The Glen of Imaal Terrier!

The Glen of Imaal Terrier or the Glen is a muscular, heavy-boned breed with a big head and a broad chest. It has a long body with a tail that is docked at half length. Its legs are short with its front legs bowed and front feet turning out. The Glen’s head and skull is of good width with a powerful foreface. The ears are small and half-perched when alert and thrown back when in repose. It has a medium length coat which is of harsh texture with soft undercoat. It originated from Ireland in a place called the Glen of Imaal, in County Wicklow. The breed is often referred to as the big dog on short legs as it is long rather than tall.

Some Quick Facts:

Life Expectancy:
13 to 14 years

Energy Level:

Living Conditions:
Flexible; like to dig.

Less than average.

Exercise Needs:
30 minute daily walk.

Breed Group:


12-14 inches

35-45 pounds

Standard Hair Colors:
Red, blue, brindle or wheaten.

National breed club:
The Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America

Glen of Imaal Terrier Skills

The Glen of Imaal Terrier originally served as an all-around farm dog. It was used to guard and work with livestock, destroy vermin and to hunt fox, badger, otter and mink. It was also used to turn kitchen treadmills, spits and churns. The Glen was supposed to have been used in dog fighting entertainments. At present, most Glens are gentle and docile family dogs. Others turn out as excellent therapy dogs, suitable watchdogs and willful participants in agility and earth dog activities. The breed is likewise an excellent candidate for obedience work.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Personality

The Glen of Imaal Terrier’s temperament can be considered a complication due to the degree of variation even within the same litter. The original qualities that have been retained are that of versatility, intelligence and ruggedness. It is a tough and fearless dog but is generally quiet with no tendency towards unnecessary barking. It can be very affectionate, easy-going and playful. Most Glens can be trusted with children; it is quite loyal and shows preference to stay close to its owners. However, it is capable of patiently waiting for attention and responds best to positive reinforcement.

Exercise Needs

A Glen of Imaal Terrier needs sufficient exercise in order to avoid getting fat. Al least a 20 to 30 minutes of walk done daily is desirable. They are able to make their own exercise either indoors or outdoors. A romp in the park or through the woods is a welcome treat for them but they especially love a good car ride.

Living Conditions

Glens prefer a human environment and does not thrive in kennels. They are equally at home in an urban apartment or in a spacious land like a farm. In urban homes with yards, the ideal fencing should have a foundation because this breed particularly likes to dig. This will offer them protection as they are quite naïve about road traffic.

Grooming Requirements

A Glen of Imaal Terrier essentially does not shed. Dead hairs can be removed by stripping two to three times a year. Regular grooming may consist of frequent brushes and occasional baths as it does not have a strong doggie odor.

Health Issues

Generally a strong breed, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is commonly affected by skin allergies. There have been identified cases of hip dysplasia and progressive renal atrophy. Due to its very limited gene pool and history of inbreeding, the risk of inheriting genetic diseases is very big.

If you liked this dog…

...then the Kerry Blue Terrier, one of the Glen’s three Irish cousins, may be of interest to you. Also named after its place of origin-County Kerry, Ireland, the Kerry Blue Terrier has long been used to hunt small game. It is also a reliable watchdog and is used to herd cattle and sheep.

Glen of Imaal Terrier


Dog Resources

Raising Your Dog

Dogs By Size

Dogs By Group

petside media network

Breeds: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z