Choosing a Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal terrier is one of four terriers from Ireland. Affectionately called the Glen, this terrier is an uncommon breed in the United States but for those that know him, he is a treasured family pet.

History and Origin

The Glen of Imaal terrier originated in the Glen of Imaal region in the Wicklow mountains of Ireland. Of the four Irish terriers, the Glen of Imaal is probably the least common. Bred to keep vermin out of the house and to hunt fox and badger, this loving terrier is also a wonderful family pet.

In 2001, the Glen of Imaal terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the terrier group.

Appearance and Size

The Glen of Imaal terrier is longer than he is tall. The front legs are bowed with the feet turning outward slightly. The eyes are medium sized and set wide apart. The ears are rose or semi-erect. The rear legs are well muscled. The tail is docked and set high. It should be carried erect. The coat of the Glen of Imaal terrier is harsh with a softer undercoat. The coat can be wheaten, blue or brindle.

The adult Glen of Imaal terrier stands around 14 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 34 to 36 pounds.


The Glen of Imaal terrier is a brave and family oriented dog. Loyal companions, this dog is known to sometimes be silly and sometimes be a couch potato. These dogs are quite courageous and will bark when strangers approach.

Home and Family Relations

The Glen of Imaal terrier is a great family dog that does well in the city or country. The breed can do well with children if introduced to them at an early age. This terrier is very protective of his family and will bark when strangers approach. They are an intelligent and active breed but some can be stubborn. Some can be aggressive toward other dogs, especially if not adequately socialized early in life.

The Glen of Imaal terrier can live happily in an apartment as long as he is taken on daily walks. This breed can live with other pets but may chase household cats or other small pets.


The Glen of Imaal terrier should receive obedience training early in life. The breed can be trained with patience and persistence but some can be stubborn and independent.

Special Concerns

The Glen of Imaal terrier does not like to be left alone with nothing to do. They are intelligent dogs and need mental stimulation to prevent destructive behaviors. As with other terriers, this breed tends to dig and bark if bored. This dog should not be allowed to roam off leash since he may chase small quick little creatures.

Common Diseases and Disorders

The Glen of Imaal terrier is a hardy breed that has few known diseases. The most common are hip dysplasia, atopic dermatitis and progressive retinal atrophy, a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate, leading to blindness.

The average life span of the Glen of Imaal terrier is 12 to 15 years.

We realize that each dog is unique and may display other characteristics. This profile provides generally accepted breed information only.