard. They also enjoy activities such as hiking, agility training and swimming. It is important to provide them with mental stimulation as well, such as training sessions and interactive toys. Overall, Irish Terriers need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

Space

Irish Terriers are medium-sized dogs that require a moderate amount of space. They are active and energetic dogs that need daily exercise and mental stimulation. A fenced yard or a safe outdoor area where they can run and play is ideal for them. However, they can adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough exercise and attention. It’s important to note that Irish Terriers are social dogs and thrive on human interaction, so they should not be left alone for long periods of time.

Apartment

Irish Terriers are not the best choice for apartment living as they are an active and energetic breed that requires a lot of exercise and space to run around. They also have a strong prey drive and may be prone to barking, which can be disruptive in an apartment setting. If you are looking for a dog to keep in an apartment, it is best to consider breeds that are smaller in size and have lower energy levels.

Left Alone

Irish Terriers are known to be loyal and affectionate dogs that love to be around their owners. However, they can tolerate being left alone for short periods of time if they are trained properly and provided with enough mental and physical stimulation. It is important to note that leaving any dog alone for extended periods of time can lead to separation anxiety and other behavioral issues. Therefore, it is recommended to gradually train your Irish Terrier to be comfortable with being alone and to provide them with toys, puzzles and other forms of entertainment to keep them occupied while you are away.

Kid/Family Friendly

Yes, Irish Terriers are generally good with kids and families. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence and playful nature, which makes them great companions for children. However, it’s important to note that like all dogs, Irish Terriers need to be socialized and trained properly to ensure they behave appropriately around children. Additionally, they have a high energy level and require regular exercise and mental stimulation to prevent destructive behavior.

Perfect Fit

An Irish Terrier would be a perfect fit for a household that is active and has a lot of time to devote to their pet. They are a high-energy breed that requires daily exercise and mental stimulation. They also thrive on human interaction and need to be a part of the family. Irish Terriers are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature, so they would do well in a home where they receive plenty of attention and affection. They are also intelligent and trainable, so a household that is willing to provide consistent training and socialization would be ideal. Additionally, Irish Terriers are known for their watchdog abilities, so a home that values security would benefit from having this breed as a pet.

Pros and Cons:

Irish Terriers are a spirited and loyal breed that make great companions for active owners. However, like any breed, there are both pros and cons to owning an Irish Terrier. Here are five of each:

ProsCons
1. Loyal and affectionate1. Can be stubborn and difficult to train
2. Energetic and playful2. Require lots of exercise and mental stimulation
3. Low-shedding coat3. Can be prone to health issues such as allergies and skin problems
4. Good watchdogs4. Can be aggressive towards other dogs and animals
5. Intelligent and trainable5. May have a high prey drive and chase small animals

Overall, Irish Terriers can make wonderful pets for the right owner who is willing to provide them with plenty of exercise, training and attention. However, they may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those who are not experienced with training and managing high-energy breeds.

Cost:

The cost of an Irish Terrier in Australia can vary depending on several factors such as the breeder, location and the dog’s age and pedigree. On average, you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $3,500 AUD for an Irish Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder. However, prices can go up to $5,000 AUD or more for a show-quality puppy with exceptional lineage. It’s important to do your research and find a reputable breeder who health tests their dogs and has a good reputation in the Irish Terrier community.

Breed History:

Irish Terriers were originally bred in Ireland during the 19th century. They were primarily bred for hunting small game, such as rats, foxes and rabbits. They were also used as watchdogs and guard dogs, as they are fiercely loyal and protective of their owners and their property.

Irish Terriers were developed by crossing various terrier breeds, including the Wirehaired Fox Terrier, the Black and Tan Terrier and the Old English Terrier. The goal was to create a dog that was tough, agile and fearless, with a keen sense of smell and excellent hunting instincts.

Over time, Irish Terriers became popular as family pets and show dogs, thanks to their friendly and outgoing personalities, as well as their distinctive appearance. They are now recognized as one of the oldest and most beloved terrier breeds in the world.

