Irish Terrier: breed description, character, training, owner reviews

Quite often professional dog experts call the Irish Terrier a dog of contrasts. Indeed, in what other breed such seemingly incompatible qualities are so closely intertwined as absolute obedience and pride, energy and self-control, intelligent refinement and unpretentiousness, courage and endurance, unlimited puppy gaiety?

According to the owners, the Irish Terrier is able to adapt to any lifestyle owner. He selflessly loves his family, gives his whole soul to children. This charming red dog can be a wonderful "actor" who selflessly "sings" to music. The fighter’s reputation behind him is greatly exaggerated - he fights no more than other dogs.

Breed standard

Breed history

The Irish Terrier is probably one of the oldest members of a large family. He appeared on the territory of Ireland, presumably about two thousand years ago.The ancient manuscripts kept in the Museum of the History of Dublin contain a description of dogs similar to modern terriers, and the first drawing of these animals dates back to 1700. It is believed that the ancestors of the Irish Terrier were the Irish Wolfhound or the Black and Tan Wire-haired Terrier.

In the distant past, these animals were not kept for hunting qualities or beauty - they were unsurpassed rat catchers. Their main purpose was not to impress their article, and crush rodents. Size, color and other characteristics did not matter.

Breeding work with the breed began only at the end of the XIX century, when exhibitions of dogs became more frequent. In the same period, the fashion for indigenous breeds was formed. The very first club of breed lovers began its work in Dublin (1879). The English Kennel Club recognized these animals and referred them to the native terriers of Ireland.

It is quite natural that these dogs received the greatest popularity in their homeland, but because of the great love for children, the breed gradually began to spread throughout the world.

Breed description

The FCI standard adopted by the Irish Terrier breed describes it briefly and accurately.Compact and strong animal with a developed, but not heavy bones, hardy and strong. An important indicator is the length of the legs in relation to the basic proportions of the body. The dog should not look too squat or wide.


The head is long, the forehead is narrow between the ears and flat. It gradually narrows to the eyes. Almost no noticeable transition from the forehead to the face. The nose is black. Lips are dry, tight, outside painted dark, almost black.

Breed description

The eyes are small, dark in color, not protruding. Light or yellow eyes are not welcome standard.

The ears of the Irish Terrier are small, of moderate thickness, V-shaped. They are set high and directed forward, they fit snugly to the temples. The upper fold of the ears is noticeably higher than the level of the forehead. Heads hanging from the sides of the head are a disqualifying factor, as are semi-erect. The coat covering the ears is darker and shorter than on the body. Weight and height of different dogs can vary in weight and height, but usually the weight of a dog is on average about 15 kg, bitches - 13 kg. In withers growth from 46 to 50 cm.


The Irish Terrier has a tough coat, tight to the body.It is so thick that it is not always possible to see the skin, even with the fingers apart. It is double, the top layer is hard and straight hair, and the undercoat is softer, thicker and lighter. On the sides of the coat is softer than on the legs and back, although it has the same structure. The beard is clearly visible on the face, but not as long as that of schnauzers.


Until 1880, the color of the Irish Terrier was not completely formed. In addition to the red, occasionally there were motley animals or with black and tan colors. At the end of the 19th century, a great deal of work was done to eliminate the breeding of motley and black and tan dogs among themselves. As a result, by the beginning of the 20th century, all representatives of this breed were of red color. Today it is allowed bright red, golden-red and reddish-wheat color of wool.

When describing the breed of the Irish Terrier, it should be noted that puppies may have an even more hard coat, a dark mask on the face, darkened hair ends on the body or a strip on the back. With age, this blackness disappears.

A haircut

The standard welcomes the classic haircut of the Irish Terrier - the chest, neck and muzzle above the back of the nose are cut short.The spine is shortened on the body, but retains its silhouette. Whiskers, eyebrows and beard remain as long as possible. Hair on paws trim, but do not shorten.


Today, no one perceives Irish terriers exclusively as rat catchers. They became watchmen and just pets. This dog is always closely watching its territory and always gives a sign to the owner if it detects a disorder. Puppies need socialization, otherwise they will be too wary of strangers. The hunting instinct has been preserved in the character of the Irish terrier; therefore, small animals living in your house are unlikely to establish a close friendship with a new tenant.

It’s better not to leave the leash on the “Irish” walk, since he can immediately arrange a hunt for cats, for example. They do not like these terriers and same-sex relatives with them, with whom they arrange fights as soon as possible.

Socialization of a puppy should begin with an acquaintance with dogs, teaching the child that it is impossible to fight and try to dominate others. Canine experts believe that it is not worthwhile to start such a breed for novice dog breeders and people who are unsure of themselves, since raising such a pet requires, in addition to experience, also pronounced leadership qualities of the owner.

