Dog Breed Information: Glen of Imaal Terrier: Features & Care

two Glen of Imaal terriers on grass

A medium-sized terrier dog breed from Ireland, the Glen of Imaal terrier has a medium-length, wiry coat that doesn't shed much. The dog is taller overall than it is long. It has a massive head and a deep, strong chest, giving the impression that it is a big dog on small legs. Although the dog's front legs have a bow to them, it nevertheless moves with strength and agility. The Glen was initially employed as a working farm dog, a hunting dog, and a pest killer. Additionally, it is a devoted friend who takes pleasure in both being active and cuddling up next to its owners.

Breed Overview


Height: 12.5 to 14 inches

Weight: 32 to 40 pounds

Coat: Medium-length, wiry

Coat Color: Blue brindle, wheaten

Life Span: 10 to 15 years

Temperament: Affectionate, gentle, bold

Hypoallergenic: No

Origin: Ireland

Characteristics of the Glen of Imaal Terrier

Although they occasionally exhibit passionate behavior and stubbornness, Glen of Imaal terriers often have a lovely demeanor when among their family. Although they don't exactly have the same bustling and vivacious personalities as some other terrier breeds, they nonetheless have an active lifestyle.

Affection Level High
Friendliness Medium
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly Low
Exercise Needs Medium
Playfulness Medium
Energy Level Medium
Trainability Medium
Intelligence Medium
Tendency to Bark Medium
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal terrier's precise ancestry is uncertain. However, the breed originated in Ireland's rugged and isolated County Wicklow. The farmers there required canines that could work hard and undertake a range of jobs. They employed the terriers to hunt badgers, foxes, and other animals as well as to eradicate pests.

Turnspit dog is the moniker given to this breed because of one of its peculiar duties. On a device that resembled a hamster wheel and rotated meat over a cooking fire, people used their Glens to move. The dogs did a good job at this assignment because to their strong front legs.

Towards the end of the 1800s, the Glen of Imaal terrier gained popularity outside of its isolated surroundings, and in the early 1900s, it started making cautious inroads into North America. But it took until 2004 for the American Kennel Club to formally recognize the breed.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Care

Although they still need to be active every day, Glen of Imaal terriers don't need a lot of exercise. They require certain grooming as well. They should also start getting socialization and instruction at a young age.


For your Glen of Imaal terrier, set a daily activity goal of at least one hour. However, until your dog is fully grown, avoid exposing it to vigorous exercise because this might harm its growth plates. Even preventing young Glens from leaping from furniture or descending high stairs is advised to reduce undue strain on their joints. The best exercises for your dog are short walks and playtime with toys. Toy puzzles can also be a mental challenge.

Moreover, keep your Glen of Imaal terrier on a leash or in a securely fenced area when outdoors. This breed has a strong prey drive and might take off chasing perceive prey if given the chance.


To avoid tangles and remove any stray fur, brush your dog once a week. The fur around the ears, chest, stomach, and legs should receive extra care since it can mat easily. Additionally, this breed has to have its coat hand-stripped many times a year to get rid of the dead hair that doesn't fall off naturally.

Depending on how unclean it becomes, give your dog a bath once a month or more. However, examine its ears at least once every week to determine whether they require cleaning. Additionally, give it a monthly nail cut, and wash its teeth every day.


Start socializing and training when your dog is a puppy to assist avoid the development of negative behaviors. Glens are generally intelligent, but they have a tendency to be obstinate and become bored with monotonous training. So make an effort to keep workouts brief, interesting, and enjoyable. Always employ positive reinforcement techniques, including rewards and compliments.

Aim to socialize your dog with a variety of people and canines starting at a young age. This breed can be rather reticent around strangers and doesn't always get along with other dogs. However, having a lot of enjoyable social interactions should assist to reduce these inclinations.

Common Health Problems

Glen of Imaal terriers are generally healthy, though they are susceptible to some hereditary health issues, including: 

  • Eye diseases, including

Diet and Nutrition

Keep fresh water readily available for your Glen of Imaal terrier at all times. To make sure your dog is getting the right nourishment, feed it a high-quality canine food in two metered meals each day. Make sure to go over the sort of food and the quantity with your veterinarian. Make sure your dog doesn't overeat by being watchful of treats and other excess food.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Glen of Imaal Terrier

Although Glen of Imaal terriers aren't very prevalent, you may still locate the breed in animal shelters and rescue organizations. Depending on where you reside, you might just need to go a long way and wait a while. If at all feasible, try to have your name added to a breed waiting list. The typical price range for a puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,700 and $2,500.

For more information to help you find a Glen of Imaal terrier, check out:

  • Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America 
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier Rescue

Glen of Imaal Terrier Overview

  • Affectionate and gentle

  • Relatively easygoing

  • Sheds minimally

  • Can be stubborn about training

  • High prey drive

  • Has specialized grooming needs

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

The Glen of Imaal terrier should be thoroughly researched to see whether it is suitable for your lifestyle, just like any other dog breed. To learn more, consult breed owners, rescue organizations, veterinary specialists, and trustworthy breeders.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, check out:

There’s a whole world of potential out there—with a little research, you can find the right one to bring home!

  • Are Glen of Imaal terriers good family dogs?

    In general, Glen of Imaal terriers that have had the right socialization and training get along ok with children. They may not always be tolerant of small children, but they can be beneficial for older, respectable youngsters.

  • Are Glen of Imaal terriers aggressive?

    In general, well-trained and socialized Glen of Imaal terriers get along well with people, however they might be a little wary of strangers. They may view smaller animals as prey and don't always get along with other canines.

  • Are Glen of Imaal terriers good apartment dogs?

    Glen of Imaal terriers are fairly adaptable to different lifestyles, including apartment living. They're also not major barkers, though they do have a deep alert bark.


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