Characteristics: The Irish Terrier is a breed with distinctive appearance and personality. The size is ideal. Approximately eighteen inches tall at the top of the shoulder, the Irish stands just below the average human knee. While large enough to be robust, this terrier is small enough to be a house pet and to be transported easily in the family car.
The Irish Terriers’ wiry, golden-red, double jacket protects them well in all types of weather and terrain. Less prone to shed than long or smooth-haired coats, this broken coat is easy to brush and doesn’t tangle easily. The coat should be hand stripped two or three times per year.
Temperament: Originally bred to control vermin on the farms of Ireland, the Irish Terrier was also the guardian of home and family. To function in their environment they needed to be intelligent, independent, and courageous as well as gentle with people.
The modern Irish Terrier remains a ratter at heart. While its independence and heedless pluck contribute to its attraction, a potential owner must understand that this is a big dog in a relatively small body. New owners must make a sincere commitment to provide early and consistent socialization and training so that while preserving the wonderful Irish spirit, they will also help create a loving companion and well-adjusted dog.
Locating a Puppy: When you search for an Irish Terrier, contact as many breeders as you can. Tell them what you are looking for in a dog. Details such as sex, age, whether you want to show the dog in conformation, obedience, or agility, or you only want a companion are all very important facts that the breeder will want to know. The ITCA provides a Breeder Referral Service that can assist you with names of members who currently have puppies available. A puppy may not be available at the time you are looking. If you really want an Irish and you have found a breeder that you like, consider waiting until the breeder has a puppy that is suitable for you.
See the Breeder Referral section on this website if you want to know more about puppy availability. Coordinator Jane DiPietro (firstname.lastname@example.org),Phone: (281) 554-6778 (Please only call between 9:00AM and 9:00PM Central Time)
American Kennel Club (AKC) Registration: American Kennel Club papers specify only that the parents of the registered dog are of the same breed and were, in turn, registered with the AKC. Registration does not guarantee the temperament or quality of the registered animal.
The Breeder: An Irish Terrier breeder should show a great deal of interest in you, your family, and your plans for your prospective puppy. Breeders should encourage you to inspect their kennel and they should be full of advice about grooming, feeding, ear setting, health care, and training. The breeder should be eager to answer all of your questions. They should be familiar with all of their dogs pedigrees and be ready to explain them to you. When you visit the breeder look for clean and safe kennel conditions. The puppies should have been raised in the home, not outside. Puppies exposed to normal household activity and human attention are likely to be happy and outgoing. You should be able to meet the puppies’ mother. If there are other adult dogs living with the breeder, they should be friendly and well cared for.
Quality: The breeder may be able to evaluate, better than you, which puppy is the right one for your situation or family. Quality in a puppy is difficult for the experienced breeder, let alone the novice buyer, to establish. Physical characteristics change rapidly in the growing puppy. Be wary of breeders who advertise that their whole litter is show quality. The basics of quality in any puppy are a solid constitution and an outgoing personality. Beyond that, the novice buyer is largely dependent on the reputation and good advice of the breeder.
Consider an Older Dog: There is little in the canine world to match the appeal of a tiny puppy. Cute they may be, but also labor intensive. If you would love to have an Irish Terrier but feel a puppy is not the right choice for you, consider an older dog. Often they are housebroken, leash trained and able to stand for grooming and nail clipping. Although not quite as exuberant as a small puppy, they too require a lot of attention and kindness.
Bringing Your New Puppy Home: You should visit your veterinarian to have a complete “well-puppy” check up as soon as possible after you bring your new puppy home. The breeder should have given you all the history of any medical treatment the puppy has received as well as the dates on which any vaccines were given. Inform the breeder immediately of any health concerns that your vet may mention.
General Supplies: FOOD It is best to continue what the breeder was feeding at first and if you want to change foods do so gradually over a period of several days. Always provide a bowl of fresh water.
Crate: Almost all dog experts agree that the dog crate is a terrific invention. Dogs like the den aspect of the crate. Crates provide a safe, quiet environment for rest and at meal time. They are an invaluable tool while housebreaking and can give new owners a much needed break when the puppy becomes overwhelming. Read up on crate training, don’t abuse the use of the crate, and never use it to punish the dog.
Fencing: The Irish Terrier needs exercise to keep fit and happy. Get the backyard fencing up and functioning to ensure your puppy’s safety before the puppy makes its first escape. The fence should be five to six feet high and should be secure at the top and bottom. Irish Terriers love to jump and sometimes like to dig. Invisible fencing is not recommended.