Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier Breed description: Character & Co

Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier


Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier: origin, history and suitability.

The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier, often referred to simply as the Glen, is one of four terrier breeds that originated in Ireland. As the name suggests, it originated in the Glen of Imaal, a remote valley in the Wicklow Mountains.

Historical background

Throughout history, the Glen of Imaal Terrier has been used for a variety of tasks. Not only was he an efficient rat catcher, but he was also used to hunt badgers and foxes. One particularly interesting activity was turning a large wheel to cook meat or churn butter, earning him the nickname "Turnspit Dog".

Suitability as a family dog

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a calm and composed dog that is less barky than other terriers. He is often shown to be patient and friendly, which makes him an ideal family dog. However, he still possesses the typical terrier character, which means he can be bold, independent, and a little stubborn at times.

Activity needs

Although he is calmer than other terriers, the Glen requires regular exercise. Long walks or activities where he can use his intelligence are ideal for him. His background as a working dog also means he likes to dig, so be careful when he is in the garden.

Ideal for terrier lovers

For those who love terrier traits but are looking for a calmer representative of this breed group, the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is the perfect choice. Its loyalty, intelligence and friendly nature make it a beloved companion in many households.

Banner: Depositphotos / CaptureLight
Typical Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier on the green grass Typical Imaal Terrier on a green meadow
Alternate Name -
Origin Ireland
Life expectancy 12 - 13 years
Care requirements low-maintenance
Activity level average
FCI group Large and medium sized Terriers
AKC group Terrier Group
KC group Terrier Group

Unique character

The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is distinguished by his bold and determined character. Originally bred for hunting in the rugged terrains of Ireland, he brings a strong, independent spirit coupled with remarkable stamina.

Loyalty and family ties

Despite his hunting instincts, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is also a loving family dog. He is loyal to his pack and often develops a particularly close bond with a family member.

Social Characteristics

  • With other animals: Due to his hunting instincts, he may be wary of small animals. However, early socialization is recommended to ensure harmony with other pets.
  • With children: The Glen of Imaal Terrier is generally considered friendly with children, but should always be supervised to ensure that play does not become too rough.

Intelligence and Training

This terrier is intelligent and eager to learn. However, its independent nature can sometimes make training a challenge. It is recommended to work with positive reinforcement and short training sessions to get the best out of this breed.


Although he does not bark excessively, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is an alert watchdog. He will protect his territory and family if he feels they are threatened.

In summary, the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is a fascinating combination of courage and affection. His loyalty to his family and his intelligence make him a valued companion both indoors and outdoors. It is important to be aware of his hunting roots and to train and socialize him accordingly.


Grooming Requirements

The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier has a dense, coarse coat that requires regular attention.

  • Coat Care: At least once a week, the coat should be thoroughly brushed to remove matting and loose hair. It is recommended to trim it every few months, especially if it is intended for shows.
  • Ears and Eyes: These should be checked weekly for signs of infection or foreign bodies.
  • Teeth: Regular dental cleaning will help prevent tartar and related health problems.


The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is generally robust and healthy. However, as with all dog breeds, there are certain genetic problems that should be watched for:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): an eye condition that can lead to blindness over time.
  • Hip Dysplasia: A common problem in many breeds that can cause pain and arthritis.

Regular vet visits and annual check-ups are recommended to ensure that any health problems are detected and treated early.


Breeding the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier should be done responsibly and with a clear focus on the health and temperament of the breed.

  • Genetic Screening: Before breeding is started, potential breeding dogs should be tested for common genetic disorders.
  • Socialization: puppies should be socialized at an early age to ensure they are well adjusted and compatible as adults.

In conclusion, it is important to stress that although the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is a hardy and relatively low maintenance dog, it still requires regular attention in terms of grooming and health. Breeding should always be done with the goal of bringing out the best qualities of the breed and minimizing health problems.

Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier in the garden

The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier has a harsh, medium-length coat. The outer coat is firm and wiry, while the undercoat is softer and denser. The coat of this terrier is resistant to soiling and has the advantage of not being one of the particularly hairy dog breeds.

Coat colors

Common coat colors are Wheaten, Blue Brindle and Brindle. All tints tending to these colors are acceptable.

Coat Care

Although the Glen of Imaal Terrier's coat is considered low maintenance, it should still be brushed regularly, at least once a week, to prevent matting and the accumulation of dirt. An added benefit of regular grooming is the promotion of skin health through the distribution of natural oils.

Appearance & Physique

The Glen of Imaal Terrier presents with a robust and strong physique. His appearance is compact and he appears powerful and determined despite his size.

Size and Weight

  • Size: Males have a shoulder height of about 35 cm, while females are slightly smaller, measuring about 33 cm .
  • Weight: The typical weight range is between 13 and 16 kg.

Overall, the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is an easy to care for, visually appealing dog with a wiry coat and compact build. Its size and weight make it a medium-sized dog that does well in both urban and rural environments.

Fur length medium
Fur wavy
Ear shape Floppy Ear
Tail lang
Anatomy rugged
Size ♀ 30 - 36 cm
Weight ♀ 14 - 18 kg
Size ♂ 30 - 36 cm
Weight ♂ 14 - 18 kg
Suitable For Beginner, Children, Seniors
  • Joint problems

    Especially due to overweight, joint problems can occur in dogs.

Other medium dogs

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