And another question for consideration…

Should the Irish Glen Of Imaal Terrier as outlined in the IKC breed standard , the breed standard of the country of origin, be the one followed by all? With particular reference to the weight and height as currently indicated

SIZE (Height & Weight)

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

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

The above question has been running for a while on a social networking site and we were asked if it would be appearing on here so thank you to the original questioner for allowing it to be used here. For interest (and by request) the following photographs are posted

53 thoughts on “And another question for consideration…

    • We specifically made the point that what other people do with their glens in other countries is not our business, on FB and do so here also. What we want is measurement of height and weight in ring in Irish shows for Irish glens.

      • Can you tell me what Glen’s are to be measured at Irish Show’s as there are normally only a couple of Glen’s entered, generally 2 dogs and 1 bitch, maybe 2.

        I wonder where these comments are made? We have only missed 1 show this year (I think) out of 30 and have never heard any. But then it seems show people don’t count anyway.

        I do not think it right to make specific comments on anyones dogs unless you are there at all the show’s. Just for the record we have never dictated to anyone about what type or size of dog they should breed, own, show, work or whatever.

        We breed what we want for ourselves and for a couple of friends which is little so we will never have a major influence on the Breed. There are some who breed a lot, for the breed or for the money I do not know, none of my business.

        Finally I do not think you can leave out “glen’s in other countries” in any discussion unless of course you have a different agenda.
        Nick.

  1. Is the concern in Ireland that size is trending too big and heavy or too small or too short (under 12 inches)? I have seen Glens which are either shorter and smaller (less than 12 inches) or larger and heavier (close to 50#) than I prefer but there is no disqualification in the AKC standard and I am not in favor of having one at this time.

  2. Hi Marie
    Your question is slightly different to that posed by the EFG blogger!
    Please can you explain, to those readers who are not on the social networking site, WHY you would like to see Glens measured and weighed in the showring.
    Thank you!
    Alison

    • Hello Alison ‘And the first objective of this FB page to estimate support or lack of it for the use of the yardstick to measure height and the scales to measure weight, to ensure judging to standard’

      ‘ What happens in Ireland is our business it is no reflection on the kind of glens you keep in accordance with your breed standard in your country, we want our glens judged strictly to the IKC standard, and the pressure to go bigger and bigger is an insdious rot now, where normal dogs are called ‘small’. Only way to resolve this is measuring and then published critiques as per the UK’

      Quotes from the FB page

  3. To Tipperary Farm i can only speak for myself and those who have expressed opinions to me, our concerns are for both ways too big too small,that we are losing our way without measurement. And that the pressure is always on to go big and bigger, without measurement we have no ceiling no limit on the weight

  4. Marie it wouldnt be a bad idea keep them as close to useful dog as possible we know the show ring has and does ruin dogs for the purpose they were required the list for that isnt short.
    The UK kennel club without reason by a committee who wouldnt be named changed the Glen standard here and wouldnt give reasons for that.
    They had quite a number of objections but would not listen or be questioned on the subject all very MI5 and refused to answer most how democratic,mind they are a private members club who blackball people yet dictate like a 3rd world dictator.
    In my personal opinion the IKC standard overall is better than the uk and at least the IKC listen unlike thier uk counterparts. I for one would like the full IKC standard here the weight matter i would say 40/42 lb dogs and bitches accordingly less. Thier have been some tall dogs and some squat,some heavy some light, pink nosed trial dogs aka Sputnik are we better one type or not a personal decision or not ?

  5. I must add i havent seen this on “FB” which i find rather intrusive and far to personal. and keep well clear of.

    • Steve, This is why (when it first appeared on FB) quite a few Glen enthusiasts asked if it would be blogged as they are aware many do not like FB.

  6. I have seven (maybe eight) copies of different Irish standards (1934-2001) and none of them have a disqualification for height or weight so why should the Glen be weighed or measured anymore than any other breed? Surely one of the things of the Glen is that it has always been a “horses for courses” one so nobody has ever decried smaller v. bigger?
    Liz

    • Why not ? At working terrier shows dogs are still measured. It is the first thing a judge often does before anything else. It used to be that other terriers were measured in UK KC at one time too. Size is an issue in terriers a defining issue.

      • Long legged terriers are spanned at working terrier shows. All glens originated in Ireland – all shapes & sizes.

  7. All shapes and sizesJust like uk ones then Sue all shapes and sizes and not all terriers are spanned at working terrier shows.

  8. I prefer the Irish standard, it has more chance of keeping the Glen real. In England the Glen is getting to big. The Kennel club wants to be seen doing the right thing after that documentary, by mentioning Fit for Function, but then takes away the weight clause, which straight away undermines fit for function. Lets remember the country of origin of this great breed. How would us English feel if the Irish started messing around with our native breeds, its disrespectful and morally wrong.
    Wasn’t Maries question about measurement in Ireland? I think Measurement in England would be a good thing to, it would stop this idea that bigger is better.
    Kind Regards Glenn

    • Glenn

      Yes, Marie has specifically asked about measuring and weighing in Ireland … as she feels that Glens in the show ring IN IRELAND do not conform to the weight clause in the IKC/FCI breed standard.

