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Irish Terrier

General Description

Often likened in appearance and structure to the Airedale Terrier, the Irish Terrier is distinctive and functional, characterised by a medium build, a bearded muzzle, high-set tail, triangular 'drop' ears and a wiry outer coat in common colour variations of black, tan and grizzle.

General Health

They can also suffer from eye problems like cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy. Another condition that affects the Irish Terrier is hyperkeratosis, a thickening of the pads of the feet sometimes called "corny feet." Hyperkeratosis was once common but is now rare, and affected dogs should not be bred.

Hereditary Illnesses

There are only two hereditary diseases known to affect Irish Terriers, Hyperkeratosis and Cystinuria. Both are due to genetic recessive mutations so phenotypically normal carriers can produce affected offspring

Character and Temperament

Respectful, Intelligent, Lively, Protective, Dominant, Trainable


No special requirements 


The energetic Irish Terrier needs moderate exercise. Give him two or three walks on a leash of 20 to 30 minutes each day. A chance to romp in a safely fenced area is also welcome. He's not a true running breed, but he's a good companion for joggers who go at an easy to moderate pace.


Irish terriers don't require much grooming. Sporting a coat of thick, wiry hair over a finer, softer layer, your Irish terrier's double coat allows him to play outdoors in any season with little discomfort. Brush your dog at least once a week to remove loose dead hair from his coat.


The breed's origin is not known. It is believed to have descended from the black and tan terrier-type dogs of Britain and Ireland, just like the Kerry Blue and Irish Soft-haired Wheaten Terriers in Ireland or the Welsh, Lakeland and Scottish Terriers in Great Britain.


Average Dog Weight


Average Life Expectancy


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