The Irish Terrier: A Complete Guide

If you are in the market for a stouthearted and rugged dog that has a convenient size and is a versatile companion and an excellent watchdog, the Irish Terrier might just be the breed you are looking for.

This fearless protector of the family can be a perfect addition to any family if properly trained and socialized.

But, since this is not a breed that is in high demand, you might have difficulties in finding a breeder.

A reputable breeder can be extremely hard to find and you will most likely find backyard breeders whose puppies are in most cases low-quality.

So, to help you out in finding a perfect Irish Terrier puppy, as well as with getting to know this breed much better, we’ve decided to make this in-depth guide.

This way, you can make the right call and not end up with a dog whose temperament isn’t suitable for you and your family.

The Irish Terrier Puppies – Before You Buy…

An Irish Terrier lying on on its back
Irish Terrier is a magnificent breed.

Before buying an Irish Terrier puppy, or any other breed puppy, there are three important things you need to know so that you can make sure the puppy you buy is high-quality and exactly matches your personal preferences.

What price are the Irish Terrier puppies?

For a premium Irish Terrier puppy, from an experienced, reputable breeder, you can expect a matching price.

For a pup with breeding rights, or with very high chances of winning trophies at dog shows, the price tag can be as high as $4000.

But, for a healthy, with health tests cleared parents, puppy, who is meant to be a family pet, not a competitor or breeding material, the average price goes around $1000.

How to find reputable Irish Terrier breeders?

Before you decide to cash out a serious amount of cash for a puppy, you have to make sure you get what you paid for.

This means finding a reputable breeder that stands behind his dogs and whose pups are healthy and without any hidden genetic issues.

This can turn out to be much more complicated than it sounds.

There are many “breeders” who, for example, already own an Irish Terrier female, and want to make some quick profit by selling the litter.

However, the problem is that they don’t have experience in breeding and don’t pay attention to the temperament of the male they are breeding their female with.

In this case, there’s no guarantee that the pups will have the wanted temperament

And, since these “breeders” are not interested in spending money on health tests clearances, there’s no telling what the pups carry in their genes and which health issues might appear later in their lives.

Another option you should avoid is pet shops. They get their puppies from puppy mills, where the living conditions are horrible and the dogs don’t get proper care, nor they are fed properly.

In 99% of cases, pups from puppy mills are sick right from the start and have a plethora of genetically heritable health issues.

So, how to distinguish a reputable breeder from a backyard breeder?

For starters, the first thing a reputable breeder will do, without even asking him, is to show you a complete medical history of both the pups and the parents.

And, show you proof of the puppy’s parents’ health test clearances, for problems that are associated with this breed.

Furthermore, he will offer you an insight into the breed’s traits, as well as give you advice on how to properly take care of your puppy, and even give you a feeding schedule with all the needed ingredients for the healthy development of your dog.

And finally, he will always be available for your questions regarding the puppy, even after you have already purchased it from him.

3 Little-known facts about the Irish Terrier puppies

A light brown Irish Terrier lying down
Irish Terrier is not among the most famous breeds.

Let’s get more familiar with what it means to live with an Irish Terrier puppy.

  • They don’t get along with other dogs

Even when they are young, Irish Terriers are not that fond of other dogs, regardless of the breed.

They won’t hesitate to fight another dog if they are challenged, and will not back down no matter what.

  • Irish Terriers are stubborn

The first thing you will notice about your Irish Terrier puppy is that he tends to be quite stubborn.

This makes the training and housebreaking complicated. Therefore, you have to be consistent and make him realize that you are the one calling the shots around here.

  • They love digging

Irish Terriers are one of nature’s ways of controlling rodents. This means that they love to dig and if left unsupervised, they will quickly turn your lovely garden into “swiss cheese”.

Physical Traits of the Irish Terrier

In this part of the guide, we will talk about the physical characteristics of the Irish Terrier.

This will give you a better idea of how the dog looks and how big you can expect him to grow up once he is an adult dog.

How big is a full-grown Irish Terrier?

The Irish Terrier is a big, slim dog. In terms of appearance, he is similar to a Fox Terrier to whom he is related.

His head is long, the forehead is flat, ears are V-shaped and high-placed and pointed forward, and his eyes are dark in color.

The body of an Irish Terrier is rugged, and with a strong back, while the tail is bought and worn upright.

As for the size, these dogs can go from 15 to 17 inches in height, while the weight goes around 26 pounds.

What is the life expectancy of the Irish Terrier?

The Irish Terrier is in it for the long run. On average, the lifespan of this breed goes from 12 to 16 years, assuming that he has a proper diet, enough exercise and that the vet checkups are regular.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Irish Terrier

An adult Irish Terrier lying in the street
Irish Terrier is the fearless protector of the family.

Although the Irish Terrier when in contact with other dogs, is capable of retaining his independence, when in contact with people, he is especially loyal, of good nature and attached to his family.

