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Irish Terrier

The medium-sized, elegant Irish Terrier has a wire coat that comes in red, red/wheaten or yellow/red shades. The Irish Terrier is an affectionate dog that loves attention and can be a bit strong-willed at times. But they make lovely, playful companions that get along great with kids.

The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking an hour a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming every other day
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Life Span: 13-15 years
Weight: 11-12kg
Height: Males are 48cm tall and females 46cm
Colours: Red, red/wheaten or yellow/red
Size: Medium
Kennel Club group: Terrier


Family-friendly:  5/5
Exercise needs:  4/5
Easy to train:  1/5
Tolerates being alone:  2/5
Likes other pets:  1/5
Energy level:  5/5
Grooming needs:  3/5
Shedding:  4/5


Despite their nickname - the ‘Red Devil’ - the Irish Terrier is a good-tempered, fun and devoted companion who are affectionate and highly bonded to their owners. They can however also be reckless and mischievous, are totally fearless, and have a reputation for being feisty with other dogs on occasion and may not be safe with cats or small furries.

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Ireland

The Irish Terrier is the oldest of the four Irish terrier breeds and was used as a watchdog and for pest control in the Cork area. They would happily take on everything from rats to badgers. They appealed to all walks of life and were kept by both commoners and nobility. Once known as the Irish Red Terrier, to avoid confusion between other Irish terrier breeds, this dog was also known as the Red Devil and was used as a messenger dog in the First World War where their bravery and tenacity became legendary. The breed’s exact origins are not known, but probably developed from the old black and tan terrier crossed with other local dogs.

Health and Common Concerns

Exercise Needs

Space Requirements

Nutrition and Feeding

Grooming Irish Terriers

Training Irish Terriers

Best Family Dog Breeds

Did You Know?

The bravery and tenacity of the Irish Terrier is legendary - and hunters in Africa were known to take Irish Terriers out lion hunting with them!

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