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Glen of Imaal

Terrier Dogs


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The Glen of Imaal Terrier
By: Tippy & Alfred

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is the least known of the four
native Irish terrier breeds. They first became show dogs in
1933 in Ireland but not in England until 1982! They are
still fairly rare in England but are a little more popular
in the United States.

They are working terriers that are known for "gameness,"
meaning that they are big dogs in a small package and "Never
say die." They originally hunted badgers, which are
certainly "game" so they had to be willing to stand their

Game is not the same as aggressive, however, and Glen of
Imaal Terriers make excellent companion dogs, being quieter
and somewhat less easily excited than other terriers,
especially if given enough exercise, and easy to train if
the owner is experienced. If raised around children they
love them.

Their deep bark makes them good warning dogs as they sound
larger than their size, but they are not at all yappy,
having been bred to hunt silently. The original Glen of
Imaal Terrier worked around the cottage for his supper,
keeping animals out of the garden and crops, herding stock,
killing vermin, and digging out badgers, foxes and otters
for his owner.

This breed's height of twelve and one half to fourteen
inches (thirty-one and three-fourths to thirty-five and one
half centimeters) at the shoulder belies their sturdy
frames. Dogs weigh as much as thirty-five pounds at
adulthood, with the females slightly lighter.

Their bodies are somewhat longer than they are tall. In
this way they are built somewhat similar to the Welsh Corgi.
The front legs are a bit bowed and the chest and head are
large and powerful. Ears are of twelve and one half to
fourteen inches (thirty-one and three-fourths to thirty-five
and one half centimeters) at the shoulder.

Acceptable coat colors in show dogs include wheaten, blue or
brindle, which colors allowed them to blend with the heather
and other foliage when hunting. Their rough, harsh coat
doesn't shed but does require twice yearly stripping. The
undercoat is short and soft.

Interesting facts about the Glen of Imaal Terrier include
the history that they are descended from the gigantic Irish
Wolfhound that belonged to a garrison of Highlanders and
mated with all the local hounds and terriers back in the
late 1700's.

Another interesting bit of history says that these dogs,
because of their small size but great strength, were used to
turn the large spits in the kitchens of Monasteries and royalty.

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