Irish Terrier

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Learn about the temperament and personality of the Irish Terrier. Discover what he’s like to live with, his traits and characteristics and how he generally behaves.

Irish Terrier Temperament

The Irish Terrier has earned the nickname “Daredevil.” He was originally bred to be a family pet, guard dog, and hunter — the complete package. He is a feisty, courageous dog who will guard his home and family with determination and pluck. He is high-energy, but not hyperactive. He is remarkably loyal to his loved ones and will do whatever it takes to protect them, with no thought to his own safety. He is naturally watchful, protective, and territorial. He is often dog aggressive, especially toward dogs of the same sex (no matter the size of the other dog). But this dog is very affectionate and tender with the people he loves. He is attentive and protective with children and has infinite patience with them. He loves to play with “his kids.” (Of course, no Terrier will put up with being teased by anyone.) The Irish Terrier makes it his job to love his people and will need to be with you as much as possible. He is very sensitive and will want to be made a part of whatever is happening in the family life. He is incredibly perceptive of the moods of the people around him. He is certainly not a “one-person dog.” They are cautious of strangers and because of this and their innate fiery personality, early socialization is important for the Irish Terrier. This breed requires regular exercise and is not a good match for an inactive family. He enjoys long walks, jogs, and running freely in an enclosed area. This breed loves to play outdoors (unless it’s raining). He excels in obedience, rally, and agility competitions. He has a high tolerance of pain and owners often do not know right away that their Irish Terrier is sick or injured. He does best in a home with a large, fenced-in yard. (But beware, the Irish can jump!) If your Irish Terrier gets away from you, it can be heartbreakingly difficult to get him back. He is intelligent and independent and moderately easy to teach. They take pride in their jobs. They also take pride in shredding paper, stealing food, reorganizing hampers, and barking at people who walk by. They certainly have a sense of humor. Irish owners swear that their dogs can smile and speak a few words. This good-tempered, spirited dog adapts quickly to new situations. He is confident, loving, and ready for life.

Irish Terrier Training

The Irish Terrier is moderately easy to train. He learns new commands at the average rate. He is neither difficult nor easy to train.

Irish Terrier Shedding

The Irish Terrier sheds practically no hair at all. You’ll virtually never find a hair in your home!

Irish Terrier Grooming

Pet coat (less work): Cut his coat short every few months and then it only needs to be brushed every so often.
Show coat (more work): Strip his coat every six months and brush it daily.

Adopt an Irish Terrier

Irish Terrier adoption