However, if he or his family is attacked, it has the courage of a lion and will fight to the inevitable end itself.

Although a terrier can be fearless when circumstances require it, he is easy to train and is quite a gentle companion.

All of this justifies its early description “the guardian of the poor, the friend of the farmer and the favorite of the Lord.”

His restless temperament has become somewhat calmer and today he is a terrier adapted for life in the city.

It is only important that the apartment is somewhat larger because otherwise, he might feel limited.

Irish terriers are dogs of an active mind and body. They require daily entertainment and exercise.

They are good followers for walking or jogging, as well as for mild hiking and hunting.

The Irish Terrier does not have a great need for physical activity, so his exercise requirement can be met with an active game and a short walk around the block.

Furthermore, the Irish Terrier can adapt to apartment living, if you can control his barking.

Ideally, however, he should live in a house close to the family, with enough exercise daily so that he becomes a quiet and courteous “family member”.

If you leave him alone in the backyard without a company or an occupation, he will probably dig out countless holes and make a complete mess of your lovely garden.

Regardless of whether it’s a puppy or a grown dog, the Irish Terrier likes to play, but his perception of “games” may be different.

He can enjoy the splitting of newspapers or papers, going through garbage, or dirty baskets, sniffing a kitchen table hoping to find something he could eat, and of course, barking at every car and passerby he sees.

This is why it is important for the Irish Terrier to socialize early in order to develop a stable character.

But, keep in mind that sometimes he can be very stubborn and too confident, which makes training difficult.

However, with persistence and positive reinforcement, he will soften up, start looking at you as the Alpha of the pack and become obedient.

As for, the looks and maintenance, their curly hair needs brushing once or twice a week, as well as trimming and shaping two to four times a year.

All in all, with consistent training, your Iris Terrier will be a lovable family member who loves children, protects his human family, but he never forgets the injustice.

Irish Terrier Diet

When it comes to Irish Terrier’s dietary requirements, you need to know that he can very quickly become bored if you serve him the same food over and over.

For example, you could base his diet on kibble based on fish, but you need to add something different each day to spice it up and keep him interested.

Therefore, we recommend mixing his menu with cooked meat (turkey, chicken, lamb…) as well as sweet potatoes, rice, vegetables, leftovers from lunch, macaroni, and even old bread.

But, it is important that the food your dog eats is not salted! And, there should always be a bowl of fresh water available besides the food bowl.

One more thing, your Irish Terrier can also eat apples, bananas, and other fruit, so that his daily vitamin needs are satisfied.

How much Exercise does an Irish Terrier need?

An energetic Irish Terrier needs exercise. So walk him a couple of times a day, for at least 20-30 minutes.

Also, if you have a yard, it would be great if there is room for playing, but you must have a well-fenced yard.

He doesn’t like to run, but can be a good company for joggers who don’t run too fast.

The Irish Terrier is not too fast and he doesn’t like running long.

Wait for him to grow up and develop properly, and then take him with you to jogging

But, don’t overdo it because you might discover that all of a sudden, your Irish Terrier refuses to run further and you have to wait until he rests, and then head back home.

The Irish Terrier Health and Conditions

The Irish Terrier, in general, is considered a healthy breed. But, there are certain health problems that bother them as well.

When buying a puppy, make sure that the breeder has health test clearances for both of the puppy’s parents.

The clearances that are important for this breed are elbow and hip dysplasia, von Willebrand’s disease, and hypothyroidism.

My final thoughts on the Irish TerrierAn Irish Terrier standing on the grass

So, you have reached the end of our Irish Terrier guide. What do you think about the breed now? Are you still interested in becoming an owner?

To make sure you’ve made the right decision, here are the most important facts about this breed once again. Read them carefully.

Irish Terriers are companions, guardians, and hunters. As such, they have a good nature, they are adaptable, but also always on alert.

They are brave, sometimes reckless, curious and dedicated.

All this sounds wonderful, as they are, in general, but with such a dog, it’s not always easy to not have it his way.

This dog is gigantic, clever and firm, and can easily become hostile with other dogs.

He also needs mental challenges in the form of games and training, physical exercises and plenty of love, but also requires solid discipline.

On the other hand, Irish Terriers love people and are usually friendly to strangers. They are not firmly attached solely to one person and are actual family members that love everyone equally.

All in all, being fast, durable and graceful, the Irish Terrier is great for dog shows, as well as for dog sports.

But, since this is not one of the most famous breeds, you may have difficulty finding a breeder.

If you do find him, be prepared to be placed on the waiting list and pay a little higher sum for this dog.

However, those who are already Irish Terrier owners, claim that they are worth every penny.

If you find a reputable breeder with high-quality puppies, the Irish Terrier will be your best friend and the best friend of your family.

That was all we had to share about this magnificent breed. If you found our guide useful and interesting to read, don’t hesitate to share it on social media so that more people can realize how amazing these dogs are.

Thank you for reading our guide to the end and we wish you many happy years with your doggie companion!

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