Irish Terrier


Though the Irish Terrier’s origins are uncertain, clues have led some to believe that the old Black and Tan Terrier and the Irish Wolfhound may have contributed to this long-legged Irish breed. Black and tan, gray, and brindle were once common colors, but the solid red became standard in the late 1800s. A bold, courageous, and intelligent breed, the Irish Terrier was used as a messenger and sentinel during World War I. The breed is uncommon today.


Medium; 18 to 20 inches, 25 to 27 pounds.


Shades of red or wheaten.


Assertive, brash, playful, independent; Affectionate, loyal, protective of family; usually good with children but reserved with strangers. Aggressive toward other animals.

Energy level:

High outdoors but calm indoors.

Best owner:

Active owner in a suburban or rural home.


Daily mental and physical exercise (hiking, hunting, agility); leash; fenced yard; early, firm, and obedience training; twice weekly combing plus shaping twice a year.

Life expectancy:

12 to 15 years.