Irish Terrier Puppies & Breed Information

Irish Terrier

Breed Characteristics

  • Size:
  • Grooming Needs:
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  • Good With Dogs:
  • Watchdog Ability:

Breed Information

Breed Group: Terrier

Weight: Male: 27; Female: 25 lbs

Height: 18 inches

Color(s): red, golden red, red wheaten, or wheaten


Originating in Ireland during the 1700s, the Irish Terrier is one of the oldest Terrier breeds. An adept hunter and exterminator of den animals, this breed also served as a wartime messenger and retriever. They were never favored by aristocracy, but were extremely valuable to the Irish farmer for their work ethic, guarding abilities, and companionship.


The Irish Terrier is medium in size and well balanced. They are graceful, active, and have a proud and majestic appearance. This breed is often referred to as a daredevil. Irish Terriers have great strength and courage will heedlessly fight any foe.


A bold, reckless, and spirited breed, the Irish Terrier is also adventurous and hot-tempered. They are loyal, devoted, and affectionate to their family. This breed is very playful and is best suited for homes with older considerate children. Irish Terriers are combative with other dogs and do not do well with other household pets. They are extremely protective of their family, home, and territory and make excellent guard dogs. The Irish Terrier is not recommended for the novice, sedentary, or inexperienced dog owner.


The Irish Terrier requires regular brushing with a stiff bristle brush to minimize shedding and remove dead hair. Bathing should only be done when absolutely necessary using a mild shampoo to preserve the integrity of the coat. The Irish Terrier is a relatively healthy breed although some are prone to hypothyroid conditions.


The Irish Terrier is a double coat breed. The outer coat is wiry and dense, fits closely to the body, and has a broken appearance. The under coat is fine and soft in texture. The color of the coat comes in solid wheaten, red wheaten, bright red, and golden red. This breed sheds little to no hair.


The Irish Terrier is quite intelligent but may be willful and difficult to housebreak. The crate training method is recommended. Intense early socialization and obedience are crucial for this breed. They do not respond to harsh or heavy-handed methods. Training the Irish Terrier must be done with firmness, fairness, consistency, respect, and commitment. They excel in hunting, retrieving, guarding and tracking as well as police and military work.


This breed is highly active and needs regular exercise. They thrive on family play sessions, securely leashed walks, and romping and running in a safely enclosed space. The Irish Terrier does not do well if left alone indoors or outdoors for an extended period of time. Without adequate stimulation and attention they become lonely, bored, and will become destructive. The Irish Terrier will do okay in an apartment dwelling provided they are given sufficient exercise.


Help reduce the number of dogs in shelters by doing your due diligence. Many puppies are often purchased with little or no knowledge of what goes into parenting one. Uneducated decisions often leave the puppy in need of adoption and in the care of rescue groups. Bringing home a puppy into your family has many benefits but we first implore you to educate yourself. An informed decision will take into account the characteristics of the breed, your lifestyle, expected veterinary care, the demands and limitations of owning one, their activity requirements and levels of companionship required.

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Updated: 11/23/2014

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