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Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a rough-and-ready working terrier that is the least known of the four terrier breeds native to Ireland. Longer than tall and sporting a harsh coat of medium length, the Glen is very much a big dog on short legs. The Glen is the only terrier breed of Ireland not defined by a single color. Acceptable colors for the breed are various shades of wheaten, blue and brindle.

A Look Back
Initially bred to rid the home and farm of vermin, and hunt badger and fox, these rugged dogs also had a unique task for which they were expressly designed to perform – they were turnspit dogs. The turnspit was a large wheel which, when paddled by the dog, would turn a spit over the hearth — a canine propelled rotisserie. Today’s Glens are very much the same as the Glens that worked the lowlands of County Wicklow 100 years ago, with very little refinement or influence by fashion.

Right Breed for You?
When working, the Glen is active, agile, silent and intent upon its game; otherwise, he can be a docile companion for families with older children. A real terrier of considerable substance and temperament, this breed is a harsh-coated breed that requires stripping twice a year. Hair should also be removed from under the tail, the ears, and from between the pads.

If you are considering purchasing a Glen of Imaal puppylearn more here.

  • Terrier Group; AKC recognized in 2004.
  • Ranging from 12½ to 14 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Fox hunter, vermin chaser.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Breed Standard

Terrier Group

General Appearance
The Glen of Imaal Terrier, named for the region in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland where it was developed long ago, is a medium sized working terrier. Longer than tall and sporting a double coat of medium length, the Glen possesses great strength and should always convey the impression of maximum substance for size of dog. Unrefined to this day, the breed still possesses “antique” features once common to many early terrier types; its distinctive head with rose or half-prick ears, its bowed forequarters with turned out feet, its unique outline and topline are hallmarks of the breed and essential to the breed type.

Size, Proportion Substance
Height – The maximum height is 14 inches with a minimum of 12½ inches, measured at the highest point of the shoulder blades. Weight – Weight is approximately 35 pounds, bitches somewhat less; however, no Glen in good condition and otherwise well-balanced shall be penalized for being slightly outside the suggested weight. Length – The length of body, measured from sternum to buttocks, and height measured from the highest point of the shoulder blades to ground, to be in a ratio of approximately 5 (length) to 3 (height). The overall balance is more important than any single specification.

Head – The head must be powerful and strong with no suggestion of coarseness. Impressive in size yet in balance with, and in proportion to, the overall size and symmetry of the dog. Eyes - Brown, medium size, round and set well apart. Light eyes should be penalized. Ears – Small, rose or half pricked when alert, thrown back when in repose. Set wide apart and well back on the top outer edge of the skull. Full drop or prick ears undesirable. Skull - Broad and slightly domed; tapering slightly towards the brow. Of fair length, distance from stop to occiput being approximately equal to distance between ears. Muzzle – Foreface of power, strong and well filled below the eyes, tapering toward the nose. Ratio of length of muzzle to length of skull is approximately three (muzzle) to five (skull.) Bottlehead or narrow foreface undesirable. Stop – Pronounced.Nose – Black. Teeth – Set in a strong jaw, sound, regular, and of good size. Full dentition. Scissors bite preferred; level mouth accepted.

Neck, Topline and Body
Neck – Very muscular and of moderate length. Topline – Straight, slightly rising to a very strong well-muscled loin with no drop-off at the croup. Body – Deep, long and fully muscled. Longer than high with the ideal ratio of body length to shoulder height approximately five (length) to three (height). Chest – Wide, strong and deep, extending below the elbows. Ribs – Well sprung with neither a flat nor a barrel appearance. Loin – Strong and well muscled. Tail – Docked to approximately half-length, in balance with the overall dog and long enough to allow a good handhold. Strong at root, well set on and carried gaily. Dogs with undocked tails not to be penalized.

Shoulder – Well laid back, broad and muscular. Forelegs – Short, bowed and well boned. Forearm should curve slightly around the chest. Upper arm (humerus) nearly equal in length to the shoulder blades (scapula). Feet to turn out slightly but perceptibly from pasterns. Feet – Compact and strong with rounded pads.

Strong and well muscled, with ample bone and in balance with forequarters. Good bend of stifle and a well-defined second thigh. Hocks turn neither in nor out, are short, well let down and perpendicular from hock to ground. Feet – As front, except they should point forward.

Medium length, of harsh texture with a soft undercoat. The coat may be tidied to present a neat outline characteristic of a rough-and-ready working terrier. Over trimming of dogs is undesirable.

Wheaten, blue or brindle. Wheaten includes all shades from cream to red wheaten. Blue may range from silver to deepest slate, but not black. Brindle may be any shades but is most commonly seen as blue brindle, a mixture of dark blue, light blue, and tan hairs in any combination or proportion.

The action should be free and even, covering the ground effortlessly with good reach in front and good drive behind. This is a working terrier, which must have the agility, freedom of movement and endurance to do the work for which it was developed.

Game and spirited with great courage when called upon, otherwise gentle and docile. Although generally less easily excited than other terriers, the Glen is always ready to give chase. When working they are active, agile, silent and dead game.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.