Irish Terrier Character

For a puppy of this breed, it is necessary to establish strict rules and limits, to keep the baby in them, but at the same time maintain self-control and calm. Training, active games, traveling with the owner will help the animal to release his irrepressible energy. During walks, the dog should be close to the owner, and not ahead. According to terriers, the owner is the one who is ahead.

Surprisingly, the Irish Terrier belongs to the family in which he lives. He loves all its members and is ready to take care and protect each of them. The well-educated “Irishman” behaves decently when walking (if, for example, the owner has entered the store), he will patiently wait for him in a secluded place.

Anxious and tender to children. However, you should not leave him alone with the kids - the dog will not in any way offend the child, but in the game it can inadvertently push him. Irish Terriers should not be started by people who do not have the opportunity to devote time to the dog for daily long walks. It is unlikely that the elderly will cope with the upbringing of such a pet.

Walking with a terrier

Terrier care

Quite unpretentious and medium-sized, representatives of this breed feel equally comfortable in a private house, in an apartment.But they need daily activity and serious exercise. Such a dog does not require complex care - its wool does not get wet and does not absorb dirt. Bathe animals when absolutely necessary.

Thick wool should be brushed periodically. Very carefully comb the beard and mustache, starting from the tips, so as not to cause discomfort to the pet. The main hygienic procedures in the care of the Irish terrier include:

  • cleaning the ears from dirt;
  • observation of the oral cavity;
  • regular veterinarian screening for infections;
  • claw trimming (once a week);
  • eye wash.

The advantages of this breed, many owners include the absence of molting. Twice a year is required trimming. During this procedure, the wool is cleared of dead hair. You are unlikely to succeed in competent trimming on your own for the first time, so it's best to entrust this procedure to a professional.

Walking with a terrier

Irish terrier puppies are very mobile and energetic. They need regular loads, games in the fresh air. This will help grow a healthy dog ​​and keep it in good shape.

What to feed

The Irish Terrier is unpretentious in eating, but in order to avoid gaining extra weight, you should follow some rules when drafting a diet:

  1. Most of it should take protein food.
  2. For this breed, underfeeding is better than overfeeding.
  3. Adult dogs are fed twice a day, with most feed in the first half of the day.
  4. A dog should always have free access to clean drinking water.

Feeding the Irish Terrier is allowed and natural products, and ready-made food. Breeders are trying to feed their pets ready-made compositions, preferring products of well-known manufacturers.

When choosing what to feed your puppy, listen to the advice of dog handlers: they recommend the use of professional food, in accordance with the age of the baby. As a rule, all such vitamins and minerals necessary for a growing dog's body are included in such compositions.

If you think that your pet is better to eat natural products, then you should understand that most of the favorite human dishes are useless, and sometimes extremely harmful to the dog. It is necessary to prepare separate dishes without salt and spices.

Vegetable puree should diversify meat or sea boiled fish. Boiled lean meat (veal, beef, rabbit, turkey) should be added to porridge, cooked in water.


The Irish Terrier is a smart and quickly trained dog, although not without a share of stubbornness and self-will. Surprisingly, despite their boundless loyalty, these dogs do not seek to please the owner with their successes. For this reason, the representative of this breed should be trained using positive reinforcement and treats, and the teams should be short and clear.

dog training

This is a dog that has a strong character and expressed individuality. The training of such a pet should least of all resemble a drill. Before the owner of the animal is a difficult task - to turn every dog ​​training into a game, an exciting activity, so that the rights of the dog are not violated.

The red-haired handsome man will not tolerate punishment even from his beloved master - he will be offended, and all the results achieved will be crossed out with a single wrong move. It is necessary to do everything gently, not to offend the dog, but try to convince him.Very important in the training perseverance and consistency. Do not try to learn several teams at the same time. To the new task should go after mastering the previous one.

The dog gets tired of monotonously repeating the exercises, so the 30-minute workout should be divided into learning commands and games. The transition to the combined complex commands should be when you are sure that you are in complete control of the behavior of the animal, and your pet is ready to continue to practice further.

Terrier puppies

Irish Terrier: owner reviews

Many owners of these animals admit that this is not an easy breed. At home they are docile and complex, during a walk they turn into a hurricane, a sea of ​​positive and movement. Despite some problems in education, terriers are always pets. They are smart, clean, immensely love their family. Owners of such pets recommend beginners in dog breeding to refuse cry and physical punishment. Carrots and sticks is not a terrier method. Such a dog can be started by people who are patient, calm and non-aggressive.

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