Pet Advisor Blog

Irish Terrier – Dog Breed Guide

Breed summary

Size: Medium
Weight: 25 to 27 pounds
Height: about 18 inches
Longevity: 15
Bark Tendency: Medium
Aggression: High
Compatibility to other pets: Low

Adopt an Irish Terrier, Dog Breed Guide


Irish Terrier is one of the world’s oldest terrier breeds and earned the distinction of being the unofficial dog of the working class!

Official Name

Irish Terrier
Other Name:
Irish Red Terrier


Date – 17th Century
Country – Ireland
Family / Group – Terrier

Recognized By

American Pet Registry, Inc.
Australian National Kennel Club
Fédération Cynologique Internationale
American Kennel Club
Club Español de Terriers (Spanish Terrier Club)
New Zealand Kennel Club
United Kennel Club
Kennel Club of Great Britain
Continental Kennel Club
National Kennel Club
Dog Registry of America, Inc.
North American Purebred Registry, Inc.


Ireland is home to several dog breeds and various terrier dog groups. The oldest among them is the Irish Terrier. These dual-purpose terriers were bred to hunt small game as well as control the local population of vermin. These dogs are so versatile that they show spaniel and retriever like qualities, hunting and retrieving on both land and water. Irish sportsmen also used this versatile terrier breed to hunt big games. Their accolades don’t stop there. During The Great War, or World War I, Irish Terriers served in the Queen’s army.


Irish Setters are popular for their good-tempered disposition. They are spirited, affectionate and loyal. But these dogs will show impressive courage and fiery out on the field. They are very protective, so much that they tend to be overprotective. But this only makes them excellent guard dogs. The real negative trait for this breed is their tendency to be mischievous, making them difficult to train.

Bred For

The Irish Red Terrier are dogs which were used to hunt den animals such as otter and water rats. They are also popular for being retrievers. During wartime, these dogs have proven to be reliable messengers. Today they have various purposes including hunting, tracking, retrieving as well as being a great ratter. These dogs are also becoming famous for their watchdog, guardian and police dog skills.


The Irish Terrier can adapt well and be fine as apartment pets. They only need to have their exercise needs sufficiently satisfied to thrive in these type of living conditions. Ideally, these terriers should live in homes that have at least a small yard for them to move about.


Irish Terriers may have hard double coats but these dogs are easy to groom. In the dog universes, these terriers are one of the know breeds that rarely sheds!


These dogs are very trainable as they possess high intelligence. But they can also be difficult to housebreak for their mischievous nature.


Among all Irish dog breeds as well as other terriers, these dogs are one of the healthiest.


Since Irish Terriers were bred for active work, owners of these dogs should provide ample amount time of exercise. Taking these Irish dogs on-daily long brisk walks is not just suggested, it is a very important requirement!