Glen of Imaal Terrier Photo

Glen of Imaal Terrier Dog Breed Info & Pictures

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a dog of classic terrier features. Its compact body is longer than it is tall; its forequarters are bowed and its feet are turned out. The head is powerful with its eyes dark, round, and set well apart. Ears are small and can be half-pricked and are set apart and back on the skull. The skull is broad and slightly domed with a strong muzzle, black nose, and either a scissors or level bite. The tail is docked to half its length. The Glen of Imaal Terrier has a double coat with the outer coat being harsh and the undercoat soft. Colors can vary from brindle, blue or wheaten.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Fast Facts

11 - 14 years
~35 lb
Slightly less
12.5 - 14"
12.5 - 14"
Glen of Imaal Terier, Glen of Imal Terrier, Glen of Emal Terrier, or Glen of Imall Terrier.
Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier


The Glen of Imaal Terrier is loyal, rambunctious, and spirited....

It is calm indoors but tough when on the hunt. When it comes to family, they are devoted and gentle and thrive off of human contact. They can be dog-aggressive so proper socialization is key. One should also be wary of the Glen when it is around small household pets, as its instinct is to hunt such animals. The Glen of Imaal Terrier has a deep bark that it typically uses only when it detects danger; this is definitely not a yappy dog. Being a sensitive breed, training should be consistent and should always include playtime. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a bit stubborn, but it is also intelligent and receptive to its masters wishes; getting this dog to obey is only occasionally difficult.

Caring For a Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier will do fine in an apartment or without a yard, though having access to an outside play area is obviously a plus....

These dogs are capable of sleeping outdoors in good weather, but they would much rather be inside with the rest of the family. They love to play and run around in open areas, but their exercise needs will adapt to the lifestyle of the family. Be careful when letting your Glen of Imaal Terrier off leash, as it has a tendency to follow its nose and is typically not afraid of things that could cause it harm like traffic and bigger dogs. Although they shed little or even no hair, they require stripping every six months. It is also important to minimize the amount of hair under their tail, in the ears, and between the pads of the feet. This can be done by trimming under the tail and plucking the ears and feet. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy and canine hip dysplasia.

Glen of Imaal Terrier History

Breed History

The origins of the Glen of Imaal Terrier are obscured by the mists of time, but it can be said for certain that this is a very ancient breed....

Named for the Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow, Ireland, the Glen is considered to be indigenous to Ireland. Though the Glen of Imaal Terriers isolation in the forbidding Glen area of southern Ireland has resulted in its being relatively unknown to the world, and indeed to the rest of Ireland, for most of its history, the people of the Wicklow area have been familiar with the breed for thousands of years. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a phenomenally versatile dog, and an invaluable asset on the farm. The dog was a champion hunter of fox, badger and rat, as well as a pit fighter and turnspit dog. (A turnspit dog does just that: it runs in a wheel in the kitchen, turning the spit and ensuring that meat is evenly cooked). Very few turnspit dogs made it through the Industrial Revolution, as this job was largely taken over by more advanced technology, but in a bizarre twist of fate the Glen of Imaal Terrier total concentration in a very small part of the world was actually responsible for its salvation. The remote Glen area of Ireland remained rural and largely untouched by technological innovation in the 19th century, and the Glen of Imaal Terrier was still working away into the 1900s. In 1934, the Glen of Imaal Terrier became the third terrier recognized by the Irish Kennel Club, and the dog began to appear in shows, where its sharp badger hunting skills were put on display. World War II led to a downturn in the dogs numbers, but renewed breeding afterward kept the breed alive. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was brought to the United States in the 1980s, admitted to the American Kennel Clubs Miscellaneous Class in 2001, and recognized as a member of the AKC Terrier Group in 2004.