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Irish Terrier

Tags: terrier, Protective guardian, Requires firm, dedicated training

My other two names -- the Irish Red Terrier and the Daredevil -- say it all. From a centuries-old mix of terrier types (including the wire-haired black-and-tans and larger Wheaten Terriers) came a feisty fellow, equally adept on land or water, for hunting hare, vermin or otter. Hunters were thrilled to have a robust terrier with legendary endurance and spunk. We were renown for plunging headlong into a tussle without concern for our own well-being -- that's where the "Daredevil" reputation started. For a while our wiry coats were various colors -- black-and-tan, brindle, or red -- until the breed standard was set in 1875 for the Irish Red Terrier. We were admitted to the AKC's Terrier Group in 1885 as a medium-size (18 inches at the shoulder, 25-27 pounds) farm dog and vermin hunter. After serving English soldiers as messengers and sentinels during WW I, we added another line to our resume -- which more recently includes "family companion."

Rave review

  • Affectionate, loyal family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Hardy hunter
  • Aggressive toward other dogs
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Perfect protector
  • Caters to country, tolerates town
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Training must be firm, patient, consistent

What to expect

Please be advised that I take my "Daredevil" reputation seriously. The same sweet, gentle dog who romps lovingly with the kids can be mindlessly ferocious if attacked or threatened. Maybe it's my terrier nature, amplified by my upbringing. All the more reason to start my socialization and obedience training as early as possible. Find an experienced obedience instructor who knows about terriers. Make my training firm and consistent, and make it stick. I can learn the rules -- I promise -- if we work on this together.

Watch for

Possible cataracts, thyroid disorders, and skin problems.

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