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Irish Terrier


General Information - Irish Terrier


Group:
Terrier

Size:
medium

Lifespan:
12-15 years

Exercise:
moderate

Grooming:
high

Trainability:
hard

Watchdog ability:
very high

Protection ability:
high

Area of Origin:
Ireland

Date of Origin:
1700s

Other Names:
Irish Red Terrier

Original Function:
Hunting fox, otter, and other vermin



History

The Irish Terrier, originally from Country Cork, Ireland, is probably one of the oldest terrier breeds. It is estimated to be two thousand years old, but the earliest images are in a painting from the 1700's. He is a feisty hunter and exterminator of den animals, otter, and water rats. The breed has also been used as a retriever and wartime messenger. The Irish Terrier became very popular in England during the late 1800's. Today the Irish Terrier serves mainly as a companion dog and sturdy, loyal guardian of home and family, though he still retains his vermin hunting prowess. Some of the Irish Terrier’s talents include: hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, guarding, police work, and military work.

Temperament

Not only do Irish Terriers love to play with children, but he will guard them ruthlessly if required. Irish Terriers are dog-aggressive and will not back down from a fight, and therefore must be trained and kept on a leash when out in public. Irish Terriers are bold and adventurous but also have hot-fiery tempers. It likes to chase and run and hunt and explore; it needs daily physical and mental exercise in a safe area. Given sufficient exercise, it is surprisingly well-mannered and dignified indoors. It is a loyal and entertaining companion.

Upkeep

This is a dog with an active mind and body. It needs daily entertainment and exercise. It makes a good walking and jogging companion, as well as hiking or hunting partner. Its needs can also be met with a rigorous play session. Its wire coat needs combing one or two times weekly, plus scissoring and shaping (clipping for pets and stripping for show dogs) two to four times yearly. Some training of the ears is necessary to ensure proper adult shape.