The exact breeds that the Irish Terrier descended from are unknown but many believe their ancestors were the now-extinct black and tan Terrier and a larger wheaten-colored terrier. The breed hails from County Cork, Ireland and emerged as a recognized breed around 1875 at a dog show in Glasgow, Scotland. They were bred for their working and hunting abilities and were referred to as a poor man’s sentinel, a farmer’s friend, and a gentleman’s favorite.
Two nicknames for the Irish Terrier are Daredevil and Red Devil, one for being so feisty and courageous that they will guard their home and family with their strong protective instinct, and the other name because of their red, wiry coat color that helps protect them from the weather. They were created to be a companion, hunter, and guard dog, and as such, they are watchful, protective, and territorial. Irish Terriers are also feisty, spirited, good-tempered, and adaptable. They love their families and aren’t considered a one-person dog, as they love people and are even friendly towards strangers. They are very affectionate and tender with children and have infinite patience with them; however, they can be dog aggressive, especially towards dogs of the same sex. This independent and smart dog makes a wonderful family pet.
Irish Terriers Usually weigh between 23 to 30 lbs and stand approximately 15 to 19 inches tall. They are a medium-sized dog with a muscular and agile build. Their coat is short and wiry and often sport bright red hair.
Irish Terriers distinguished themselves in World War I by being messenger dogs and sentinels. They received much praise for their bravery and loyalty. The commandant of the British War Dog School, Lt. Col. E.H. Richardson, wrote, “Many a soldier is alive today through the effort of one of these Terriers . . . They are extraordinarily intelligent, faithful, and honest, and a man who has one of them as a companion will never lack a true friend.” This is one of those very special dogs that will go to the mat for you, anytime, anywhere. APRI breeders, Ed and Evelyn Weber, produced an Irish Terrier who starred in the movie Firehouse Dog in 2007.