Current Usage

Irish Terriers are primarily kept as companion animals and family pets. However, they are also used in various working roles, including:

  1. Hunting: Irish Terriers were originally bred as hunting dogs and are still used for this purpose today. They are particularly skilled at hunting small game such as rats and rabbits.
  2. Therapy: Irish Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, which makes them well-suited for therapy work. They are often used in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare settings to provide emotional support to patients.
  3. Search and Rescue: Irish Terriers have a strong sense of smell and are often used in search and rescue operations. They can be trained to locate missing persons or detect drugs and explosives.
  4. Police and Military Work: Irish Terriers are sometimes used in police and military work, particularly in countries such as Ireland where they are considered a national symbol. They can be trained for tasks such as tracking, detection and patrol work.

Overall, while Irish Terriers are primarily kept as pets, they are versatile dogs that can excel in a variety of working roles.

Guard Dogs

Irish Terriers are known for their loyalty and protective nature, which makes them good watchdogs. They are alert and will bark to alert their owners of any potential danger. However, they are not typically considered to be good guard dogs as they are not large or intimidating enough to physically defend their owners or property. Additionally, they are friendly and affectionate with their families and may not be aggressive towards strangers unless they perceive a threat.

Where Are They Found?

Irish Terriers are popular in many countries around the world, but some of the countries where they are most popular include:

1. United States6. Sweden
2. United Kingdom7. Finland
3. Australia8. Norway
4. Canada9. Denmark
5. Germany10. Netherlands
These countries have active Irish Terrier clubs and breeders and the breed is recognized by their respective kennel clubs.

Climate

Irish Terriers are best suited to moderate climates. They can tolerate colder temperatures, but extreme heat can be challenging for them. It is important to provide them with adequate shade and water during hot weather. Additionally, they should not be left outside for extended periods in extreme temperatures.

Population

It is difficult to determine the exact number of Irish Terriers in the world as there is no central registry or database that tracks all the dogs. However, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Irish Terriers are a relatively rare breed, ranking 139th out of 195 breeds in popularity in the United States. The Irish Terrier Club of America estimates that there are around 1,000 Irish Terriers in the United States and there are likely several thousand more in other countries around the world.

Physical Appearance:

Irish Terriers are medium-sized dogs with a distinctive appearance. They have a rectangular-shaped body with a muscular build and a deep chest. Their head is long and rectangular with a bushy beard and eyebrows. They have small, dark eyes that are set deep into their face and a black nose. Their ears are small and folded over, sitting high on their head.

Irish Terriers have a wiry, dense coat that is typically a reddish-brown color, although some may have black or gray coats. They have a longer beard and eyebrows that give them a distinct look. Their tail is docked to about half its length and is carried high.

Overall, Irish Terriers are a handsome and elegant breed with a confident and alert expression. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence and courage.

Coat:

Colours:

Irish Terriers are typically a reddish-brown color, but they can also be wheaten, golden or gray. Some may have black markings on their muzzle or ears. The coat should be solid in color and not have any white patches.

Hair/Fur Length:

Irish Terriers have a medium-length wiry coat that is typically about 2-3 inches long.

Shedding:

Yes, Irish Terriers do shed, but they are considered to be a low-shedding breed. They have a wiry, dense coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Irish Terriers shed minimally throughout the year, but they do have a seasonal shedding period during which they shed more heavily. Proper grooming and regular brushing can help to reduce shedding and keep their coat healthy and shiny.

Grooming:

The Irish Terrier has a wiry, dense coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition. They shed minimally, but their coat needs to be stripped or clipped every few months to maintain its texture and shape. Stripping involves pulling out dead hairs by hand or with a stripping tool, while clipping involves using clippers to trim the coat.

In addition to coat maintenance, Irish Terriers also need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and teeth brushing to keep them healthy and comfortable. Overall, they require moderate grooming compared to some other breeds, but it is important to stay on top of their coat care to prevent matting and keep them looking their best.

Hypoallergenic:

Irish Terriers are not considered hypoallergenic. They have a wiry, dense coat that sheds minimally, but they still produce dander and can cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to dog allergens. Regular grooming and bathing can help reduce the amount of dander and allergens on the dog’s coat, but it cannot eliminate them completely. If you have allergies, it is recommended to spend time with an Irish Terrier before bringing one into your home to see if you have a reaction.

Speed:

Irish Terriers can run at a speed of approximately 48-56 kph (30-35 mph).

