Energetic and intense, he romps and plays with vigor and will take as much exercise as you can offer. Leashes and secure fences are compulsory, for he is exceedingly fast and agile, with strong chasing, digging, and jumping instincts.
The Irish Terrier does best with active families, for without exercise and lots of companionship and personal interaction, he will become bored and seek to entertain himself -- and his choices usually involve mischief and destructiveness.
Most Irish Terriers are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs. Most have strong instincts to chase and seize small fleeing creatures. This can make for conflict if you own a cat. It may be much worse than that if you own a pet rabbit or hamster!
Many terriers are clever escape artists who will go over or under fences in search of adventure. Irish Terriers are athletic jumpers; you need higher fences than you might imagine for their size. You may also need to sink wire into the ground along the fence line to thwart digging.
If you need to physically chastise a terrier, and you go beyond what THEY believe is a fair correction, terriers (as a group) are more likely than other breeds to growl or snap. As an obedience instructor, I'm always extra careful when putting my hands on any terrier for a correction.
I love Irish Terriers they are so gorgeous! Don't have one myself and not sure they are the best choice for a novice dog owner, after all, they are a terrier!
I have an Irish terrier. I have always terriers , and I agree they are not an ideal first dog. They can drive you round the bend. First and foremost choose a dog for temperment, ignore looks, and then narrow it down maybe size-wise. Most terriers are intelligent, independant, highly energetic and boistrous. They are hard work, they tend to not have good recall (the independance) and they need to be really well socialised or they can be terrible fighters (fiesty and fearless). Spicypear your summing up of Irish terriers really made me laugh. Irish terriers as pointed out, are on the big side so the general wirey terrier madness can be harder to control (as with Airdales). I've had two fox terriers and they are even madder. Unless you embrace chaos, are happy with naughtiness and can deal with full-on day long bouncing then choose a calmer breed. Lots of terriers end up in rescue at a year or so because people just can't cope, so I really would advise against it unless someone has a lot of dog experience and is terrier mad. I love leggy terriers, and I love my dog, ( I like the madness ) but having had a lurcher on loan for a while, I did realise that other breeds can be so much easier. I think it had never quite dawned on me until then just how much more work a wirey terrier is.
They are pretty active, prey driven and playful. They need to be brushed, and can be either hand stripped if you want them in a harsher, breed standard coat or clippered for a softer, (duller) pet coat. It's personal preference and depends on whether you want to show the dog or not among other things. Hand stripping requires you to put in the effort every 6-8 weeks at least.
They are pretty long lived in general, but of course getting one from healthy lines is more telling of your dog's lifespan than the breed estimate.
my family had an Irish Terrier and she was just lovely. They do require a decent amount of exercise and can be quite hyper especially when younger. Ours at least was very intelligent and not too difficult to train. She definitely calmed down a lot as she got older, which to be fair probably happens with any dog. From the ones I have seen they tend to be friendly and love playing with other dogs. We practically never had to brush her but I don't think her coat was typical of most Irish Terriers. Your mileage may vary though - pretty sure we got the runt of the litter, which I do think made a difference. You should probably be warned they are sometimes called 'red devils' but I would totally recommend getting one!
I'm not exactly sure what has been drawing me in that direction...
I have always liked the looks of the terriers, Airedales, Welsh, etc... But there is something about that red coat that has drawn me that direction as far as looks are concerned.
My reason for going terrier this time is more about a change in lifestyle. I have moved to town, and no longer need a herding dog, and I have started hunting big game almost exclusively, and no longer need a sporting dog. But I am spending more time fishing and hiking, which I think would lend itself more towards the terrier life.
Irish Terriers are the prototype of a long-legged terrier. Standing about 18 inches at the shoulder, they’re sturdy but lithe and graceful. Every line of the body is eye-catching, and the overall picture is beautifully balanced. The tight red coat is as fiery as the breed’s temperament. ITs are a dog lover’s delight: If your heart doesn’t go pitty-pat at the sight of this Technicolor terrier framed against the vivid greens of the Irish countryside, forget dogs and buy a goldfish.
The Irish Terrier is jacketed with dense, wiry hair. The hairs grow so closely together that even if you part them with your fingers, it's hard to see the skin. It's short enough that you can still see the outline of the body. At the base of the stiff outer coat is some finer and softer hair, lighter in color, which is the undercoat. The double coat protects the Irish Terrier from rough underbrush and cold or wet weather when he's working or playing outdoors.
His coat is bright red, golden red, red wheaten, or wheaten (pale yellow or fawn). He may have a small patch of white on the chest. Puppies sometimes have black hair at birth, which should disappear before they are grown.
The Irish Terrier usually weighs somewhere under 30 pounds, but carries himself like a much larger dog. He's intelligent and fairly easy to train, as long as he's trained with fairness, consistency, and a healthy appreciation for the little jokes some people might call "stubbornness." Be particularly careful to nip any inappropriate barking in the bud.
I love Irish Terriers and am an experienced dog owner, but wouldn't have one myself. Mainly because they are very terriery iyswim and need a lot of careful handling and socialisation as pups if they're not going to grow up quarrelsome with other dogs. That isn't to say they're all like that, but imo an experienced owner, preferably of terriers, would stand a better chance of getting the early socialisation and training right.
Other terrier traits like digging, prey drive and disappearing off on walks are also something to consider.
As you have an allergy, I would definitely go either to Discover Dogs and/or visit a few breeders of the breeds you are considering, as you may find that you are still allergic to some of the so-called hypoallergenic breeds. My mother is allergic to dogs and even reacts to poodles and bichon if they lick her or have licked their own coat before she touches them.
The Irish Terrier is an animated, spirited and loyal dog - but also hot-tempered and reckless. They play hard, especially with active children. They are intelligent and trainable, but can be stubborn at times (and indeed, are difficult to housebreak.) They need to be trained from an early age. They are combative with other dogs and cannot be trusted with non-canine pets. They need to be well-socialized with people from an early age. The Irish Terrier likes to dig and explore, and will chase anything on offer - and therefore should be kept on a leash at all times.
I had an Irish Terrier mixed with an Aussie Terrier -- they're very loveable, hyperactive and bond strongly to one person.
Mine never understood the concept of staying home, in the yard, whilst I was outside and at school -- he followed me a couple of times, and came into my classroom as well.
Like all terriers, they have a good work ethic as well as intelligence, and they're gorgeous animals.
I'm looking at getting one in a few years, and some insight for them: normal grooming with a brush does not always get out the dead fur from their coats (like all curly coated terriers) and need to be hand stripped about once every fortnight. It's nothing too difficult, it's just plucking the dead fur.
Given that you've worked with so many working breeds, I think you'll do fine with them, they bark like hell if left untrained and bored.