AKC Dog Breeds: Glen of Imaal Terrier

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Terrier  Group
Height:34-36 inches   Weight: 12-15 pounds  Color: Brindle, Blue, or Wheaten

The Glen of Imaal Terrier, named for the region in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland where it was developed long ago, is a medium sized working terrier. The Glen of Imaal Terrier breed is an Irish breed and quite rare in the United States. Originally bred as working dogs, this breed was used to rid the farm and home of vermin, as well as hunt fox and badger. The Glen of Imaal Terrier's were also designed to perform the unique task of turning a rotisserie over the hearth. Longer than tall and sporting a double coat of medium length, the Glen possesses great strength and should always convey the impression of maximum substance for size of dog. Unrefined to this day, the breed still possesses "antique" features once common to many early terrier types. A medium-sized breed, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is resilient and hardy. Commonly referred to as a "big dog on short legs", this breed's low to the ground conformation makes it an excellent earth dog. Glen of Imaal Terrier's.  possess a stoic demeanor and are silent workers. The breed was registered with the AKC in 2004.

General Appearance

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a sturdy dog that resembles the Welsh Corgi - a short legged dog that is low to the ground with a long body. The front legs are a bit bowed. The harsh, shaggy, medium-length coat comes in many colors including red, blue, brindle, or wheaten. It has a rough outer coat lined with a soft, dense undercoat. The chest is broad and strong. The powerful head has a distinct stop and tapered muzzle. The head must be powerful and strong with no suggestion of coarseness and impressive in size yet in balance with, and in proportion to, the overall size and symmetry of the dog. The ears are half-pricked or half-rose shaped. The nose is black and the eyes are round and chestnut. The muzzle is wide, not pointed, and the teeth should meet in a level or scissors bite.

A determined and courageous breed when called for, the Glen of Imaal Terrier has a generally calm and gentle disposition, and is an intelligent dog that is quick to learn and eager to please. These dogs can be very willful and independent, and this makes them best suited to those with some experience when it comes to owning dogs. Spirited and energetic, this is a dog that loves to play and enjoys a range of activities, and is not for those that are looking for a dog that requires minimal exercise. Although he is loving and loyal to his owners the Glen of Imaal Terrier is not an overly demanding breed. He will bark to raise an alarm if something seems amiss, and this makes the Glen of Imaal Terrier an effective watchdog. This breed gets along well with children, but is best suited to older children. Early socialization is needed when it comes to other pets such as cats, as they can be cat chasers. They can also be aggressive with other dogs and should not be trusted around smaller animals such as rodents and rabbits. When it comes to strangers, the Glen of Imaal Terrier tends to be polite and sometimes reserved. The Glen of Imaal Terrier has a very inquisitive streak too, and care should be taken not to let him off the leash in an area that is not secured with fencing.


The Glen of Imaal Terrier is quite easy to groom. Bi-yearly stripping of the coat is required. The paw pads should be kept trimmed and the excess hair in the ears plucked out regularly.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Glen of Imaal Terrier is around 12-15 years, and there are a few health problems linked to the breed, although this is generally a hardy and healthy breed. Some of the health problems to keep an eye out for are HD and PRA.

Activity Level

The Glen of Imaal Terrier breed is suitable for both apartment and rural living. They enjoy daily walks but must always be securely leashed. They also enjoy free play in a securely fenced yard. However, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is prone to digging, so fencing must be buried deeply underground. They make excellent travel companions as they enjoy going for car rides.


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