Glen Of Imaal Terrier

This little dog has very short legs but thinks he is a big dog. They have many colors of coat including the wheaten, blue, and brindle. The mixture of blue and slate are the most common colors. Some have hints of tan on the lighter blue undercoat.

They are a quiet dog when they work but if they hear other dogs start barking he will join in and they will have a concert all their own. They have a deeper bark making people think it is a bigger dog until they see them. This is a great watchdog quality.

They can usually keep themselves entertained with toys but a walk in the woods or park will really excite them. One of their favorite things to do is to ride along in the car. Like with many of the terrier breeds they are hunters and love to chase squirrels and foxes. If they are mainly indoor pets, they are very loving to their human family as well as great companions. They will not tolerate other animals unless they are introduced while young and they learn they, too, are a part of the family. They will not start fights, but have been known to finish a fight if one is started with him.

They can be stubborn little tykes and have a mind of their own so you better let him know who is boss right from the start. They love praise and when they are scolded, they will pout. They do not like to get in trouble with their owners.

If you are going to keep your dog in a fenced in yard, you had better make sure you have a foundation or something around the edge because they are diggers. They do not know what traffic is and they will run out into it without knowing it could be to their death. Keep your dog secured or on a leash at all times.

Watch your little one around your pool or lake as some are good swimmers, but others may panic if they fall in and could drown.


This tiny dog is longer than it is tall, and is usually only about 14 inches and weighs about 35 pounds. The Glen of Imaal Terrier have round medium size eyes and small erect ears which are thrown back when alerted to any type of sound. They have a muzzle that is strong and well filled below the eyes that tapers towards the nostrils.

They have a very muscular little body for their size. Many would not think they would because they look so petite. They can hold their ground if need be, even against a larger dog or other animal.

Their most adoring feature is their antique features. Their looks have not changed over the years at all. When you look at a Glen of Imaal Terrier, you are looking directly into history, seeing the same features as ancestors. Their ears are erect and never sag, their front feet are a little bowed and are never straight. Their feet should turn out a bit and not to the front at all.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is not defined by their color unlike their cousins in Ireland. They only have three allowable colors when placed in dog shows, which include Wheaten, blue, brindle, and can be any shade.

Glens of Imaal Terriers are easy to please and housebreaking is not required because they will learn on their own. They do not dirty their home or garden. Not sure why the garden but that a good thing if you are a flower lover. Their coats are very easy to take care of as well. The hair grows slower than that of a younger dog so it will be easier to groom.


You are not going to have to worry if you do not want an active dog. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is more the couch-potato breed. However, when they want to play they are full of energy. They love to play with kids and will be very loving to them. Even though they are small, they are very muscular and will tip a small child over if they run and jump at them.

If you want to take them for walks make sure a grown up is holding the lead because a small child won’t be able to hold them back as their strength may just get away from them.

They do not need your total attention, but they will give you all the love and devotion you need. You will not have to worry if they are left alone, they will be content, and however, they do not enjoy long periods of time without their family around.


Glens have a harsh outer coat and a soft under coat that is very easy on the upkeep if you just comb it weekly. The coat only grows 3 to 4 inches in total length, so it will not be a lot of work on your part as far as grooming. This breed does not shed and a regular grooming will remove dead hair when you take them in to your groomer.

You must remove the hair that will grow in the canal of the ears. You will need to pluck them or they will be prone to infections. There are powders to dust inside to help pull them out.

If you are into showing your dog, you will have to keep their coat looking rough in appearance. They want to see the natural coat not an all primped up look. Do not scissor cut it and remember it should be stripped every 9-12 months.


Ireland has given the United States many treasures and the Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of them. Many have said this breed is a miniature Irish wolfhound on short legs. The Glen is not anything close to that, they are their own breed and predates many other breeds to date. Once you get your hands on one you will know what a truly unique breed the Glen of Imaal Terrier is in its own right.

The beautiful Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow is where the Glens roots came from. This breed was mainly bred to rid the home and farm of the vermin that might otherwise take over.

For many years, the little people were just used for the turnspit. The turnspit is a large wheel, which was paddled by the dog to make it turn the spit over the hearth. Kind of like today’s rotisseries, only it was run by a dog not electricity. Their bowed legs and muscular back ends made them ideal for this job. This went on for hundreds of years and no one noticed or cared about them except their owners who cherished them immensely.

Eventually the dogs were getting more and more public notice and soon the breed was being used to show. The Irish Kennel Club finally recognized the Glen of Imaal Terrier in 1934. Several other groups and clubs are also recognizing them including the Kennel Club of Great Britain, FCI, and several rare breed organizations around the world. On April 14, 2004, the American Kennel Club board of directors approved them to be in the American Kennel Club and on October 1, 2004, they were moved into the American Kennel Clubs Terrier Group. Being one of the rare breeds many other rare dogs are now being recognized by the American Kennel Club and luckily the Glens were one of them.

Being the owner of a Glen of Imaal terrier is a very exciting and rewarding experience.

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