      Jo has written in her post that there are also heavier Glens in the USA … so it is not just the UK that has a variety of sizes, including heavier than 16kg Glens!

    • Glenn

      Regarding your statement, ‘The Kennel club wants to be seen doing the right thing after that documentary, by mentioning Fit for Function, but then takes away the weight clause’ is incorrect … the weight clause was removed from the Glen standard (and many other breed standards) way before the PDE programme.

      The change to the Glen breed standard after that documentary was to the forelegs clause – from ‘bowed’ to ‘slightly bowed’ – as part of the KC review of exaggerations that could affect how a dog sees, breathes or moves.

  9. the pictures sure show a variety. thanks for including them. From my limited exposure to Glens here from overseas, I have seen squat and heavy to good bone, good heigth. and many in-between.
    ours here are too all over the map. but we’re just beginning and have a ways to go before the cookie cutter. and then what about PRA? which comes first? breeding for consistency or eyes using the variety of sizes/weights/heights?

  10. MM surely its down to what you want out of your dog if you look at pictures of 1933 show not the ones shown you will see Pride of the valleys of the only 2 true champions of the breed field and show and his sire Murphys tiger being held up.
    They are both low to the ground with large heads look at pictures of Fearless Dan,Tinahely lad and Mick the Miller all great Glens not surpassed in the last 50yrs in type. I agree with Marie in most of what she stated that though is only my opinion i want a fit ,healthy,strong ,low to the ground dog with good ears,head and above all health and temper,.

    • According my database ‘Mick the Miller’ was the son of’ Fearless Dan’ and ‘Tinahely Lad’ was his grandfather. I am in search of the complete pedigree of Mick, Maybe you can help me?
      Woodie

  11. Alison comments on the change by the UKKC which changed the standard on legs this i again must state was objected to but the UKKC committee which refused to identify its members or give any proven health benefit did it against working people and show peoples objections.
    It refused to give any reason for its absurd decision it coiuld not justify its decision and my letter from Mr.R.Irving was laughable in his lack of knowledge of the breed and he refused point blank to say if the objections had been read out and would not give any proven health benefits.
    So much for fit for function who the hell wants a slightly bowed Glen ? just get a wheaten instead the UKKC its motto should read “do as i say not as do and never question the executive “

  12. Steve, Pride of the Valley was exhibited on more than one occasion. This is the critique for the 1935 St Patrick’s Day Show. 15 Glens making 28 entries and 10 in puppy.
    Critique of St. Patricks Day Show.
    In a strong puppy class I was very pleased to find that all were typical, for it is to the young stock we must look for the dogs of tomorrow. It is also the surest indication that breeders know what is the right type.
    Puppy: 1) Muskeagh (O’Donohoe, Tinahely).Grand all round terrier, sound as a bell, good bone, loin and quarters, with a grand eye & expression. 2) Devil’s Glen (O’Brien, Dublin). Another very nicely made terrier of good substance, has a strongly built frame, with power in the right place, could not compete with the winner in ear or eye. 3) Judy Callaghan (Andrews, Dublin). Not yet developed being only 7 months old. Of the right stamp, has a good eye with a very taking expression.
    In this class a very small bitch caught my fancy, and but for her size she must be near the top. Registered as Cailin-na-Carraige, should breed well if mated with a dog of good bone.
    Maiden: 1) Muskeagh. 2) Grip of Tallaght (Minchin, Tallaght) Strong terrier of good body which is not quite so typical as the winner. Fails in ear carriage also. 3) Grumbling Jackson. Puppy who might develop if he is not too big for his age.
    Open Dog : 1) Muskeagh. 2) Moon Boy (Murphy, Co.Kildare). Grand terrier, typical of the breed in everything save coat, which is the texture of the Blue Terrier. Has all the essentials but may not be quite so good in loin and quarters as the winner. 3) Winetavern Boy. Well put together sprightly terrier whose appearance is not emphasised by his nails, nor did his eye entitle him to a higher place.
    Open Bitch: 1) Pride of the Valley (Doyle, Dublin). Grand bitch of great loin and quarter, hard, no fault anywhere. No hesitation in awarding her Best of Breed. 2) Sprig (Byrne, Wicklow).Another good bitch with an exceptionally taking expression and may be better than the winner in foreface. Her mouth is not quite even and her coat has a tendency to be wiry. T.J White (Judge)

  13. Alison, do you think it’s right that a judge on the english circuit boasts about 45lbs bitches on her web site? As a judge yourself what would your reactions be to a departure of weight?
    Do you think scales and yardsticks would be a good idea?
    What are your thoughts on other nations changing native breeds standards?
    Weight exaggerations,i would have thought in a anchroplastic breed would be more harmful than bowed legs, which are there for a reason, as was the weight limit. Bowed legs for drawing and 35lbs to get to quarry i.e fit for function.
    I have answered you in good faith Alison, looking forward to yours!
    Regards

  14. Liz
    Do you have the judges opinion in 1935 on Pride of the Valleys i for one would love to see it thanks for the 1935 information.

