Glen of Imaal Terrier Dog Breed

imaal terrier

Glen of Imaal Terriers are identified as very capable, brave, and independent dogs. They were discovered in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland and would have gone unnoticed, has it not been for the advent of dog shows.

These dogs are smart, skillful, and clever hunters, and are able to prey on badgers, foxes, and rodents. However, they are also very loyal and affectionate companions for families and are known to be gentle with humans.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a very active and agile dog and needs its daily dose of exercise. Consider giving it at least 30 minutes of playtime outdoors every single day.

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About the Breed

glen of imaal terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier dog breed was originally bred as a hunting dog. It served its owners as a versatile hunter, capable of preying on foxes, badgers, and rodents. The dogs of this breed have a very aggressive and obstinate nature, which allows them to participate in dog fights.

What you would find most interesting is that the Glen of Imaal Terriers were also used for industrial work at some point. They ran over a wheel that resembled an ancient treadmill and enabled a cooking spit to turn over a fire. This is why they are also known locally as spit dogs or turnspit dogs.

The Glen of Imaal Terriers dog breed is as rare today as it was during the time of its origin. However, there is no denying the fact that these dogs are becoming famous with each passing year.

Today, Glen of Imaal Terriers are most commonly used as family pet dogs. However, most dog owners still use them for their very first role as hunting dogs.

History of the Glen of Imaal Terrier 

glen of imaal terrier puppy

The tale of the Terrier breeds begins with the time when Elizabeth-I permitted a few Flemish mercenary soldiers to stay in the mountains of County Wicklow in Ireland.

This was done in the 1570s in order to reward them for playing an active role in conquering Irish mavericks. This was also the time when Glen of Imaal Terriers originated in Ireland.

When these soldiers settled in the mountains, they brought with them French hounds that were small in size and had tough coats. These dogs resembled the dog breed characteristics of the Basset Fauve de Bretagne or the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen.

During their stay in the mountains, they ended up mating with other local Irish dogs, and these were mostly Terrier breeds. This mating process gave birth to the Glen of Imaal Terriers.

The Glen of Imaal Terriers might not have become so popular and might have been restricted to the mountains only, if dog shows were not introduced in the middle of the 19th century.

This was in the year 1870 when a number of Terrier breeds participated in a mega dog show hosted in Lisburn. The Glen of Imaal Terriers also made their appearance in this show.

The dog that won the Lisburn show was a Glen of Imaal Terrier. It was called Stinger, and the judges described it as “longer than tall, not straight in front, turned out feet and a slatey-brindle color. The long and useful type of Irish Terrier that one associates with County Wicklow.” Later, it participated in other big dog shows.

In 1933, a group of Glen of Imaal Terrier enthusiasts formed a club that they named the Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of Ireland. The breed was recognized by the Irish Kennel Club in 1934. There are four Terrier breeds that have originated in Ireland, and the Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of them.

During the Second World War, the Glen of Imaal Terrier breed began to diminish in number. It was not until the next 30 years that this breed began to be developed again and its numbers increased.

The Glen of Imaal Terriers were introduced in the United States sometime in the 1930s. They came along with the families that immigrated to the country. However, they did not gain much popularity until the 1980s.

This breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in the year 2004. It stands at the 157th position among other dog breeds that have been registered with the AKC.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Facts

There are a number of facts related to the Glen of Imaal Terriers that you will find interesting.

glen terrier
  • It is difficult for Glen of Imaal Terriers to live in hot weather conditions or environments because their bodies tend to get overheated.
  • They have a gestation period that lasts for 3-11 days. This is the most ideal time for mating.
  • High-quality dog food; dairy products, including cheese, honey, milk, yogurt, eggs; and other food items including bread, fish, ham, pork, cashews, corn, peanut butter, wheat, and other grains, are some of the things that they love to eat.
  • They are not a hypoallergenic breed.
  • Because they are a rare breed, the cost of getting a Glen of Imaal Terrier is between $1500 to $2200.
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier is also commonly known as simply Glen or Wicklow Terrier.
  • Towards the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, these dogs almost became extinct.
  • The most adorable and distinctive habit of the Glen of Imaal Terrier is the famous Glen Sit. This is a sitting position for the dog in which it sits on its hind and holds the rest of the body in a kind of vertical posture.

Now that you have glanced at the strangest facts about the Glen of Imaal Terrier, let us now take a look at its appearance.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Appearance

The Glen of Imaal Terrier has a very cute appearance and its size makes it even more adorable. The dog has tiny brown eyes and small ears that fold inwards and kind of droop over its head. Its tail is also short, docked, and furry.

glen of imaal

Size

When it comes to size, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a small-sized but medium-length dog. The male and female dogs of this breed have somewhat the same size. The average height of a Glen of Imaal Terrier is around 12 to 14 inches. This is five times as big as the size of a Chihuahua, which is considered to be the smallest dog breed.

