Irish Terrier

Not well known outside of Europe, the Irish Terrier is a magnificent specimen of the Terrier family. A hunter at the root, he is excellent for guarding, and is a pleasant companion that can make everyone happy. Not aggressive at all, he is intelligent and knows when his family needs protection. Well educated, he makes the best companion for all types of owners. The breed deserves to expand far beyond its current boundaries.

Height 46 to 48 cm
Weight 12 to 13 kg
Life expectancy 13 to 15 years
Home country Republic of Ireland

Quick Overview of the Irish Terrier


  • Very gentle
  • Courageous
  • Rarely aggressive
  • Lively, cheerful and very affectionate


  • All nerves and muscles
  • Bulky, but not heavy
  • High-powered look


  • No particular health issues
  • Generally enjoys good health
  • Long life expectancy

Temperament of the Irish Terrier

Unlike others in his category, the Irish Terrier is very gentle. Brave but rarely aggressive, he has all the aptitudes of an excellent guardian.

Lively, cheerful and affectionate, he is sometimes independent, but he remains very loyal to his family.

He has all the qualities of the Terrier in general and does not possess his negative features. He is distrustful of strangers and always very brave.

Sometimes stubborn, less so than other Terriers, but enough to disobey if his education is not adequate, it is preferable to not neglect his education. He is still sociable with humans and other animals.

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Breed Appearance

Irish terrier

Full of nerves and muscles, the Irish Terrier is an athletic but light dog. Energetic, agile and lively, his gait exudes great power.


Between 46 and 48 cm (18.11 to 18.90 inches) for the male
Between 46 and 48 cm (18.11 to 18.90 inches) for the female


Between 12 and 13 kg (26.46 to 28.66 pounds) for the male
Between 12 and 13 kg (26.46 to 28.66 pounds) for the female


His dress is one color. It can be red, red-yellow or red-orange wheat.


His hair is dense and hard. It has a "wiry" texture that looks broken and is flat on the body.

The surface hair is so dense that it is almost impossible to see the skin, even when you separate the hairs with your fingers. The undercoat is much finer and softer than the surface hair.


The Irish Terrier's long head is completely wrinkle-free. His skull is flat and fairly narrow, and the stop is barely visible except from the side.

His small, bright and intelligent eyes are dark. His small ears are v-shaped and fall forward. His nose is black.

His tail is carried cheerfully and has very coarse hair. It is set high, but should not be curled or carried over the back.

According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 3, section 1 and is #139

Tips About this breed

This magnificent specimen of the Terrier family can live outdoors as well as indoors.

He needs a lot of exercise. A large garden will allow him to spend his energy as he pleases, but the city dog can also use his daily walk as an opportunity to spend his energy gathered during the day.

Very friendly and affectionate, the Irish Terrier loves children.

He is very attached to his family, and despite his rather independent temperament, he will be totally faithful to them.

He is rarely aggressive, but he will step in if he feels the need, and will stop at nothing.

Because of his temperament, he must be able to benefit from an adequate education.

He's mostly flexible, but he can be very stubborn at times. Socialization and education must be early and adequate for the Irish Terrier.

He will then become an excellent life companion for the whole family.

Health of the Irish Terrier

Very robust, this hardy dog does not have any particular health problems. He appreciates regular exercise. He generally enjoys excellent health and longevity.


In spite of his rather short coat, it is preferable to brush it regularly. An energetic brushing of his "wiry" hair is recommended.

It is also beneficial for his dense fur to wash it from time to time. No other maintenance is really necessary.

History of this breed

Even though he comes from Ireland, it is difficult to retrace his history before the beginning of the 19th century.

The crossbreeding used to create the breed is hypothetical; some say that the Irish Terrier is the result of crosses between the Black and Tan English Terrier, the Welsh and Scottish Terrier, while others claim that they are from the Terrier family, and the Wolfhound or Greyhound. It is, however, one of the oldest Terriers in the country.

Before the 1800's, his origin is not confirmed but in 1875, he appeared for the first time in exhibitions, and it was in 1879 that his first official club was created. About a year later, he received his first standard.

The English Kennel Club recognized the breed towards the end of the 19th century. His role as an army messenger during the First World War made him famous, and introduced the world to his recklessness and speed.

He was widely used at one time for hound and gun hunting, and as a messenger during the war. As the breed has undergone great evolution, today he is mainly appreciated as a show and guard dog and, above all, a companion dog.

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