By Jags Goldie Last updated: 27th October 2022

Glen of Imaal Terrier


Jags Goldie
Last updated: 27th October 2022

Bred for hunting badgers and foxes, and ridding the homes of rodents, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a breed of small-sized dogs that evolved in the remote Irish valley, the Glen of Imaal, in Wicklow. It has a scruffy appearance and comes with a broad head, brown eyes, and small ears that are half pricked or rose when alert. It is characterized by slightly bowed front legs, strong loin, muscular hindquarters, and high-set docked tail.

Glen of Imaal Terrier Pictures

Quick Information

Other NamesWicklow Terrier, Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier
NicknamesGlennie, Glen
CoatMedium length, harsh, wiry, topcoat; short, soft undercoat
ColorWheaten, blue, and brindle, including cream, red, silver, slate
Breed TypePurebred
Lifespan10-15 years
Weight32-40 lbs
Height12-14 inches
SheddingSeasonal, low
Size of Litter3-5 puppies on average
TemperamentSpirited, agile, loyal, courageous; gentler than most terriers
Good with ChildrenYes, with supervision
Country Originated inIreland
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationAPRI, ACR, ANKC, ACA, CET, CKC, DRA, KCGB, FCI, NKC, NZKC, AKC, KC (UK)

Video: Glen of Imaal Terriers Playing


Dog enthusiasts today believe that these terriers might have originated as a cross between local breeds (mostly terriers) and dogs imported by early settlers who served in Queen Elizabeth’s army. Owing to their spirited nature, the Glen was commonly used as a versatile hunter and was also known for working as a spit dog, running on turnspits to cook meat.

During the mid-1800s, the Wicklow Terriers started appearing in dog shows, and in 1870, a Glennie named Stinger won the competition in Lisburn. While the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier Club was set up in 1933, the breed was acknowledged by the Irish Kennel Club in 1934. It gained recognition from the American Kennel Club in 2004.

Temperament and Behavior

Owing to its tenacity and strong hunting instincts, the modern Glen, like its ancestors, enjoys chasing small animals including squirrels and household cats and will not hesitate to dig up your yard while hunting rodents. Although it has a hunter’s heart, its affectionate nature and loyalty to its family members make it a delightful companion dog.

Being brave and alert by nature, the Glen of Imaal Terrier does a great job in watching and protecting its territory. It may get itself into trouble with other dogs because of its feisty and determined personality. Although under normal circumstances the Glen does not attack another dog, it will never back down once it is threatened or provoked.



The Glen needs daily activity. Walking briskly for 30 minutes or participating in dog agility will help in burning off its energy. It can keep itself entertained by romping around or playing with children in the family.


Maintaining the Glen’s coat is easy. You need to brush its fur one or two times a week to keep it from tangling. Bathe it using a quality dog shampoo whenever its coat smells bad. If your Glen participates in dog shows, you may shorten its coat using a stripping knife.

Health Problems

Glens are susceptible to some health conditions including progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, skin itching, allergies, and achondroplasia.


Since the Glens are an intelligent breed, training is easy. However, make sure that you keep it interesting. Repetitive training can bore your dog, compelling it to show its stubborn streak.


Familiarize your Wicklow Terrier with other dogs, preferably in puppyhood, so that it can learn to be friendly with them. Enroll your pup in training classes where it will have the chance to play, learn, and bond with each other.

Controlling the Digging Problem

Since a Glen is instinctively familiar with digging, you should try and control this behavior instead of stopping it. Giving the Glen puppies obedience training by teaching them to follow commands might help in disciplining your dog a little if not completely. It is also essential to set up a designated place in the yard so that it does not cause any harm to your flower beds.


Serve your Glennie about 2 cups of quality dry dog food per day. Make sure the commercial food you give contains chicken, fish, lamb, vegetables, and fruits as the main ingredients.

Interesting Facts

  • Although the Glen is not adept at swimming because of its muscular body and short legs, some individuals have been trained to work in water.

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