Weight

terrier grey

Just like the size, the weight of a Glen of Imaal Terrier is somewhat the same for male and female dogs. The average weight for dogs of this breed is around 32 to 40 pounds. It is important to monitor the body weight of these dogs as they tend to develop health issues such as obesity.

Coat 

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a double-coated dog. It features a short soft undercoat and a tough outer coat that protects it from all kinds of weather conditions. However, upon touching, you will find that the coat is very soft, especially around its legs, chest, ears, and neck.

The best part about owning a Glen of Imaal Terrier is that they almost do not shed their coat any time during the year. This makes their grooming regime very easy.

grey terrier

Color

The Glen of Imaal Terrier comes in a variety of colors. They can have shades of wheat, ranging from cream color to red color, as well as shades of blue, ranging from silver color to slate color.

The most distinguishing feature of their coat is the brindle which makes them appear to have stripes similar to the tiger. These tiger-like stripes come in different colors, with one primary color dominating with patches or streaks of a darker shade.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Temperament and Personality

In terms of its personality and temperament, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is known for being a brave, affectionate, and obedient dog. Just as is true for other Terrier breeds, this dog also has the ability to think and act individually. Given this characteristic, the Glen of Imaal Terrier has earned the title of being a large dog with a small body.

glen immal terrier

These dogs have the tendency to fight with other dogs, given their aggressive and obstinate nature. However, as a family dog, it is also very loyal and smart and will act very protective toward its owners.

The bark of this dog has a very deep ring to it and does not match its small appearance. This reflects that this dog has the tendency as well as the capability to safeguard its family.

Most often, you will find this dog digging up your backyard. Hence, it is recommended that you assign a small digging space for your Glen of Imaal Terrier in order for it to burn off its energy.

When taken for a walk in the park, it might break into a chase after the nearest small dog or cat. Hence, you should always keep this dog on a leash. Indoors, it should be kept in a high-fenced protected area.

When the Glen of Imaal Terrier is not digging or chasing, it finds peace in relaxing with its family members or pet owners. It can prove to be a very submissive and friendly companion, who will get along with any member of the family. It also loves to hop onto the laps of its owners and snuggle with them.

If you are a family with children, you would love to know that these dogs are great with children.

However, it is wise to supervise the first few interactions between your new pet and your children. This will help you make sure that they do not accidentally knock over your children. We can ensure that there will be no biting, tugging, or scratching by these dogs.

What you will love the most about the Glen of Imaal Terrier is that it is not a barking dog. Hence, if you are looking for a calm and peaceful pet, this dog is the perfect option. This behavior is also ideal if you are living in a close-knit neighborhood and do not want to disturb those around you.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is not the perfect adult dog to have if you have other pets in the house. These dogs do not get along with other pets and animals, especially small canines. Because of their strong prey instincts, they tend to chase anything small, furry, and in motion.

When it comes to exercise and playtime, the Glen of Imaal Terrier loves to go for a jog, play frisbee or catch, or any other racing game. It has a very active and sporty nature which required it to spend at least 30 minutes every day exercising its limbs.

Because of their energetic nature, Glen of Imaal Terriers do not like being left alone for long periods of time. They get easily bored and then tend to develop undesirable behavior such as biting, scratching, chewing, or in rare instances, even barking.

When it comes to swimming, Glen of Imaal Terriers is not the best companion to have. They have short limbs and a heavy build which does not make them the best swimmers.

All in all, the Glen of Imaal Terriers dogs are smart, skillful, and clever. They are also very loyal and affectionate companions for families and are known to be gentle with humans.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Health and Care

glen imaal terriers

The Glen of Imaal Terrier has the tendency to develop certain medical issues during the span of its life. You should take these health concerns into account before landing on the decision of adopting this dog as a pet.

Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing’s)

This is a condition in which the adrenal glands of the dog’s body do not function properly and end up producing too much of a specific hormone: the steroid hormone. Unfortunately, the rate of diagnosis of this disease is higher in Glens than in any other dog breed.

Because this condition does not immediately strike the body but rather develops gradually, you might miss the early symptoms. These include excessive drinking and urinating, increase levels of appetite, and lowered levels of activity than is expected from an active dog.

As the disease progresses, you will notice a pot belly, loss of hair, and thin skin, as is characteristic of this disease.

The only treatment for this condition is medication, and the dog requires special care as it needs its daily dosage at the right time and in the right quantity.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

These are both genetic conditions but can also develop at later stages during the dog’s life.

Hip dysplasia is a condition where the hip joint of the dog’s body does not fit properly with the thighbone. Elbow dysplasia is when there is improper growth of the elbow joint. This develops when the three bones of the elbow joint – the humerus, radius, and ulna – grow at different paces.