  15. Sorry Liz missed it thank you do you have any critiques on Murphys Tiger her sire!

  16. Steve-Have another critique on me
    Judges Report of Minor Field trial on 7th July 1935.
    “Mr James Doyles Pride of the Valley. Gave a very accurate display at rabbit hunting with dash and keeness, took heavy cover well, worked steadily. At rat gave another satisfactory performance. Bold swimmer and fine worker in cover. Certificate awarded.

  17. Hope you understand my English, if you see something strange, feel free to ask, so there are no misunderstandings!

    Hi all glen friends,
    my name is Ingela Ryhede and comes from Sweden, during the 20 years that I have had glen, always weight and height has been a big issue. But I feel anyway that the Nordic countries (which I have most contact with) have seriously tried to get this to the best of ability. But it is difficult with such a small breeding stock that we have in the world.

    When I started 20 years ago, I had a medium sized dog, he weighed in top shape and extremely well-muscled 26 kg / 57lb, this was in the early 90’s. Since then a lot has happened, the males I bred later weighs about 16-18 kg / 35-39 lb. but I think it is important to see the whole issue in a larger perspective.

    On my own website, I try again and again to tell people how important it is to bring together history / usage and standard. I have done my best to adopt various ways to try to express this. I grew up on forestry boarding school (where my father worked), where hunting was a matter of course in everyday life, both for teachers and students. I have since childhood been in the woods with my father and our dogs, I am very well aware of what is required.

    But there are other aspects, I have, for example, called for older standards than 1975.
    But if I’m not wrong has weight and height remained the same all the time in IGITs standards. However, we must not forget that food, inbreeding kofficienten?/ numbers?, the involvement of other breeds so obviously affect weight / height and has likely done the last hundred years. Most of our dogs today have, for example, a completely different type of food than in the 1930s, of course, this seems to weights and measures.

    Maybe we need to ask ourselves, can this issue be coming back to the original ideal and if so how? Should we perhaps add a pound or two because of higher standards of living circumstances. Another aspect is obvious in the PRESENT, what is most important to the breed’s survival, in my eyes, it is trying to spread awareness about the breed as much as we can, in order to improve our breed registration numbers. But I also think that while, we must work to preserve the extremely unique situation we are in, one of the most “intact breeds” in the world. In the middle of all issues of concern, we must probably always first and foremost protect the breed’s survival.

    I think you should measure and weigh because of the documentation’s sake, we did this in Sweden two years ago with all breeders represented (I think) for us it is important information to work from, and to have as a reference material in the future. It is priceless .I think this is a very difficult matter,

    It is difficult to discuss an entire breed situation based on the documents image whit a total of 13 dogs and they are different, not much, but there is a clear difference. Maybe that’s the key? These dogs were never born up to be show dogs and they sought not the kind of homogeneity that we do today. The breeding that existed then, I suspect perhaps was formed from needs and and formed different breeding lines. Not huge differences, but for the job they perform. It is nothing unusual for breeds in earlier times, there were and still are also geographical differences ..

    And as a punch line, there is a standard and country of origin, ie the Irish / FCI and this is of course my own personal thoughts. / Ingela

    • Ingela,very interesting thoughts and very well put. I think your punchline is spot on.
      Regards Glenn.

  18. This article I published on Facebook, it’s written by John Glover in “The Working Terriers and Running Dog” from October 1990, I think it’s interesting to read, although I personally makes me VERY puzzled about many points. Does anyone have more information on this??

    An article by John Glover in “The Working Terrier and Running Dog” from October 1990

    In County Wicklow, Ireland, there is a glen, many years ago the hunters or terriermen, call them what you will, would go “a badgering”, a term they used to describe their terriers work, this is the story of the dog they used.

    Way back in the mists of time, a terrier little known outside of it’s native Eire was sent forth into the blackness of the Wicklow settes, traditional the badger dog, his physique was built on these lines, low to the ground, long, flexible and heavy, like the badger himself almost pound for pound.

    The Wicklow men, like those who worked the Wicklow terriers cousin’s the Kerry Blue or “Blue Devil”, the red Irish and the Irish Wheaten Terrier, prided themselves on being the owners of the gamest terriers that ever drew breath, it was true that all these terriers were, and indeed still are just that “dead game”. So it came to be that the men of the glen from which the terrier takes its name started to call their wards just this: “The Glen of Imaal Terrier”.

    Today of course the badger is forbidden as a quarry species and with that eventually one would imagine, and be totally mislead too – I hasten to add, to assume the terrier from Wicklow has been made somewhat redundant as a working terrier, for the modern terriermen or women who wish to still work the Glen of Imaal Terrier there is however salvation.

    Fortunately the contemporary modern day Glen still has a great desire to work, true many of the terriers encountered are somewhat too heavy for fox work, nevertheless smaller types will work fox with great relish, make efficient rough cover workers and are excellent rat hunters and aquatic dogs.

