Irish Terrier : dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

Among all the physical characteristics of the Irish Terrier we highlight that it is active, lively, agile and muscular, it is a strong and resistant animal, with an elegant appearance; much more the rest of terrier dogs.

The Irish Terrier is a dog with a strong and muscular build, but not heavy or coarse. Its body structure denotes agility, vivacity and elegance.

How is the Irish Terrier breed physically?

The height of the withers, in both males and females, is approximately 45 cm from the ground.

The head is long, with a flattened and narrow skull, a barely perceptible stop and a narrow muzzle finished in a black nose. It has a typical beard with long and silky hair, similar to that of the border terrier.

Their eyes are dark in color and with a very intense, lively and intelligent look, they are characterized by being rather small and not too prominent.

It has small, moderately thick and triangular shaped ears. They are well implanted in the skull and bend, falling forward. The fold is above the skull.

The feet are small but strong, rounded and endowed with thick and firm pads. The fingers are well curved and have dark nails, usually black.

Its tail, in countries where legislation allows it, the last third is usually amputated, which is erect and firm, and is covered with short, rough and hard hair.

Regarding its coat , the whole body is well covered with a dense and tight layer of hair not very long and with a rough texture. The Irish terrier is red, reddish fawn or reddish yellow in color.

Of this breed of terrier dogs, both the reddish tone of its coat and its beautiful physical appearance stand out, since it is a more elegant and elongated animal than the other components of the group.

Of very ancient origin, it is descended from the old English black and tan terrier, which was possibly crossed with the Irish greyhound. Which gave it a larger size, more elegance and the uniform coloration of the mantle. Beauty perhaps only comparable to that of the Yorkshire terrier.

Irish Terrier breed standard

Let’s see below  what the Irish terrier is like and the breed standard:

  • General appearance: it is an active, lively, agile, very muscular, strong and resistant animal. It is not excessively heavy or robust, but rather has a graceful, fast runner appearance.
  • Size and size: medium / large.
  • Height at the withers: between 44 and 46 cm for males and between 42 and 44 cm for females
  • Weight: between 11 and 12 kg for males and between 10 and 11 kg for females.
  • Origin: Ireland.
  • Body: it is symmetrical, neither too long nor too short.
  • Head: it is long and somewhat fine-tuned.
  • Skull: narrow between the ears, quite flattened.
  • Muzzle: it is narrow, with tight lips and almost black on the outside. The cheeks are not very prominent.
  • Nose: it is black.
  • Eyes: they are small, not very bulging and with a very lively expression, of an intelligent and alert dog. They have dark colored irises.
  • Ears: well set on the skull, they are small, triangular and fall forward. Moderately thick, the fold line is above the skull and is covered by short hair of a darker color than the rest of the body.
  • Naso-frontal depression (stop): it is very little visible, as it is normally only appreciated if the dog is looked at in profile.
  • Jaws: the jaws, strong, muscular and quite long, are endowed with robust and level teeth.
  • Neck: good bearing, moderately long, does not present a dewlap and gradually widens as it approaches the shoulders. On both sides of the neck there is usually a small swirl of hair.
  • Chest: it is deep and muscular, with the ribs quite inclined backwards.
  • Back: strong and straight, does not have any appearance of e 11 It is muscular and slightly arched, and in females it is usually long.
  • Forelimbs: they are very straight. The shoulders are well laid back and long. Both the forearms and arms are quite long, they are very straight and have good bones and strong muscles. Elbows: Move freely, unobstructed to the sides
  • Hind limbs: they are strong and muscular. The legs have powerful thighs. His knees are moderately angled. The hocks are quite low.
  • Feet: they are strong and rather round, they are moderately small, with arched and straight toes, without deviating neither inwards nor outwards. They are endowed with firm and healthy pads (showing no cracks or bumps) and generally black nails.
  • Tail: set quite high, the dog wears it happily raised, without curling it or folding it over the back. Of good length and firmness, it is covered with rough and hard hair, but it does not present fringes. In countries that allow amputation there is a tradition of cutting a third of its length.
  • Hair: very dense and with a wire texture; hard but brittle in appearance. As it is short and very tight, it prevents the body shape of the dog from being well appreciated. On the face it is even shorter, almost smooth and flattened, but it sports a goatee, with long silky hair.
  • Color: it is uniform in color, and usually of a bright red, reddish tawny or reddish yellow hue. Sometimes a white mark is seen on the chest.
  • Movement: the dog advances with the extremities carried well forward and parallel. The elbows have a free movement, without obstacles to the sides, and the knees advance straight, since they do not turn inwards or outwards.
  • FCI Classification: FCI n ° 139 FCI GROUP 3 Terriers – Section 1 Large and medium size Terriers.

Irish Terrier puppies

If you are considering the adoption or purchase of an Irish terrier puppy, there are a number of aspects that we believe a future owner should take into account before making a decision.

For example, the Irish terrier’s diet must be balanced and, especially during the puppy stage, it is convenient to divide it into several servings a day. You can see more information below in the food section.

