The Irish Terrier is a dog breed from Ireland, one of many breeds of terrier. The Irish Terrier is considered one of the oldest terrier breeds. The Dublin dog show in 1873 was the first to provide a separate class for Irish Terriers. By the 1880s, Irish Terriers were the fourth most popular breed in Ireland and Britain.
The Irish Terrier is an active and compactly sized dog that is suited for life in both rural and city environments. Its harsh red coat protects it from all kinds of weather.
Breed standards describe the ideal Irish Terrier as being racy, red and rectangular. Racy: an Irish Terrier should appear powerful without being sturdy or heavy. Rectangular: the outline of the Irish Terrier differs markedly from those of other terriers. The Irish Terrier's body is proportionately longer than that of the Fox Terrier, with a tendency toward racy lines but with no lack of substance.
The tail is customarily docked soon after birth to approximately two-thirds of the original length. In countries where docking is prohibited, the conformation judges emphasise tail carriage. The tail should start up quite high, but it should not stick straight up or curl over the back or either side of its body. The ears are small and folded forward just above skull level. They are preferably slightly darker than the rest of the coat.
An Irish Terrier with good ear carriage
The Irish Terrier is coloured golden red, red wheaten, or wheaten. Dark red is often mistaken as the only correct colour, possibly because wheaten coats are often of worse quality. As with many other solid-coloured breeds, a small patch of white is allowed on the chest. No white should appear elsewhere. As an Irish Terrier grows older, grey hair may appear here and there.
The outer part of the double coat should be straight and wiry in texture, never soft, silky, curly, wavy, or woolly as might be expected in the Kerry Blue Terrier. The coat should lie flat against the skin, and, though having some length, should never be so long as to hide the true shape of the dog. There are longer hairs on the legs, but never so much as a Wire Fox Terrier or Schnauzer. That means you have to have the coat trimmed often which can be expensive.
The inner part of the coat, called the under-wool or undercoat, should also be red. The under-wool may be hard for the inexperienced eye to see. Coat should be quite dense and so that 'when parted with the fingers the skin is hardly visible'.
A properly trimmed Irish Terrier should have some 'furnishings' on legs and head. The slightly longer hair on the front legs should form even pillars, while the rear legs should only have some longer hair and not be trimmed too close to the skin. The chin is accentuated with a small beard. The beard should not be as profuse as that of a Schnauzer.
The eyes should be dark brown and quite small with a 'fiery' expression. The eyes are topped with well-groomed eyebrows. The whole head should have good pigmentation.
Most countries have breed descriptions that say that the Irish Terrier should not be more than 48 cm measured at the withers. However, it is not unusual to see bitches that are 50 cm tall or dogs that are even 53 cm (20 in). Younger generations are closer to the ideal, but there is a downside to this: when an Irish Terrier is very small and light-boned, it loses the correct racy type.
Very seldom does one see Irish Terriers that weigh only 11 to 12 kg (25–27 lb), as the original Kennel Club breed description states. 13 kg for a female dog and 15 for a male dog are acceptable.
Source of information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Terrier
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