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Irish Terrier Dog Breed

Updated on July 31, 2013

The Unpopular Irish Terrier

This dog may seem like a medium to large dog at first glance but the truth is the Irish Terrier breed usually weighs just under 30 pounds.

The Irish Terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds. It's the raciest member of the terrier family, with longer legs and body than most others in the terrier category.

At one point the breed could be found in a variety of colors including black and tan, gray and brindle. Near the end of the nineteenth century the solid red color became the standard and remains so today.

The Irish Terrier is also a working dog. Back in World War I, Irish Terriers were used as messengers and sentinels.

Back in the late 1920s it was ranked 13th in popularity in the US. But for some reason, their popularity sank and today it's a rare site to see a purebred Irish Terrier.

It has many winning and appealing attributes so its lack of popularity is hard to understand.

The Temperament of the Irish Terrier

The terrier breed is playful, bold, inquisitive, and strong willed. It's always up for an adventure and likes action!

The Irish Terrier tends to be aggressive when it encounters other dogs and small animals. It also may react with reserve when meeting new people.

The Irish Terrier generally likes children but usually that extends to only his family members. If you're thinking about getting an Irish Terrier you should be aware of this. It may be a difficult dog to socialize at the dog park or other locations where you're likely to encounter strangers and other dogs.

If you exercise this dog adequately it can be a well-mannered and calm member of the family when indoors. The Irish Terrier is loyal and devoted to its family.

They do best when they live with the family indoors and they aren't very happy to be left alone for long periods.

Irish Terrier Dog Breed

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Upkeep for the Irish Terrier

The needs for the Irish Terrier are modest.

They usually just need a weekly brushing and the occasional professional or home clipping.

One advantage to this dog breed is that they shed very little. Some people specifically look for this in dogs.

It’s coat is a dense, wiry hair. It has a double coat which serves to protect the dog from cold or wet weather.

The dog’s coat is usually reddish or fawn color. Sometimes you’ll also see small patches of white.

Use a natural bristle brush to groom this breed.

Even though it’s referred to as a hypoallergenic dog, it still produces allergens. If you have allergies to dogs, you will likely find the Irish Terrier easier to tolerate compared to other breeds.

Grooming an Irish Terrier-Tips

Training the Irish Terrier

Because of the intelligence and activity level of this breed, a daily walk or easy jog is recommended. They make good hiking companions. It will be impossible to train this breed without giving it a sufficient outlet for it’s energy.

They love to run and play so keep your patience when doing any training. He's very intelligent and easy to train as long as the training is consistent.

You have to show firmness and positive reinforcement to get anywhere with this intelligent breed. He needs incentive to cooperate – as is the case with most dogs. Try using appealing snacks, praise and play time activities which the dog enjoys.

The Irish Terrier doesn’t respond well to strict and harsh handling. This breed is easier to train if you keep the sessions brief and keep them interesting.

Natural Tendencies

Irish Terriers are natural watch dogs. They like to warn their owners of approaching strangers but be sure to keep a handle on their barking. This breed can turn into excessive barkers.

It’s important to socialize any dog during their first year of life. They’re most happy when they around their family.

Irish Terriers usually love kids and make great playmates for children.

They can co-habitate with cats if raised with them from a young age. I would be watchful when they are exposed to small pets in the rodent family. Their natural instincts can take hold and they may find it difficult to control themselves.

It’s best if an Irish Terrier is the only dog in the home. They have a tendency to get aggressive with other dogs. They are fearless and won’t back down from a fight.


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