The Irish Terrier is a medium sized dog with a long, muscular body. They have a flat head and long whiskers. The muzzle has a lot of hair, which gives the dog a distinctive look. The eyes are small and the eyebrows are large which contribute to the small look of the eyes. Ears are also small and are shaped with a point at the top. Like other dogs, they stand straight up when alert. They resemble the Wirehaired fox terrier and some even mistake this dog as that breed.
This dog has a wiry coat and can look disheveled at times. It will lay flat on the body but will need to be brushed regularly to keep it looking straight and neat. These dogs are only one color but vary in that one color. You should be able to find them in a vibrant red, wheaten, red wheaten and a golden red color. Most of them will also have a white patch on its chest, which is characteristic of this dog.
The Irish Terrier originates from Country Cork, Ireland and is viewed as one of the oldest terrier breed. In the 1700s, this dog was used for rodent killing and hunting. They were also used as messengers because of the courage and fear nothing attitude.
This dog grew in popularity in England during the 1800s. It wasn't until almost a hundred years later in 1896 that this dog made it into the United States' breed club.
The temperament of the Irish Terrier is one of a kind. This dog can be loving and happy at one minute and have a high temper the next. They are not very careful and can become hurt if he has a chance to get out into the street. This dog does not fear much which is why you have to be careful when taking this dog to the park and letting him run without a leash.
This dog makes a great pet. They love to be around their owners and aim to please every chance they get. Their loyalty shines through repeatedly. As long as you show him the same affection this dog will return the favor. You need to be careful with this dog and strangers. Because of their high level of loyalty towards its owners, they will attack someone if they feel that person is a threat.
If you have children in the home, you don't have to worry. This dog loves to play and can sometimes be rambunctious. You may need to help your Irish Terrier calm down if he gets too excited.
The Irish Terrier is a great dog to have if you don't want to deal with many health problems. This dog will not require many visits to the vet unless he gets into reckless situation as discussed in the last section. This dog usually doesn't suffer from eye, breathing or hip dysplasia problems like other dogs and seems to keep pretty healthy. If you take your dog outside to the park or to run in the woods, it's important to check him regularly for ticks so the dog does not contract Lime Disease.
Since this dog is not very large, grooming is not labor intensive. You can free yourself from having to pick up hair from home if you brush your dog regularly. This will keep shedding down to a minimum.
It may be necessary to take your Irish Terrier to a problem groomer to have its hair stripped. The wiry coat needs to be stripped either with a special knife tool for this job or by hand. This will help the dog keep its water resistant coat. Do not cut the hair on this coat because it changes it and can cause the dog to lose its water resistant qualities.
Do not bathe your dog too often because it will strip the hair of its natural oils. It will also dry out the skin, which can cause dander. Cleaning out the ears is another important grooming task. Wax and debris can get caught in the ear which can breed bacteria and cause ear infection. Finally, it's important to trim the dog's nails once a week or when needed.
This dog is energetic and a spitfire. You need to allow you dog to get some exercise or he will never calm down in your home. Plan to take your dog out at least once a day for a walk or run. Remember, these dogs love to run off and chase cars, so make sure you have a secure leash on your dog at all times.
The Irish Terrier is a delight to train because of their courage, alertness, energetic and love for their owners. They are extremely intelligent and can be trained quickly. However, at times, they can be stubborn. The best way to deal with stubbornness is to make sure that your dog gets the exercise he needs.
Starting as a puppy, train your Irish Terrier with consistency and a firm voice. You will need to make sure you do not back down when in the training process. Still keep your affection constant but also be able to continue teaching right from wrong.
Along with teaching your dog how to do tricks and learn proper behavior, it is important to socialize him with other people and animals. This is especially important because of their loyalty to their owners and the ability they have to attack strangers they do not trust. They love to chase as well, so if you have other animals especially cats in the home, it is equally important to teach your dog what is appropriate when playing. Just keep in mind that it may be hard to break the habit of chasing and digging since this is an instinctual quality for this dog.