OVERVIEW OF IRISH TERRIER
Irish Terriers are purebred dogs that originated from Ireland, and this breed is one of the oldest terrier breeds in the world. They are popular for their fiery red coat, and they have a bold and courageous temperament which makes them extremely determined. At home, they are extremely affectionate and playful, which makes them a popular choice among dog parents. Their loyal and charming personalities make it easy for them to adjust to different places, but you need to give them proper attention, which means that they may not like having other pets around. Due to their high energy levels, they tend to engage in a lot of physical activity and need sufficient space to move around. Once an Irish Terrier gets comfortable with you, you will have found yourself a lifelong companion because they are very loyal animals.
Despite their loyal and friendly characteristics, Irish Terriers are not as popular as other breeds when it comes to adoption, which means that you may find it difficult to find a breeder with puppies. This is because individuals with a lot of dogs do not want a breed that will fight their pets and display dominance. It is important to train them properly to ensure that they know you are in charge because they can be very stubborn.
CHARACTERISTICS OF IRISH TERRIER
The Irish Terrier is a charming breed. Their bright red coat helps them stand out from other dogs, and despite being medium-sized and heavy, they can be very powerful. The coat on Irish Terriers lies flat on the skin and is straight and wiry in texture. Their ears tend to be small and folded and are a little darker than the rest of the hair. Despite having a lot of hair, Irish Terriers will not shed excessively. This breed can tolerate both hot and cold weather as long as they are meeting their requirement for physical activity. They can get bored easily if not given the proper attention, and their strong-willed nature can make them stubborn at times. An Irish Terrier will adore kids and will remain playful with them, but may not get along with pets like cats or other dogs.
ORIGIN AND HISTORY OF THE IRISH TERRIER
The Irish Terrier breed originated in Britain and Ireland and is easily one of the oldest terrier breeds. It was first recognized as a breed in Scotland during a dog show in 1875 and became part of the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1885. By the 1880s, Irish Terriers had gained a lot of popularity in England, but this came at a price. It became a common practice to crop out their ears, but the Irish Terrier Club tried to discourage this practice by making it necessary for all terriers of a certain age to have uncropped years. This action eventually led to the banning of cropping ears of most terrier breeds.
Eventually, the breed spread to America through dog shows, and the Irish Terrier Club of America was founded in 1896. In the early years, you could find this breed in different colors including black, wheaton, gray, brindle, tan and red, which was the most dominant of them all. The selection process began later on in the 19th century, after which they became known for their red coat. An Irish writer described them as “The poor man’s sentinel, the farmer’s friend, and the gentleman’s favorite.” Due to their bravery, loyalty, intelligence, and efficiency as messenger dogs in World War I, they were awarded several accolades. Unfortunately, in recent years, this breed has lost its popularity and only ranks 123rd among the 155 dog breeds recognized by the AKC. They are rarely seen in dog shows and events.
PERSONALITY AND HEALTH
Irish Terriers have a unique personality that makes them stand out from others. On one hand, they are extremely tough and brave, which makes them determined and focused as working dogs. On the other hand, they have a friendly and affectionate side that makes them suitable as house pets in homes with children.
In order to maintain their physical and mental health, Irish Terriers need to be challenged consistently because they get bored easily. You will need to make sure that they are engaging in adequate physical activity if you have kept them as a pet. Make sure that you do not leave them alone at home because they need a certain amount of attention. Irish Terriers can get along with people of all ages, but they may take some time to get comfortable. They make good watch dogs because they will alert you when a stranger visits by barking loudly. It is very difficult to distract them once they are focused on something. They make good lifelong companions because they are very loyal and good-tempered.
It should be kept in mind that the temperament of each dog can differ because it depends on several factors. These include heredity and socialization. When adopting one, try to interact with relatives like your mother or siblings to get an idea of your Irish Terrier’s personality. Also, early socialization and exposure to humans are important if you want to make sure that your puppy will grow up to be well-rounded. Do not hesitate to consult an expert if you are unsure about a particular dog’s temperament before you adopt.
When it comes to health, Irish Terriers generally do not have a lot of issues. Their life expectancy ranges between 13 to 14 years, provided they stay healthy. Eye and breathing problems are uncommon, and they do not tend to suffer from food allergies as well. In the early years of the 1960s and 1970s, some dogs suffered from Hyperkeratosis, which is a disease that causes cracked and hardened footpads and is painful. In recent years, genetic tests have been developed for this disease and it has become extremely rare. Bladder stones are also uncommon but can be found in a few dogs, so make sure you check with your breeder before purchasing. Look for health clearances provided by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF). Hip dysplasia, hyperthyroidism, elbow dysplasia, and thrombopenia are some diseases to look out for.
