The Glen of Imaal Terrier is considered to be a somewhat odd looking little dog. He is stocky in body and stumpy in leg. He has a sturdy body and then short legs and stands only about 14 inches tall at the shoulder. He is a feisty dog who has a big heart and loves his family. Originally bred to hunt vermin, badgers and foxes, he loves to dig and to have a job to do. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a great watchdog and sounds mightier than he really is. He does require training to ensure that his Terrier tendencies do not drive his family crazy.
The Glen of Imaal Terrier’s history is centered around the geographical area of the Glen of Imaal and dates back to the late 16th century. Many of the fanciers of the Glen of Imaal Terrier claim that around 1570, Queen Elizabeth I hired Lowland and Flemish soldiers to help with the trouble England was having in Ireland. Queen Elizabeth I paid these soldiers with tracts of land that were located in the Wicklow Mountains. This area is known as the Glen of Imaal. These soldiers brought their dogs with them into the Glen of Imaal and over time bred these dogs with Irish breeds including terriers and hounds. The breed that eventually evolved was a terrier named for the glen, the Glen of Imaal Terrier. This terrier breed was bred to hunt the fox, badger and other vermin. The Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of Ireland was formed in 1933. The Irish Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1934. The Glen, as these terriers are affectionately called, was the third Irish terrier breed to be recognized overall. There are only four Irish terrier breeds overall that are recognized. The breed suffered a slight demise during the wars but saw a surge in the 1970s and the Glen of Imaal Terriers began to be seen throughout Europe. In 1980 England gave the Glen of Imaal Terrier full breed status in its registry. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is thought to have come into the United States in the 1930s by immigrants from Ireland. In the 1960s the first litter of Glen of Imaal Terriers was recorded.
The Glen of Imaal Terrier should weigh no more than 40 pounds and stand no taller than 14 inches at the shoulder. This small dog is muscular and alert. He has brown eyes that are constantly watching and small ears that fold over. His tail is generally docked and carried gaily. He is quick and can turn easily which helped him hunt fox and badger. His coat is harsh in texture and a medium length. He does have a double coat and the undercoat is soft and will shed with the seasons. The Glen of Imaal Terrier comes in three distinct coat colors: wheaten, blue and brindle. The wheaten color can be cream to red. Blue coats can range in color from deep slate to silver. A brindle can be any color but usually has more blue. The Glen of Imaal Terrier will require stripping of his undercoat usually twice a year. This requires using a stripping comb or hand plucking the dead hairs. It can be time consuming but is necessary to ensure that his coat is healthy.
Overall, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a low maintenance dog. He does require to be stripped twice a year . This means that his undercoat has to be plucked out either by hand or by using a stripping comb. It can be time consuming to strip him out completely but for overall skin and coat health, it is necessary. Aside from stripping him, the Glen of Imaal Terrier will shed little to no hair around the house. His ears should be cleaned weekly and the hairs in his ears need to be plucked every 2 to 3 weeks. The hair in his ears will trap moisture, dirt and oils that can cause ear infections, therefore it is important to pluck this hair and not simply cut it. Nails should be trimmed every 2 to 3 weeks. The hair between his toes and pads should also be trimmed when he has his nails done. The Glen of Imaal Terrier does not require weekly baths, but should be bathed at least 3 to 4 times a year and on an as needed basis. Since he has a harsh coat, when bathing, use shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs with wiry or harsh coat.