Irish Terrier

Dog Breed Information and Guide

Irish Terrier Temperament,

Comparable Breeds

Irish Terrier Information and Breed Notes

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The Irish Terrier Temperament is Reckless, Playful, Strong Willed and Good Tempered

The Irish Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club 1896 and is still a much admired terrier, though valued now as a companion dog rather than the fearless hunter whose traits it still retains.

Irish Terrier Temperament

If you are considering an Irish Terrier, know one thing; that this is an energetic and feisty little dare devil, the canine version of “Evel Knievel” who will recklessly chase cars or larger animals without any thought of its own well being.

The Irish Terrier personality is big! they are courageous and affectionate towards their family, their sense of loyalty is such that they will actively protect their owners, sometimes to the death if they are threatened.

 Couple this with their territorial nature and you get one of the best guard dogs around!

These qualities of courage and loyalty translate into an affectionate and loving dog with those people and other animals that it has been around and is familiar with.

Children: Best when raised with children, loves energetic play. Other dog breeds that are good with children

Exercise: Bred for an active outdoors lifestyle, long walks with lots of running and playing. They excel at terrier trials or agility events.

Grooming: Easy grooming requirements but care must be taken not to cut the coat so as not to ruin its weather resistant properties. Considered to be a suitable dog breed for allergy sufferers.

Protection level: Excellent guard dogs, alert and territorial, will actively protect its owners sometimes to the point of death!

Other Animals:  Irish Terrier temperaments make them naturally protective, they tend to be aggressive with other dogs or small animals,  and cats are also at risk unless raised with them. There is a joke which goes..."Irish Terriers are friendly with other animals if the other is submissive or dead." It goes without saying then that in order to get the most out of this dog he needs to be properly trained and socialised

Health Like many terriers, this is a fairly healthy breed and doesn't suffer greatly from any notable congenital ailments, they are not prone to allergies like many but must be regularly checked out for ticks and fleas especially if they are outdoors regularly hunting in bushes and thick undergrowth.

Finding  a reputable breeder and ensuring adequate pet insurance will of course always bring extra peace of mind regards the well being of your furry friend.

 The Ideal Irish Terrier Owner is…

Experienced active and strong willed with the knowledge to train and socialize this bouncing furry energy ball and provide safe exercise and play as they get older.

As always if you like this breed, please do the research  and ensure that you are choosing the right dog for your own lifestyle. For more information, why not visit this breeds national club

The Irish Terrier is the raciest member of the Terrier Group being longer in the body and legs than other terriers  and with a distinctive red coat that only became breed standard towards the end of the 19th century. This is one one of the oldest and widely loved of the Terrier breeds originating in County Cork, Ireland and there are paintings depicting them dating back to the 1700's.

This is an egalitarian breed and has been well loved from peasant to king alike, being widely employed as a hunter, vermin killer and even a wartime messenger dog. The breed gained great popularity in America after WW1  and ranked 13th of all breeds during the 1920’s. Despite its auspicious beginnings and undoubted qualities they are one of the rarer terrier breeds around today

Airdale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

Do You Have An Irish Terrier? We would love love to hear your story - Tell us why they are your favourite breed. Do You Have A Related Question? - Just ask and we will be happy to help .


 The American Kennel Club and Others

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© 2010-2015 Choosing-A-Dog-Made-Easy. All rights Reserved.Not intended to replace professional opinion or recommendation. Always consult your vet for advice about the medical condition of your pet.

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Older Children


Ease Of Training

Novice Owners

Breed Popularity

Breed Health




Other Dogs

Shedding Amount

 Younger Children


Active Lifestyle


Apartment Living

Cats Or Small Pets

How many registrations per year that are made for this breed. Generally breeds are popular for a reason and high popularity breeds are often a great place to start your search.

How willing and able this breed is to protect you, your family and your  home , how territorial they are and how dominant they can be. This is not necessarily  a sign of how aggressive the breed is.

Not to be confused with protection/guarding this is how alert , how vocal and how trusting your dog is. Even tiny dogs can make great watchdogs.

Being able to physically manage your dog is a vital consideration, dogs are much stronger than humans pound for pound.

 Breed Stats At A Glance:  1-5 Scale 5 is most or best 1 is least or worst

Nearly all dogs are trainable, some breeds  however are inherently more stubborn, wilful, lazy or less intelligent than others. Stubborn and stupid is a bad combo, Clever and eager is a good combo!

A variable combination of trainability, inherent temperament, dominance or natural aggression make some breeds less suitable for the novice owner  than others.

Older children are much more able to understand how to treat their dog appropriately. Parents must guage the maturity of their own children before choosing a dog.

Very young children are liable to annoy or provoke a dog and can injure smaller ones through rough play. They can themselves be knocked down or accidentally hurt by a larger or over enthusiastic dog.

A combination of how naturally active this breed is and how much daily exercise they will need. Under stimulated dogs can develop unwanted problem behaviours such as excessive barking, chewing and digging.

Some breeds happily live in apartments as long as they get enough daily exercise. Some however need big yards and lots of space. Some breeds bark a lot  so think of your neighbours!

Some breeds love nothing more than snuggling up on the couch with you whilst others are much more aloof.

Playfulness represents how eager, willing and exuberant your furry pal will be when it comes to getting down and joining in the fun.

Representing yearly averages as some breeds only shed seasonally, some shed throughout the year, and some hardly shed or dont shed at all.

How much upkeep you will need to do to keep your dog looking their best and being healthy, grooming, brushing, cleaning and  bathing etc.

All dogs can suffer health problems. Some breeds however, either through over breeding or inbreeding are more prone to serious congenital disorders than others.

How well does this breed naturally get on with other dogs? Proper socialization will mitigate most  intolerance. Intact  males generally are more problematic with other intact  males

Some breeds have naturally higher prey drives than others, however nearly all dogs can live with small animals providing they are introduced young enough and are well socialized.

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