Breed Category: Terrier
Country of Origin: Ireland
Average Size: 34-37 cm (at the withers)
Average Weight: 14-17 kg
Average Life Span: 12-14 years
Grooming Requirements: Medium
Exercise Requirements: Medium


The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a medium-sized dog that originated in Wicklow County, a coastal region in Eastern Ireland. The breed is thought to be the result of natural mating between native Irish breeds and dogs brought to Wicklow County by soldiers of neighbouring countries to help Elizabeth I during the latter half of the 1500s and the early 1600s.

This breed was used for utilitarian purposes early in its existence. It was skilled at aiding hunters in fleshing out foxes, rats and other game and it was also used as a turnspit dog. This required the Glen of Imaal Terrier to operate a treadmill of sorts in order to keep a rotisserie rotating over a fire so that it would be thoroughly cooked.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is considered a rare breed in modern times, though it seems to be gaining momentum in Ireland and throughout the world. Though it may still occasionally be used in hunting, it is now most commonly kept as a companion dog.


The Glen of Imaal Terrier is short in stature, with squat legs and a long body. Though its overall appearance is significantly different, the shape of the Glen of Imaal Terrier’s body has been compared to that of a Welsh Corgi.

This breed has a double coat, which consists of a soft undercoat and a long, coarse outer coat. The colouring of this breed is typically limited to blue, brindle and wheaten. When they are puppies, the Glen of Imaal Terrier may have black colouring, those this disappears with age. Hand-stripping is required several times per year to keep its coat healthy. Trimming and brushing are also recommended as needed.

This breed has a large and long head with small ears that are half-pricked. Its eyes are round, dark and alert and it has a large black nose.

The average Glen of Imaal Terrier measures 34-37 cm in height and 14-17 kg in weight.


The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a typical terrier in the sense that it possesses a very strong prey drive. For this reason, this is not a breed that is well-suited for households with small animals such as rabbits, gerbils and perhaps even cats. It can learn to cohabitate with cats and other dogs if properly socialised from an early age, though it may still exhibit behaviour reminiscent of its hunting days. The Glen of Imaal Terrier should also be supervised around children and other dogs. While it generally gets along well with humans, it may exhibit aggression towards other dogs if not appropriately trained.

While outside, this breed will gladly occupy itself by digging and keeping an eye out for squirrels, chipmunks and other small animals. Care should be taken to ensure this breed has a secure fenced-in yard, as it is a digger by nature. This is an inherently active breed that needs a long daily walk. A leash is important in preventing the dog from giving chase to prey, which can put it in harm’s way. Agility and herding exercises are other suitable forms of activity for this intelligent breed.

With its family, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is loyal and courageous. It will bark to alert its owners of company and it is skilled at sensing possible threats to its family’s well-being. This is a spirited and playful breed, though it can be stubborn in nature. With proper training and discipline, it has the potential to be a wonderful companion.


The rareness of this breed likely contributes to the fact that it is generally healthy. Like most other breeds, however, it may experience eye problems such as cataracts or progressive retinal atrophy. It may also develop allergies, hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease or thyroid problems. Genetic testing and the use of a reputable breeder will help keep these conditions to a minimum.

The average Glen of Imaal Terrier lives to be 12-14 years of age.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Organisations in Australia
West Australian Terrier Club Inc

Glen of Imaal Terrier Organisations in the UK
Glen Of Imaal Terrier – The Kennel Club

Glen of Imaal Terrier Organisations in the US
 GITCA | Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America
American Kennel Club – Glen of Imaal Terrier

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