    Unfortunately some sceptics (some should have known better, but some did not know what they were talking about at all) hardly did the breed as a working dog any justice, which was a great pity. Personally I have seen small type Glens work fox many times, spent many happy hours ratting with these curious looking terriers, used them for flushing vermin and game for running dogs to intercept, as aquatic and marking dogs I honestly cannot fault them. Glen of Imaal Terriers can and do work.

    It is a fact that a vast majority of Kerry Blues, Irish Terriers and Wheatens are owned by show enthusiasts, the trend also points this way for the valiant Wicklow dog, despite this the working enthusiasts of the Glen of Imaal are numerically more than the former three breeds.

    So then the reader should seek out the person who still works this terrier and ultimately pick a small bold type of puppy from the litter, the same type of approach that one adopts in the picking of any potential working terrier should apply.

    The first mention I can find of the breed dates back to the sixteenth century, from this time on and up to 1966 the terriermen partook in some rather unpleasant baiting and even it is said loathsome dog fighting, three size ranges of terrier existed (indeed still do though of course today as show dogs) to satisfy different peoples needs. The large or middle sizes were favoured by the badger and dog fighters, the smaller terriers were the practical dogs used by the Irish sportsman or farmers. It goes without saying then there is absolutely no reason in the world why large or middle sized Glens be needed, as workers there is nothing legal, as show dogs there is danger that this trend (for even heavier dogs) will ensure and thereby ruin the terrier as a sound breed. History proves that the soundest terrier within any breed are those that are bred with work in mind.

    The three sizes are as follows – the large Glen anything from thirty five to eighty pounds in weight, far too heavy and of absolutely no use whatsoever, the less said about this one the better. A middle sized Glen up to thirty five pounds in weight, again not of any real use, though they were probably used as seizing dogs at the end of a dig, they also may have uses as rough cover dogs, say as a Clumber Spaniel has, or for herding. Finally there is the smallest, though by working standards still no lightweight, a terrier up to approximately twenty four pounds, such terriers are of heavy bone structure but are capable of working foxes in certain earths.

    Lighter “Glen” types could be brought about by outcrossing to other suitable breeds, wither Borders or Lakeland/Fell terriers they would prove viable terriers to use in this direction, indeed they have been used.

    Alternatively small 100% Irish stock are of great use for hybridising or outcrossing to other breeds in a bid to enhance or improve certain types of terrier.

    Large jaws, teeth, heads and coat improvement can all be achieved by dint of a Glen of Imaal outcross.

    Jack Russell/Glen of Imaal Terrier hybrids are extremely popular in some parts of the south of England, many are the stories of working terriers this way bred and their exploits to ground on fox. Equally so some Irish hunters cross Glens to Borders and Lakelands in a bid to produce an ideal fox dog whilst small Glens see work both sides of the Irish Sea.

    Probably one of the best known enthusiasts who has worked Glens is Jack Chisnall, whose bitch Pebble is said to have been a terrier that worked and was shown. Fred Newman was another whose kennel produced both show and working dogs, people acquired dogs off Fred from both sets of supporters, Fred Newman’s dogs had working dogs in their bloodlines and his stock was 100% Irish.

    Up until 1966 all the four breeds of Irish terrier had to in order to gain the title of “Full” instead of just bench champion, had to complete a working test, which basically was baiting, thankfully these trials are now illegal, both the Teastas Beag and the Teastas Misneach, which basically mean the small and great test respectively. The Teastas Beag was a test above ground, where the dog was tested on rat or rabbit, the Teastas Misneach was below ground in a falsely built “sette” the unfortunate, poor quarry was badger. To gain the coveted title of dead gameness, the Glen (and also working Kerry Blues, Irish and Wheaten) had to draw the badger in a combined time of seven minutes. One minute was given for the dog to engage the quarry and a further six minutes for the terrier to draw the unfortunate animal without a sound, most Glens were mute though even a yelp of excitement on the dogs part were sufficient to fail the terrier.

    The reader then should be in no doubt, that reference to these so called “trials” are purely of an historical context, today such trials are quite rightly illegal, indeed they were barbaric, however they do show though that Glens were game to satisfy their owners requirements. I repeat these trials are now illegal.

    Surely then taking all things into account, the reader will not be surprised that most working Glens are mute when at work to fox, nevertheless this does not proce a problem in these days of locators.

    In parts of Eire some terriers are used as sheepdogs or cattle dogs, sometimes they are pure Glen, other occasions they may well be Glen/Wheaten terrier hybrids, one enthusiast still has I believe, or did have one terrier he called his sheepdog, to be perfectly honest I still do not know even to this day whether this dog was a Glen or a Wheaten. History seems, along with some sketchy information that a form of ancient herding dog may be in the breeding of early Irish earth dogs, red Irish, Kerry Blues, Wheatens and Glens will all work sheep and cattle given the opportunity, and it should be remembered that all herding breeds will work on legal live quarry, herding and work go hand in hand.

    Of the four Irish terrier breeds the Glen is the low slung one, the other three are basically long legged, it also differs from the other three in that a greater amount of coat colour variance is allowed in the breed. Basically the breed is encountered in blue and wheaten, but blue/brindle types sometimes occur, though these are still called blues, blue and tans sometimes called blue/wheatens are also known.

