The Fiercely Loyal Glen of Imaal Terrier Dog Breed

October 15, 2015

glen of imaal jinterwasBy Langley Cornwell

The Glen of Imaal Terrier dog breed has several features which are considered unique by today’s standards, when it comes to terriers. One of those features is the name of the breed itself. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was aptly named to describe the location in Ireland from which it originated. This breed, like many other dog breeds, was bred for a specific purpose.

Playing on the Natural Instinct

Terriers by nature are predators, especially fond of preying on small furry things. While most domestic terriers today aren’t going to be out chasing animals for their owners, this breed was created just for that reason. In the Glen of Imaal, farmers often faced problems with things like foxes and wolves, which would make themselves at home on the farm and make large meals out of the other small creatures the farmer was trying to raise for his nourishment and livelihood. The Glen of Imaal Terrier was created in order to help the farmers manage or even eradicate this specific problem.

Social with Humans

One of the things that make this breed best suited to its purpose is the fact that Glen of Imaal Terriers tend to be a very social breed – with humans. This breed has little interest in socializing with other dogs or animals. However, it is a loyal breed which very much enjoys bonding with humans, and there are some activities that increase the intensity of this bond. Because these terriers don’t look at all intimidating, but because they have a natural aversion to other animals, Glen of Imaal Terriers make the perfect secret weapon for small children to have by their side. When farm children are out strolling in open fields, this dog breed will protect them if they run across any animals that might bring harm to the child.


This breed has a medium double coat, but it’s important to tend to that coat in order to keep the breed safe and happy. Grooming should take place about once a week, with regular nail clippings and ear cleanings included. Owners should keep the underneath of the tail, between the pads, and inside the ears free of hair. The good news is that the regular grooming pays off with very little shedding. And if you want to forge a deeper bond with your terrier, be the one to bathe this dog once a week. The relaxing experience of bath time adds another element to the bonding eglen of imaal pleplexperience.

Traditional Terrier Features

Some of the more traditional terrier features have been bred out of other terriers, but they have not been bred out of the Glen of Imaal Terrier. This breed’s body is shorter than it is long. The feet are turned out and the forequarters are bowed. Ears are half-prick or rose.

While the breed retains many of the more traditional terrier features, it also varies somewhat from other terriers in regards to behavior. Glen of Imaal Terriers love to play and dig, but they are not as noisy as other terriers, and they tend to be a bit stronger than most terriers. This is one of the many features that helps this breed be a suitable candidate for its true purpose. Although these dogs can have the same health conditions as other dogs do, in general if you feed a Glen of Imaal Terrier a high quality dog food such as CANIDAE and provide him with plenty exercise, love and mental stimulation, he will live a healthy life.

Love for Life

When it comes to loyalty, you can’t compete with dogs in general, but the Glen of Imaal Terrier is even more loyal than some other breeds, simply because he doesn’t care to socialize with other pets as much as he likes to socialize with humans. This means that owners have the devoted affections of this protective pup for its full 13-17 years of life.

Top photo by jinterwas/Flickr
Bottom photo by Pleple2000/Wikimedia

Read more articles by Langley Cornwell

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  1. Molly says:

    I found my little Ellie at the pound in New York – they said she is a Glen of Imaal mix. Mix because they never say any dog is a pure breed but she looks just like a Glen of Imaal – just a little smaller. Glennies seem to range from 30-36 lbs but my little lady is 17lbs at 3 year old. Is this possible? Her ribs aren’t showing but her hips seem boney. Should I feed her more or are some Glens just smaller? Anyone know? Thanks in advance!