The Glen of Imaal terrier is a gentle terrier breed, scruffy yet lovable and energetic. The breed originates in Ireland and is named after the remote and mountainous Glen of Imaal. Historically, the breed worked alongside the farmers of the region to hunt badgers, perform odd jobs around the farm and even run turnspits of food over the fire.The Glen of Imaal Terrier is ranked 174 out of 193 in the AKC’s most popular breeds ranking.
Characteristics of the Glen of Imaal Terrier
Let’s take some time to go into detail about the appearance and temperament of the Glen of Imaal Terrier.
The Glen of Imaal Terrier is an AKC certified medium-sized dog breed. They are 12.5-14 inches in height and weigh between 32-40 pounds. They are a dwarf breed with short legs and a long body in in comparison to their height. It possesses the half-pricked ears, turned-out feet and bowed forequarters distinctive to all terriers. They are a relatively long-lived breed with a life span of 10-14 years.
The Glen of Imaal Terrier’s coat is scruffy and tan or blue-grey in color, with a soft inner coat and wiry outer coat. Their weather-resistant coat will require weekly brushing to prevent matting, and investing in a high-quality dog brush is recommended. Their coat should be stripped by hand a few times per year, which is time-intensive but a great way to bond. They shed occasionally.
Glen of Imaal Terriers are laid-back and less demanding than most terriers. They are sociable with humans and polite with human visitors, though strange dogs may be met with wariness and barking. If properly socialized, they will do well living in a household with multiple dogs. Glen of Imaals may be able to live with cats, but will perceive all rodents as prey. They do very well with most children, though care should be taken to introduce them to young children.
Glen of Imaal Terriers will do fine if left alone for a few hours at a time but eventually will become bored and destructive to furniture and anything else they can get their paws on. Crate training is the best way to avoid this undesirable behavior. Crate-trained Glen of Imaal Terriers also travel well in cars and in planes. Check out our recommendations for dog crates.
Caring for a Glen of Imaal Terrier
To ensure you are providing your Glen of Imaal Terrier with everything it needs to live a long and happy life, it is essential to understand the quirks of the breed and what works best for them. Following are preliminary tips on health and training your Glen of Imaal Terrier so you know what to expect. However, remember that each dog is unique, even within a specific breed.
A high-quality dog food specific to the Glen of Imaal Terrier and the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) will fulfil all of the dog’s nutritional needs. However, even small increases in caloric intake can lead to weight gain over time, so consistency is key. Avoid feeding your Glen of Imaal table scraps or an excessive amount of treats, which can lead to weight gain and related health problems. As a smaller dog, the Glen of Imaal will require relatively few calories, but its good health and longevity still demands a balanced diet filled with vitamins and nutrients.
Glen of Imaal Terriers require regular exercise to stay in shape and healthy. They have moderate exercise needs compared to other dogs and will be happy with two walks per day at a slow speed. Glen of Imaal terriers will also benefit from regular off-leash time in a dog park or fenced backyard and enjoy playing chase and fetch with their humans. They will consistently flop down to take a nap when they are tired of playing. Glen of Imaal Terriers enjoy playing with toys, which will also help keep their mind and body active. Consider investing is one or more interactive dog toys or puzzle dog toys.
Glen of Imaal Terriers are moderately easy to train and will likely respond well to their human trainers. Like all terriers, they love chasing down small rodents and other prey animals and are always keen to explore a hole. They can be stubborn and disinterested, so short training sessions are best. Glens respond best to reward-based training and positive reinforcement. Glens will become fearful and nervous in response to aggressive or harsh commands, and any sort of negative-reinforcement is best-avoided. Puppy training classes are recommended, as well as socialization with other dogs and humans from a young age.
Glen of Imaal Terriers are typically healthy dogs and fairly free of genetic health issues. Hip dysplasia and eye diseases such as cone rod dystrophy are the most common afflictions seen in the breed. The National Breed Club recommends certain tests for the breed, including a hip evaluation, elbow evaluation, ophthalmologist evaluation and PRA OptiGen DNA test.
Glen of Imaal Terriers are a dwarf breed, meaning their legs are short in relation to their body weight. This means that certain activities can be more stressful on their bodies than a normally proportioned dog. Especially during puppyhood, it is important to minimize the amount of jumping, going up and down stairs, or anything else that may put stress on the dog’s joints.
The German Pinscher’s nails should be clipped monthly if not worn down naturally. Their ears should be checked weekly and any excess dirt or wax should be removed. Teeth should be brushed often with a dog-specific toothpaste.
Be sure to choose a dog from a responsible, certified breeder. This will give you the highest chance of having a long-lived and healthy German Pinscher.