Photo by © Twisted Krister

Glen Of Imaal Terrier - Breed Profile:

Origin: Ireland
Colors: Shades of blue, brindle, or wheaten
Size: Medium
Type of Owner: Experienced
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
Combativeness: Tends to be fairly dog-aggressive
Dominance: Moderate
Noise: Not a barker

Physical characteristics

The Glen Of Imaal Terrier is a medium size working dog with short legs and a powerful build. The body is muscular and fairly long. The front legs are slightly bowed. The chest is broad and strong. The head is in good proportion to the rest of the body, with no suggestion of coarseness. The skull is a bit doomed. The stop is pronounced. The muzzle tapers toward the nose. The medium size eyes are set well apart; they are round in shape and dark brown in colour. The small ears are half erect when the dog is alert, and lie back when the dog is relaxed. The nose is black. The strong teeth should form a scissor or level bite. The tail is usually docked to approximately half-length. Note: docking tails is illegal in most parts of Europe. The gait is free and even.
Glens weigh 30 to 40 pounds. The height is 12,5 to 14 inches.


The Glen of Imaal is a spirited, brave, patient and devoted dog. Mellow and gentle with its family. While mild-mannered and calm indoors, it is vigorous and stoic when hunting. Intelligent and smart. Very brave, patient and loyal. Even though Glens are usually good with children, the kids should be taught to be respectful to this terrier breed. Responds well to obedience training and sensitive to voice correction. Glens enjoy being near their family. Playful and feisty with other animals, this breed can be somewhat aggressive toward dogs of the same sex (this is common in all terrier breeds). Hence, early socialization is necessary. Glens have a deep bark that makes the dog sound much bigger than it actually is. The owners should be naturally authoritative and dominant, otherwise the dog may become wilful and develop the "small dog syndrome". A hunting terrier at heart, the Glen likes to dig and chase. This breed can live with cats in peace if the cats are able to establish their dominance over the dog.

Coat and grooming

The medium length coat is harsh and shaggy. The undercoat is soft. The possible colours are wheaten, blue and brindle. Wheaten includes all shades from cream to red wheaten. Blue may range from silver to deepest slate, but it should not be black. Brindle may be any shade. The dog should be groomed regularly. Stripping about twice a year is also necessary.


Slightly prone to hip dysplasia, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and flea allergies. The lifespan is 10 to 12 years.

Other interesting facts

The Glen of Imaal Terrier originated from Ireland, and it is still fairly rare in the United States. It is named for the Glen of Imaal, in County Wicklow, Ireland. Like many similarly built, low to the ground, powerful terriers, it was bred to hunt and kill lair animals such as foxes and badgers.