The Glen Of Imaal Terrier

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Dog breed info
Glen of Imaal Terrier
“Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier”
Weight: 30 — 36 lbs
Height: 12” — 14”
AKC Rank 2008 #154
Lifespan: 10—14 yrs
Group Terrier
Origin: Ireland

Dog Breed Info - Glen of Imaal

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Breed Overview

Origin: Indigenous to the Glen of Imaal, Ireland. Original function: Killing vermin, badger, farm dog. Today: Companion, Earthdog, farm dog. Colors: Wheaten, blue or brindle.

The “Glen” as this breed is known, comes from four terriers that were originally found and named for the Glen of Imaal in the County of Wicklow, Ireland. This was a bleak land strewn with rocks where everyone worked hard to earn a meager existence. Everyone including the dogs had to earn their keep. This terrier did it by going after badger, fox and rats, working for the women as turnspit dogs and by being a family companion and general farm dog. The dog had the stamina to face off with a badger underground and to run for miles in the turnspit of a hot kitchen. In addition, the Glen of Imaal Terrier had a sparkling personality that made it part of the family. In 1934 it became one of the first terrier breeds recognized by the Irish Kennel Club. By the 1980’s there was a great effort made to foster the breed in America. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 2001 in the miscellaneous class and in 2004 admitted the Glen into the Terrier Group.


The Glen of Imaal; Terrier enjoys learning and is fairly easy to train. Use clicker training and positive reinforcement as they are sensitive and don’t to well with harsh criticism. Use the Cesar Millan method too, as that is another excellent way of training sensitive dogs.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Glen? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Glen of Imaal Terrier puppy isn’t too hard to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. They learn pretty fast. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.


The “Glen” is said to be a “big dog on short legs with big ideas and always finds ways to achieve them.” The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a loving, playful, affectionate little creature that can perform well outdoors chasing after badger, fox and of course, rodents. They are great family pets, bonding and playing well with children. The Glen is tolerant, loyal and patient with kids and adults alike. This is one of four terriers from Ireland and is the most rare. Bred to be hunters, they can be very stubborn and pushy if not handled by an alpha family that dominates the dog sufficiently. The Glen must never think he’s going to run the household. The Glen is inquisitive, alert, courageous and spirited and make great family dogs. When this dog receives his daily amount of exercise and play, he will curl up at your side or feet and be totally content to nap and cuddle. This dog does not bark much and is not known to be a guardian or watchdog.

If you happen to get a Glen Terrier with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Two Glen of Imaal Terriers
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Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Some can be dog-aggressive. Will pick and choose his dog friends.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

.May be okay with other dogs and can adjust to cats but can not be trusted with small animals such as rabbits, ferrets and guinea pigs or anything else “rodent” looking.

Friendly Toward Strangers

May bed hesitant or wary of strangers at first. He’s a family dog and tends to be protective.


Very playful. Lov3es games and loves to be part of anything the family is doing., A great little camper.


Very affectionate. One of his strong points.

Good with children?

Very good with children. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is tolerant, playful and affectionate and one of the better choices for families with kids, except that the dog is hard to find and rare.

Good with Seniors over 65?

Yes, good choice for seniors. The Glen is an affectionate, playful, loyal, cuddly, easy-to-care-for little dog and as long as the senior can walk several times a day and toss a ball around, this should be a good match. Only drawback is this is not much of a watchdog.

Living environment

Apartment, condo, flat, farm or ranch all good. The Glen of Imaal Terrier needs to be kept in a fenced area as he loves to hunt and will run into traffic or down the road after a good scent. He must be kept on leash at all times.

Energy level

Moderate energy. Can run and chase animals for hours and this dog can be destructive if he doesn't get his daily dose of exercise.

Exercise needs, daily

One or two good walks daily with some play time are needed, always on leash or in a closed area. The Glen does not swim so stay away from deep water.


Not really a watchdog. The Glen doesn’t bark much, but will try to protect his family and the children.

Guard dog

No, not a serious guardian. He will bark if threatened.


Sheds some, very little.


Brush regularly with a stiff bristle brush. Stripping should be done 2 or 3 timers a year. Bathe only as necessary.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Glen of Imaal Terrierl Rescue group in your area, here is a link that might help:
Petfinder - Glen of Imaal Terrier Rescue As I write this, Petfinder is showing only 9 dogs available to adopt in the USA. That might be enough, but in case you want more selection, go online and search for Glen of Imaal Terrier Rescue or Clubs or kennels. This is a VERY rare breed. If you do find one to adopt, try to locate any dog health records and save for possible future reference.

Dog Health Issues For Glen of Imaal Terriers
Below: The dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Glen by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. These are the dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Hip dysplasia CHD- Hind end limping, hind/back leg acts lame, can't move, weak legs. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing the Glen of Imaal Tererier great pain, weakness and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy—(PRA) An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

Other health problems could occur with your Glen of Imaal Terrier. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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