Discussing dog breeds, dog-adoption, and the human-canine connection.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Uncommon Terriers: Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal is the most uncommon of Irish Terriers. 

This compact dog was bred for big work. Glen's went to ground for badger -- not timid prey. One has to have a strong personality to be determined enough to hunt something one's own size.

It is no surprise given the work they were bred to do, that the Glen can be a little stubborn. Friendly and faithful but determined to sometimes do their own thing, the Glen needs consistent handling.

Glens are one of those breeds that shed little and thus need to sometimes have haircuts. Their hair is rough and comes in three colors: blue, wheaten, and brindle.

The Glen would be an ideal breed if you are interested in earth dog competitions. They are also devoted companions and like to just hang out with their family.

And even though they are uncommon there is a rescue organization for Glens too; if you're willing to wait this is a breed you could potentially adopt.

I've noticed that there is a little variation in the appearance of the Glen, particularly with tails being docked slightly different lengths in different countries. This may owe something to the fact that the Glen is so uncommon - veterinarians can probably practice their whole career and be lucky to see one Glen.

Compact dogs with big personalities that are fun, and just gosh darn cute -- this is a breed that deserves to be more popular than it is.


  1. These little guys are so cute, I dont think Ive ever seen one in the fur

    urban hounds

    1. They certainly are not too thick on the ground :-) It is always interesting why some terriers catch on with people and others do not; I've seen a few pictures of Glens with Cairns and I'm wondering if the Cairns' popularity came at the expense of the Glen...?

  2. Terriers of all types are tricky dogs. I think many people adopt them because they're cute and compact. But then they discover they're pretty strong personalities and not meant to be lap dogs.

    Thanks for your nice description of the Glen of Imaal. I love learning about different breeds.

    1. Hi Pamela, thanks for stopping in!

      It's ironic that you mention that terriers are not meant to be lap dogs -- personally I've only lived with one terrier that would agree with you (a Scottie.) The rest have all been certain that no matter their size they absolutely ARE lap dogs :-)
      And bed dogs, driving dogs, 'what are you doing now' dogs... certainly strong personalities! And decidedly creators of their own action. I think you're absolutely right Pamela, that people get sucked in by their cute looks and don't necessarily realize the BIG personality that comes in that small package.

  3. These Glens sound like awesome little but tough dogs!

  4. They are really cute, but are they uncommon because their really hard to handle or just somehow not a popular/well known breed?

    1. The Glen started to fall out of favor and was eclipsed by their cousin the Cairn terrier. The Cairn is however, a slightly "softer" terrier than the Glen personality wise; the Cairn is one of the easiest going members of the terrier family.

      On the other hand, the Glen is probably less stand-offish than the Scotty, which has basically remained popular. And as far as terriers go, the Glen has a typical and not difficult personality. There are just so few Glens around now that people who would be happy living with them would have to very deliberately seek them out and then usually wait a while to obtain a pup or adopt an adult. They are however, well worth the wait!