Did you know?
An Irish Terrier was the Notre Dame mascot for 35 years before the Leprechaun got the job in 1965.
The Irish Terrier is perhaps the finest dog on earth. – Albert Payson Terhune
Not much is known of the Irish Terrier’s past but he has worked as a farm dog and guard dog in Ireland for hundreds of years. He is believed to be the oldest of the terriers originating in Ireland. He has also been used as a ratter and to flush game and retrieve it.
The Irish Terrier was used during World War I to take messages into the trenches and acquired a reputation for bravery and daring.
In his 1947 book, The Irish Terrier, F.M. Jowett writes “They are described by an old Irish writer as being the poor man’s sentinel, the farmer’s friend, and the gentleman’s favourite”.
The Irish Terrier stands 18 inches (46 cm) tall at the shoulder and weighs 27 pounds (12 kg). He has a bearded face and a harsh, wiry coat in solid red, red wheaten, or golden. His tail was once docked but that practice is now forbidden in many countries.
Photos displayed courtesy of Mary Carr, Horsinaround Terriers, British Columbia
Loyal and absolutely devoted to members of his family, Irish Terriers make fearless watch and guard dogs as they are suspicious of strangers and territorial. He will guard his owners, the children in his charge, or their possessions, with matchless courage and no regard for the potential for danger or hurt to himself. As a watchdog he is always on guard against any threat.
Friendly, spunky, and spirited, Irish Terriers love to play games. They are good with children but not other pets. They are assertive and aggressive with other dogs and are best in a single dog household.
As with most terriers, they will stand their ground against other dogs, and will benefit from early training and socialization. They are intelligent and learn quickly. Irish Terriers need a confident leader who will apply firm, consistent training. Their owners must be willing to deal with an active, determined, and sometimes obstinate breed.
As an active breed, Irish Terriers need sufficient exercise and human contact. They should not be left alone for long periods as they may bark excessively, or try to dig their way out of their yard! A fenced yard is essential for off leash activity.