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Irish Terrier

Believed to be one of the oldest Terrier breeds, the history of the Irish Terrier is not accurately known. It's thought that the breed is around 2000 years old and while the exact origin is not known, the Irish Terrier was first found in Country Cork, Ireland. Over time the breed has gone through a number of different uses from farm dogs to vermin hunters. However, one of their most well known uses was through World War I, where the breed was used as a messenger and sentinel. While they have never been one of the most fashionable breeds, the Irish Terrier has been recognized in America for quite some time having been entered into the AKC in 1895.

Classed as a medium sized dog, the Irish Terrier stands at around eighteen inches and usually weighs between twenty five and twenty seven pounds. Many years ago the coat of the breed could come in a variety of colors but in the late 19th century that changed and the breed is now renowned for its solid red coat. The style of the coat is thick and rough, although the undercoat is much softer. The breed is quite rectangular in shape although all features are in proportion. The head is long and rigid and houses both a dark nose and black eyes. The ears of the breed can sometimes be quite a feature and should be V-shaped, folding forward towards the eyes. However, this isn't always the case and at a young age the ears don't always form properly. To combat this, the ears are temporarily glued to the top of the head while the cartilage forms and the correct shape can occur. Still, even if the ears are not in the standard position, some owners decide not to treat them as it's not an issue that will affect the dog's health. Elsewhere, the Irish Terrier possesses strong, straight legs which give the breed a muscular look. In areas where it is not illegal, the tail is often docked to a quarter of its original length.

The Irish Terrier possesses a loving and playful temperament that makes them the perfect pet for most families. They are brilliant with children, although it's not recommended to house them with non-canine pets and there are sometimes problems with other dogs as well. Their nickname of the “Daredevil” hints that they certainly aren't the perfect package and any potential owner should be warned about their negative habits. While they are incredibly intelligent and can be easy to train, if an owner does not take charge the Irish Terrier can do this for them. If they are under a weak owner, the breed can become dominant and this can cause problems. The Terrier instinct means that they will chase or dig for anything and for this reason it's definitely advised that they are housed in a yard that's fenced. However, with a strong owner this dog can be the perfect companion. They are fun, affectionate and loyal and just need to be kept on the straight and narrow by their owner.

Most breeds part of the Terrier group require plenty of exercise and the Irish Terrier is of no exception. However, a daily walk will suffice and as long as the dog gets out and exercises frequently, apartment life can suit this breed. The breed is renowned as being very healthy and other than minor allergies, there are no specific health problems that commonly affect them. With that, it's no surprise to hear that the Irish Terrier can live to an old age, with the life expectancy being between twelve and fifteen years.

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