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Irish Terrier

 

Irish Terrier

 

Description

Even though the Irish Terrier was originally bred by Irish farmers to protect their small holdings, this dog really earned his stripes during WW1 running as a messenger dog. Their efforts and bravery were legendary; they were an asset to the troops. In more recent years the Irish Terrier has edged his way into the comforts of family life with his enchanting personality he can easily win over the hearts and minds of those who are lucky enough to share their home with one.

 

Temperament

Resembling a clown with a great sense of humour, this breed is reasonably active and can enjoy running after a ball as much as it can sleeping on the furniture if permitted.  Easily trained and proven to be lovely with children, gentle with the elderly and accepting of invited guests. Sadly much is written about these dogs being aggressive towards other dogs however; this is an injustice to the breed. The truth is that entire males, and sometimes females, at times show same sex aggression but this seems to be limited to situations where there is active breeding occurring. Away from that environment and with the correct socialization this is a very amiable breed and will only show aggressive behavior in response to an unprovoked attack from another dog.

 

Appearance

Height: 46-50cm (18-20in)

Weight: 11 to 12 kg (25-27 lb)

This very handsome breed can look scruffy which in itÂ’s own way is very cute and quite endearing. Being of a medium size the Irish Terrier is very sound, possessing plenty of substance yet remaining racy and elegant in outline.  They have a rough coat which resembles that of a Wire Fox Terrier or an Airedale Terrier but it is much less profuse and much easier to maintain and comes in all shades of red, from a wheaten colour through to a deep red.

 

Grooming

This breed has a double coat and is one of the easiest of the double coated breeds to look after.  If you like the look but not the constant combing and grooming then this breed will please you as they do not shed hair.  You will need to comb the dog once a week or fortnight to stop the coat from matting and to collect dead hair.  Alternatively they can be kept tidy by visiting the dog grooming salon two to three times a year for clipping.  

 

Life Expectancy

12-16 Years

 

Health Concerns

The Irish Terrier is lucky enough to have been blessed with good health. The only known hereditary condition is hyperkeratosis (corny feet), which is quite rare nowadays.

 

Suitability

A fit, energetic individual or an active family would suit these dogs down to the ground as the Irish Terrier requires a lot of regular exercise.  A securely-fenced yard is vital, and they are not recommended for an apartment or home without a yard. They love riding in cars and will want to be taken everywhere with you.  They make great indoor dogs but they are not recommended for situations where they will be left alone for long periods of time, as they will find ways of entertaining themselves by digging, chewing and other destructive behaviors and can become problem barkers.

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Terriers; dogs in this group were bred to drive foxes, rabbits and other quarry from their underground retreats. A few in this group include Airedale Terrier,  Silky Terrier and Cairn Terrier to mention a few.

 

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