Health:

Irish Terriers are generally healthy dogs, but like all breeds, they may be prone to certain health conditions. Some of the most common health issues faced by Irish Terriers include:

  • Hip dysplasia: A genetic condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, leading to arthritis and pain.
  • Allergies: Irish Terriers may be prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching, redness and hair loss.
  • Hypothyroidism: A condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough hormones, leading to weight gain, lethargy and skin problems.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA): A genetic condition that causes the retina to degenerate, leading to blindness.
  • Bloat: A life-threatening condition where the stomach fills with gas and twists, cutting off blood flow to the organs.

It’s important to work with a reputable breeder who screens their dogs for these and other health conditions to ensure the best possible health outcomes for your Irish Terrier.

Teeth:

Irish Terriers typically have 42 teeth.

Eyesight:

Irish Terriers are known to have excellent eyesight, which is a crucial trait for their role as hunting dogs. Their keen eyesight allows them to spot prey from a distance and track it down with precision. Additionally, Irish Terriers have a strong sense of smell and hearing, which complement their visual abilities and make them effective hunters and loyal companions.

Nipples:

Irish Terriers typically have 8 to 10 nipples, arranged in two rows on their underside.

Gestation:

Litter Size:

The typical litter size for Irish Terriers is 4 to 6 puppies. However, litter size can vary and may be influenced by factors such as the age and health of the mother, the size of the litter and genetics.

Gestation Period:

The gestation period for Irish Terriers is approximately 63 days or 9 weeks.

Heat:

Irish Terriers typically go into heat twice a year, although the timing can vary slightly from dog to dog.

Male vs Female:

Male and female Irish Terriers have some physical and behavioral differences. Males are usually larger and heavier than females, with a height of around 18-19 inches and a weight of 27-30 pounds, while females are slightly smaller, with a height of around 17-18 inches and a weight of 25-27 pounds. Males also tend to have a more muscular build, with a broader head and chest, while females have a more streamlined appearance. In terms of temperament, males can be more dominant and territorial, while females are often more affectionate and nurturing. However, these differences can vary depending on the individual dog and their upbringing.

Tips and Advice:

Irish Terriers are a breed of dog that require a lot of attention and care. They are known for their loyalty, intelligence and energy. If you are considering getting an Irish Terrier, it is important to understand their specific needs and how to care for them properly. Here are some tips and advice for caring for an Irish Terrier:

  • Exercise: Irish Terriers are a high-energy breed and require daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy long walks, runs and playing fetch. Make sure to provide them with plenty of opportunities to burn off their energy.
  • Grooming: Irish Terriers have a wiry coat that requires regular grooming. They should be brushed at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling. They also need to be stripped or clipped every few months to maintain their coat’s texture and appearance.
  • Training: Irish Terriers are intelligent and eager to please, but they can also be stubborn. It is important to start training them early and be consistent with your commands. Positive reinforcement is the best method for training this breed.
  • Socialization: Irish Terriers can be wary of strangers and other dogs if they are not properly socialized. Expose them to different people, animals and environments from a young age to help them develop confidence and good behavior.
  • Health: Irish Terriers are generally healthy, but they can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, allergies and eye problems. Regular visits to the vet and a healthy diet can help prevent these issues.
  • Mental stimulation: Irish Terriers are intelligent dogs that need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behavior. Provide them with puzzle toys, training sessions and other activities that challenge their minds.
  • Love and attention: Irish Terriers are loyal and affectionate dogs that thrive on human companionship. Make sure to give them plenty of love and attention to keep them happy and content.

Food:

Irish Terriers typically eat around 1 to 1.5 cups of high-quality dry dog food per day, divided into two meals. However, the amount of food they need can vary depending on their age, size, activity level and metabolism.

Irish Terriers are known to be food-motivated and can be prone to overeating if given the opportunity. Therefore, it’s important to monitor their food intake and provide them with a balanced diet to maintain their health and weight. Additionally, it’s recommended to avoid giving them table scraps or human food, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues.

Facts:

Irish Terriers are a breed of dog that originated in Ireland and have a distinctive red coat. Here are three interesting facts about them:

  1. They were originally bred for hunting: Irish Terriers were originally bred to hunt vermin, foxes and otters. They were also used as messenger dogs during World War I.
  2. They have a strong personality: Irish Terriers are known for their strong-willed and independent personalities. They are also very loyal and protective of their families.
  3. They are a rare breed: Irish Terriers are not as common as some other breeds of terriers. In fact, they are considered a vulnerable breed by the Kennel Club in the UK, which means that there are fewer than 300 puppies registered each year.

