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Troy

Irish Terrier

9 posts in this topic

Troy   

Irish Terrier

ANKC Standard

(from http://www.ankc.org.au/home/breeds_details.asp?bid=59 )

Group: Group 2 (Terriers)

General Appearance: An active, lively and wiry appearance; plenty of substance but free of clumsiness. Neither cloddy nor cobby but showing a graceful racy outline.

Characteristics: There is a heedless, reckless pluck about the Irish Terrier which is characteristic. They develop a great devotion for their masters.

Temperament: Good tempered, notably with humans, it being admitted, however, that he is perhaps a little to ready to resent interference on the part of other dogs.

Head And Skull: Head long; skull flat, and rather narrow between ears, narrowing towards eye; free from wrinkles; stop hardly visible except in profile. Jaw strong and muscular, but not too full in cheek, and of good length. Foreface not dished or falling away quickly between eyes, delicately chiselled. Lips well fitting and externally almost black in colour. Nose black.

Eyes: Dark, small, not prominent. A light or yellow eye highly undesirable.

Ears: Small and V-shaped, of moderate thickness, set well on head, and dropping forward closely to cheek. Top of folded ear well above level of skull. Ear must be free of fringe, and hair thereon shorter and darker in colour than body.

Mouth: Teeth even, strong and free from discolouration. Jaws strong, with perfect, regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck: Fair length and gradually widening towards shoulders, well carried and free of throatiness. Generally a slight fringe at each side of neck, running nearly to corner of ear.

Forequarters: Shoulders fine, long and well laid back. Legs moderately long, well set from shoulders, perfectly straight, with plenty of bone and muscle; elbows working freely clear of sides; pasterns short and straight, hardly noticeable, the forelegs moved straightforward when travelling.

Body: Chest deep and muscular, neither full nor wide. Body moderately long; back strong and straight, with no appearance of slackness behind shoulders; loin muscular and slightly arched; ribs fairly sprung, rather deep than round, and well ribbed back.

Hindquarters: Strong and muscular, thighs powerful, hocks well let down, stifles moderately bent. Hindlegs moved straight forward when travelling, hocks not turned outwards. Hair on legs dense and crisp.

Feet: Strong, tolerably round, moderately small, toes arched, neither turned out nor in; black toe nails most desirable. Pads sound and free from cracks or horny excrescences.

Tail: Docked: Customarily docked to about three quarters [3/4]. Free of fringe or feather, but well covered with rough hair. Set on pretty high, carried gaily, but not over back or curled.

Undocked: Set on pretty high, carried gaily, but no over back or curled. Free of fringe or feather, but well covered with rough hair. In oversall balance with the rest of the dog. Carriage is such that the tail is not liable to damage during working.

Gait/Movement: Fore and hind legs carried straight forward and parallel. Elbows move perpendicular to body, working free of sides, stifles neither turning in nor out.

Coat: Harsh and wiry, having broken appearance, free of softness or silkiness, not so long as to hide the outline of body, particularly in hindquarters, straight and flat, no shagginess and free of lock or curl. At base of these stiff hairs is growth of finer and softer hair, usually termed the undercoat. Hair on foreface crisp and only sufficiently long to impart appearance of additional strength. Hair on legs dense and crisp.

Colour: 'Whole-coloured', most preferable colours being red, red wheaten, or yellow red. Small amount of white on chest acceptable, white on feet highly undesirable. Black shading highly undesirable.

Sizes: Ideal height: Dogs 48 cms (19 ins)

Bitches 46 cms (18 ins).

Faults: Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Notes: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

QUESTIONS

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

3. How common is it in Australia?

4. What is the average lifespan?

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

If you wish to contribute to the knowledge about this breed, please answer the above questions. (Copy and paste them into a new post).

  • Please only answer if you breed or own a pedigree example of this breed.
  • You do not have to answer all questions
  • Please keep posts limited to answering questions or for asking further questions if you require more (or expanded) information.

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Cosmolo   

Look forward to breeder responses on this one, i have a beautiful irish terrier in a class at the moment and would love to know if she is typical of the breed.

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Sayly   

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Currently show the family’s Irish Terrier, will be breeding from her in the future with the help and support of her breeder. Also owned a pet Irish Terrier growing up from the same breeder.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

All round Irish farm dogs; hunting, used as retrievers, guarded the household and baby sat the kids. Also used during WW1 as messenger dogs where their bravery was legendary.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Fairly rare. Generally only one to two breeders in most states. Not difficult to obtain a puppy though as they have mid sized litters and easy whelpers.

