Irish Terrier


A tough, medium, longer legged and almost racy build terrier with a huge personality. Happy and enterprising, intelligent. Has great enthusiasm and zest for life. This terrier is fearless and spirited but will stand ground if challenged and is tenacious. They adore human companionship.

Minimum Exercise:

Exercise/Activity Level: High. 1.5 to 2 hours per day, can easily do more. This is an energetic breed that will drag you out of the door in their enthusiasm in all weathers. Long hikes are possible after puppyhood. Be careful outdoors as they can have a high prey drive.

Size: 18-19 inches

Weight: 28-33 lbs

Colour: All colours, but preferred are tans, wheaten and red, in mostly whole colours, with a little white permitted on the chest.

Town or Country: Both, but great in Country

Low Allergy: Yes

Best Suited for: Country dwelling, highly active outdoorsy families with older children, or singles and couples, who relish the idea of doing fun, stimulating and energetic things with their dog, and have the strength of character to deal with any stubbornness. Not recommended for first time owners.

Group: Terrier

Originally From: Ireland

Original Purpose: Working. Hunting badgers, foxes, rabbits, rats and mice

Living Space: Medium – they don’t take up much space indoors but the more exercise they have, the calmer they will be indoors. A good sized securely fenced garden is an advantage.

Coat: Medium, smooth, hard, dense, mostly straight

Grooming: Low. Coat requires stripping 2-3 times a year and a brush as an when necessary.

Children: Great with older children (7/8 years upwards) who will keep it entertained.

Sociability with strangers: Medium (see noise level).

Sociability with animals or other dogs: Medium. Must be socialised early to avoid problems. Should not be homed with small pets including cats due to strong prey drive. Can be possessive and dominant with other dogs in and outside the home.

Trainability: Medium to high. Irish terriers have an immense capacity for and love of learning. They need to be mentally and physically stimulated. You get back what you put in. Great for agility, flyball, gundog training or anything active and mentally challenging. However they require firm leadership.

Noise Level: Moderate to high. Can bark continuously with or without the need to alert you to strangers. High guarding instincts.

Known Health Issues: Very tough and hardy. Ask about any signs of cracked pads (hyperkeratosis) in breed lines.

Lifespan: 13-15 years

Special Needs: A strong owner and someone who can keep it stimulated. Should not be left alone for long periods to avoid destructiveness through boredom.    Send article as PDF