A golden red, wiry haired dog, with little ears that flop down into a v shape, sits happily in a field of long grass and daisies.

Irish Terrier

One of the oldest breeds of the terrier group, Irish Terriers are affectionate, loyal and eager to please. We’ve gathered lots of interesting information about this breed with help from the lovely owners in the BorrowMyDoggy community.

Bailey is standing on a fallen tree trunk, looking off into the distance on a snowy day

Ettie, who owns Irish Terrier, Roisin, says:

“she is friendly and very lively! Loves playing and chasing with other dogs and has no aggression. Loves cuddling. Can be mischievous, so better hide your slippers and remote controls. Also loves the car and paddling in water (can swim but prefers not to!). Favourite things are going for walks, chasing squirrels and food! She gets a lot of compliments and is an attractive specimen of her breed”

What is an Irish Terrier?

Irish Terriers are said to be the oldest of all Irish terrier breeds. Their origination is not known, but some people believe they were developed from an Irish Wolfhound crossed with a Black and Tan terrier-type dog!

These terriers were usually found on farmlands to protect and guard livestock. They have now become a much loved family dog due to their affectionate natures. Unfortunately they are considered a vulnerable breed by the Kennel Club but numbers are slowly rising.

Molly is lying on a sofa half covered by a fur blanket. She looks very comfortable and quite fancy.

How much exercise do they need?

As with most terriers, Irish Terriers are high in energy and require up to an hour of exercise a day with as much off-lead exercise as possible.

As with most terriers, Irish Terriers are high in energy and require up to an hour of exercise a day with as much off-lead exercise as possible. Again, like any terrier, they need to be given varied walks to keep them from getting bored and providing enough mental stimulation. They also like to have lots of space to run around when not out on a walk so a garden is a must if you are considering owning an Irish Terrier.

Winston is a ginger, shaggy-haired dog. He's sitting on grass in front of a large, old building.

Here are some indicative descriptions of the breed from our community:

Amber’s dog, Sonny:

“loves people, long walks anywhere but especially beach, woods, muddy wet places. He likes to chase cats, squirrels, pigeons, seagulls - oh wait, just about anything! He's good on the lead and harness although prefers to be off lead. He's well behaved and responds to commands (most of the time, depends what needs chasing and he is a terrier!) Naturally curious, very friendly and good with people big and small."

Kerry, who owns Odie, says she is:

a mix of lazy at home and bouncy outside! Very loving, good with all humans and dogs. Wants to sniff all cats. Sometimes thinks she is a cat.

What about temperament?

Irish Terriers are known to be the most gentle of the terrier breeds and are highly recommended for families with children. They do form strong bonds with their family members which does mean they don’t like being left at home on their own for very long. With their love for their owners, they make great watch dogs and will be very protective.

Meg is on the beach, she's quite wet and clutching a blue ball between her front paws while bowing.

A great example of Irish Terrier temperament is doggy member, Flamm:

“[he is] 13 but behaves like a young dog, he likes attention from you, your friends or people in the street, he is very friendly! Then he is a terrier and enjoys running after 'things' like leaves, pigeons and squirrels. In the street he behaves like a gentleman and enjoys every moment of it, as well as a 'coffee break' to look at people passing by. In the park he runs free and is not the most sociable dog on earth, he just prefers the company of the humans. At home he is very calm, would sleep most of the time unless you invite him to a game, he likes 'finding food', and cuddles a lot.”

Are they easy to train?

Irish Terriers are a very intelligent breed and truly want to please their owners making them easy to train. They thrive on one to one attention which means any time that is dedicated to training, they are going to love!

The best way to train an Irish Terrier is through lots of positive reinforcement. They can be quite sensitive dogs so any harsh tellings off will only affect the dog by making them more timid and shy.

For example, Rosie is:

an exceptionally well behaved and good natured dog. She is friendly and good with both other dogs and children. She likes human company and loves getting out for long walks. She is very affectionate and just adorable in every way.
Arthur has had a rather neat trim, he's standing next to a tree looking off into the distance behind the camera.

Why not try making some homemade treats to help with training? Our Recipaws will show you how it’s done…

Thanks to the Irish Terriers (and owners) from the BorrowMyDoggy community for sharing their wooftastic photos and quotes.

  • Owners - if you’re looking to find your Irish Terrier a new friend for some extra walkies, why not get in touch with borrowers from the community who would love to help you out?
  • Borrowers - if you’re looking to learn more about the Irish Terrier (or any other breeds) why not reach out to local owners in the community who are looking for a helping hand and to share the love of their dog?

As more owners and borrowers join the community and start messaging, more woofs, walks and waggy tails can be spread to share the love of dogs.

Why not join the BorrowMyDoggy community today?

More terriers!

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