4. What is the average lifespan?

Seems to be about 14. Sources say 12 to 16 which I would agree with.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

Fantastic with people, love their family. Absolute clowns, very sweet dogs with an impish streak. Fantastic with kids! As I said I grew up with one and she was my best friend. Ruby (our current bitch) just adores kids despite not having a lot to do with them until recently, and gets down to their level. Doesn’t jump on them, isn’t too rough. She seems to understand they aren’t the same as big people. Seems typical of the Irish I have had anything to do with. They are great for kids of all ages, happy to have a boisterous game with a teenager but gentle with younger kids.

Usually not scared of anything, tough and game. Real dare devils when they want to be.

Need a lot of early positive socialisation with other dogs as they can be dog aggressive especially towards dogs of the same sex. Socialisation is an absolute MUST. If an Irish is adequately socialised you will have a great friendly pet who wants to play with every dog they meet!

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

I would say about average, not nearly as much as my Australian Shepherd! Can vary, they do love to run and run but they don’t seem to need it. A good brisk walk once a day and/or a game of ball in the back yard is more than fine for most, but they do really love a big fenced yard or a well fenced dog park to really stretch out in occasionally.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

Yes ONLY IF they understand the importance of early socialisation with other dogs. This is absolutely vital. Irish can be naughty and can be a typical terrier, and the majority shouldn’t be trusted off lead. Easy dogs to live with but can be difficult to train if not started young. There are now some competing in agility and obedience around the country. :laugh:

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Some may. I would suggest another dog for company as Irish love a good play. Ruby does spend a lot of time entertaining herself in non-naughty ways, happy to run around for no apparent reason. Haven’t heard of any Irish being great chewers, some will dig if bored. Not generally yappy for a terrier.

9. How much grooming is required?

For a pet it’s minimal. A brush occasionally and a good strip with a Mars Coat King every month or two is fine. Some people shave them before summer but it lightens the coat and changes the texture. A good strip with a Mars Coat King is better, but shaving them may be easier for some. Their coats may look similar to Wire Foxies or Airedale but the Irish coats are not nearly as thick and easier to look after. Don’t shed too much either.

A show dog requires a fair bit of work leading up to a show. If anyone is interested in a show dog I would be happy to go into this in more detail. :vomit:

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

No, not from what I have seen. As long as the main person caring for the dog is not a young child or very infirm an Irish can happily live in a house with them. As I said above, Irish are generally great with kids and very gentle when need be.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

A very healthy breed. No genetic tests are carried out on Irish Terriers. The only known hereditary condition is hyperkeratosis (corny feet) which has not been seen in Australia in years. Still present in the breed overseas.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be)

The main thing I would suggest looking at and talking to the breeder about is the personality of the parents. Does the breeder talk to you about the importance of socialisation? Will the breeder help match a dog to your situation? If a first time dog owner let the breeder know and ask for help selecting the right dog for you.

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Sheridan   

My sister's the irish terrier person in the family. I asked if she'd respond to the questions and am happy to pass on any questions to her. My sister's dog and Ruby, Lyndsay's girl, are distant relatives.

1. What is my relationship with the breed? (ie breeder, first time owner etc)

Owner.

2. Where and why was the breed first developed?

Developed in Ireland in about mid 1800s. ITs are ratters - they will chase small animals.

3. How common is it in Australia?

Not common - a small community of breeders and owners.

4. What is the average lifespan?

About 14 plus years - typical lifespan for a terrier of this size.

5. What is the general temperament/personality?

ITs love people - not so much other dogs. They are typical of most terrier breeds: love people, have no fear and will throw themselves into any situation. They are not for the faint hearted. They can be full-on, "in your face" dogs. They are curious and love to investigate everything. They want to be with their owner, they love to be doing whatever you are doing. ITs are very territorial and will challenge anyone or anything that invades their territory.

6. How much daily exercise is needed for the average adult?

Over an hour everyday, with extra things to stimulate the dog. These dogs don't like being bored.

7. Is it a breed that a first time dog owner could easily cope with?

No, but ultimately will depend on the owner. ITs are lovely, loyal dogs. However, they can be dominant and a routine and dedicated training is essential. IT's like to chase small animals - if they see a cat, they are off and running. Don't expect them to come back no matter how many times you call them. They are curious, active dogs - they don't like being bored.

8. Can solo dogs of this breed easily occupy themselves for long periods?

Depends on what type of owner you are. If you want a dog to sit quietly in the backyard then don't get an IT. My IT is left alone for long periods during work hours, but when I am home he is always with me, doing whatever I am doing. He sleeps inside. If I am inside, he is inside with me. I also pay someone to walk him when I am at work and he goes to Doggie Day-care.

9. How much grooming is required?

10. Is it too boisterous for very small children or for infirm people (unless the dog is well trained)?

ITs love people but can be a bit boisterous. Typical terriers - they have a will throw themselves into any situation.

