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Irish Terrier

Irish-Terrier2

Loyal and Spirited

Assertive, Bold, Playful

Irish Terriers are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Irish Terriers, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Irish Terrier and some can be quite irritating!

Understanding their unique needs will help you keep them healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where they came, which health conditions are a risk to to the breed and how to keep them feeling their best.

Breed Details

Height:about 18" Weight:Male: 27 lb; Female: 25 lb Lifespan: 12-15 years

Size
2

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
4

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
3

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
1

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
2

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
2

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Irish Terriers love water and swimming. They are a highly energetic dog with a strong chase instinct, so she needs to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.

Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly. Twice a year stripping or clipping is also required for her wiry double coat.

Dental: Irish Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Irish Terriers are a bold and fearless guardian, as well as a polite, gentle family companion.

Positive Traits:

Alert, curious, and busy

Sweet, playful, and friendly

Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

Good with children

Confident and self-reliant

Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

Negative Traits:

Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children

Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

Likes to dig



Whether you are considering adding a new Irish Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Irish Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Irish Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Irish Terrier could encounter:

Bladder or Kidney Stones

Eye Problems

Cataracts

Distichiasis

Blindness

Retinal Dysplasia

The Irish Terrier originated in Ireland with the earliest known images dating back to the 1700’s. They are one of the oldest terrier breeds. They were originally used as vermin hunters and versatile farm dogs. During World War I, they excelled as messengers and sentinels for the military forces. The Irish Terrier is cheerful and spirited; they are also courageous and independent. They have earned the nickname “red daredevil” and does not back down when confronted. They can be dominate and aggressive with other dogs, however, they are people-oriented and enjoys time relaxing with the family or playing with the kids.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Irish Terrier shows signs of the following:

Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

Cloudiness to eye lens

Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

Bumping into objects, startles easily

Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness

General reluctance to run or play

Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

Redness to the eyes, loss of pigment to the nose and other skin areas

  • Care

    Routine Care: Irish Terriers love water and swimming. They are a highly energetic dog with a strong chase instinct, so she needs to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must.

    Grooming: Brush her coat as needed, at least weekly. Twice a year stripping or clipping is also required for her wiry double coat.

    Dental: Irish Terriers generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean her ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Irish Terriers are a bold and fearless guardian, as well as a polite, gentle family companion.

    Positive Traits:

    Alert, curious, and busy

    Sweet, playful, and friendly

    Vigilant watchdog with a ready bark

    Good with children

    Confident and self-reliant

    Adaptable to a wide variety of living conditions

    Negative Traits:

    Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a younger dog

    Territorial with larger dogs, especially of the same sex

    Needs a lot of activity and mental stimulation to avoid boredom vices

    Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children

    Has a tendency to escape, wander, and roam

    Likes to dig



  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Irish Terrier to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Irish Terrier will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Irish Terrier you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Irish Terrier could encounter:

    Bladder or Kidney Stones

    Eye Problems

    Cataracts

    Distichiasis

    Blindness

    Retinal Dysplasia

  • History

    The Irish Terrier originated in Ireland with the earliest known images dating back to the 1700’s. They are one of the oldest terrier breeds. They were originally used as vermin hunters and versatile farm dogs. During World War I, they excelled as messengers and sentinels for the military forces. The Irish Terrier is cheerful and spirited; they are also courageous and independent. They have earned the nickname “red daredevil” and does not back down when confronted. They can be dominate and aggressive with other dogs, however, they are people-oriented and enjoys time relaxing with the family or playing with the kids.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Irish Terrier shows signs of the following:

    Pain or straining to urinate, bloody urine

    Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    Cloudiness to eye lens

    Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    Dilated pupils in daylight, or increased "eye shine" at night

    Bumping into objects, startles easily

    Dragging the hind toes and hind limb weakness

    General reluctance to run or play

    Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    Redness to the eyes, loss of pigment to the nose and other skin areas

Irish Terrier Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Irish Terrier breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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