Glen of Imaal Terrier

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32-35 lbs

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. 

fox, badger and vermin hunter
Date of Origin
16th century

Glen of Imaal Terrier Health

Average Size
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 35-40 lbs
Height: 12-14 inches Weight: 32-35 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Usually A Very Healthy Breed
Minor Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Overeating Tendencies
  • Skin Defects
Occasional Tests
  • Blood Test
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination

Glen of Imaal Terrier Breed History

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.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Breed Appearance

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.

Appearance of glen-of-imaal-terrier
Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Glen of Imaal Terrier Breed Maintenance

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. 

Brushes for Glen of Imaal Terrier
Pin Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Glen of Imaal Terrier Temperament

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is spunky and intelligent. Even though they are high spirited, they can be well-behaved and calm when properly trained. He makes a great family companion and loves playing with children and toys. He should be monitored when playing with other animals and never leave him alone with small pets such as hamsters, ferrets, rabbits and mice. He is a digger and will dig just to pass the time. Do not leave him unattended in your yard for long as he can quickly excavate the yard or even dig under the fences. He is also a great watch dog but if left to his own devices, he can become a nuisance barker. The Glen of Imaal Terrier can be an intense dog when he is working and loves to focus on a job. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is excellent at dog competitions such as earth dog tests, agility and obedience. Be careful with any water sports such as dock diving as the Glen of Imaal Terrier is not a strong swimmer due to his short legs and stocky body. He loves to please and also loves to hear that he did a good job.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
8 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Glen of Imaal Terrier Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.8 - $2.3
Monthly Cost
$52.5 - $67.5

Glen of Imaal Terrier Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 10 inches Weight: 27 lbs
Height: 10 inches Weight: 17 lbs
12 Months
Height: 11 inches Weight: 35 lbs
Height: 11 inches Weight: 30 lbs
18 Months
Height: 13 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Height: 13 inches Weight: 32 lbs

Top Glen of Imaal Terrier Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Glen of Imaal Terrier breeders of 2018.
Tipperary Farm
McDonald, Pennsylvania
Keadeen Glen of Imaal Terriers
Renton, Washington
Castle Valley Glen of Imaal Terriers
Mount Orab, Ohio
Parrsons Glen of Imaal Terriers
Burnsville, North Carolina
Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America
Salinas, California
Powheiri Glen of Imaal Terrier
Denmark, Maine

Glen of Imaal Terrier Owner Experiences

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