11. Are there any common hereditary problems a puppy buyer should be aware of?

No known hereditary problems that I am aware of.

12. When buying a puppy, what are the things you should ask of the breeder? (eg what health tests have been done (if applicable) and what is an acceptable result to those tests so the buyer has an idea of what the result should be).

You can ask a breeder any question about an Irish Terrier but be prepared to be asked questions by the breeder about yourself. I almost had to sit an interview before my breeder would give me one of her puppies. After 7 years, I still get phone calls from my breeder on my dog's birthday. The IT community is very small. They all know each other and if your breeder isn't interested in you as an IT owner, then avoid that breeder. You don't just buy a puppy, you become part of a community.

Edited by Sheridan

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I thought I read somewhere that they were generally a healthy breed but did suffer from corns on their feet or something similar?

Is the dog aggression something that can be present in any lines of the breed or are some more prone towards aggression than others ie just individual dog dependent?

Is it seen as being potentially part and parcel of the breed as with the SBT/AST and indeed lots of other breeds ie something that can occur or is it something that breeders are concerned to try and breed out?

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Sheridan   
I thought I read somewhere that they were generally a healthy breed but did suffer from corns on their feet or something similar?

Corny feet, like a hardening and subsequent cracking of the footpads. Photos here. I've not heard of it in Australian irish terriers/

Is the dog aggression something that can be present in any lines of the breed or are some more prone towards aggression than others ie just individual dog dependent?

Is it seen as being potentially part and parcel of the breed as with the SBT/AST and indeed lots of other breeds ie something that can occur or is it something that breeders are concerned to try and breed out?

Probably more of a question for Lyndsay but I think a lot of the firey nature of the Irish terrier breeds as a whole, not just the ITs, is nature taking over when nuture (i.e. a firm hand to stop that potential dominance) isn't present.

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Sayly   
I thought I read somewhere that they were generally a healthy breed but did suffer from corns on their feet or something similar?

Corny feet, like a hardening and subsequent cracking of the footpads. Photos here. I've not heard of it in Australian irish terriers/

Is the dog aggression something that can be present in any lines of the breed or are some more prone towards aggression than others ie just individual dog dependent?

Is it seen as being potentially part and parcel of the breed as with the SBT/AST and indeed lots of other breeds ie something that can occur or is it something that breeders are concerned to try and breed out?

Probably more of a question for Lyndsay but I think a lot of the firey nature of the Irish terrier breeds as a whole, not just the ITs, is nature taking over when nuture (i.e. a firm hand to stop that potential dominance) isn't present.

As far as the corny feet, it is present in the breed but hasn't been an issue here for quite some time. Through world wide Irish email lists I haven't heard any dogs having this condition so I don't believe it's a huge issue in the breed anywhere (could be wrong) and while is a breed specific disease it is rather rare these days.

Irish are feisty. They are affectionaly known as "red devils". An Irish Terrier may not start a fight but he will sure finish it. Good socialisation is key of course. I haven't had a lot to do with breeders other than Ruby's as she's the only one in this state but I would say her dogs have the correct Irish personalities; firey if someone else starts somthing with them but happy to play with almost anyone if the other dogs are friendly. I have found they accept animals you bring into the yard be it kitten or puppy without aggression and Ruby happily accepts adult entire bitches into the yard with no issue at all. But if a dog had a go at Ruby she would be there to finish the arguament. They are feisty terriers who need alot of socialisation from a young age and most need someone with some good basic knowledge of dogs (Ruby isn't one of these dogs, she was the easiest pup we have had and is really easy to live with BUT she's been very well socialised). Aggression is a no-no, feisty, dare devil nature is what these guys should have. There should be NO aggression towards people, these guys are family dogs and fantastic for kids.

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Sayly   

Some Australian Irish Terrier breeders are now testing for Cystinuria. No DNA test is currently available but urine tests are being taken and sent to the USA. There is hope there will be a DNA test soon.

It is not a big issue within the breed but something I think we should be trying to breed out now.

Ruby is being tested within the next couple of weeks. :)

ETA: Anlaun Kennels has a very good page: http://www.anluan.net/health-testing.asp

Edited by Lyndsay

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Very interesting. Minding an inlaw's 14 yo castrated male IT for a week. I hadn't seen him for a couple of years, he is still capable of quality activity. I'm not game to let him off the lead, even with three mates and room on acreage. He was known as an eager escape artist and irresponsive to recall.

He's always been an outside dog. A great leg lifter (he was 12 when he was cut) and I wouldn't trust him even in the laundry. His howl has me intrigued, for want of a better word. A dreadful, strangled-type sound; thankfully it is easing up as he gets used to this place.

Edited by rose of tralee

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