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Glen of Imaal Terrier: The Fearless and Feisty Irish Breed

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By Anna Grace

Are you ready to meet a small but mighty breed with a big personality? Look no further than the Glen of Imaal Terrier! 

Welcome to the world of the Glen of Imaal Terrier, where Irish spirit meets terrier tenacity. These compact canines may be small but they pack a mighty punch of personality and loyalty. With their charming ruggedness and distinctive appearance, the Glen of Imaal Terrier has earned a special place in the hearts of dog enthusiasts. These spunky pups, known for their courage, loyalty, and distinctive appearance, hail from the lush green hills of Ireland.

With their shaggy coats, sturdy build, and boundless energy, Glen of Imaal will capture your heart and keep you on your toes. Whether you’re already a fan or just beginning your journey into the world of dog breeds, prepare to be captivated by the unique allure and endearing qualities of the Glen of Imaal Terrier. 

Join us as we explore this remarkable Irish breed’s history, temperament, and nuances.

Vital Stats: Glen of Imaal Terrier

Certainly! Here are some vital stats for the Glen of Imaal Terrier:

StatisticGlen of Imaal Terrier
Coat ColorBlue, Brindle, Wheaten
SizeSmall to Medium
Weight32 to 40 pounds (14.5 to 18.1 kg)
Height12.5 to 14 inches (31.8 to 35.6 cm) at the shoulder
Lifespan12 to 15 years
TemperamentGentle, Courageous, Independent, Affectionate
Activity LevelModerate
Grooming NeedsModerate
TrainabilityModerate to High
Common UsesVermin Control, Companion, Terrier Work
Health ConcernsHip Dysplasia, Eye Issues, Hypothyroidism
OriginIreland (Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow)
Recognized BreedsRecognized by major kennel clubs and breed associations

Glen of Imaal Terriers are known for their sturdy and affectionate nature. They are versatile dogs and can be excellent companions while also being skilled in terrier work, particularly for vermin control.

About the Breed

glen of imal

The Glen of Imaal Terrier originates in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland as a small, rugged dog breed. People initially bred them to hunt vermin and small game, such as rats, foxes, & badgers. 

Wikipedia mentioned, the Glen of Imaal Terrier (Irish: Brocaire Uí Mháil) is a breed of dog of the terrier category and one of four Irish terrier breeds. It is sometimes called the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier or the Wicklow Terrier, and the name of the breed is often shortened by fanciers to just Glen.

Therefore, the people who first developed them named the breed after the Glen of Imaal, a remote valley in County Wicklow. The Glen of Imaal appears compact and muscular, and has a distinctive wheaten-colored coat that people often describe as “harsh” or “crisp.”

Stated by dogtime, Glen of Imaal Terrier is a strong, independent dog breed named for the remote valley in Ireland where they originated. Bred to hunt fox and badger, and to keep homes free of rodents, the Glen is a skilled and cunning hunter. 

To keep Glen of Imaal Terriers happy, one needs to provide them with regular exercise and mental stimulation. They’re less high-energy than other terrier breeds but enjoy long walks and outdoor activities. 

They are also highly trainable & can excel in obedience and agility competitions. In addition, the Glen of Imaal is a unique and charming breed that its owners love overall

Glen of Imaal Terrier: National Dog

While the Glen of Imaal Terrier is not the national dog of any specific country, it holds a special place as a cherished Irish breed. 

Originating in the remote Glen of Imaal in Ireland, these terriers were bred for their hunting and working abilities in the region’s rugged terrain. Their distinctive appearance and tenacious character have earned them recognition as a beloved part of Irish heritage.

Stats at the Organizational Level

At the organizational level, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is recognized by major kennel clubs and breed organizations. The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the breed in 2004. These organizations establish breed standards, which include details on the Glen’s appearance, temperament, and health considerations. 

Glen of Imaal Terriers often participate in dog shows and events, showcasing their unique qualities and abilities.

Historical Figure of Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen of imaal terrier

According to the American Kennel Club, the AKC recognized The Glen of Imaal Terrier as a breed in 2004. No historical figure specifically associates with the Glen of Imaal Terrier despite the breed’s rich history. The breed, however, has had a role in Irish history and culture, and people more widely associate some notable figures with the breed.