    The popularity of the working Glen although not widespread does seem to be spreading, certainly many working terrier people find them interesting, one might even be tempted to say attracted by the novelty of this unusual terrier. Certainly the terrier has more than a look of Dandie Dinmont about it, to the Dandie it is definitely not related, the link ends where the similarity starts, it is just that similar, though of course the Glen of Imaal is a somewhat heavier terrier than a Dandie. However, it is my firm belief that should some enthusiasts set about re-creating the famous old fashioned Dandie, the Glen of Imaal would prove a satisfactory outcross to use.

    In these days of increasing Mink numbers, many Glens are being tried at this quarry, I have found them excellent and heard from other people who have worked Glens to mink, one bitch, a little red, hard coated terrier bred by someone who undoubtedly was one of the great owners of working Glens, Fred Newman, is I am told carving quite a reputation for herself and working Glens as a whole, due to her prowess as a hunter of mink.

    Certainly I found no problems at entering Gelns to any quarry, puppies usually entering to rats as soon as their second teeth are through, working through the spectrum, rabbits to fox with no problems.

    As time goes on though, (indeed it is already happening) the breed will become more and more popular within the show ranks. Perhaps, somewhat fortunately the show enthusiasts who own Glens (unlike, I have found, the wheaten owners) are keen to enhance the breeds image as a formidable working terrier, they are proud of their breeds heritage, hence even today it is quite easy to obtain one of the smaller type of pups from a breeders litter. The problem I see for the future lies with some of the show fancy who have in the past called for the weight limit for the breed to be open, were this to happen I think it would be the ruination of the breed, the start of the end so to speak. This will not happen with the working enthusiasts, but it will hardly encourage new working owners to take up the breed. All the four breeds of terrier that originate from Eire will still give a good account of themselves in the hunting field if they are given the chance, however it appears certain that the Wheaten and the Kerry Blue have deviated away from this more than the red Irish Terrier and most definitely the Glen has. With reference to work certainly where Kerry Blues or Wheatens are concerned, they can hardly be considered earth dogs any longer, though of course other work is not beyond them i.e. rough cover hunting, herding etc.

    Fred Newman worked his dogs regularly to fox, in earths, pipes and above ground, the foundation to this line was a blue bitch, bought directly from Ireland, the bitch was called “Cara”, otherwise registered as “Shanghan Lady”, it is interesting to note that one of the top Glens in the country is bred down from “Shanghan Lady”, bred out of her daughter “Golden Rhyme”. When Shanghan Lady was brought into England it marked a very important step for both the English, working and show enthusiasts.

    Abbots “Baby Blue” a bitch who loved to go ratting, was another of “Cara’s” well known pups.

    Fred Newman also bought in quality terriers that he worked alongside his lurchers in his fox hunting pack (Varleys back lurcher Jet learned her trade as a fox dog alongside Fred Newman’s Glens), his additions were wise ones, “Blue Boy of Malonmoor” and as least two excellent “Granitesfied” line Glens, completed the Englishman’s pack, a few years later Fred was sending his own Glens back to Eire itself, a first I think.

    Nevertheless Fred was not show orientated and never found showing to his tastes (though his kennel frequently produced top show terriers), his working Glens were quite simply the best.

    If I was starting with Glens my choice would be perhaps somewhat predictable, I would choose one of Fred Newman’s terriers, or a small genuine 100% Irish bred dog, I would also consider bringing in quality Border or Lakeland/Fell terrier blood to drop the weight down in the type. If I was just after a good all-rounder then a Russell/Glen might be ideal.

    Old Rothbury Terriers are also possible from Glen genetic influence, Peter Vaux’s “Drifter” a hybrid twixt Bedlington and Glen comes immediately to mind.

    When the hunters of the Wicklow area created the Glen of Imaal little could they know how far their breed was going to go, for the breed has set its feet on much foreign soil, today that popularity still grows but mainly with a show fraternity, there lies the possible danger, show enthusiasts are less liable to work their dogs than the traditional owners of the Glen were, and although at present the show enthusiasts seem somewhat proud of their breeds heritage as a working terrier, I wonder how long this will remain the same. At present the terrier remains on the rare breed list though with its reputation as a show terrier growing very rapidly all the time I think that will change in the not too distant future, what would please me is that the breed be used more as a working terrier, for the potential is still very much there.

    A reply to the article in the next edition……

    Dear Editor,

    I am writing to you in connection to an article written by John Glover about the working Glen of Imaal terrier. Whereby respecting Mr. Glover’s interest in the Glen terriers and also assuming that he is writing on the basis of information received from others, I am compelled to object to his description of the Glen terrier. I also would like to enlighten him on the other three breeds of Irish terrier he mentioned in his article to a certain degree, as I don’t see the point in giving a volume of information on any working breed, as I firmly believe that the only way to get to know in details any particular breed is to own them and work them over a period of years. In Mr. Glover’s case this has certainly not happened. I will try to clarify or inform as the case may be in brief the reader on the four Irish breeds mentioned. The Glen of Imaal, a low sized dog with a good strong jaw resembling a Wheaten terrier with short legs, height about 14” weight 28-40lb. Recognised as a breed in 1933 and used in the creation of the English Norwich Terrier. No Glen of Imaal or any other Irish breed of terrier reaches 8-10lb in weight.

