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Glen of Imaal Terrier

Quick facts

Glen of Imaal Terrier AKC Group: Terrier
Height: 12.5-14 inches
Weight: 34-36 pounds
Colors: Blue, blue-black, wheaten, brindle
AKC recognized in: 2004

Exotic as its name sounds, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a regular, medium-sized, working-type dog. Actually it is more of a dwarf breed. It is named after that region of the Wicklow Mountains found in Ireland. Thus, it is also sometimes referred to as the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier.

Typical to dogs of the Terrier breed, its body is longer than it is tall. Long and narrow as it is lithe and quick, it is designed to hunt foxes and draw badgers from their hiding places.

This breed has gone from being put through sport with the number of badger kills it makes within a pit to being utilized to turn large meat rotisserie when cooking. The breed has prevailed these setbacks to become the pet and companion that it is today.

First presented as a show dog in 1933, it was recognized by the AKC in 2004.

As to appearance, Glens somewhat resemble the Welsh Corgis. They have a low-to-the-ground body with a raised topline which offsets those short, bowed legs. The head is relatively large, while the chest and shoulders are sturdy. As pups, they have black highlights which eventually fade into maturity.


Glen of Imaal Terrier Summary
Affection four paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training four paws
Energy level four paws
Exercise Requirements four paws
Friendliness : Children three paws
Friendliness: Other Animals three paws
Friendliness: Other Pets three paws
Grooming Requirements three paws
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness four paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability three paws

When you picture the Glen of Imaal, imagine a strong, brave, and spirited dog. It is also a patient and devoted little terrier. If it’s been trained to socialize with people, it will be calm and mellow in its behavior even toward kids.

Considering that Glens are hunting terriers, they can be noisy and aggressive when provoked. Unless they’re trained and you’re careful, they could mistake pet hamsters, gerbils, and cats for prey.

Take note that, smart as they are, these dogs take longer to mature than your average dog. Most of them are late bloomers when it comes to intelligence. However, they will turn to you for leadership. They will be sensitive to your voice and listen to your command once you show yourself to be kind and trustworthy.

The rules should be made clear from the start. Know that they prefer to stay indoors with you rather than out in a kennel. You won’t have a problem with noise on their part since they rarely bark without any reason.

Just be consistent with your training, and try to include some play within sessions. They can be trained to obey commands and to do tricks. In fact, they’re quite good at retrieving!


The average lifespan of the Glen of Imaal Terrier is 12 to 15 years.

While the Glen of Imaal Terrier is generally a healthy dog, it is susceptable to certain health problems. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Elbow Dysplasia - A condition involving several developmental anomalies of the elbow joint in the dog. This keeps the three bones that make up the joint to fit together imperfectly, causing irritation and pain.
  • Hypothyroidism - An under-active thyroid gland, which can result in obesity, epilepsy, lethargy, and skin conditions.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - A group of diseases that progress over time and eventually cause blindness in your dog. The retina either stops developing early or the receptors start degenerating early in life. This is an inherited disorder.
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - This is a blood disease that causes a deficiency in clotting glycoproteins. This disease is similar to hemophilia in humans.


If you’re keen about keeping your Glen of Imaal happy, provide it with sufficient exercise (at least 30 minutes a day) through walks and romps. A hunting terrier by heart, it nurtures the desire to dig and chase whenever, wherever. So be sure to keep it on a leash or confined in a safe area like an enclosed yard.

The Glen is normally considered a low-shedding dog. It has a harsh textured topcoat with a shorter undercoat. Brushing this once or twice a week is all it takes to keep the coat from tangling.

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