Finn MacCool, the Irish folk hero, is said to have owned a pack of Glen of Imaal Terriers. According to legend, Finn was helped by these dogs in his many battles and adventures, and people highly valued their courage and tenacity.


thekennelclub stated that one of the native Irish Breeds, the Glen of Imaal was developed as a badger hunter in the glen in County Wicklow from which it takes its name. A terrier of this type had been known in that locality since the 17th century: low to ground, fearless and tenacious, strong and substantial – these qualities are seen in the modern breed.

Similarly, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is now known as a beloved companion dog for its loyalty, intelligence, and playful nature. While they may not be associated with a specific historical figure, they are essential to Irish history and culture. They continue to be a special breed for many dog lovers worldwide.

First Appearance in the USA

The Glen of Imaal Terrier debuted in the United States in the 1930s when enthusiasts imported some Irish terriers. These dogs were initially known for their skills in hunting and vermin control in the rugged Glen of the Imaal region in Ireland. 

Over time, they gained popularity for their working abilities and charming and affectionate nature, making them suitable as family pets.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Glen of Imaal Terrier in 2004, making them a relatively recent addition to the list of AKC-recognized breeds in the United States. 

Since then, they have garnered a dedicated following among dog lovers who appreciate their unique appearance and spirited character.

Origin of Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier’s roots trace back to the Glen of Imaal in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland. Bred by Irish peasants, these terriers were prized for their ability to hunt and eliminate vermin in the challenging terrain of the Glen. Their tenacity and ruggedness made them valuable working dogs. 

Over time, they evolved into a beloved breed recognized for their affectionate nature and loyalty in their homeland and among dog enthusiasts worldwide. 

Today, Glen of Imaal Terriers continues to capture hearts with their unique combination of Irish charm and terrier spirit.

Characteristics of Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen of imaal terrier puppies


One of the most notable traits of Glen of Imaal is their high activity level. These dogs are incredibly energetic and require a lot of exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They love to run, play, and explore and make great companions for active individuals who enjoy spending time outdoors.


Another essential trait of Glen of Imaal is its protective nature. These dogs are fiercely loyal to their families & will do whatever it takes to defend them from harm. They are excellent watchdogs and bark to warn their owners of potential dangers.


The breeders originally bred Glen of Imaal Terriers as working dogs for hunting, herding, and guarding, which is why they are known for their versatility. Nowadays, people can train them for multiple activities, including obedience, agility, & even therapy work.


One of the most appealing traits of Glen of Imaal is its hypoallergenic coat. These dogs have dense, wiry coats that shed very little, making them an excellent choice for people with allergies. However, their coat requires regular grooming to keep them tidy.


The Glen of Imaal Terriers is known for having an independent streak. While incredibly loyal to their families, they can sometimes be stubborn and willful. Above all, they require a firm, consistent hand in training and do best with patient and understanding owners.

Quick Fun Facts of Glen of Imaal Terrier

Here are some facts about Glen of Imaal Terriers:

imaal terrier
  1. The breeders initially bred Glen of Imaal Terrier puppies as working dogs to hunt vermin, such as rats and badgers.
  2. Glen of imaal hypoallergenic have a distinctive appearance: a long body, short legs, and a broad head with a prominent brow.
  3. Their coat is rough and fuzzy and comes in shades of blue, brindle, or wheaten.
  4. They’re generally good with kids & other pets but may have a high prey drive and chase small animals.
  5. Due to their low-shedding coat, they may be a good choice for people with allergies.

Markings of Glen of Imaal Terrier

Glen of Imaal Terriers typically have a wheaten, blue brindle, or red coat. A wiry texture characterizes their coats and should be dense and weather-resistant. 

While the most common color is wheaten, blue brindle features a bluish-gray hue with darker stripes, and red can vary in shades from light to dark red. They often have a distinctive beard and eyebrows, giving them a charming and expressive appearance.

Appearance of Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen of imaal terrier mix

This breed has a rugged and sturdy appearance, with a square-shaped body and strong, muscular legs. The Glen of Imaal Terrier’s coat is a distinguishing feature of the breed. In the other words, it is harsh and dense, with a rough and tousled appearance. 

According to dailypaws, Glen of Imaal terriers are sweet, spunky dogs who hail from the rocky coast of Ireland. Originally developed to help farmers hunt badgers and foxes, today, Glen of Imaal terriers make wonderful family pets. 

