Irish Terrier


Basic Information

Breed Group
Dense,Harsh and Rough,Wire
RedSheddingMinimalGrooming NeedsHigh Maintenance
25 - 35 Pounds
14 - 16 Inches



The Irish Terrier is a lively, alert yet gentle character and one that boasts a fun-loving side to their nature. These charming long legged terriers seem to have an affinity with children which makes them the perfect family pet. They also seem to be able to read a person's mood which is another of their endearing traits. However, Irish Terriers are classed as being a vulnerable native breed with very few puppies being bred and registered with The Kennel Club every year even though they make such wonderful companions and family pets.

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The Irish Terrier is thought to be the oldest of all Irish terrier breeds. They were once referred to as Irish Red Terriers in order to set them apart from other breeds. In 1875, the first dog was exhibited at a dog show held in Ireland after which time the breed was the first of the Irish Terriers to be officially recognised by The Kennel Club.

Irish Terriers were first bred to hunt vermin and to guard their families and their properties which they proved themselves to be extremely good at. The actual origins of the breed remain a bit of a mystery although there are some people who believe they were created by crossing Irish Wolfhounds with black and tan terrier type dogs that were around at the time. This particular theory is supported by the fact that Irish Terriers do resemble a smaller version of the Irish Wolfhound.

It is thought the breed was originally created in Cork, Southern Ireland although another theory is that these charming long legged terriers were created by crossing Black and Tans with Wheaten Terriers. What is known for certain is that a breed club was established in 1879 and a standard was established at this time. Thanks to their courage and determination, Irish Terriers were used as messengers during World War I taking vital messages to troops on the front proving they were extremely courageous and loyal.

Sadly, the breed has fallen out of favour with less breeders producing and registering puppies with The Kennel Club every year, even though they are charming dogs that get on with everyone and are super well behaved around children. As such anyone wishing to share a home with an Irish Terrier would need to find a breeder and agree to be put on a waiting list because puppies are so rare.

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