Glen Of Imaal Terrier

Glen Of Imaal Terrier

Other Names

Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier


The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a sturdy dog that resembles the Welsh Corgi in that it is low to the ground with short legs. The head is in proportion to the body. The skull is broad and slightly domed, tapering toward the eyes. The muzzle is strong, tapering toward the black nose. The stop is pronounced. The teeth meet in a level or scissors bite. The round, medium-sized eyes are brown. The ears are half-pricked or rose. They are wide-set on the back of the top outer edge of the head, held on the back of the head when the dog is alert. The bowed legs are short and well boned. The tail has a strong base and is either docked or left natural. When docked it is cut to about half its length. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The harsh coat is medium length with a soft undercoat. Coat colors include wheaten from cream silver to blue and brindle (light blue, dark blue and/or tan).


The Glen of Imaal is a spirited, brave, patient and devoted little dog. Mellow and gentle with the family, it is vigorous and unyielding when hunting; otherwise mild-mannered and calm indoors. It is intelligent, but also a late bloomer, taking longer to mature than the average dog. It is sensitive to the tone of one’s voice and will not listen if it senses that it are stronger minded than its owner, however it will also not respond well to harsh discipline. Owners need to be calm, yet possess an air of natural authority. Do not allow this dog to develop Small Dog Syndrome. If it senses the owners are meek or passive it will become stubborn, pushy, and dominating as it will believe it needs to run the home. If under exercised it will become rambunctious. These loyal dogs make fine family pets. Playful and good with children. Should not be trusted alone with small animals due to their hunting instincts. Use caution around pets such as hamsters, rabbits and mice. With proper leadership and human to canine communication they can get along well with other dogs. They can live with cats if the cats are able to establish their dominance over the dog. The rules of the home should be made clear and stuck to. Training should always be consistent with some play in every session. They respond well to obedience training and can be taught to retrieve. Glens are keen to learn. A hunting terrier at heart, the Glen likes to dig and chase. This breed does not bark much but when it does its voice is deep. These dogs will bark if they detect danger but will rarely bark without a reason.


Height:14 inches (35.5 – 36.5 cm)
Weight: 34 – 36 pounds (15.5 – 16.5 kg)

Health Problems

Slightly prone to hip dysplasia, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and flea allergies.

Living Conditions

The Glen of Imaal Terrier will do okay in an apartment. They are moderately active indoors and will do okay without a yard. The Glen can sleep outdoors if the weather is not too hot or cold, but would much rather be indoors with its owners.


The Glen of Imaal Terrier needs a daily walk, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the person holding the lead. Never in front, as instinct tells a dog the leader leads the way and that leader needs to be the human. As with all breeds, play will not fulfill their primal instinct to walk. Dogs that do not get to go on daily walks are more likely to display behavior problems. They will also enjoy a good romp in a safe, open area off-lead, such as a large, fenced-in yard.

Life Expectancy

About 13-14 years.

Litter Size

About 3 to 5 puppies


The Glen is easy to groom, but it does require stripping twice a year. Cut under the tail with scissors as needed. The hair in the ears should be plucked out regularly and the hair between the pads of the feet should also be removed. Show dogs require a lot more grooming. This breed sheds little to no hair.


The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a dog of unknown origins, but is of Irish descent. The breed received his name from the Glen of Imaal, in County Wick low, Ireland. The breed’s early job was as a hunter, silently going after vermin, and going to ground after fox and badgers, dragging out the pray. Gamers put them in a pit with badgers, timing them on the kill, until the so-called sport was banned in 1966. The dogs were also used as turnspit dogs: Glens were put on a treadmill and would walk for hours, turning a large rotisserie wheel that was used to cook meat over an open flame. This spunky little terrier can still catch vermin and with little training it can still be used to successfully hunt foxes and badgers. The Glen was first presented publicly at an Irish dog show in 1933. It is rare in the USA and was recognized by the AKC in 2004.