Glen Of Imaal Terrier

Canis lupus

Last updated: April 16, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff

This dog is also named the Wicklow Terrier after the county of its origin.

Glen Of Imaal Terrier Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Canis lupus

Glen Of Imaal Terrier Conservation Status

Glen Of Imaal Terrier Locations

Glen Of Imaal Terrier Locations

Glen Of Imaal Terrier Facts

Fun Fact
This dog is also named the Wicklow Terrier after the county of its origin.
Gentle, courageous, and hard-working

Glen Of Imaal Terrier Physical Characteristics

  • Blue
  • Brindle
  • Blonde
Skin Type
10 to 14 years
40 lbs

Glen Of Imaal Terrier Images

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The Glen of Imaal was nicknamed the Turnspit Dog, because they were sometimes used in a mechanical contraption that turned meat over an open fire.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a tough but fun-loving dog, built for the rough terrain of the Irish valley that bears its name. Growing up in the hills of Wicklow County, south of Dublin, this dog was bred as a badger hunter and general farm dog and companion. But unlike many other terriers, its natural instinct is to pursue the prey silently instead of alerting its owner with loud barks. It was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2004.

The Glen of Imaal is characterized by a broad head, short legs, and downturned ears. The water-resistant double coat consists of a rough outer layer and a soft lower layer with longer furnishings around the neck, ears, legs, and stomach. There are two main coat colors: blue brindle and a yellowish wheaten. Other coat colors (like blue and tan) are rarer and not favored by some breeders.

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3 pros and cons of owning a Glen of Imaal Terrier

Pros! Cons!
Gentle and Kind
The Glen of Imaal is an excellent choice for a close friend and family dog.
Strong Prey Drive
This dog loves to chase after smaller animals.
Spirited and Fun-Loving
This breed loves to have fun with its owner.
The Glen of Imaal has a tendency to explore its surroundings and may try to escape its yard.
Once given a task, this dog will continue until completion.
Needs Frequent Activity
This breed can become bored easily unless given something to do.
Typical Irish Glen Terrier in the spring garden

Glen of Imaal Terrier Size and Weight

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a small dog, low to the ground, with short legs and a muscular frame. Males weigh slightly more than females.

Height (Male) 12 to 14 inches
Height (Female) 12 to 14 inches
Weight (Male) 35 to 40 pounds
Weight (Female) 32 to 35 pounds

Glen of Imaal Terrier Common Health Issues

The Glen of Imaal is a fairly healthy breed with a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years. Some of its more common health problems include allergies, cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, heart disease, cancer (the leading cause of death for older dogs), a loose kneecap that slips out of place, and hip and elbow dysplasia (a genetic developmental disorder that causes arthritis and lameness).

Another potential problem is Cushing’s disease, which causes the body to produce an excess of steroid hormones; common signs are increased appetite, sluggishness, hair loss, thin skin, and excess drinking and urination. A good breeder should ideally try to minimize or eliminate most genetic disorders, but there will always be health risks associated with any breed of dog.

To sum up the most common health problems:

Health and Entertainment for your Glen Of Imaal Terrier

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  • Allergies
  • Cataracts
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Heart Disease
  • Cancer

Glen of Imaal Terrier Temperament

The Glen of Imaal has many of the personality traits of a typical terrier: it’s spirited, adventurous, brave, friendly, and hard-working, which should make it an excellent companion. This breed also has a very strong prey drive and may not be suitable in homes with other small animals. But unlike many terriers, the Glen of Imaal doesn’t have the constant, never-ending motor; it is less excitable and knows how to calm down. The breed still needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation, however, or else it might resort to some destructive and unwanted behavior such as chewing and barking.

How to Take Care of the Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal is by no means an easy dog to care for. Its grooming, training, and exercise habits all require an engaged owner. But because of its more docile temperament, the breed might be a good choice for novice terrier owners who have little experience with this type. As with any other breed of dog, it is highly recommended to only work with high-quality breeders who adhere to strict health and maintenance standards. This should ensure the best possible start for your dog. Unfortunately, if you plan to adopt instead from a rescue shelter, it might be very difficult to find this dog in your area. There are very few rescue groups that specialize in the Glen of Imaal. Regardless, after it’s brought home, the dog will need a thorough physical examination at the vet and regular checkups after that.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Food and Diet

The Glen of Imaal will need about 1.5 cups of high-quality dog food per day. The exact amount will vary with the dog’s age, size, and activity level. This breed does have a tendency to gain weight, so you should not leave out food for it to eat after each meal.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Maintenance and Grooming

The Glen of Imaal requires weekly brushes to prevent matting, particularly around its furnishings. It also needs to be hand stripped two or three times per year. Hand stripping is a method of removing the top layer of the coat from the roots by hand. This is often done in wire coat terriers to maintain the consistency of the entire fur. Otherwise, if the top layer of fur is clipped, the soft lower layer of the coat might dominate. If you plan to groom this dog yourself, then it might be a good idea to invest in a grooming table. Otherwise, you should take the dog to a professional groomer who has experience with terriers. This will keep the dog looking great and also minimize any tendency for shedding. In addition to these regular grooming habits, owners should also check the ears weekly, brush the teeth once or twice a week, and trim the nails whenever they grow long.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Training

