Glen of Imaal Terrier Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Glen of Imaal Terrier Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2013
A sturdy dog with strong working instincts, the Glen of Imaal Terrier has a rough-and-ready appearance that belies his calm disposition.
The heavily muscled Glen is surprisingly fast and agile, spirited and playful. He likes vigorous games and long walks and must be on-leash or loosed in a safe, enclosed area, because he is a hunter and chaser.
Indoors he wants to be near you -- resting his head on your lap or feet -- so is often underfoot. Yet his general nature is patient, laid-back, and undemanding, unusual for a terrier.
Glens are polite with known visitors, but other dogs may be another matter. Early socialization and owner control and attentiveness are recommended.
With his high prey drive, the Glen of Imaal Terrier must be carefully introduced to cats and should not be kept with rabbits or rodents.
Glens have the stubborn character of a true terrier, but they are quite willing to work with you if you use praise and food to motivate them.
With his enthusiasm, low center of gravity, and tremendous strength, the Glen of Imaal Terrier will tow you along the street unless you teach him how to walk on a leash.
He is a powerful digger and has a surprisingly deep bark.
If you want a dog who...
- Is conveniently sized, though heavily muscled and somewhat chunky
- Is rough-coated and natural-looking
- Has a more moderate temperament than most terriers, without excessive fire and flash
- Thrives on vigorous games, athletic activities, and long walks
- Makes a keen watchdog, but is usually polite with everyone
A Glen of Imaal Terrier may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- The dynamic terrier temperament (see full description below)
- Providing enough exercise and activities to keep him busy
- Aggression toward other animals -- chasing instincts
- Digging holes
- Brushing and clipping the wiry coat
- Waiting lists (hard to find)
A Glen of Imaal Terrier may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Glen of Imaal Terrier
If I was considering a Glen of Imaal Terrier, I would be most concerned about...
- The dynamic terrier temperament. Most terrier breeds are remarkably similar. The same words are used over and over -- quick to bark, quick to chase, lively, bossy, feisty, scrappy, clever, independent, stubborn, persistent, impulsive, intense. In general, I do not recommend terriers around young children.
- Animal aggression. Glen of Imaal Terriers are a determined force to reckon with if they decide to initiate or accept a challenge to fight. Most terriers have strong instincts to chase and seize small fleeing creatures. This can make for conflict if you own a cat. It may be much worse than that if you own a pet rabbit or hamster!
Terriers cannot be trusted off-leash. They will take off -- oblivious to your frantic shouts -- after anything that runs.
- Fence security. Many terriers are clever escape artists. You may also need to sink wire into the ground along the fence line to thwart digging. Gates should have the highest quality locks.
- Barking. Terriers are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. If you work all day and have close neighbors, terriers are not the best choice for you. For the same reason, terriers should NEVER be left outside in your yard, unsupervised.
- Mind of their own. Glen of Imaal Terriers are not Golden Retrievers. The toughness that makes them suited to killing vermin can frustrate you when you try to teach them anything. Terriers can be stubborn and dominant (they want to be the boss) and will make you prove that you can make them do things. You must show them, through absolute consistency, that you mean what you say.
To teach your Glen to listen to you, "Respect Training" is mandatory. My Glen of Imaal Training Page discusses the program you need.
- Grooming. To keep their rough coat free of mats, Glen of Imaal Terriers require regular brushing, and also clipping and trimming every few months.
To learn more about training Glen of Imaal Terriers to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book, Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Glen of Imaal Terrier the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Glen of Imaal Terrier. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Glen of Imaal Terrier might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Glen of Imaal Terrier home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Glen of Imaal Terrier...
When you're acquiring a Glen of Imaal Terrier PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Glen of Imaal Terriers who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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