The Irish Terrier was once a formidable opponent in dog fighting competitions.
Irish Red Terrier
Irish Sporting Terrier
Referred to as the “dare devil” dog.
Body: Sturdy build with deep, well-muscled chest, straight, strong back, and powerful, muscular, slightly arched loin.
Coat: Hard, dense, wiry, and water-resistant with a soft, thick undercoat.
Color: Bright red, wheaten red, or golden (yellow) red.
Ears: Small and v-shaped, moderately thick, and well set on the head with high folds above the skull.
Eyes: Small, dark hazel (brown), not prominent, expressively intelligent and full of life.
Feet: Small, strong, and rounded with deep pads, and arched toes.
Head: Long, flat skull, narrow between the ears, chiseled muzzle, strong jaws, black nose, and short beard.
Legs: Forelegs are long, straight, muscular, and well-boned. Hindquarters are well-muscled and strong with powerful thighs and moderately bent stifles.
Neck: Moderately long, strong, and widening towards the shoulders.
Weight: 25 – 27 pounds (11 – 12kg)
Height: 18 – 19 inches (46 – 48cm)
Tail: Docked and high-set.
Recommended for experienced dog handlers
Recommended for an athletic owner and active family
Loves to dig and scale fences
Not good with other dogs, cats, or other small animals
AKC Standard says, “The Irish Terrier is not born with a propensity to obey. The breed’s heritage as a strong-willed, independent worker can get in the way at times. Some owners refer to this as willfulness, others as stubbornness. “Let’s try it my way first” is an Irish Terrier’s natural response to a challenge, including obedience training.”
He is bold, good-tempered, fearless, fast, elegant and graceful, devoted and loyal, energetic and robust. The Irish Red Terrier is highly intelligent and will become easily bored if not provided with an abundance of exercise, work, and play time. If his devilish mind isn’t challenged he will create his own activities that are likely to be destructive.
Caution should be taken with this breed as they do not take well to other dogs and may instigate fights. Keep them on a leash or in a securely enclosed area. He has been called “daredevil” because of his exceptional courage. If he should engage in a fight, he will not stop until the fight is over and he has won.
Early training and early socializing is crucial to the proper development of the Irish Terrier. He needs to know where he stands in the pecking order or he will decide that he is the “alpha dog” in the family.
AKC Group: Terrier Group
Used for farm work and for hunting otter and rabbits. He was also used during WWI to deliver messages among the troops.
Care and Grooming
Exercise: Vigorous daily exercise is needed for this highly energetic dog.
Grooming: Brush three to five times weekly to prevent his undercoat from matting. Top coat requires hand stripping (hand plucking of the dead hair) twice yearly. Clipping is not necessary or recommended but some owners may prefer it.
Life Expectancy: 12 – 15 Years
Country of Origin