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Irish Terrier
Characteristics, History, and Health

Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier, also known as the Daredevil of the Emerald Isle, has a fiery red coat and fiery temperament to match. It is an ancient breed originating from Ireland, with a history that dates back to the 17th century. They were initially bred for hunting and vermin control on farms, and they were also skilled at guarding property. Over time, their popularity spread beyond Ireland, and they became well-regarded for their loyalty, courage, and versatility.

Main Info
Alternate Names
Irish Red Terrier, Red Terrier
Life Expectancy
12-15 years
Average Male Height
18 inches
Average Female Height
18 inches
Average Male Weight
27 pounds
Average Female Weight
25 pounds
Coat Length
Coat Type
Double, Wiry
Coat Colors
Red, Red Wheaten, Wheaten
Coat Pattern

Genetic Predispositions and Health

Irish Terriers can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, degenerative myelopathy, and progressive rod-cone degeneration. A specific hereditary condition for which they should be tested is hereditary footpad hyperkeratosis. Genetic testing can assist veterinarians with diagnosis and proactive care, as well as help breeders identify affected and carrier dogs.

Personality and Behavior

Irish Terriers are known for their spirited, confident, and lively personalities. They are fiercely loyal and affectionate towards their family members and make excellent watchdogs due to their alert nature. They are intelligent and trainable but can display some stubbornness at times, requiring consistent and patient training methods. This breed tends to get along well with children and other pets when properly socialized from an early age.

The Irish Terrier has a distinctive wiry, dense, and water-resistant double coat. The outer coat is rough and wiry, while the undercoat is softer and provides insulation. The coat requires regular grooming to maintain its texture and prevent matting.

Fun Facts

Irish Terriers are often called the "Daredevil" of the dog world due to their fearless and bold nature.

They used to come in many coat colors, including black & tan, gray & brindle, and more. It wasn't until the end of the 19th century that the solid red coat colors became a main feature of the breed.

During World War I, Irish Terriers were used as messenger dogs on the battlefield.

Notable personalities, such as American presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Warren G. Harding, have owned Irish Terriers.