Irish Terrier Guide

Terrier Dog Breeds


This dashing daredevil will set your heart aflame. The Irish Terrier has, perhaps, more spirit than sense sometimes, but that's just part of her charm. Like many redheads, this breed is brash, bold, and beautiful. (And, yes, a redhead wrote this. So?)

As you might have guessed from the name, this medium-sized and medium-energy breed is originally from Ireland. These dogs can grow to between 25-27 pounds and live an average of 13-15 years. Irish Terriers are recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Terrier group.


FAST FACTS
AKC Recognized: Y
Breed's Original Pastime: Hunting
Origin: Ireland
Breed Group: Terrier
Average Lifespan: 13-15 years
Size: Small
Bark Factor: Moderate

Energy level A sprinter

Exercise needs 30-45 minutes per day

Playfullness and Games All day, every day

Attachment to People I'm looking for more of a roommate than a companion

Behavior with Other Dogs Shy. I may prefer to be the only dog.

Behavior with Other Small Pets I'll probably want to chase or will be shy

Behavior Toward Strangers I'm a single-family or person dog at heart

Trainability I love to please

Watchdog ability I know all that's going on, all the time

Protection ability I can be highly protective

Grooming needs Daily brushing and probably frequent professional grooming

Cold tolerance I'll probably need a jacket in the cold

Heat tolerance A warm day can be fun, but not too hot please.


BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

WHAT IS AN IRISH TERRIER'S PERSONALITY LIKE?

This is a dog who follows her own instincts and asks questions later. Irish Terriers are always up for adventure — they're inquisitive, intense, and uninhibited. They love their chosen people and are often very good with supervised children, but they have no patience for dogs or other pets in their domain. For the right family though, an Irish Terrier can be an entertaining and loyal companion.

WHAT IS IRISH TERRIER BEHAVIOR LIKE?

These dogs are active — very active. Irish Terriers are speedy and smart — they'll do best in a fenced-in play area. Irish Terriers make surprisingly polite house dogs when given enough opportunity for exercise.

HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN AN IRISH TERRIER?

This breed responds reasonably well to training. These dogs are intelligent and definitely have a sense of humor, so it's important to be patient and consistent with your pup. Their prey drive means no squirrel is safe and that your Irish Terrier should always be leashed if she's not playing in a safely fenced-in area. You'll want to discourage inappropriate barking early and often.

CARE & HEALTH

HOW MUCH DO IRISH TERRIERS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?

An Irish Terrier's short, wiry coat needs regular brushing and stripping or trimming to keep this dog looking her best. They're light, seasonal shedders.

WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO IRISH TERRIERS HAVE?

While most Irish Terriers are relatively healthy dogs, some can suffer from cancer or hardened, cracking footpads (hyperkeratosis).
Breed history has moved while this section is under construction. Please check out the first tab for fun facts about this breed's history. You can also read on to learn about this breed's ideal family situation.

IDEAL FAMILY

ARE IRISH TERRIERS GOOD FOR PEOPLE WITH ALLERGIES?

The American Kennel Club doesn't list Irish Terriers among its breeds recommended for allergy sufferers.

You can reduce your furry friend's impact on your allergies with frequent baths and brushings to reduce loose hairs and allergy-aggravating proteins in your pet's dander. Use a damp cloth to wipe off your dog after playing outside. Smaller dogs have less surface area, so they produce comparatively less dander than larger breeds — definitely something to keep in mind with a dog as small as an Irish Terrier! Remember that no breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and any breed can aggravate allergies.

WHAT IS AN IRISH TERRIER'S BEST DAY?

Let's go explore! An Irish Terrier's absolute best day requires lots of running, sniffing, and adventuring.

SHOULD I ADOPT AN IRISH TERRIER?

Those looking for a perfectly obedient model canine citizen should maybe consider a German Shepherd. Dog families who are looking for personality and pluck, however, couldn't do much better than an Irish Terrier.

Have you decided that an Irish Terrier is the perfect dog for you? Why not be your new best friend's hero and adopt a rescue! Be sure to check out our article on what to expect when you're adopting a dog or cat.