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Irish Terrier..

Classification by federations

FCI (International Cenological Federation)Group 1. Sheep dogs and cattle dogs Section 1. Sheep dogs Section 2. Working dogs Group 2. Pinchers, schnauzers, molossers, alpine and swiss cattle dogs Section 1. Pinchers and schnauzers Section 2. Molossers Section 3. Alpine and swiss cattle dogs (Sennenhunds) Group 3. Terriers Section 1. Large and medium terriers Section 2. Small terriers Section 3. Boule type Section 4. Toy terriers Group 4. Badgerer Group 5. Spiz and primitive Section 1. Wolf dogs Section 2. Nordic hunting dogs Section 3. Northern patrol and herding dogs Section 4. European spitz Section 5. Asian spitz and similar breeds Section 6. Primitive Section 7. Primitive for hunting use Group 6. Hounds and related breeds Section 1. Hounds 1.1 Large hounds1.2 Average hounds1.3 Small houndsSection 2. Svornye Section 3.Related breeds Group 7. Легавые Section 1. Continental pointing 1.1 Type of continental pointings1.2 Type of spaniels1.3 Type of griffinsSection 2. British and Irish pointers and setters 2.1 Pointers2.2 SettersGroup 8. Retrievers, spaniels, water dogs Section 1. Retrievers Section 2. Spaniels Section 3. Water dogs Group 9. Decorative dogs and companion dogs  Section 1. Bichon and related breeds Section 2. Poodles Section 3. Griffon Bruxellois Section 4. Hairless dogs Section 5. Tibetan breeds Section 6. Chihuahua Section 7. Englih toy spaniels Sectionя 8. Japan chin and pekingese Section 9. Continental toy spaniels Section 10. Kromforlender Section 11. Small molossian type dogs Group 10.Greyhounds Section 1. Longhaired greyhounds Section 2. Wirehaired greyhounds Section 3. Shorthaired greyhounds Breeds without classificationAKC (American Kennel Club)Group 1. Sporting Group 2.Hunting Group 3. Working Group 4. Terrier Group 5. Companion dog Group 6. Shepherds Group 7. Unsporting OtherConditionally accepted breedsBreeds without classificationCKC (Canadian Kennel Club)Group 1. Sporting Group 2. Hunting Group 3. Working Group 4. Terrier Group 5. Companion dog Group 6. Unsporting Group 7. Shepherds Breeds without classificationKC(UK) (The Kennel Club of UK)Group 1. Sporting Group 2. Hunting Group 3. Shepherds Group 4. Terrier Group 5. Companion dog Group 6. Ancillary Group 7. Working Breeds without classificationUKC (United Kennel Club )Group 1. Companion dog Group 2. Service dog Group 3. Sporting Group 4.Shepherds Group 5. Nothern Group 6. Hunting Group 7. Exotic Group 8. Terrier Breeds without classificationANKC (Australian National Kennel Council)Group 1. Companion dog Group 2. Terrier Group 3. Sporting Group 4. Hunting Group 5. Working Group 6. Ancillary Group 7. Unsporting Breeds without classificationNZKC (New Zealand Kennel Club)Group 1. Companion dog Group 2. Terrier Group 3. Sporting Group 4. Hunting Group 5. Working Group 6. Ancillary Group 7. Unsporting Breeds without classification

Origin history

The Irish Terrier, originally from Country Cork, Ireland, is probably one of the oldest terrier breeds. It is estimated to be two thousand years old, but the earliest images are in a painting from the 1700's. He is a feisty hunter and exterminator of den animals, otter, and water rats. The breed has also been used as a retriever and wartime messenger. The Irish Terrier became very popular in England during the late 1800's. Today the Irish Terrier serves mainly as a companion dog and sturdy, loyal guardian of home and family, though he still retains his vermin hunting prowess. Some of the Irish Terrier’s talents include: hunting, tracking, retrieving, watchdogging, guarding, police work, and military work.

Habit view

The dog must present an active, lively, lithe and wiry appearance; with lots of substance, at the same time free of clumsiness, as speed and endurance, as well as power, are very essential. They must be neither "cloddy" nor "cobby", but should be framed on the "lines of speeds", showing a graceful "racing outline."


