Glen of Imaal Terriers are hardy, alert, intelligent and independent. Because of their hunting ability including keen sense of smell, they can bond with their owner by participating in earthdog trials, as well as other dog sports such as agility, tracking, flyball, and obedience as sport. However, hunting traits that may impair bonding include chasing wildlife, being tenacious or difficult to disengage from an activity or behavior, and digging, although digging can be minimized if an acceptable location is provided for it such as a sandbox or mulch bed.
Although Glen of Imaal Terriers may be stubborn or strong willed, they should respond to motivational tools such as treats and favorite toys in reward-based obedience training.
Average Height: 14 - 15 in
The Glen of Imaal Terrier originated in the town of its namesake, in Ireland, in the 1600's. The Glen of Imaal is located in County Wicklow, Ireland, and during the 1570's, Queen Elizabeth bequeathed land in Wicklow to Flemish and Lowland soldiers who helped quash an Irish rebellion. The soldiers who settled the area brought Flemish hounds with them, which were crossed with the local hounds and terriers to produce the Glen of Imaal Terrier. Mountainous Wicklow allowed the breed to develop and evolve separately from the standard Irish Terrier, where they were used for fox hunting and badger baiting.
The breed was presented in Britain in 1933, where they were an instant hit and became very popular. Unfortunately, their numbers decreased significantly during World War II, but by the 1970's, their popularity and population had rebounded in the United Kingdom, Finland and the United States.
Though they were first introduced to the United States in the early 1930's, widespread importation did not occur until the 1980's. It was recognized as a member of the American Kennel Club Terrier Group in 2004.