The Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier takes his name from Glen of Imaal (surprise!) in Wicklow County, Ireland. He is sometimes referred to as the “Wicklow Terrier” or the “Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier,” but most of the time he is simply called the “Glen.” The Glen is one of several Irish Terrier breeds. Although, the exact breeding lines are disputed, the Glen was definitely born in Ireland.

The Glen excelled at exterminating rats, foxes, badgers, and otters. He was also used as a working dog for herding. Perhaps his most important job was as a turnspit dog, which meant walking on a treadmill for hours to turn meat over fires. 

The breed nearly faded away before being revived in the 20th century; still, today the Glen is one of the rarest dog breeds in the world. 

The Glen of Imaal Terrier was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2004.

Sizing up

  • Weight: 32 to 40 lbs.
  • Height: 12.5 to 14 inches
  • Coat: Medium-length double coat. A harsh topcoat and a short, soft undercoat
  • Color: Wheaten, blue, or brindle
  • Life expectancy: 12 to 15 years

What’s the Glen of Imaal Terrier like?
The Glen of Imaal Terrier is generally calm and even-tempered -- not normally words used to describe terriers. He is less vocal than other terriers and on the smaller side but he has the deep bark of a much larger dog. He will do his best to protect the family but does not often bark. While he’s an enthusiastic hunter he will enjoy cuddling up and relaxing with his family when he’s not off chasing critters. 

Glens can be very stubborn and feisty when they sense weakness so establishing dominance is vital. Early training is necessary as well as frequent socialization.  Glens are a great playmate for your children! They can handle the occasional roughhousing, but keep an eye on the play date.

Grooming this terrier is a breeze since shedding is on the lesser side. Regular brushing once or twice a week will keep the coat from tangling. 

Glen of Imaal Terriers are generally a very healthy breed but can be prone to a few genetic health problems including the following:

  • Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • Rod-cone dystrophy
  • Hip dysplasia

Takeaway points

  • The Glen of Imaal Terrier may be small but his bark makes him seem like a big guy and could ward off intruders.
  • The Glen of Imaal Terrier is an active dog and enjoys walks with the ones he loves.
  • The Glen of Imaal Terrier is great at catching rats and other unwanted things in your yard so always keep a look out for him when he’s outside.
  • The Glen of Imaal Terrier does not shed much at all so grooming is very simple.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.