Head and Skull: head long; skull flat and rather narrow between ears, getting slightly narrower towards the eye; free from wrinkles; stop hardly visible except in profile. The jaw must be strong and muscular, but not too full in the cheek and of a good punishing length. The foreface should not "dish" or fall away quickly between or below the eyes, where it should be well made up, being relieved of "wedginess" by delicate chiselling. The hair should be crisp and only sufficiently long to impart an appearance of additional strength to the foreface. Lips should be well fitting and externally almost black in colour. The nose must be black.

Eyes: a dark colour, small, not prominent and full of life, fire and intelligence. A light or yellow eye is a fault.

Ears: small and V-shaped, of moderate thickness, set well on the head and dropping forward closely to the cheek. The top of the folded ear should be well above the level of the skull. The ear must be free of fringe and the hair thereon shorter and darker in colour than the body.

Mouth: the teeth should be even, strong and free from discoloration, the top teeth slightly overlapping the lower.


Neck: should be of a fair length and gradually widening towards the shoulders, well carried and free of toatiness. There is generally a slight frill at each side of the neck running nearly to the corner of the ear.

Body: chest deep and muscular, but neither full nor wide. Body moderately long; back should be strong and straight, with no appearance of slackness behind the shoulders; the loin muscular and slightly arched; ribs fairly sprung, rather deep than round, and well-ribbed back.


Forequarters: the shoulders must be fine, long and sloping well into the back. The legs moderately long, well set from the shoulders, perfectly straight, with plenty of bone and muscle; the elbows working freely clear of the sides- pasterns short and straight, hardly noticeable. The forelegs should be moved straight forward when travelling. The hair on the legs should be dense and crisp.

Hindquarters: should be strong and muscular, the thighs powerful, hocks near the ground, stifles moderately bent. The hind legs should be moved straight forward when travelling, the stifles not turned outwards. The hair on the legs should be dense and crisp.

Feet: should be strong, tolerably round and moderately small; toes arched and neither turned out nor in; black toe nails most desirable. Pads must be sound and free from cracks or horny excrescences.


Customarily docked to about three quarters; should be free of fringe or feather, but well covered with rough hair, set on pretty high, carried gaily, but not over the back or curled.


Coat: hard and wiry, having a broken appearance, free of softness or silkiness, not so long as to hide the outline of the body, particularly in the hindquarters, straight and flat, no shagginess and free of lock or curl. At the base of these stiff hairs is a growth of finer and softer hair usually termed the undercoat.

Colour: should be "whole-coloured", the most preferable colours being a bright red, red wheaten, or yellow red. White sometimes appears on chest and feet and is more objectionable on the latter than on the former, as a speck of white on chest is frequently to be seen in all self-coloured breeds.


Fore and hindlegs carried straight forward and parallel, elbows move parallel to the axis of the body, working free of sides, stifles neither turning in nor out.



Dogs — 12.2 kg.

Bitches — 11.3 kg.

Height at shoulders — 45.7 cm.


Not only do Irish Terriers love to play with children, but he will guard them ruthlessly if required. Irish Terriers are dog-aggressive and will not back down from a fight, and therefore must be trained and kept on a leash when out in public. Irish Terriers are bold and adventurous but also have hot-fiery tempers. It likes to chase and run and hunt and explore; it needs daily physical and mental exercise in a safe area. Given sufficient exercise, it is surprisingly well-mannered and dignified indoors. It is a loyal and entertaining companion.

Housing and Care

This is a dog with an active mind and body. It needs daily entertainment and exercise. It makes a good walking and jogging companion, as well as hiking or hunting partner. Its needs can also be met with a rigorous play session. Its wire coat needs combing one or two times weekly, plus scissoring and shaping (clipping for pets and stripping for show dogs) two to four times yearly. Some training of the ears is necessary to ensure proper adult shape.

Lifespan — 12-15 years.


Has a wiry red coat and whiskery beard and doesn't shed too much (shed hairs are trapped in his wiry coat).

Thrives on vigorous athletic activities.

Makes a keen watchdog, yet is usually dependable with people.

Dissiculty of keeping

Providing enough exercise and activities to keep them busy.

Aggression toward other animals — chasing instincts.


Digging holes.


Regular brushing and clipping of the wiry coat.

Waiting lists (hard to find) and high price tag.


The Irish Terrier may suffer from minor health problems like urinary stones.

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