    Glen terriers are of no great use for fox as they would never fit in a fox earth, not are they used for farmyard work. They are essentially for badger digging which is of course nowadays illegal. The dogs mentioned by Mr. Glover must have been bred down to Jack Russells in order to get to foxes and if they were markers as he says they were definitely bred to something else. Glens are not supposed to mark, they are required to work in silence, even in the old days of badger digging most Glens were only left in after the entrance to the sett was widened as they would also have difficulty in getting into brocks lair.

    The Wheaten terrier, resembling the Glen, only much taller height around 19” weight much the same as the Glen, but if crossbred to Staff or English bull can vary from 35-50lb. This breed is not dying out as stated and is much more popular than the Glen terrier and would never get to a fox: it is much too big. Never, as in the case of the Glen, used as farmyard dogs with sheep or cattle. Of course there are exceptions to every rule.

    The Irish terrier, very leggy dog not much use for anything, except show. Some lurcher men use them to put fire into their strains by crossing them with their lurchers, bad tempered towards other dogs. Height 18” weight 25lb never used by the fox hunting men of Ireland.

    The Kerry Blue, useless as a hunter and also too big for work. Bad with other dogs and humans, only for show. This dog has been used as a farm dog in the past. Its ancestors were known as Gadhers but in those days the Kerry Blue was blue and a great terrier to go to ground on anything. Rumour has it that it was crossed with the Standard French Poodle to establish is as it is today.

    So this is a short account of the Irish breeds mentioned in your magazine but the vast amount of Irish workers of terriers are using the very same dogs as you are yourselves in Britain, i.e. Patterdale, Lakeland, Fell, Jack Russell and so on. Jack Russell type terriers have existed in Ireland as far back as they have in England and were the general terriers that were used down the years for ground work. Glens and Wheatens were only used to draw the game at the end of a dig. The good old Jack Russell terrier is still used over here, and although nowadays there seems to be a big influx of gladiator type breeds coming in, it is the same job that has to be done and in the case of fox digging the Russell can still hold his own with the best, and I would like to compliment Jack Price on stating so in your magazine. As the saying goes, it is not the size of the dog in the fight that counts, but the size of the fight in the dog.

    And another letter in the next edition on the same subject…..

    The Wheaten terrier is the oldest breed of terrier in Ireland and most certainly the only true working terrier to come from this country.

    Up until 1968 (sic) the Irish Kennel Club held a number of legal badger trials, for in order to be classed as a full show champion the Irish breeds had to prove themselves game to badger.

    If we check these records you will see that the Irish Terrier has never been classed as a working terrier by Irish dog men.

    Another breed that is highly overrated is the Kerry Blue, as even in the days of the legal badger trials they were very poor and in fact the only dog to qualify at a kennel club trial was a dog by the name of Irish Champion Fiery Batchelor and he qualified at a Kerry Blue only trials and he was later poisoned at a Kennel Club show.

    A bitch by the name of Good Lass qualified at an All Breeds Trial in the late 60’s but these are the only two from amongst thousands that were rubbish.

    Another dog given much praise as a worker is the Glen of Imaal. This breed originally was a small Wheaten and the late Peter Gorman told me how when he first came into working dogs there were two distinct types of Wheaten, the small one were later given the name “Glens”.

    Peter Gorman also told me how dogs identical to Wheatens appeared in litters of Glens as late as the 60’s, also I have in my possession the pedigree to the first Glen ever to be registered by the English Kennel Club back in 1957 and this dog was bred in Ireland and appeared on television on a rare breeds show with Jack Hargeaves, however if you look at his pedigree you will see that he is bred strongly along the old Hacketstown lines, which as everyone knows were Wheaten terriers.

    It does seem that the Glen lost much of his true gameness after the late 1950’s and they were long ago disregarded as a true deep game terrierman’s needs.

    The Wheaten terrier is probably the last pure working terrier in Britain, in saying so I don’t refer to the pampered powder puff dogs one sees as KC shows but to the pure Irish working Wheaten.

    These dogs have been kept going by the dedicated work of such great terriermen as the late Peter Gorman, he kept worked and bred them for over half a century and dedicated himself to the preservation of the working Wheaten.

    If one looks back to the heydays of the Irish working dog scene in the early 60’s you will see such greats as the immortal “Hacketstown Jack” he dominated the badger trials and was never bettered, not only was he a good worker but also a superb producer. Just a few of his sons were Tom Boyles Gilbout a great working dog also the Great Brownslow Bob another excellent working dog who also had the ability to produce with one of his more famous sons being Freecrow Hero.

