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Glen of Imaal Terrier

One of the native Irish Breeds, the Glen of Imaal was developed as a badger hunter in the glen in County Wicklow from which it takes its name. A terrier of this type had been known in that locality since the 17th century: low to ground, fearless and tenacious, strong and substantial – these qualities are seen in the modern breed. They were also used to hunt and eradicate vermin, such as rats, foxes and otters. Although at one time a very popular breed, today they have been placed on The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds and very few puppies are bred and registered with the club every year.

Also known as the Wicklow Terrier, they are tough yet extremely gentle which has made them popular hunting dogs as well as great companions and family pets for many years. A hard-working and explorative dog, they require less attention than other breeds – apart from regular walks, they will happily laze around the house. They have a stubborn terrier streak and can be independent dogs, but thrive with an owner who is able to train and consistent. Unlike some other terrier breeds, ‘Glens’ do well with children and are fiercely loyal to their family, as well as being welcoming and generally calm with strangers. They love digging which is another trait they need to chase down their quarry when it goes to ground. As such, when left in a garden they are very likely to dig up a few flower beds and the lawn just for the fun of it which is something that needs to be gently curbed when dogs are still young and before it develops into a real problem whether indoors or out.

Read about the history of this rare breed – HERE


Most of these stats are from the UK Kennel Club. You can view stats from kennel clubs around the world at the links below, which may have different standards and classifications.

Group – UKTerrier
Bred ForHunting
Rare BreedYes
Country of OriginIreland
TemperamentGentle, Docile, Bold
Exercise NeededUp to an hour a day
Size of Home NeededSmall
Height at Withers – Females35 – 36 cm / 14 in maximum
Height at Withers – Males35 – 36 cm / 14 in maximum
GroomingMore than once a week
CoatMedium double coat
ColourBlue, Brindle, Wheaten, Blue Brindle
Life SpanOver 10 years
  • Glens also had a role in the kitchen, turning a specially designed meat-cooking device called a turnspit—think of a dog-operated rotisserie.
  • They are known to exhibit a strange posture called ‘the Glen sit’ where the dog sit on its hind legs and hold its body upright – see in the photos below.
  • Surprisingly, considering their size, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a descendant of the Irish Wolfhound!
  • Traditionally, a Glen of Imaal Terrier’s tail was always docked, but since the law banning the procedure came into effect in 2007, tail docking is now illegal with the exception being for some working breeds and if a dog suffers from some sort of health issue that requires their tails to be docked.
  • Unlike other terriers, Glens are much quieter and not known to be “barkers”. They were bred to be “silent” hunters and even in a home environment, a Glen only barks when they think it necessary to voice an opinion about something rather than for just the sake of it.


Breed standard varies throughout the world, these links will inform you of those standards and give further information about Glen of Imaal Terriers.


Click on any picture below to view it larger and in a slideshow, it’s worth it! 😃


Enjoy this video about Glen of Imaal Terriers, you can view the entire playlist of videos about this breed on our YouTube Channel by clicking the button below:


Here’s some websites specifically dedicated to the Glen of Imaal Terrier breed. I am not affiliated with any of these sites, they’re just here for further information. Please note I will not advertise breeders on this site and as many websites dedicated to a specific breed are run by breeders, sometimes there’s fewer sites listed here.

Thanks for reading!

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