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Irish Terrier Dog Breed Description, History, Grooming, Health Issues and Living Conditions

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Author: Scott Lipe

Description: The Irish Terrier is a medium-sized breed, that is slightly longer than it is tall. This breed has a long head ,that is flat between the ears. In show dogs, the ears are glued, using a special glue, to the top of their heads. This forms the correct shape, as the cartilage fills in. This will give us the V shape folded forward in the direction of the outer corner of the eyes. The Irish Terrier teeth meet in a scissor or level bite. This breed has a black nose, and has long whiskers with a bearded muzzle. The stock has small eyes that are dark in colour, with bushy eyebrows which are a feature of the breed. It has muscular, strong straight front legs. In countries that permit docking, the tale is docked to about a quarter. They have a thick wiry coat that is close to the body. This comes in solid colours; golden red, bright red, red Wheaton, all Wheaton, a small patch of white is permitted on the chest. This breed has a double coat, with the undercoat being soft. The Irish terrier stands at about 18 inches in height, and weighs 25 to 27 pounds.

History: It is believed, this is one of the oldest breeds of terrier and is thought to be some 2,000 years old. It is thought the Irish Terrier has come from black and tan terrier type dogs found in Britain and Ireland, similar to the Kerry blue. This dog was bred not for genuine looks, but for its working abilities. As with all terriers this breed is a good ratter. In their history, they were a mix of colours, whereas today we see solid colour. This breed was found in County Cork, Ireland and was used for hunting. Animals they hunted include; water rats, and otter as well as rats and mice. This breed was recognized by the AKC in 1885. In the later part of the 19th century a proper selection process of this breed began, which eliminated the differences between dogs. Without which we would have seen all colour coats and different sizes within the same breed.

Temperament: Here we see an energetic and loyal dog. This dog is a kind and loving showing great ability to entertain their families. The Irish Terrier can make an excellent friend for children. They are active and they love playing, being inquisitive and ready for action and adventure. This breed needs a good strong willed owner. This will prevent the dog becoming difficult to manage. Start training with a firm, but consistent approach when this dog is a puppy, setting rules it must follow, and always include limits of his behaviour. The Irish Terrier breed may not get along with other dogs. This is not a breed to trust with hamsters' mice and rat pets, as his nature is to hunt these creatures. This dog will enjoy digging, and with its great love of life, enjoys the chase and exploring. Extreme caution needs to be taken, if you wish to release this dog from the lead.

Health issues: Irish Terriers have little problems and are a hardy breed.

Grooming: This dog is easy to groom and sheds rarely. Brush ready with a stiff brush is all that is required. Hand stripping or hand plucking needs to be done twice a year.

Living conditions: An Irish Terrier will cope with an apartment, if it has sufficient exercise. It is to be noted this dog needs plenty of brisk walks, at least once daily. He will benefit from a medium-sized garden.

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