    When bred to Prospect Lass the Hacketstown Jack sired a dog that was to have it all, this dog was a legend called Peter Sinead he was voted best badger dog for three years in succession this feat can never be equalled, he was a great worker at fox, badger, and otter and he never once had a bad day, and was worked up to being over ten years old.

    He also produced a lot of great dogs such as Frazier, both Peter Sinead and Frazier were owned by that great terrierman Peter Gorman, a man who owned and judged some of Irelands best.

    If you consider he had over fifty years experience then she must have been a helluva bitch.

    These notes are dedicated to the late Peter Gorman and his good friend Sandy, without them we wouldn’t have the true working wheaten of the present day. God bless you all.

    No-one seems to rate the Kerry very m

    • Ingela, Yes there is a country of origin and there is a standard but that standard was (mainly)written in the UK. I’ve been expecting somebody, either here or on FB, to “remind” us all of it but it has been pointed out that there are probably only a few of us who have been in Glens that long. The IKC standard of 1975 was rubbish and even the Irish said so but there was so little showing interest in the breed nobody really bothered. As one judge said after reading it “is the eye on the head or in the small of the back?” It was a standard written by people who knew the breed and never expected anybody who didn’t already have quite good knowledge wanting to understand it so it was lacking in many areas.

      The UK Glen Association was asked by the EKC to draw up an acceptable breed standard. By acceptable they meant the inclusion of things “missing” from the IKC one. A long correspondence went on between the Glen Clubs of both countries which was, at first, amiable but Mrs Cleary then decided the Irish standard was absolutely fine and it WOULD NOT be changed. The UK Glen Association then enrolled Green Star awarding judges plus others who knew the breed (Eamonn Dobbyn contributed) to help draw up a standard explaining the breed a little more. When it was completed it was sent to the Irish Club and the IKC as a matter of courtesy and for comment. The IKC liked the re-write but (obviously) the letter back reminded it was an Irish breed and hoped some understanding could be reached. Eithne realised the writing was on the wall so adopted it with her own re-wording i.e. the inclusion of born true to type etc. because nobody was going to dictate to her. This is why, when the Glen obviously hasn’t, the topline is described as level. Mrs Cleary had very, very strong views and it didn’t matter that “topline slightly rising to a strong loin” was thought as correctly descriptive all over the world because it emphasised that a flat topline is not the topline of a Glen. Eithne said the Irish Glen Club would decide and it was level.

      So it wasn’t the EKC that changed the Irish standard-it was Ireland that adopted the UK effort that came about due to the help and assistance of some Irish breeders and judges.

      Initially the weight clause was the same but the EKC removed ALL weight clauses from breed standards (unless minature).

      Eithne was proud of the Glen which I’m sure was the reason for some of her actions but sometimes she caused a lot of head scratching world wide. Nobody would deny that the Soft Coat bred in Ireland was very different from the show animal in America. Her friend Maureen Holmes was a seriously powerful lady and she convinced (it didn’t need much really) the relevant IKC committee to make the breed “Irish SCWT”. Like the Akita now (Inu or not) it caused an eyebrow or two but it was acknowledged and understood. Mrs C demanded it for the Glen and nobody really understood why???? We all looked alike, well as near as any Glens ever do, and we regularly swopped animals. Irish bred won in the UK and vice-versa but if the Wheatens had had a name change……the Glen of Imaal became the Irish Glen of Imaal.

      End of Saturday’s history lesson

      Liz

      • Thank you Liz!! I am grateful for everything new I learn, I’ve pretty much never had the opportunity to have a meaningful exchange with both Englishmen and Irishmen in this way, Thanks Liz and others for all information. As for “topline rising slightly to a strong loin”, so “I grew up” with the description. I usually get my dogs level, but then the muscles can them up and then they become “sligtly”, which is natural for me, for many reasons. History and good dialogue is fantastic rewarding and fun. Therefore I sent also the article by John Glover, who I thought was a bit strange at times.
        Ingela

      • Liz, Mr Dobbyn’s wrote a letter of complaint about the changes by the EKC, you make it sound as though he agrees with the changes. Ingela, if you go to the Irish sporting glens site, click on Archives and view the 2009 news letter you will see his strong letter of complaint. I also think you might be interested in the 2011 edition as he comments on the IKC standard and also waxes lyrical about choosing a Glen in the old days. Makes very good reading indeed. http://www.irishsportingglens.com/

      • Glenn, the piece you mention illustrates really well the input Eamonn had to the formatting of the EKC standard. Thank you for reminding people of the link and the way he queries things like the IKC topline clause?

      • HI Liz,

        Re your comments: “pointed out that there are probably only a few of us who have been in Glens that long. The IKC standard of 1975 was rubbish and even the Irish said so but there was so little showing interest in the breed nobody really bothered ”

        I cannot agree with above comments, in fact with much of the total article. I think the above comments are at the very least rude and insulting to our members, past and present.