The Glen of Imaal is an intelligent, trainable breed with a strong drive and can-do spirit. But because of its independent mind and tendency to become bored easily, owners should break up training into smaller sessions maybe five or 10 minutes long, or whenever its attention starts to wander. Keep the training varied and interesting to avoid repetition. This breed is capable of learning a wide variety of different commands. In fact, it’s one of the few breeds that can be taught to sit on its hind legs. This has earned the trick its own nickname: the Glen sit.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Exercise

The Glen of Imaal needs about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise per day. It enjoys long walks, runs, fetching, and playtime. Many owners may like the fact that this breed does not have endless reserves of energy. It should settle down and become docile after a bit of exercise. Nevertheless, this breed is well-suited for some athletic competitions. Earthdog trials are specialized for terriers and other vermin hunters because they simulate the way that the dog would naturally pursue its prey through underground dens.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Puppies

Glen of Imaal puppies are sensitive little dogs that need to be slowly introduced to physical activities. It takes about nine to 12 months to develop the full growth plates in their legs. Before then, your dog should be prevented from running, climbing, and exercising on hard surfaces. Early socialization and obedience training are important aspects of its psychological development. Puppy training classes are recommended but not necessary. If you have the time and patience, it’s possible to do it yourself.

Glen of Imaal Terriers and Children

The Glen of Imaal should be a friendly and fun companion for most kids, but there is always the possibility that young children may not tolerate and enjoy the dog’s high-energy motor and tendency to play rough.

Dogs Similar to the Glen of Imaal Terriers

The Glen of Imaal is similar to several breeds of British terriers.

  • Irish Terrier – Sporting a fiery red coat, the Irish Terrier is a bold, exuberant, energetic, and friendly companion. It was originally bred as a watchdog and vermin hunter. In World War I, it was even used as a messenger near the front lines.
  • Kerry Blue Terrier – This hard-working farm dog hails from Kerry County in the southwest of Ireland. The most prominent characteristic is the wiry coat of fur that comes in various shades of blue, from light gray to deep blue.
  • Scottish Terrier – Originating developed to hunt foxes, badgers, and vermin in the rugged highlands, the Scottish Terrier has a big, confident personality that many owners find fun and endearing. The coat color comes in black, yellowish wheaten, and a striped brindle pattern.

Famous Glen of Imaal Terriers

Despite being a well-regarded breed in some dog breeding circles, the Glen of Imaal is still a fairly niche dog among wider pet owners in the United States. As of the early 21st century, there were only about 600 to 700 registered in the entire country. But a few members of this breed have done well in local American dog shows and competitions.

If you’re looking for a good Irish name, then you might want to consider one of these options:

  • Connor
  • Molly
  • Sean
  • Fiona
  • Murphy
  • Colleen
  • Cadee
  • Riley
  • Brody
  • Brielle

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Glen Of Imaal Terrier FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is a Glen of Imaal Terrier?

The Glen of Imaal is a small, short-legged dog, originating from Wicklow County, Ireland, with a muscular, athletic frame and a wiry coat. Many owners are attracted to its brave, lively, affectionate, and hard-working personality. It can even be taught to sit on its hind legs.

What is the price of a Glen of Imaal Terrier?

The price of a new Glen of Imaal puppy can be in a rather expensive range of $1,500 to $2,500, and perhaps considerably more for a dog of an exceptional heritage. The price of adopting a dog is usually much cheaper (perhaps around $300 to $500), but this breed is relatively niche and may be difficult to find with a shelter or rescue group.

Are Glen of Imaal Terriers good pets?

The answer to that question will always depend on what traits you favor in a dog. For a small, working breed, the Glen of Imaal is an all-around good companion. It’s friendly, athletic, intelligent, and relatively calm and well-behaved though still independent-minded. Remember, this breed originally had multiple functions and uses around the farm, so it is a good choice for highly engaged owners who can provide it with a lot of activities to do.

Are Glen of Imaal terriers hypoallergenic?

The Glen of Imaal is a very light shedding dog with a decent hypoallergenic coat. It should do well in households with allergy sufferers.

How big do Glen of Imaal Terriers get?

The Glen of Imaal rarely grows larger than 14 inches at the shoulder and 40 pounds in weight.

What do I feed my Glen of Imaal Terrier puppies?

People may rightly disagree on what food is best for a fast-growing puppy, but any type of high-quality dry food for energetic and athletic dogs should suffice. It might be a good idea to divide this into several meals per day; an adult should be fine with just one or two meals a day.

  1. American Kennel Club, Available here:
  2. American Kennel Club, Available here:
  3. Aubrey Animal Medical Center, Available here:

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