- By: Mick Whitefield
- Time to read: 2 min.
The Irish Terrier is one of the raciest members of the Terrier Group, having a longer body and longer legs than any other Terrier. Occasionally has a wiry coat but some have a beautiful soft silky wavy fur coat that comes in Wheaten, Red Wheaten, Red and Golden Red.
A very popular hunting dog in the 19th Century. Lost its popularity around WW2 and is now rare, but is once again slowly gaining popularity within Ireland and over in the USA.
Origin: ~ Ireland.
Bred for: ~ Hunting, Fox and Otter.
Colour: ~ Red, Golden Red,
Red Wheaten or Wheaten.
Coat: ~ Hair is smooth and short.
Height: ~ 18 inches or 46cms.
Weight: ~ 25 to 27lbs or
11.3 to 12.3kgs.
Lifespan: ~ 12 to 15 years.
AKC Group – Terrier Group.
History of the Irish Terrier
Early Irish terriers came in a variety of colours, such as black and tan, brindle and others, only near the end of the 19th Century did the solid red colours become a fixture of the breed.
The Irish Terrier was often used for hunting badger and otter.
The breed was introduced to America by people resettling (mostly from Ireland), there the breed became very popular.
It was a dominant force in dog shows and showed its mettle during World War 1 by serving as a messenger and a sentinel.
The breed was recognised by the Irish Kennel Club in 1937 and in 1943 by The Kennel Club.
Although it remained very popular for a number of decades it is now one of the rarer terriers in the USA.
Temperament and Upkeep of the Irish Terrier
Irish Terriers are brash, bold, assertive, playful, inquisitive and independently strong willed and have a strong prey drive.
They are often aggressive towards other dogs and small animals and they tend to be reserved with strangers.
Although they are very active outdoors and like to chase and explore they are usually well-mannered indoors.
These dogs do need a good walk or a rigorous play time daily.
Their coat will need the occasional brushing and trimming, particularly around the beard, snout and feet.
These make great family dogs for those with energetic children or families that enjoy an outdoor lifestyle.
For anyone in Ireland or the UK Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of Great Britain | is a great place to gain some extra information.
A really good website for information in the USA is the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America (scwtca.org)