Glen of Imaal Terrier
AKC Group: Terrier
14 inches (Male)
30 - 35 pounds (Male)
Imaal Terriers are tough little dogs with strong working instincts. They're energetic, but can adjust to the city if walked daily. Imaals are not demanding, but they like to bark.
Medium in length and shaggy. Ears are half-priced; tail is docked.
Blue brindle or wheaten. Puppies are often born with dark markings that disappear over time. Nose is black; eyes are brown.
This Irish dog is named after the Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow, a scenic but bleak area offering poor soil. Many of the local farmers were descended from Lowland and Hessian soldiers and had been given the land in the 16th and 17th centuries for services to the Crown. These determined, hardworking people had to eke out a living from the rocks and could ill afford a dog who couldn't earn his keep. In these conditions, the Glen of Imaal Terrier flourished, going gamely after vicious badgers, as well as foxes and ever-present rats. His legs were shorter than other Irish terriers, which meant that he was not just flushing out badgers (who could weigh up to 40 pounds [18 kg]); he would go to ground and fight to the death - soundlessly. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was overlooked by the dog fancy for years, until the mid-1900s, when Paddy Brennan and Willie Kane made a concerted effort to build the breed's reputation and numbers. Today, the Glen is recognized by all of the world's largest registries.
Anyone who looks into the eyes of the Glen of Imaal Terrier (after pushing back his hair) will see a spirited fellow - brave, stubborn and rambunctious. He had to be to handle the vermin he was in charge of eliminating! With his people, though, he is mild mannered, devoted and gentle.
Glen of Imaal Terriers can do well in just about any setting, from the city to the country. Glens are quite playful, and they like to dig and chase, which makes a fenced-in yard a plus. They rarely bark without a reason. Care should be taken around water, as Glens are not strong swimmers.
Glen of Imaal Terriers can do well at earthdog, conformation, and with a little patience, even have fun at agility.
The Glen gets most of his exercise participating in the activities of the day - he's especially satisfied if they include periods of intense play. A curious and bright dog, he enjoys learning the news of the neighborhood during regularly scheduled walks.
The Glen of Imaal Terrier requires a high-quality, age-appropriate diet. Like most terriers he is not a fussy eater, so don't let him get fat by feeding him too many treats.
The Glen can show a stubborn streak in the face of training, which doesn't mean that he's not smart enough to learn, just that he'd rather be doing something else. When engaged through positive methods, your Glen will respond.
Glens love children of all ages. Socialization from an early age helps, but although they get along with most other pets, they can't be trusted around small animals like guinea pigs, ferrets and hamsters.
The average life span of the Glen of Imaal Terrier is 12 to 14 years. Breed-specific health concerns may include skin allergies.
In addition to their other duties, Glen of Imaal Terriers were put to service in the kitchen as "turnspits" - they would run in place for hours on a treadmill that would turn meat on a spit as it cooked. Their low fronts and strong hindquarters made them particularly suited to this task.
Although he is not a shedder, the Glen needs regular grooming to keep him from becoming overly shaggy. This involves stripping or professional clipping. The hair around his face and between his toes must be trimmed regularly, too.
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