The Irish Terrier is a fearless guard dog whose roots cannot properly be traced. They are native dogs in Ireland as their name suggests and are considered to be one of the oldest in the terrier family. Due to their loyalty and fearless nature, they were used in World War 1 as messenger dogs. This gave them high recognition and regards for their outstanding performance during that time. They are also generally kept as farm dogs to ensure utmost security in the homestead. They are hardworking dogs as they will deter any form of threat that may present itself. They are good hunting dogs due to their aggressive nature.
They weigh in at about 11 – 13 Kg and stand at a height of 17 to 20 inches. It has an appearance of having a long head that is flat at the top with a black nose and dark eyes covered with bushy eyebrows. They have downward folding ears that face forward and are slightly darker than the rest of the coat color. It has a long tail that is normally docked after birth by a quarter its original size though this may be illegal in some countries. They have long whiskers and also long beards that start off from the side of the nose down to the mouth.
Though they are fearless animals, they tend to be reserved to strangers. They become overly aggressive when an individual or animal poses a threat to them. They try to protect their territory to the point of death. This great display of loyalty is what attracted farmers to acquire this dog as it makes the best guard dog. In addition to guarding, they provide good companionship to the owner as they enjoy curling up and relaxing near people. They are effervescent animals that exude a lot of lives but not hyperactive and won’t strive to seek people’s attention. They are dominant among other dogs due to their fearless nature.
Ensure the dog is always on a leash particularly in public areas or with other dogs around. It does not back down from a challenge even from bigger dogs, and this may pose a danger to the Irish Terrier hence close watch is important. Ensure fence height is high enough as they have tendencies of finding their way out. They require moderate exercise on a daily basis and is also important to train them so as to manage their aggressive nature
Irish Terrier is a healthy breed with very few known hereditary diseases. They have a general life expectancy of 12 – 14 years.
It is important to feed the dog daily high-quality meal with all the nutrients. Ensure it eats consistently twice a day and portions will vary depending on the dog’s size and age.
Coat color and grooming
They are covered with thick wiry hair. The coat is brownish red and has a dense covering of hair on it and hard texture. It is important to regularly brush the hair on a weekly basis.
Family and other animals
The Irish terrier loves to play with children due to their energy levels and size. They make a good family dog due to their loyalty and display of affection. They are however not very relational with other dogs and can even be aggressive towards them.