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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Irish Terrier

Group: Terriers (Group 2)
Club: Sporting Terrier Club of Victoria Inc (Group 2)
Contact: Ms Margaret Gray
Phone: 0418 410 017

Brief History
Bred by people of meagre means, the Irish Terrier needed to be a hardy, low maintenance dog with few ailments. The dog had to be a trusted family companion, guardian and a handy hunting dog so an agile, fast dog that was able to run down a rabbit and take on a fox or badger was developed. Working underground, the Irish had to make life and death decisions for itself. If you do not like a free-thinking dog, then the Irish are not suitable. Today breeders focus on the companion aspect of the breed. As a fairly intuitive dog, the most fun loving Irish Terrier will calm down for the elderly and the very young.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog, please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. The average life span is 15 years. Some live much longer.

Free thinking, fun loving and protective.

Irish have a great sense of humour and their owners need one too. Irish will relish problem solving. Not overly prone to digging huge holes, an Irish will probably delight in pulling down your washing. Irish owners must provide safe accommodation and environmental enrichment. The breed rarely goes looking for trouble, but most of them will not back down from a fight. If you wish to own two Irish, they should be of different sexes. Introduced correctly, they will usually be fine with cats. However, it is difficult for them to co-exist with chickens unless the chickens are very well confined. They are very protective and enjoy their family. They make amazing family pets.

General Breed Description
An Irish is a relatively light, medium sized, long legged terrier. Built along the lines of speed and endurance, this breed still has the square terrier look, the narrow head squared off with a beard and a tail like a full stop. The colour is all shades red. Some will have a small patch of white on the chest. Puppies are often born with soft black hair overlaying the body and this falls out by 4 to 6 months of age.

Coat and Care Requirements
The Irish Terrier has a harsh, slightly wavy or straight coat which gives protection from the elements. If left untrimmed some will look like a coir mat.  Irish can be trimmed by hand stripping or clipping 3 or 4 times a year. Weekly brushing and combing is ideal. If you prefer the scruffy look, you do not need to attend groomers, but you should ensure that good hygiene is adhered to by keeping the coat well combed and the hair in-between the foot pads and around the private parts clipped. A very trainable breed, you need to be creative with ‘’positive training’’.

Height: Males 48cms (19ins), Females 46cms (18ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed health and what health testing the breeder does.

Single people, families, young or old, Irish Terriers are adaptable. Ideal for people who like free thinking dogs, Irish Terriers are great for people who like to go for a walk every day and who will take them to things like Agility, Lure coursing, Scent work and Tracking. This is not a breed to let off the lead in the park. They like to be in the house but can also cope with being outside while their owner is at work. Owners that enjoy a dog that absolutely loves to invent new games are perfect for an Irish.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard:

Registered Breeders