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Irish Terrier

If there is a Terrier breed that deserves the monikor of daredevil or jaunty more than the Irish Terrier, they are not bold enough to step forward and claim it.  Perhaps no Terrier is bolder or more protective of their beloved family than the Irish Terrier.  With an easy to maintain coat and convenient size, it would be easy to think that the Irish Terrier would be a great pet for a wide varieties of homes and lifestyles.  If they are properly bred, and carefully reared with a committed and dedicated eye to heavy socializing and training they might be but the Irish Terrier is an intense personality that can often slip from protectiveness into aggression.  They deserve homes that are knowledgeable and dedicated to help avoid this fate.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): Terrier Height: around 18 inches
Weight: 25-27 pounds Longevity: mid teens
Colors: solid colored from wheaten to deep red Coat type: dense and wiry with broken quality but lies close to the body
Recognized Registries: FCI, UKC, AKC, NCA and others
Overall Appearance: Active, agile, and wiry but strong in build. Clearly Terrier type of substance with balance and characteristic head and expression.
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: relatively high
General Nature: vigilant, quick, vibrant, intense, spirited, toward family intensely devoted, loyal and protective to the death
  with Children: very patient with those they know well
  with other pets: not ideal, the Terrier was developed to kill vermin
  with dogs: variable
Socialization requirements: very high as the Irish Terrier trusts their own judgement to the utmost and has a protective streak
Ideal home characteristics: One that appreciates the intense and loving character within the tough body and the willingness of the dog to enter into hazard to protect their family.
Temperament Notes: Can be reckless to the point of being known as the
Training requirement: moderate: heavy socialization and basic manners
Trainer notes: The Irish Terrier is a fun and happy training partner with a creative and imaginative flair due to their reckless, devil may care attitude and profound agility.  At the same time, the Irish Terrier, as devoted as they may be, also enjoys their own sense of judgement.  This dog is likely to pull out the most entertaining ideas at the most inopportune times (like when it would send a crowd into giggles) which serves as a great reinforcement.  Essentially the person that seeks to train the Irish Terrier extensively must be very patient, have a great sense of humor and take great joy in the process because the "end" might be a ways off!
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: The oldest of the Irish breeds of Terrier but the dog of the common man so few records remain.
Country of Origin: Ireland
Original Function: Ratter
History: The dog of the common people in Ireland. By early 1900s it was standardized in size with only the red color being allowed.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: oversized, poor dentition, excessive coat
Health Notes: PRA, deafness, hyperthyroidism, aggression (temperament issues), cataracts, cystinuria, digital hyperkeratosis
Health Testing: Genetic Testing (for cystinuria and digital hyperkeratosis), CERF (for cataracts and PRA), thyroid panel,
Questions to ask Breeder:  http://www.digitaldog.com/breeder_questions.html  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for! 
  • How long have you had Irish Terriers?
  • Why do you have Irish Terriers (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of an Irish Terrier?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Irish Terrier?
  • How would you describe the ideal Irish Terrier home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training an Irish Terrier?
  • How do you assist or help Irish Terriers in need of rescue?
  • Web Sites:

    http://www.dogbiz.com/dogs-grp4/irish-t/it-rescue-info.htm - Irish Terrier Club of America Rescue Network

    Other Resources
    Breed standard:

    http://www.ukcdogs.com/breeds/terriers/irishterrier.std.shtml - UKC Standard for the Irish Terrier

    http://www.akc.org/breeds/irish_terrier/index.cfm - Irish Terrier Club of America Standard for the breed

    http://www.irishterriers.com/welcome.htm?standardckc.htm- Standard for the Irish Terrier of the Canadian Kennel Club

    Breeder Ethics:

    http://www.irishterriers.com/itca/codeethics.htm - Code of Ethics for the Irish Terrier Club of America

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