        Ann and myself were Committee members in 1975 and attended the AGM which was well attended, the election of officers included a president, vice-presidents (3) chairman, vice-chairman, sec./treas. 5 committee and 1 N.I. rep. and other members present so to say there was little interest in the breed is not correct,

        Re: The Breed Standard the Breed Standard was adopted by the IKC when the breed was officially recognized in 1933. The Club was represented by the late Dan O’Donoghue. It is the policy of the IKC that they are the custodians of the Breed Standards of all the native breeds and whilst the clubs can make representations only the IKC can alter the breed standard.

        I do have a reference to a draft of the KC standard which was dismissed by the IKC in 1991.

        You seem to be of the opinion that Eithne Cleary was the only one who was in favour of the “Irish” in Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier, there were many in Ireland who agreed, and still do. May I point out that the change, recommended by the general Purposes Committee, had to be approved by the Council (over a 100 at the time) and not all lovers of Eithne.

        We accepted the wish of the Members in England when they voted against, why can you not accept our wish when we voted for “Irish”.

        Nick.

      • Morning Nick, Didn’t Glens loose Green Star status due to lack of exhibition? Maybe I have been told wrongly but if correct that doesn’t indicate a lot of people interested in showing at that time.
        Of course “Irish” was added (with the support of all Irish) but at the time it first came up it was a surprise because the name of the breed itself (Glen of Imaal Terrier) shouts Ireland. Eithne was never a lady to keep her thoughts to herself and she told quite a few people-and there must have been more that never told me-that she thought what Maureen had done excellent and she would be pushing for the Glen to have Irish added. I asked her point blank about it and she said basically the same thing; Ireland should be proud of its breeds and she’d make sure the Glen WOULD be joining the Wheaten. And nobody was in any doubt that it was Eithne who had decided & you know her decisional ability

      • The system in Ireland at the time was that Shows had the option of Putting on Green Stars or not as the entry was poor or non existent at times, nothing has changed, entries are still poor which is why we end up at most if not all shows in Ireland, not for the wins but to ensure Glens are represented at the shows.

        We exhibit the Breed and others fill the “orders”.

        Re : Your comment ” the name of the breed itself (Glen of Imaal Terrier) shouts Ireland. ” I Disagree, only last year at Cruft’s I was asked the name of the breed, when I replied Glen of Imaal Terrier I was asked what part of Scotland. Not everyone is that familiar with Ireland. There is only a couple of countries in the world that have a problem with this.

        Nick.

  19. Peters Sinead a truly great dog Peter Gormans great field champion what a dog that was, i have said i will say again that putting a good working wheaten into the glen is still a good thing to do. Its something i would do and have been thinking about doing again dad did with a freind in 1975 some of the lines that have lost thier prey drive and aggression in hunting could do with it.
    Im lucky with my dogs at present its still thier and i breed for it but so many glens now the breeders brred away from it.
    I still cannot kennel 2 bitches together, They will not have it after a while one will nail another and the kennel calm is lost, The lady makes a good point on feeding to many glens are fed wrong and are not kept in hard physical condition muscle and coat. Thats if thier allowed a coat ladies! oh dont some ladies love glens with stripped coats but they own them.
    Some dont not get enough exercise and are over fed and in some cases treated like humans which is wrong thier animals. On the dog i was told by a young Dutch woman at Crufts 2 years ago that Glens should have big ears,level backs and no prey drive,That is what we want in the Netherlands i gave my opinion but she was a breed “expert” in Holland we think these dogs are too aggressive we do not want this “quote” She is entitled to her opinion but why keep a glen the keep Dandies if thats the type of dog you want dont ruin Glens.
    I support what Marie says to a large degree she is honest and consistant and speaks her mind openly something that will never make you popular,We just dont want the breed ruined and turned into a spoilt ,overweight lounge lizard witout prey drive”not dog aggression.

    • Glenn, Eamonn’s letter of 2009 was complaining about the KC modifying the standard along with all others to remove anything that may be considered to contribute to extremes. He was not alone in complaining and I don’t know anyone in the breed who agreed with the change. The KC could have changed the standard to suit their remit by adding “extreme bowing of the forelimbs” to the list of faults at the end which would not affect any dog you would want in the breed but they did it their way.
      He is not complaining about the earlier standard and I’m sure he agrees that the “puppies born true to type” is neither helpful nor accurate. If you saw an adult dog that looking like a big newborn with newborn glen shading it would not be correct. I have seen a glen with a level back – guess who owned it?

  20. Glenn not only Eamonn but many others objected but were treated with contempt by the EKC Eamonn was and still wholly against the changes as were many others. I would like 1 English person to be honest and say they think the changes are a good thing and did they write to Irving in support. I spoke to Eamonn tonight and i quote” I am totally against the EKC changes and how they were done” by the way Eamonn like many didnt get the decency of a response. A bit more of a history lesson LIz.
    I suggest people speak to Eamonn directly about standards and who wrote them!

  21. My last post might be misunderstood i meant i do not know 1 UK owner who supported the changes aka asking for anyone who did to say so.

  22. Yes Liz im sorry not the period 1980 i did not make that clear 2009. Liz its rarely mentioned about the cross backed glens and the other colours which were taken out in the early 1970s. Do you know when i think 1973ish ?

Comments are closed.