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Irish Terrier



The Irish Terrier is perhaps the finest dog on earth.
- Albert Payson Terhune (Collie breeder/author)

Irish Terrier puppy

Irish Terrier puppy

Irish Terrier adult

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.  

The Irish Terrier stands 18 inches tall at the shoulder. He has a bearded face and a harsh, wiry coat in solid red, or golden-red, red wheaten, or wheaten. 

Loyal and devoted to members of his family, the Irish Terrier makes a fearless watch and guard dog as he is suspicious of strangers and territorial. Friendly, spunky, and spirited, the Irish Terrier loves to play games. He is good with children but not other pets. He is assertive and aggressive with other dogs and is best in a single dog household.

As with most terriers, he will stand his ground against other dogs, and will benefit from early training and socialization. He is intelligent and learns quickly. An Irish Terrier needs a confident leader who will apply firm, consistent training. His owner must be willing to deal with an active, determined, and sometimes obstinate breed. 

As an active breed, the Irish Terrier needs sufficient exercise and human contact. He should not be left alone for long periods as he may bark excessively, or try to dig his way out of his yard! A fenced yard is essential for off leash activity.


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Clubs and Organizations

The Irish Terrier Association of Canada



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Maple Leaf Breeders

Maple Leaf

CKC Irish Terrier Breed Standard

Photos displayed above courtesy of:
Mary Carr, Horsinaround Terriers
British Columbia


British Columbia


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Irish Terrier Rescue Organization


Did you know?

An Irish Terrier was the 
Notre Dame mascot 
for 35 years 
before the Leprechaun
got the job in 1965.



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