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Glen of Imaal Terrier Dog Breed… Everything That You Need to Know at a Glance!

Now if you’ve never heard of a Glen of Imaal Terrier, we really can’t fault you all that much considering these guys are one of the “lesser known” terriers from Ireland.

Especially considering the fact…

That these guys are often compared/confused with a wide variety of other dog breeds with similar characteristics.  Breeds such as the Soft-Coated Wheaten, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Irish Terrier, Welsh Corgi, Cocker Spaniel, etc, etc…

But just because…

They may not be as “popular” as some of the other terriers of the region, doesn’t mean that he is any less cute or adorable.  Which is why we wanted to take a moment and try and introduce the breed a little bit so that if you’re ever given an opportunity to own one of these little guys, you’ll know for sure if it’s a good idea or not.

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Glen of Imaal Terrier Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Ireland

Original Purpose:  Turnspit dog, hunter of rodents and vermin

Height: 12.5 to 14 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 32 to 40 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 15 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Terrier group

Glen of Imaal Terrier Origin

Like the old saying goes…

“Never judge a book by its cover”

The same hold true for the little Glen of Imaal Terrier.  This is because these little guys were built tough and for a very long time were never really all that appreciated.

You see…

Irish Glen of Imaal was originally bred by Flemish mercenaries who fought for Queen Elizabet the 1st during the mid to late 1500’s.  During this time, these little guys were used to control the vermin population and hunt badgers and foxes.

These guys were…

Also used as fighting dogs for entertainment purposes as well as turnspit dogs as well.  And for those of you who are not familiar with what a “turnspit” is, imagine a hamster running on a while only in this case, the wheel was used to mechanically turn a rotary within an open fire.

So basically…

These little guys would be enclosed in a cage and forced to run for hours upon hours while food was being prepared within a kitchen.  And some might think they were the lucky ones!


Needless to say, these little guys don’t have the most glamorous of origins.  In fact, because these conditions were so harsh, very few
“turnspit” breeds were actually able to survive this period of time which is why so few of them are around today.


The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier was one of the lucky few to fight another day which we is why, can now appreciate the breed in modern times and give them all the respect and love that they deserve.


Despite the fact that the breed has literally been around for centuries and the Irish Kennel Club officially recognized the breed way back in 1934, it wasn’t until 2004 that the breed received it well earned recognition by the American Kennel Club (AKC), which in our opinion was long overdue.

Physical Characteristics of the Irish Glen of Imaal

The Irish Glen has a rectangular body, that will typically weigh somewhere between 32 to 40 pounds.  Their also rather short reaching up to a height of only about 14 inches.

These guys will…

Have a distinctive medium-length double coat of the colors blue, brindle or wheaten topped off with a uniquely shaped head and ears that fold over and a docked tail.

All of which will…

Make identifying this breed less difficult however, if you ask us, the one thing that really sets these guys apart from many other similar breeds is their soulful brown eyes that let you know exactly what they are thinking.

Glen of Imaal Terrier personality and temperament

If you do decide to adopt an Irish Glen, what you’re going to find is that he or she is going to be a very intelligent animal with a great sense of humor and curiosity.

Two traits that…

Often times makes training them both easy and a bit challenging at the same time because, while they are very smart, they also tend to be a bit of a “goof ball” with their playful antics.

And while…

They may not be as excitable as most terriers; these guys will still have a ton of energy and can on occasion be rather aggressive towards other dogs.  This is why, it’s always important to begin your obedience training early with these guys and make sure that they are well socialized with other animals as puppies.

When done right…

The Glen of Imaal dog breed can be a very good family dog and will typically behave very gently and lovingly with children. Making for a wonderful playmate that will be very protective of the kids in the family.

These guys are also…

Very loyal to his family and sticks with you till the very end. He is your friend for life.  But be warned, they do have a tendency to bark a lot and can be nosy at times!

Glen of Imaal Terrier common health concerns

The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is a very healthy breed and has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

But he is susceptible to certain health conditions such as:

And while…

None of these conditions may be life threatening, it is safe to say that they can become rather expensive to treat particularly if they present themselves as a recurring problem.

Which is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.,

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