Getting even more worth reading!

The “difficult and awkward” days always causes lots of reading and comments; today’s will  possibly be no different. A long time ago now the question of the relevance of the Glen of Imaal Terrier breed standard to the actual dog came up & some in the worldwide community were not polite about the perceived slight to Glens by non Irish owners.

The following comes from the Irish Sporting Glen Club-the Comment is from one of their most respected members & breeders.

General Appearance  :  Medium  sized with  medium  length coat,  great strength with the impression  of maximum substance for the size of the dog

COMMENT: Good description.

Important Proportion : Body longer than high and low to the ground.

COMMENT: OK as outline statement, otherwise use less. Why not give proportions as in previous standards?

Behaviour/Temerament : Active, agile and silent when working.  Game and spirited with great courage when called upon, otherwise gentle and docile, who oozes personality; his loyal and affectionate nature makes him a very acceptable house dog and companion.  The Irish Glen of Imaal is said to be less easily excited than other terriers, though he is always ready to give chase when called on.

COMMENT: True, but of little or no use to a judge when the Glen is being exhibited.



Skull : Of good width and of fair length.     COMMENT: How wide is good/how long is fair?

Stop : Pronounced.             COMMENT: Well described


Nose : Black.

Muzzle : Foreface of power, tapering to the nose.

Jaws : Strong.

COMMENT: Very good description but some dimensions would greatly assist judges.

Teeth : Teeth sound, regular, strong and of good size. Scissor bite.

COMMENT: Is level mouth acceptable or not?

Eyes : Brown, medium size, round and set well apart.  Light eyes should be penalised

COMMENT: Well described, but in the case of “missing eye” should this mean disqualification or not?

Ears : Small rose or half pricked when alert, thrown back when in repose.  Full drop or prick undesirable.

COMMENT: Do you disqualify full drop & prick or not?

Neck : Very muscular and of moderate length.

COMMENT: How long is moderate?

Body : Deep and long, and longer than high.

COMMENT: Accurate outline statement, but does not fully state the height/length ratio as per previous standards.

Topline : Level.

COMMENT: I do not agree with this statement. Height at withers usually 1-1.5 ins lower than height at loin. High point at loin was for wedging dog against roof of sett when extracting prey. “Straight” would be more appropriate word, neither roached nor hollow. However modern Glens are virtually level at top line-due to lack of use modern Glens are no longer worked. Does this mean that the dog that is high at loin is not up to standard? “Rising slightly” would be more appropriate.

Loin : Strong.

Chest : Wide and strong, ribs well sprung.

Tail : Docked.  Strong at root, well set on and carried gaily.  Pups tails docked to half length.  A natural tail (undocked) is allowed for in countries where docking is banned by law.



Shoulders : Broad, muscular and well laid back.  COMMENT: Excellent description

Forelegs : Short, bowed and well boned.

Feet : Compact and strong with rounded pads.  Front feet to turn out slightly from pasterns.


Hindquarters : Strong and well muscled.

Thighs : Well muscled.

Stifle :  Well bent.

Hocks : Turned neither in nor out.

Feet : Compact and strong with rounded pads.


Gait/Movement : Free, not hackneyed. Covers ground effortlessly with good drive behind.

Coat/Hair : Medium length, of harsh texture with soft undercoat.  Coat may  be tidied to present a neat outline.


Colour : Blue brindle but not toning to black. Wheaten, from  a  light wheaten  colour to  a golden  reddish shade. Puppies may be born coloured Blue, Wheaten, or Reddish.  Lighter coloured pups usually have an inky blue mask, and there may also be a streak of Blue down the back, on the tail, and on the ears.  The darker markings will clear with maturity.

COMMENT: Very good description


Height at the withers : Dogs : 14 inches (35,5 cm) is the maximum  Bitches : accordingly less.

Weight :  Dogs : 35 lbs (16kg).  Bitches : accordingly less.

COMMENT: Good & accurate description regarding height of dog. Bad in the case of bitches, what is accordingly? How can a judge decide? Very ambiguous description for bitches. No minimum height as stated in previous standards.

Faults : Any departure  from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and  the seriousness with which  the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

  • Hound ears.
  • Undershot bite, overshot bite.
  • Too short in body.
  • Straight front.

COMMENT: Acceptable faults description but why are only the above mentioned? What about too long in body?

Eliminating faults :

Aggresive or overly shy. Black & Tan colour. Narrow foreface.

COMMENT: Why is black & tan here? Many “old time” Glens were this colour and what about “dudley”(liver)?

12 thoughts on “Getting even more worth reading!

  1. Light eyes i have always been told by my dad and colleagues in Eire light eyes are yellow,blue or green in glens. Brown eyes eyes being the only colour not dark or light brown simply brown , I would be interested to hear what other people think. On noses Sputnik the good trial glen of the 1960s had a pink nose and 1 litter in 1969 dad had from an imported bitch we had to chocolates”dudleys”the bitch and litter were sent back by dad they had yellow eyes.

  2. I would also like to say straight back are a major fault the glen has been designed to draw quarry not parade around in a triangle and what about fit for purpose or do we change the standard so the dog is “more appealing to the eye and in the ring”. Straight would NOT be a right it would suit a number of people who want to change the glen to suit thier tastes and thier breeding but the glen is still worked and the standard is thier for a very good reason.
    Enough working breeds of dog have been ruined by the show ring the standard is thier if you dont like it keep another breed.

  3. Are there two standards in Ireland?

    I ask because the standard on the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier Sporting Club of Ireland website is different to the one above ……

    • Glenn

      Neither the UK nor the Irish Sporting Club’s breed standards have a weight clause.

      I feel that 35lbs for a 14″ male is probably too light to demonstrate “great strength with impression of maximum substance for the size of the dog”.

      Variations in height are accepted … up to 14″ … why not have a height range … a minimum and maximum height for both dogs and bitches?

      Alongside this, if weight is to be specified, have a minimum and maximum weight range for both dogs and bitches …

      This discussion happened a few years ago, when the Americans changed their height clause to “The maximum height is 14 inches with a minimum of 12½ inches, measured at the highest point of the shoulder blades”. The weight clause was changed to “Weight is approximately 35 pounds, bitches somewhat less; however, no Glen in good condition and otherwise well-balanced shall be penalized for being slightly outside the suggested weight”.

      I felt then that if there is to be a height range then there should also be a weight range.

      • Ali
        When you say too light to demonstrate ” great strength with impression of maximum substance for the size of dog”, i presume you are refering to the show ring and not what the breed was bred to do.
        What do you call “slightly outside the suggested weight”.?
        Surely we are merely custodians of this ancient and noble breed.
        Regards Glenn.

      • Ali
        Is’nt the kennel Club promoting Fit For Function to stop exaggeration in certain breeds.
        Surely weight exaggeration applies here.

      • Ali
        See’ing you did’nt reply to my question what you considered to “being slightly outside the suggested weight”.
        I take this to be your answer (see link below). Is this right for a terrier judge, especially now the KC is promoting Fit for Function Fit for Life.

    • Stephen

      The above looks like the FCI standard to which you are directed from the IKC site … the comments (opinion) relate to that standard … not the standard on the Irish Sporting Club’s site, which is more akin to the UK standard.

    • The Irish Sporting Club gave the breed standard to one of its members to comment on. The comments (and the relevant piece of the standard) are reproduced.

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