It is important that you check the ears of your Irish Terrier frequently for signs of infection, and regular vet checkups are necessary to make sure your dog is healthy. To ensure that your Irish Terrier lives a long life, keep an eye out for parasites and consult your vet frequently. Make sure you are taking care of their grooming by bathing them often and looking after their oral health.
GROOMING AND NUTRITION
Just like all dogs, Irish Terriers need to be groomed properly and regularly in order to appear neat and clean. You need to know their nutrition requirements so that you can feed them properly according to their age.
It is important to take good care of an Irish Terrier’s coat by brushing it regularly. Make sure you strip and trim it frequently so it does not look unkempt and messy. The thick coat on the outside can help create a water-resistant layer that will help keep the dog warm in cool and rainy conditions. Underneath this coat, there is an undercoat that is also designed to trap heat on cool days. This double coat forms a protective layer around the dog, making it safe to play outdoors. It is recommended that you strip the outer layer by hand instead of relying on clippers. This should only be done a couple of times a year and in a specific way. Always consult a specialist if you are unsure about clipping your canine’s fur.
Dental hygiene and nail care are other aspects that you will need to look after. Make sure you brush your Irish Terrier’s teeth at least three times a week to prevent unpleasant odors and problems like plaque or tartar buildup. Ideally, you should brush their teeth every day. When it comes to the nails, shorter is always better because Irish Terriers are energetic and will often jump up to greet you. Their sharp nails can also tear carpets and furniture like sofas. Trimming their nails once or twice a month is usually sufficient. A good tip to remember is that if your dog’s nails are making a clicking noise when touching the floor, they are too long.
When it comes to nutrition, you will need to consider specific things like the Irish Terrier’s age, metabolism, size, and activity level. It goes without saying that an active dog will require a heavier diet than one who is lazy. Also, the quality of the dog food will have a direct impact on their health. Always consult a vet or your breeder for specific recommendations for your dog. Measure the food before you add it to their bowl, and divide the daily requirement by feeding them twice a day. The food should not be available to your Irish Terrier at all times as this can lead to overeating and more serious problems like obesity. Try not to give them too many treats as they can also contribute to their calorie intake. One thing that should be available to them at all times is clean water.
TRAINING YOUR IRISH TERRIER
Training an Irish Terrier can be a challenging process, especially for beginners. The best way is to start when they are still puppies, as they can retain information better at a young age. Even though they are intelligent animals that want to please their parents, they can be very independent and strong-willed as well, which can be a hindrance to their successful training. Early socialization is important so that they have an idea of dealing with people and recognizing different scents and sounds. A good way to do this is to take them to puppy kindergarten classes so that they can interact with other dogs. Other ways can be taking them for walks in local parks and encouraging interaction with other dogs.
If you start training your pup early on, they will develop a special bond with you that will probably last a lifetime. Due to their independent instincts, you may notice that your Irish Terrier has a, “What’s in it for me?” attitude. For this reason, you will need to work hard to make sure that your dog is motivated and not just ignoring you. They will admire challenges and using positive reinforcement by giving them treats is an effective process. Remember that you need to be patient and relaxed while appearing authoritative simultaneously. Avoid using harsh methods and punishing your Irish Terrier because they tend to be very sensitive animals. Obedience training is also important, but you need to make sure that it is provided by an experienced individual.
EXERCISE NEEDS OF IRISH TERRIERS
As mentioned before, Irish Terriers need to be physically active, which is why you need to make sure that they are getting adequate space to move around and play. Make sure that someone is with them at home at all times because they can get lonely and bored if left alone for a long time. This can impact their mental health as well. When indoors, Irish Terriers will like to relax with their family, and may not be very active. When taken outdoors, they can become excited really quickly, which is why you need to make sure that your yard is protected from all sides by a fence that they cannot cross. When you take them out on walks, make sure you use a leash because they will chase anything that catches their attention. Keep in mind that they are not very good with other dogs, and you will need to maintain control if you want to prevent fights with them that can cause serious injuries.
Irish Terriers make good watchdogs because they are extremely versatile and active. They can be reserved with strangers, but they will keep your family safe. Due to their fast speeds, they make a good breed for racing and similar activities. You can play games like fetch to keep them entertained. They used to be a famous choice in dog shows as well, but their popularity has decreased gradually. If you plan to adopt an Irish Terrier, be 100% sure that you and your family are able to meet their physical needs because they can become really lazy and unhealthy, which can be damaging to their physical and emotional well-being.