The Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier is a medium-sized (about 46 cm, 18 inches at withers, 11-15 kilos), active, wire-haired terrier. It is keen and alert, showing great intelligence. Raising an Irish is not an easy task, as they are very smart.

Fardarrigh Cutting Edge (the same dog as in the first photo) at 11 months

One can say that every Irish Terrier wants to be number one in the family. Therefore the owner must obtain good knowledge of dog behavior unless he wants to slowly become number two. You don´t have to have the skills of animal behaviorist or work in a circus, though! In all cases, a dog cannot grow up to be a sensible, well-behaved family member unless he is taught how. All dogs need some obedience training. I recommend that you train your dog a lot because a well trained dog is good company, he can be trusted and he gets better and better with age. A trained dog can lead a free life.


Most Irish Terriers are very fond of children. They are trustworthy and very tolerant. However, they are very strong and that is why young children cannot take care of their daily promenades. Especially males can be quite intolerant with other dogs, and children cannot handle these situations at all. Walking an Irish Terrier is not a job for kids.

Fardarrigh Cutting Edge 2,5 years

Irish Terriers are very curious. They stick their nose everywhere, literally. They take part in everything and are interested in everything. At his best an Irish Terrier is a little bit hard in character, curious, self-confident and clever. His nickname ”daredevil” suits him well even today.


The coat is wire, lying flat, straight and red. An Irish Terrier is always whole-coloured and he needs to be trimmed (plucked) at least twice a year. Trimming an Irish Terrier is not rocket science, but you have to know what you are doing. Trimming means plucking the dead hair off with fingers or with help of a dull, non-cutting trimming knife. The Irish Terrier does not have a so called natural shed of coat at all, which doesn´t mean that he would not shed at all. He does. For show, it is recommended to find a professional to trim him. If the coat is clippered or cut, the dog will lose his bright red colour and all the protective qualities of his coat. The coat becomes greyish and soft, and it has to be clipped often! If you want your dog to be clippered, my advice is to stay away from Irish Terriers. Kerry Blues and Soft-coated Wheatens are clipped.


An Irish needs quite a lot of excercise to keep in shape. My recipe is at least one 45-minute promenade a day plus the shorter walks in the morning and in the evening before going to bed. If possible, find a place where the dog can run free. Staying in the fenced back yard is not much of an excercise, and soon an Irish will try to find a way to escape or find a lot of undesirable hobbies, such as digging, biting, barking…