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Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is believed to be one of the oldest European dog breeds. Its history goes back hundreds of years as writings from the medieval period have been found that mention its existence. As its name suggests, the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier originates from the valley of Imaal in the county Wicklow, which is situated on the eastern coast of Irland. There it was originally bred by local farmers for different puposes. As a brave and highly intelligent little dog, the Glen of Imaal Terrier served as a guardian to protect the houses, farms and sheep herds and as a skillful hunter of rats and mice, badgers and foxes. Cynologists believe that it was developed as a cross between Coated Wheaten Terriers, Scotch Terriers, English Bulldogs and Bullterriers. Because of these genetic influences the Glen of Imaal Terrier was also used in dog fights for centuries. As these were banned across Britain in the 19th century, today nothing in its personality reminds of its past as an aggressive fighting dog.
Due to its extraordinary and very versatile talents the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier held on to its popularity in its homeland throughout the centuries. It only became known outside of Irland in the late 19th century, when a few of these dogs were shown at an exhibition and caught the attention of breeders and dog enthusiasts from abroad. It took another sixty years before the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier was first registered as a UK breed in the 1930s.

Appearance

The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is of a small and robust build. Measuring about 36 centimetres in shoulder height it can weigh up to 16 kilos. Its most distinctive features are the small half-prick or rose ears and its out-turned front feet. Its long and rough fur is of medium length. It consists of a topcoat in a somewhat harsh texture and a slightly shorter and softer undercoat. The possible colour variations include different tones of red, cream or wheaten. A blue colour, which can apeear as slate or silver is also common. If the coat is brindle, it often shows a pattern of darker patches or streaks, mainly along the backline which normally fade with age.

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