Dog Breeds

Irish glen of imaal terrier

Short-legged Irish glen of imaal terrier, solidly built terrier from Ireland with blue brindle or wheat coat. More balanced and not as impulsive as some other terriers, but also endowed with a strong character. A good companion for moderately active people.


Irish glen of imaal terrier is the least known of the four Irish terrier breeds – although it is probably the oldest of them. He is a small but sturdy and strong dog. His figure is elongated and his legs relatively short.

He is a pet with a strong personality, but at the same time tender and gentle. Strongly attached to the owners, and treats strangers usually indifferently. He is very patient with children. At home, quiet and calm, there is no tendency to bark – but if he is accompanied by a dog who likes to bark, he will gladly join him.

It signals the presence of intruders, but it is relatively easy to silence. He has a loud voice – heard outside the door can give the impression of greater than in reality.

Irish glen of imaal terrier

He likes walking and is durable, but – due to short paws – not very fast. He will be happy to take a few hours but a quiet walk. Many dogs of this breed eagerly live the life of sandwiches.

In some situations, the irish glen of imaal shows the face of a real terrier. Supervision requires his meeting with cats and other smaller animals – he still kept his hunting passion. If we bring a toddler of this breed to a house where a cat or guinea pig already lives, usually the relationship between the animals is going well. However, problems may arise in the opposite situation.

Irish glen of imaal terrier

In relation to foreign dogs, a representative of this breed is usually not offensive, although males may be dominant towards other males. It is said that the irish glen of imaal terrier rarely starts a fight, but often ends it.


Glen of Imaal Terriers was originally hunting dogs, then they were used to … turn the spit, but today they are show dogs and companion dogs.

Irish glen of imaal terrier. Training and education

This dog learns quickly, but remember to reward training. As a strong animal, he requires consistency but reacts badly to force methods.

Who is this race for?

Balanced and composed, it adapts perfectly to various conditions. He feels good both when accompanying a large family and living with a single person. It can be recommended to active people and family members, homeowners with gardens and townspeople.

Irish glen of imaal terrier. Advantages and disadvantages


  • has a strong character and requires consistency in the upbringing
  • he can chase different animals
  • sometimes stubborn
  • can dig holes in the garden
  • show dogs require appropriate coat care


  • nice family companion
  • patient with children
  • not particularly feisty (for a terrier)
  • he is not barking
  • adapts to different conditions


It is a healthy and resistant breed, no widespread genetic problems. Skin allergies and progressive retinal atrophy occur occasionally.

Irish glen of imaal terrier


The breed has no particular nutritional requirements, but it is often recommended that after the age of 12 months the dog is switched to a more low-protein diet because of the tendency to allergies.

Irish glen of imaal terrier


His double-layer coat protects him well against the cold. It is not demanding in terms of care – it is enough to brush it 1-2 times a week, and trim it 2-3 times a year. Preparation for exhibitions requires cutting the hair in some places to give the dog an elegant look.


As the name suggests, the irish glen of imaal terrier comes from the Imaal (Glen) valley in the Wicklow Mountains. This is a beautiful but quite wild and inaccessible region of Ireland, which meant that the breed for many centuries functioned in natural isolation. In such conditions, without constant replenishment of foreign blood, typical racial traits are quickly established. In this case, one of them is the front legs bent in a characteristic way.

Not only is the soil in the mountainous regions poor, but the crops there destroyed mice, rats and moles. So the local people used dogs to fight them. They were also used to hunt foxes and badgers. In addition, the Imaal terriers performed a unique function – they walked in a special wheel and rotated the spit on which the meat was baked. It was thought that the curved paws and heavily muscled croup specifically predispose them to this.

When the era of dog shows came, cynologists also became interested in this breed. It is thought that in order to refine it in the 1930s, the blood of staffordshire bull terrier and a close cousin, a soft-coated wheaten terrier, were added. The Irish Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1934 – as the third of four Irish terrier breeds.

Irish glen of imaal terrier

Even before World War II, Imaal terriers were quite popular, but then interest in them decreased. They were again noticed in the 1960s and 1970s. Until 1966, to receive the title of champion, the dog had to undergo a norning test – in five minutes pull out of the badger hole or indicate the place where he is staying.

Then this requirement was lifted, because fewer and fewer people hunted with these terriers. Today they are bred as show and companion dogs. In 1975 the breed was recognized by the FCI.

Irish glen of imaal terriers are not a very popular breed. Outside of Ireland, they can sometimes be found in Western Europe and the United States. 

Irish glen of imaal terrier. Template

Irish glen of imaal terrier – group III FCI, section 1, reference number 302

  • Country of origin:  Ireland
  • Character:  nice and gentle companion, less excitable than most terriers; shows a passion for hunting small animals, but hunts in silence – he is not barking; he is usually indifferent towards strangers, he is also unlikely to be offensive to dogs – however, he will answer
  • Size:  dogs max 35.5 cm, bitches less
  • Weight:  dogs around 16 kg, bitches less
  • Coat:  medium long, two-layered: rough topcoat and soft undercoat
  • Color:  blue brindle (brindle is often not very pronounced and the dog appears uniformly blue) or wheat – from light fawn to golden history
  • Lifespan:  13-15 years
  • Vulnerability to training:  high, but sometimes stubborn
  • Activity:  needs a moderate amount of traffic; at home he is calm
  • Resistance/susceptibility to diseases:  very resistant

Interesting facts

Irish glen of imaal terrier is the only one of the nine Irish breeds that have the characteristic of achondrodysplasia, i.e. a certain type of dwarfism. This type of dwarfism causes shortening of limbs while maintaining normal body size. This is a very common mutation found in many dogs, with dachshunds at the forefront.

Glen of Imaal Terriers was once used for similar tasks as dachshunds, or badger hunting – and their strong, short and sideways paws worked well when digging in the ground.

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