The coat is longer on the body, forming a beard and eyebrows on the face, and longer hair on the legs, giving the appearance of “pants.” The coat is typically blue-gray, wheaten, or brindle in color. Therefore, the breed has a broad, domed head and solid and robust teeth. Their eyes are small, round, and set well apart, with lively and intelligent expressions.

Their ears are small, half-pricked, and set well apart on the skull. Similarly, the Glen of Imaal Terrier mix has a distinctive gait, with rolling and shuffling motion. This is due to their short and powerful legs, which give them a low center of gravity. Despite their short legs, they are agile and can easily cover rough terrain.


The Glen of Imaal has a unique coat that is weather-resistant and hard-wearing. Therefore, it comprises a harsh, wiry outer coat and a soft undercoat that provides insulation. In addition, the coat requires regular stripping to maintain its texture and appearance.


The Glen of Imaal Terrier’s coat is typically blue or brindle with a wheaten undercoat. The blue can range from light silver to dark steel blue, while the brindle can have varying shades of brown and black.


When it comes to the glen of imaal terrier size,this is a small to medium-sized breed, typically standing 12.5-14 inches at the shoulder. They’re a sturdy & muscular breed, well-suited for their original purpose as a working terrier.


Glen of Imaal Terrier weight is between 32 and 40 pounds, with males slightly larger than females. However, maintaining a healthy weight is essential to avoid health issues such as joint problems and obesity.

Temperament & Personality: Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen of imaal terrier sit

Blue glen of imaal terrier puppies are famous for their charming personalities and unique temperaments that set them apart from other breeds.


The glen of imaal terrier has a spirited, courageous, and determined temperament and remains loyal to its family. People often describe them as a tenacious and strong-willed breed, which makes them ideal for hunting and other activities that require focus and determination.

Despite their brave nature, these dogs are generally calm and patient when in the company of their owners. They are affectionate and enjoy being around people, which makes them great family pets. However, strangers may be met with reservation by them and new people may take time to warm up to.


People often describe the personality of the Glen of Imaal Terrier as independent, intelligent, and playful. Curious dogs love to explore their surroundings and are always eager to learn new things. 

Above all, the Glen of Imaal Terrier Rescue dogs actively make their owners laugh with their silly antics, showcasing their strong sense of humor. 

These dogs have a high energy level and require regular exercise to keep them happy and healthy. They’re great companions for active owners who enjoy hiking, jogging, or any other physical activity that they can participate in.

Food and Nutrition of Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen of imaal terrier sitting

As with any dog breed, proper nutrition is essential for maintaining the health and vitality of these active and energetic dogs. After that, according to Wikipedia,  Glens usually do best on a diet lower in protein than other dog breeds, After 12 months. 

A well-balanced diet, which comprises high-quality protein, healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals, plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health and well-being of Glen of Imaal. Feeding them a diet specifically formulated for small breed dogs is recommended, as their unique body structure and metabolism require a different nutrient balance than larger breeds. 

When choosing commercial dog food for your Glen imaal, look for brands that use whole food ingredients, such as real meat and vegetables. Avoid foods with artificial preservatives and additives. Additionally, supplementing your dog’s diet with fresh fruits and vegetables can provide additional nutrients and fiber.

It is also essential to monitor your Glen terrier calorie intake and ensure they maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can lead to health problems such as joint issues and diabetes. In addition, regular exercise and portion control can help keep your dog in optimal health.

Health Issues of Glen of Imaal Terrier

full grown glen of imaal terrier

Glen of Imaal, like all dog breeds, can be prone to specific health issues. Some of the common health concerns that affect this breed are.

Hip Dysplasia

This disorder where the hip joint does not form suitably, leading to pain, limping, and arthritis. Therefore, it can be hereditary, so checking the parents’ hip scores before buying a puppy is essential.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

This eye disease causes the retina to degenerate over time, leading to blindness. PRA is a genetic disorder, so it’s important to test breeding dogs to avoid passing it on to their offspring.


Glen of Imaal can be prone to skin allergies, which can cause itching, rashes, and infections. However, various factors, including food, pollen, and other environmental allergens, can cause allergies.