Both these conditions cause extreme pain to the dog and in certain cases, may lead to limping or lameness. Your dog may also have a hard time standing up or sitting down. This happens because the elbow or hip is stiffened due to reduced activity. In extreme cases, the dog is also seen to have developed arthritis.

In order to prevent causing more pain to your dog, it is important to treat arthritis as soon as possible. In cases that are very severe, you might also opt for a surgical procedure to rid your dog of pain.

Caution must be taken in the case of overweight dogs as they are more likely to develop hip or elbow dysplasia than any other dog.

If your dog is diagnosed with either of these conditions, be sure to inform your breeder. This will help in stopping further breeding of these dogs.

Knee Problems

Patellar luxation is a common knee condition that is known to develop in dogs the size of a Glen of Imaal Terrier. This is a condition where there is a dislocation of the knee joint and mostly develops in the rear legs.

When your jog is running or jogging, the knee joint may pop in and out of its regular position. This causes pain to the affected dog.

In most cases, you may take your dog to the vet and they will simply kick the affected leg sideways to ensure that the knee joint pops back into its original position. However, in extreme cases, your Glen of Imaal Terrier may need a surgical procedure to relocate the knee joint and prevent its dislocation again in the future.

Heart Disease

Aortic stenosis is a common heart disease that your Glen of Imaal Terrier may develop at any point in its life. In this condition, the blood flow from the heart is partially blocked causing the heart to work harder than it should.

This causes a strain on the heart and if this condition is toward the extreme side, your dog may faint or lose its energy in the middle of its exercise time. The affected dog will also have a hard time breathing and may cough a lot. It is also possible that the growth of the dog gets stunted.

If you detect any of these symptoms, you should take your dog for a medical consultation and discuss possible treatment options with your vet.

Kidney Disease

Glomerulonephropathy is a common kidney disease among Glen of Imaal Terriers causing their kidneys to fail.

There is a leakage of proteins if your dog’s kidneys have failed or are damaged. Hence, this disease can be easily detected by testing for excessive proteins in your dog’s urine.

It is recommended that your take your Glen of Imaal Terrier for annual urine tests to be sure that this disease has not developed.

This will also help you in the early detection of this disease and make treatment more affordable. For dogs with glomerulonephropathy, a special diet is also advised.

Thyroid Problems

Hypothyroidism is another common health problem in the case of Glen of Imaal Terriers. In this condition, the thyroid gland produces too little of the thyroid hormone.

Symptoms of this condition include drying of the coat and skin, loss of hair, predisposition toward developing other skin conditions, gaining extra weight, heightened aggression or fear, and other changes in the behavior of the dog.

Blood tests allow the early diagnosis of this disease. Dogs with hypothyroidism need to be treated lifelong and should be given medication to replace thyroid hormones in the body.

With proper care, attention, and medication, Glen of Imaal Terriers can live for 12 to 15 years.

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Glen of Imaal Terrier Training

glen of imaal terrier puppies

Glen of Imaal Terriers are immense people pleasers and are also very intelligent. This makes them very easy to train.

By birth, they are best suited to be used as Earth dogs. However, if you are persistent with your training, they can be very good with agility training, obedience training, as well as rally training.

The Glen of Imaal Terriers have a very individual thinking personality. This makes them very smart but also obstinate at the same time.

If you do not have prior experience with dog training, you might find it hard to make them follow orders. This is why it is important to start the training process when they are just puppies at 8 weeks of age.

You should keep the training sessions consistent but short because the Glen of Imaal Terrier puppies can get easily distracted.

It is also important that you do not use harsh tones in order to get them to listen to you or to discipline them. It might have the opposite effect than the one you are hoping for. Positive reinforcement techniques work very well in their favor.

Early socialization is a must for the Glen of Imaal Terrier. This is because the dogs of this breed do not get along with other pets and animals.

Hence it is important to help them socialize and develop the right skills. You can get them enrolled in a kindergarten class for puppies, take them to a busy park, or make them accompany you for a grocery run to the store. This will provide them with the opportunity to interact with other animals and behave well in front of them.

Conclusion

The Glen of Imaal Terriers originated in the mountains of County Wicklow in Ireland in the 1500s. This breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in the year 2004.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier has a very cute appearance and its size makes it even more adorable. The dog has tiny brown eyes and small ears that fold inwards and kind of droop over its head. Its tail is also short, docked, and furry.

In terms of its personality and temperament, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is known for being a brave, affectionate, and obedient dog. It has the ability to think and act individually. These dogs have the tendency to fight with other dogs given their aggressive and obstinate nature.

As a family dog, it is also very loyal and smart and will act very protective toward its owners. Glen of Imaal Terriers are immense people pleasers and are also very intelligent. This makes them very easy to train.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier has the tendency to develop certain medical issues during the span of its life. With proper care, attention, and medication, Glen of Imaal Terriers can live for 12 to 15 years.

Hope you enjoyed learning about these cute dogs! Stay tuned for more interesting articles!

Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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