Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

Other names: Glen of Imaal Terrier, Wicklow Terrier, Glen

Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

This tenacious, scruffy, yet docile creature is a native of the bleak Glen of Imaal, and was largely unknown beyond that area until recent times, when her pluck and individuality have marked her out as a dog for enthusiasts. The ‘natural selection’ of 17th-century dog fights and hard work pulling dog wheels resulted in a breed more strong, brave, and dedicated than she looks, although her social personality certainly matches her teddy-bear appearance. Despite the high regard in which she is held by those enthusiasts, and her suitability for family life, the Glen remains on the ‘vulnerable’ list, a term that certainly refers to the number of her population rather than the constitution of this robust little terrier. Known as a ‘big dog on short legs,’ she may not have much reach but just about qualifies as a medium-sized dog due to her weight.

Key facts about the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Hunter

Size :

Origins and history

The Irish Glen is an authentic olde tyme dog, kept by Flemish and lowland soldiers on the land that they received in Ireland as a reward from Britain for quelling the 1570 rebellion. She seems to have been a result of crossing the little dogs they brought with them with the native Irish dogs. Since they were farm dogs, only the strongest thrived, and so she became the toughie she is today.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 3 - Terriers


Section 1 : Large and medium sized Terriers

Physical characteristics of the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

Adult size

Female : Between 13 and 14 in

Male : Between 13 and 14 in


Female : Between 33 and 37 lb

Male : Between 33 and 37 lb

Coat colour

Type of coat

Eye colour



As the FCI standard puts it: “great strength with the impression of maximum substance for the size of the dog.” Brilliant! This tough shortie does indeed pack a lot of pup into its package, and is in fact an achondroplastic dwarf breed, meaning her genetics have led to her having shorter arms and legs for a more commonly-sized mid-length torso. But let’s talk about the outer layers! The Glen’s significantly weighty head is furnished with a tapered muzzle, rose or prick-category ears, and an expression of calmly intense dogliness. Her harsh, tousled hair adds impact to her tubular croquette of a torso, leading back to a pipe-cleaner tail that is often docked.

Good to know

This dog has a special superpower: the ‘Glen sit,’ a patented sitting position whereby she perches on her tush with her forearms aloft, her body perfectly vertical, no different to a human toddler.


  • 100%


    This dog comes with plenty of affection per inch. She is a sweet and docile companion dog with an endearing personality.

  • 100%


    The Glennie is a keen player of games and mischievous tricks.

  • 66%


    She is calm compared to most terriers.

  • 66%


    The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is pretty intelligent and a fast learner.

  • 100%


    Although her work ethic has often been turned to less glamorous tasks, the Glennie is actually a born hunter and has frequently been used to hunt badgers, as well as being a useful deterrent of rodents.

  • 33%

    Fearful / wary of strangers

    She is sociable towards humans; neither fearful or aggressive.

  • 33%


    She is very attached to her social group, but her terrier temperament could lead her astray.

    Behaviour of the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

    • 66%

      Tolerates solitude

      She can tolerate alone time is she has been positively accustomed from a young age.

    • 100%

      Easy to train / obedience

      She is keen and fast to learn and will appreciate this stimulating time with her people.

    • 33%


      Not really, and certainly much less than most terriers.

    • 100%