This condition where the thyroid gland doesn’t produce hormones, leading to a range of symptoms, including weight gain, lethargy, and skin issues. Hypothyroidism can be treated with medication, but it’s essential to get a proper diagnosis from a veterinarian.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This bleeding disorder affects the blood’s ability to clot properly. Abberann Glen of Imaal Terriers can be carriers of this disease, so it’s important to test breeding dogs and avoid breeding those affected.

Grooming and Care of Glen of Imaal Terrier

irish glen of imaal terrier

When caring for a Glen of Imaal , it is essential to prioritize their exercise and mental stimulation needs. Daily walks and play sessions can help them burn off excess energy and keep them physically and mentally healthy. After that, in terms of glen of imaal grooming, the Glen’s coat requires regular attention to keep it healthy and looking its best. 

You should brush the dense and wiry coat at least once a week to prevent matting and tangling. However, regular trimming and stripping of the coat may also be necessary to maintain its shape and texture. Paying attention to the dog breed Glen of Imaal Terrier’s dental and ear health is also essential.

Similarly, regular brushing and cleaning of the teeth can help prevent dental problems, while regular cleaning of the ears can help prevent infections. Overall, the puppy Glen of Imaal is an excellent companion for those who enjoy an active lifestyle and are willing to put in the time and effort required to maintain their unique coat and overall health.

Relationship With Kids

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is known for its friendly and adaptable nature, making it a great companion for families with children. Their patient and gentle demeanor makes them well-suited for households with kids. 

While they enjoy playtime with children, teaching the dog and the kids how to interact respectfully and safely is essential. Proper supervision during play is recommended to ensure a harmonious relationship between the Glen of Imaal Terrier and the little ones.

Lifespan of Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen of imaal terrier puppy

The Glen of Imaal has a relatively long lifespan of 12-15 years. To ensure a healthy and long life for your Glen of Imaal, providing them with proper nutrition, exercise, and regular veterinary care is essential. These dogs are prone to specific health issues such as hip dysplasia, allergies, and eye problems, so monitoring their health closely is necessary.

However, the Glen of Imaal Terrier can live a long and happy life with proper care and attention. It’s necessary to remember that every dog is unique, and glen of imaal terrier lifespan may vary depending on genetics, environment, and lifestyle factors. 

Similarly, if you are considering adding a irish Glen of Imaal to your family, it’s essential to research and ensures that you can provide them with the care and attention they need to thrive.

Rescue Groups for Adoption

If you’re considering adopting a Glen of Imaal Terrier or providing a forever home for one in need, various rescue groups specialize in this unique breed. These organizations are devoted to finding loving homes for Glen of Imaal Terriers, who may have faced hardships. 

By adopting from one of these rescue groups, you not only offer a second chance to a deserving dog but also become part of a community of caring pet owners who appreciate the charm and character of this wonderful breed. Explore adoption options today and make a meaningful difference in a Glen of Imaal Terrier’s life.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Training

irish glen of imaal terrier

Training a Glen of Imaal can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, they can learn a variety of commands and behaviors. Therefore, socialization is an essential aspect of training a Glen of Imaal irish terrier. They can be wary of strangers and other dogs, so early socialization is necessary to ensure they grow up well-adjusted and friendly.

Positive reinforcement training techniques work best with this breed. However, they respond well to treats, praise, and play as rewards for good behavior. Harsh or physical punishment should be avoided as it can damage the dog’s and its owner’s bond. After that, Glen of Imaal are intelligent and quick learners but can also be stubborn. 

Consistency in training is essential to prevent them from developing bad habits. Regular exercise is essential for this breed. Therefore, they have a lot of spirits & need daily walks & playtime to stay healthy.

Space Requirements for Glen of Imaal Terrier

Glen of Imaal Terriers are a small to medium-sized breed, and their space requirements are relatively modest. They adapt to apartment and house living, making them versatile companions. 

While they don’t need a massive yard, access to a secure outdoor area for play and bathroom breaks is essential. Indoor space should provide enough room to move around comfortably, but they won’t demand excessive space. 

Regular exercise & mental stimulation are key to their well-being, so daily walks and playtime in a yard or park are highly recommended.

Rarity and Price of Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen of imaal puppies

When it comes to the glen of imaal terrier price,The cost of Glen of Imaal varies depending on several factors, including the breeder, location, and pedigree. Typically, you can expect to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 for a Glen of Imaal Terrier puppy from a reputable breeder.