Names:

Irish Terriers are known for their spunky personalities and fiery red coats, so names that reflect their bold and lively nature are a great fit. Here are 15 names that would be perfect for an Irish Terrier:

  1. Finnegan – This name means “fair-haired” and is a nod to the breed’s distinctive red coat.
  2. Murphy – A classic Irish name that means “sea warrior”.
  3. Brigid – Named after the Irish goddess of fire, this name suits the breed’s fiery spirit.
  4. Seamus – A traditional Irish name that means “supplanter”.
  5. Saoirse – This name means “freedom” in Irish and reflects the breed’s independent nature.
  6. Aiden – A popular Irish name that means “fiery one”.
  7. Molly – A sweet and spunky name that suits the breed’s playful personality.
  8. Cian – This name means “ancient” in Irish and reflects the breed’s long history.
  9. Niamh – A beautiful Irish name that means “bright” or “radiant”.
  10. Róisín – This name means “little rose” in Irish and is a nod to the breed’s red coat.
  11. Liam – A popular Irish name that means “strong-willed warrior”.
  12. Siobhan – This name means “God is gracious” and is a lovely choice for a female Irish Terrier.
  13. Eamon – A traditional Irish name that means “wealthy protector”.
  14. Tara – Named after the ancient Irish Hill of Tara, this name suits the breed’s regal bearing.
  15. Colleen – A sweet and feminine name that means “girl” in Irish.

Famous:

Irish Terriers are a beloved breed known for their loyalty, intelligence and courage. Over the years, many Irish Terriers have become famous for their incredible feats, appearances in movies and ownership by famous people. Here are some of the most famous Irish Terriers of all time:

  • Mick – Mick was a famous Irish Terrier who served in World War I. He was known for his bravery and loyalty and even received a medal for his service.
  • Red Dog – Red Dog was an Irish Terrier who starred in the movie “Red Dog.” He became a beloved icon in Australia and is remembered for his loyalty and adventurous spirit.
  • Duffy – Duffy was a famous Irish Terrier who belonged to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was known for his intelligence and loyalty and often accompanied the President on his travels.
  • Terri – Terri was a famous Irish Terrier who appeared in the movie “Oliver!” She played the role of Bullseye, the loyal companion of Bill Sikes.
  • Bramble – Bramble was a famous Irish Terrier who set a world record for being the oldest living dog. He lived to be 27 years old and was known for his longevity and good health.
  • Nipper – Nipper was a famous Irish Terrier who appeared in the logo for the RCA Victor company. He became an iconic symbol of the brand and is still recognized today.
  • Max – Max was a famous Irish Terrier who belonged to the author Jack London. He was known for his intelligence and loyalty and often accompanied London on his adventures.
  • Paddy – Paddy was a famous Irish Terrier who served in World War II. He was known for his bravery and loyalty and even received a medal for his service.
  • Riley – Riley was a famous Irish Terrier who belonged to the actor Peter O’Toole. He was known for his intelligence and loyalty and often accompanied O’Toole on his film sets.
  • Finnegan – Finnegan was a famous Irish Terrier who belonged to the actor George Clooney. He was known for his good looks and charming personality and often accompanied Clooney on his travels.

Summary:

The Irish Terrier is a medium-sized dog breed that belongs to the terrier group. It is a highly energetic and intelligent dog that is known for its loyalty, courage and affectionate nature. Irish Terriers were originally bred in Ireland in the 19th century to hunt vermin and small game and they were also used as watchdogs and companions.

Irish Terriers have a distinctive appearance, with a wiry, red coat and a long, narrow head. They are muscular and athletic, with a strong, sturdy build that makes them well-suited for hunting and other outdoor activities. They are also highly trainable and eager to please, which makes them excellent pets for families and individuals who are willing to invest time and effort in their training and socialization.

In terms of personality, Irish Terriers are known for their playful, outgoing nature and their love of human companionship. They are highly social dogs that thrive on attention and affection from their owners and they are known for their loyalty and devotion to their families. They are also highly protective of their homes and families and they will not hesitate to defend them if they feel threatened.

Overall, the Irish Terrier is a highly adaptable and versatile dog that can make an excellent pet for a wide range of owners. They are well-suited for families with children, active individuals who enjoy outdoor activities and anyone who is looking for a loyal and affectionate companion. However, they do require a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy, so they may not be the best choice for owners who are unable to provide them with the attention and activity they need.