Owners should provide their pet with the possibility of getting plenty of exercise and, if possible, long hours outdoors. This is the way for the animal to be healthy both physically and mentally and to be happy.

As a good terrier, the Irish is dominant and somewhat possessive, so hierarchical disputes can arise with other dogs, especially if both are male. Therefore, a good socialization from puppyhood is essential

Education and training of the Irish Terrier breed

Regarding how to educate an Irish terrier, say that being a very intelligent dog with a strong temperament, if you perceive signs of weakness in its owners, try to impose your own criteria and stay in control of the situation occupying a position that does not corresponds.

Therefore, as soon as the Irish Terrier puppy arrives home, an intense socialization process must begin, trying to put the dog in as many situations as possible. Thus, its temperament will become accustomed to all kinds of circumstances, including the most stressful ones, and, thus, it can become a dog completely integrated into modern life.

The ideal is to integrate it in some activity in which the animal can put all its skills into practice. In addition to hunting, which is its traditional function, this breed, thanks to its physical aptitudes, performs very well in sports such as agility or flyball .

Irish Terrier diet

As for food, and how to feed an Irish Terrier, it is important to keep the dog at the correct weight, especially during the growth phases, in gestation if it is reproductive females, or in old age.

At those times, the animal is more susceptible to imbalances that could lead to the appearance of different types of conditions.

Thus, the basic diet of this dog must include a good proportion of proteins of animal origin that guarantee a perfect muscular and skeletal development, and also have adequate fats, of known origin and good quality, that help to stimulate the immune system, sight and the health of skin and hair.

Fortunately, it is now easy to find dog food specially designed for these types of dogs in specialized pet stores or online.

Irish Terrier health and diseases

The Irish Terrier is a healthy and long-lived breed that does not have a special tendency to suffer from any serious disease.

To guarantee its health, its owner must combine various factors such as adequate exercise, good hygiene, a balanced diet and good veterinary control, basically.

The veterinarian is, in fact, a very important figure to whom one should turn for help and advice in the care of the pet. It is in charge of identifying the puppy with a subcutaneous microchip (which is the one that facilitates the location of the animal in case of theft or loss) and also.

Who establishes the program of vaccinations and deworming, fundamental bases of good canine health. Likewise, they are responsible for checking the eyes, mouth and ears, as well as a regular check of skin and hair.

A healthy Irish Terrier is a little gem, because its friendly character and lively and cheerful temperament make it an ideal companion who enjoys with his family any activity in which he is enrolled.

Specific care of the Irish Terrier breed

The Irish terrier, like many other breeds of the terrier group of dogs, has a specific and traditional aesthetic arrangement, like that of the Bedlington terrier.

Their owners should be aware of this and try as much as possible to learn how to properly groom their dog or have a professional do it.

How to care for the hair of the Irish Terrier?

Grooming the Irish terrier

As with almost all breeds, the first step that must be taken for the aesthetic maintenance of this dog is brushing, a practice that has to be carried out quite frequently and on a regular basis.

For this you can use either a metal card or a special mitten for terriers, since the objective is to work the coat sufficiently and in depth to eliminate all the dead hair.

The eyebrows, ears, beard and legs are brushed only with the metal brush, and can be finished with a metal comb, which helps to add a bit of volume in some areas.

Irish Terrier Bath

If it is necessary to bathe the animal, a special shampoo for terriers should be used that does not alter the texture of its coat. Contrary to what many people think, it is not advisable to use any conditioner after lathering with this breed.

What is really important is to always rinse all the hair very well in order to remove any traces of soap, otherwise allergies or flaking could occur.

Once well rinsed and after cutting the nails, the dog is dried. First, the excess water is removed with the help of your hands, paper or towels, and then it is finished using a dryer or an air ejector while the hair is opened with the metal card so that the air reaches the roots well.

Irish Terrier Hair Grooming

The hair of the Irish Terrier is double-layered; On the one hand, there is the tight and hard covering mantle, with a wire texture, and on the other, a dense and silky undercoat that acts as a thermal insulator.

Thus, once all the coat has been thoroughly brushed, the first thing to do is take care of this undercoat, removing all excess.This work is carried out using a trimming blade with the appropriate numbering, and it has to be done both on the body as well as on the skull, neck and the back of the hindquarters, leaving the appropriate length in each area.

Once the blade is passed, you can finish and refine the result with your fingers, using rubber thimbles if necessary, pulling off the excess hair to achieve a uniform result.

It is also possible to use a pumice stone, which helps to equalize and eliminate possible jumps or shearing that may have been between the areas that have hair with different lengths,

In the ears, the anterior part of! The neck and back of the thighs is where the hair should be kept shorter.

The legs are then worked, which are well carded to give them volume, and then trimmed using scissors for sculpting and other smooth ones, and trying to give them a tubular shape that accentuates the feeling of solidity and body.

Lastly, the beard and eyebrows are groomed, which are first combed with the metal comb and then trimmed with the help of scissors until they are at the appropriate length and with the desired shape.

The hair on the tail is cut short with the scissors.

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