However, prices can range from $1,000 to $3,500 depending on the breeder’s reputation, location, and the puppy’s lineage. Additionally, the cost of owning a Glen of Imaal includes routine veterinary care, food, and grooming.

The initial price of Glen of Imaal Terrier puppies may seem high, but these dogs are known for their excellent health and long lifespan, making them a significant investment for any family looking for a loyal and loving companion.

It is essential to do your research & find a reputed breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs to ensure that you are getting a happy and healthy puppy.

Pros and Cons of Glen of Imaal Terrier

glen terrier puppies


Loyal and affectionate: Glen of Imaal are known for their loyalty and caring nature towards their owners. Therefore, they love spending time with their humans and are happiest when cuddling up with their family.

Low-shedding coat: The Glen of Imaal Terrier has a rough, wiry coat that is low-shedding. This makes them an excellent choice for people with allergies or those who don’t want to deal with a lot of pet hair in their homes.

Good watchdogs: Despite their small size, Glen of Imaal Terriers make excellent watchdogs. However, they are alert and will bark to let their owners know if someone is approaching their home.

Adaptable: Glen of Imaal can adapt to various living situations, from apartment living to a home with a large yard. After that, they are also good with children and other pets, making them an excellent choice for families.


Stubborn: Glen of Imaal Terriers can sometimes be relentless and may require extra patience and training from their owners. Above all, this can make them a challenging breed for first-time dog owners.

Prone to health issues: Like many purebred dogs, Glen of Imaal are apt to specific health issues, including hip dysplasia and eye problems. In addition, researching and finding a reputable breeder is essential to ensure your dog is healthy.

Suitable Accessories For Glen of Imaal Terrier

Grooming Supplies: Glen of Imaal Terriers has a distinctive wiry coat that requires routine brushing and occasional hand-stripping. Accessories like a grooming brush, stripping tools, and dog-safe shampoo are essential for coat maintenance.

Toys: These terriers are playful and enjoy interactive toys that challenge their intellect. Puzzle toys and balls for fetch can provide both mental and physical exercise.

Collar and Leash: A sturdy collar with identification tags and a leash are necessary for walks and outings. Opt for a harness if your Glen of Imaal Terrier tends to pull during walks.

Dog Bed: Provide a comfortable dog bed or crate with soft bedding for your terrier’s rest.

Food and Water Bowls: Use non-slip, easy-to-clean bowls for their meals and fresh water.

Training Supplies: Positive reinforcement training methods work well with this intelligent breed. Treats, clickers, and training books or videos can assist in their education.

Travel Carrier: If you plan to travel with your Glen of Imaal Terrier, a suitable travel carrier ensures their safety and comfort during trips.

Frequently Asked Questions

blue glen of imaal terrier puppies

Yes, Glen of Imaal Terriers are known to be vocal and may frequently bark if not properly trained and socialized.

Glen of Imaal Terriers has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years, depending on their overall health & lifestyle.

Glen of Imaal Terriers can be left alone for short periods, but they are social dogs and may become anxious or destructive if left alone for too long.

Glen of Imaal Terriers is intelligent but can be stubborn. They can learn and respond well to commands with consistent, patient training.

The number of walks a terrier needs depends on age, breed, and activity level, but most require at least one to two daily walks.

Glen of Imaal Terriers are not natural swimmers, and some may not enjoy being in the water. However, they can learn to swim and enjoy water activities with proper training and supervision.

Glen of Imaal Terriers requires moderate exercise, including daily walks and play sessions. They are not high-energy dogs but need mental and physical stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a rare breed with a small population globally. In 2020, the breed ranked 164th out of 195 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.

Glen of Imaal Terriers has dark brown eyes, complementing their wheaten, blue, or brindle-colored coat.

Wrap Up

We conclude that many dog enthusiasts love the Glen of Imaal, which is a hardy and spirited breed. While originally bred as a working dog in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland, the Glen of Imaal has become a cherished companion pet for families worldwide.  

glen of imaal irish terrier

With their unique appearance and loving personalities, these terriers have captured the hearts of many. Their loyalty, intelligence, and determination make them excellent watchdogs and companions, but they require an experienced owner who can provide consistent training and exercise. Overall, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a beautiful breed with a rich history and a bright future. 

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