This small working breed is descended from Eastern hunting, herding and fighting dogs brought to Ireland by the Celts. Developed in the Wicklow County in the 16th century, the Glen Of Imaal terrier was an immensely succesful hunter of badgers and foxes, destroyer of vermin, turnspit dog and a popular fighter. Slightly larger in the past than it is today, this feisty Irish terrier has been deliberately bred down in size to further improve upon its ability to go underground after its prey. Some Staffordshire Bull Terrier and Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier blood has reportedly influenced the breed in the first decades of the 20th century, making this fierce Irish working dog more friendly and even-tempered. The Wicklow Terrier's gameness and intelligence secured its survival and the breed was eventually standardized and recognized in the 1930's. Introduced to Britain in the late 1950's and America in the 1970's, the Glen Of Imaal Terrier became a popular family companion and Show dog, valued for its bravery, resilience and rugged good looks. This is a short-legged and strong-boned breed, with a muscular body and a powerful neck and head. Although not as aggressive as its ancestors, the Irish Glen Of Imaal Terrier is still fairly confrontational around other dogs and has a tendency to chase small animals, needing early and broad socialization.
The coat is rough, rich and dense, allowed in wheaten, blue and brindle shades. Average height is around 13 inches.