Irish terrier

Description Irish terrier

Respectful, dominant, decisive
The Irish Terrier is a brawler and a cuddly dog ​​at the same time. The spirited dog is the hotshot of the English Terriers. Jack London describes the character of the dog “of gold – inside and out”.FCI Group: Terriers

  • Size: medium
  • Weight: 11-12kg
  • Life expectancy: 13-15 years
  • Coat type: short hair
  • Colours: red, red wheaten, yellowish red

Character Irish terrier

The long-legged terrier has a muscular, wiry body. The head is narrow, with dark, small eyes. The V-shaped ears tilt forward to the cheeks. The energetic facial expression is underlined by a long mustache. The tail is set high and carried straight up.

The spirited dog has a strong sense of territory . He is often not very well tolerated towards other dogs. Because of its rough character, the Irish Terrier is an excellent guard dog. The dog is a passionate hunter. The pronounced hunting instinct must be constantly observed during walks.

The Irish terrier behaves very cautiously and suspiciously towards strangers . The dog is closely connected to its caregiver. He is a loyal companion. With his holder he goes through thick and thin. Despite its rough edges, it is a friend for life.

He loves cozy hours at home as well as long hikes. He is friendly and calm with children.
The Irish Terrier is not a beginner’s dog. The stubborn person repeatedly questions the leadership of the holder. He also has an innate sharpness.

The upbringing must be consistent and unyielding.
Since his hunting instinct is very strong, the dog can only rarely be let off the leash. He tends to take the term “prey” very loosely. Anything that moves is considered a potential hunting trophy.
Even as a puppy, the Irish Terrier needs to be well socialized.

Training should only be carried out by trainers with sufficient terrier experience. Hunting training is ideal.
The intelligent dog not only needs a lot of exercise. He must also be sufficiently mentally challenged. He particularly appreciates dog sports such as agility or maintrailing.

The dog breed is not suitable for comfortable couch potatoes.
The robust dog has always remained a nature boy. Nevertheless, the breed is now also trimmed for beauty for exhibitions. Therefore, he should be accustomed to regular grooming as a puppy.
Because of its strong guard instinct, the Irish Terrier is also used as a guard dog .

If attacked, he will bravely fight to the end. Giving up is not an option for him. The dog never avoids an argument. Nevertheless, he is not to be classified as increasingly aggressive. He also behaves completely disrespectfully towards larger and stronger dogs.

Everywhere he wants to play the boss.

Diet Irish terrier

The Irish Terrier is not very picky about his food. He can be fed with dry food and wet food. BARF comes particularly close to the nature of the dog. The feed ration should consist of at least 60% muscle meat and offal. The remainder is made up of vegetables, fruit, cereals and rice.

Herbs and cold-pressed oils enrich the menu.
When used for hunting or dog sports, the food must contain more energy.
When feeding dry food, grain -free feed should be preferred. A high sugar or grain content can be used more poorly. The allergen gluten can trigger allergies and cause chronic diarrhea.

The high carbohydrate content increases the risk of civilization diseases. Obesity and diabetes are the result. The risk of developing tumors is greatly increased.
Irish Terriers often suffer from cystinuria. Stones are deposited in the renal pelvis, the urinary bladder and the ureters.

Feeding easily digestible animal proteins has a positive effect. Vegetable protein can favor the hereditary disease. The fat content should also be of animal origin. Vegetable fat is very difficult to digest. The kidneys are under a lot of strain.

The dog should be fed twice a day. A feed bar with raised bowls prevents them from eating too quickly. Alternatively, an anti-sling bowl can be used.
Fresh water should always be available.
Dried pieces of meat or rawhide and chewing bones are suitable as a reward.


Irish Terriers are very easy to care for. The wire-haired coat needs regular trimming and brushing. Dead hair is removed by plucking in the direction of fur growth. The coat of hair must not be cut. Color and fur structure are changed by cutting the hair.

The characteristic exterior is lost. If the Irish Terrier is trimmed regularly, it hardly sheds anymore.
Frequent bathing is not necessary. Dirt and dust can easily be brushed out of the rough coat.
By regularly checking the lop-eared ears , a parasite infestation can be detected in good time.

Redness and discharge from the external auditory canal indicate inflammation. Mild ear cleaners can be used to clean the ear canal. The ear is first cleaned externally. The ear cleaner is then dripped into the auditory canal and massaged in. The dirt washed out is removed with a soft cloth.

If necessary, the eyes must be cared for with a special cleaner. Crusts from the inner corner of the eye are removed. The formation of tear ducts is prevented.
In older dogs, the claws are often not worn down enough. Claws that have grown too long prevent the paws from properly touching the ground.

Arthrosis of the toe joints develops more quickly. The physiological movement is supported by regularly shortening the claws.
Regular care of the pads with paw balm protects the dog from injuries.
The teeth are mechanically cleaned of plaque by chewing. Additionally, a toothbrush and toothpaste made for dogs can be used.

Daily cleaning of the teeth prevents gingivitis. Teeth stay healthy into old age.


The dog breed is probably the oldest Irish terrier breed. The Irish Terrier was bred directly from the Wirehaired Black and Tan Terrier. In the past, the dog was mainly used for par force hunting of foxes. As soon as a fox hid in its burrow, the terrier was sent after it.
The fearless dog drove the fox out of its den again.

The red terrier was also used as a farm dog. If he did not accompany his masters on the hunt, he had to drive away rats and mice. The protection of the cattle was also one of his duties. Fearless in fighting, the terrier was used in dog fights.
In 1847, breeding of a confident, intelligent terrier began in Ireland.

This was the direct ancestor of today’s red beard. By 1880, many different coat colors still appeared. In England and the USA, the red coat color was considered a special feature.
Dogs with red fur were preferred for breeding. The Irish Terrier was the first Irish terrier breed to be recognized by the English Breeders’ Association.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, only the red coat color has been recognized as the standard. Brindle terriers are no longer accepted for breeding.
The first Irish Terrier breed club was founded in Dublin in 1879. The first presentation at a dog show takes place shortly afterwards in Glasgow. In 1881 the first breed standard was established.

In 1894 the breed was also represented by a club in Germany.
During the First World War, the Irish Terrier was used by soldiers as a messenger dog in trench warfare. The breed has also been systematically bred in Switzerland since 1932.
Today’s breed places more value on beauty. Nevertheless, the breed has retained its originality.

Irish terrier Accessories

If the grooming is not done in a grooming salon, a brush and trimming combs are needed. In between, the fur can be groomed with trimmer fingerstalls .
A feed bar with height-adjustable bowls prevents them from eating too quickly. The water bowl should be able to hold at least 750 ml of liquid .
A comfortable berth offers an ideal retreat.

If the dog is older, an orthopedic dog bed should be used. In this way, calluses on the elbow joints can be avoided.
The Irish Terrier can be led with a collar or a harness . Chest harnesses relieve the cervical vertebrae and prevent muscle tension. If the dog accompanies a hunter, a special harness and a hunting line are required.

On normal walks, a leash allows more freedom of movement.
Food balls and Kongs are particularly suitable for keeping the dog busy in the apartment . Intelligence toys also promote the terrier’s mental activity.

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