It’s a good point….

There are always new people discovering Glen of Imaal Terriers and websites etc. change regularly so how about this question?

What exactly is the history of Glen “function” in Ireland?

  • Going to ground?
  • Seizing?
  • Herding?
  • Guarding?
  • Dog fighting?
  • Badger baiting?
  • Companion?
  • Vermin control (above ground)?
  • Turnspit?


10 thoughts on “It’s a good point….

  1. Is this so that comments can be made re: English Kennel Club dictate “fit for function” .

    Is the description in our Breed standard not clear enough, (as follows)

    Like all other terriers, this small,tough breed had to hunt badgers and foxes, and to keep the rat population to a minimum he also is a gentle and docile family dog.

    • Nick, today’s blog was sent by somebody interested by the thing they posed, why decry a genuine question? I thought we (most anyway) hoped to encourage and help. The various books/websites/articles do mention many things that the Glen does (did). Your comment actually intriques me-when did the “rat” mention enter the standard and when did “true to type” get removed? I know the reference says 2001 but it doesn’t give when amended

      • The sections, UTILIZATION and BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY along with sections covering FAULTS and ELIMINATING FAULTS were added to the Breed Standard in 2001 and published by the FCI .25/04/2001.

        It was a procedure carried out on all of the Native Breed Standards by a Committee of The irish Kennel Club to standardize the breed standards while retaining the detail and at the same time trying to give some more definition to the sections.

        This is a procedure that has been carried out by most Kennel Clubs.

        All of the relevant original sections are unchanged but some are moved to more appropriate sections of the standard.

        The words “true to type” are still there.

        It also incorporates all of the detail of the standard published in 1934.

        The full Standard is available at this link.

      • I had a quick skip around various references after doing my previous post (I had checked my 03 and 06, which had no sign of “rats” which was why I asked) and discovered that the breed standard, albeit unknowingly, was a great example of why questions like the posted one of yesterday are very relevant. Different websites etc. have different things and if curious about something it is always better to ask

  2. The term or acrual badger baiting is not what any decent working man would use or do they were drawn, they are a tough mute working dog the IKC ref isnt bad.

  3. I think the real problem is (as you say) different websites make different comments and some think same comments are part of the standard.

    if people would just separate the general comments / questions from the standard and use the standard as the reference it would be better.

    As I said before we really have not changed the standard since 1934, some points added or clarified but the core section has not changed. The present one is in use since 2001.

    • So when did the FCI change the standard from this version?


      FCI-standard No.302 / 25. 04. 2001 / GB

      ORIGIN: Ireland


      UTILIZATION: Like all other terriers, this small, tough breed had to hunt badgers and foxes, and to keep the rat population to a minimum. Now he is a gentle and docile family dog.
      CLASSIFICATION FCI: Group 3 Terriers
      Section 1 Large and medium sized Terriers
      Without working trial

      BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Like many dogs in the Terrier group, not really appreciated by gentlemen sportsmen before the middle of the 19th century, the Irish Glen of Imaal is an old breed which was simply ignored for a long time, rather than the result of later breed experiments. He is a very much a local dog, confined to the bleak area of the Irish Glen of Imaal. The farmers of this area, who were descended from soldiers given land in the 16th and 17th centuries as a payment for service rendered to the British crown, had to utilize their natural cunning an dexterity to survive in this harsh terrain. A dog, which could not pull his weight in the day-to-day struggle for existence would not be tolerated. So he had to spend long hours propelling dog wheels and was often pitted against other dogs in the dubious sport of dog fighting, customs now disappeared. Before the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier became known at dog shows, he had evolved through generations of hard work into the strong sturdy dog we know today. The Irish Kennel Club gave official recognition to the breed in 1934 and a club to promote its interests was soon formed.

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

      Body longer than high and low to the ground.

      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 always ready to give chase when called on.



      Skull: Of very good width and far of length.
      Stop: Pronounced.


      Nose: Black
      Muzzle: Foreface of power, tapering to the nose.
      Jaws: Strong
      Teeth: Teeth sound, regular strong and of good size. Scissors bite.
      Eyes: Brown, medium size, round and set well apart. Light eyes should be penalized.
      Ears: Small rose or half pricked when alert, thrown back when in repose. Full drop or pricked undesirable.

      NECK: Very muscular and of moderate length.

      BODY: Deep and long and longer then high.

      Topline: Level.
      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.
      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 our out.
      Feet: Compact and strong with rounded pads.

      GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free, not hackneyed. Covers ground effortlessly with good drive behind.


      HAIR: Medium length, of harsh texture with soft undercoat. Coat must be tidied to present a neat outline.


      Blue brindle but not toning to black.
      Wheaten, from a light wheaten coulor 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.


      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.

      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.

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


      Black and Tan colour.
      Narrow foreface.

      NOTE: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

  4. I did not say that the FCI changed the standard. In fact they cannot change the standard, only the country of origin (Ireland / IKC) can change the Breed Standard. What the FCI requested was that all breed standards would follow a suggested common layout. (2000 / 2001)

    This is the current Ireland / FCI Standard. (since 2001)

    Did you add in “DOCKING IS FORBIDDEN IN SWEDEN” as it is not in the standard.

    I noticed the following errors,

    Skull: Of very good width and far of length.

    Should read: Skull: Of very good width and of fair length.

    HAIR: Medium length, of harsh texture with soft undercoat. Coat must be tidied to present a neat outline.

    Should read: Coat may be tidied to present a neat outline. (not must)

  5. That is correct may be tidied and speaking for myself the UKKC in changing the standard against the wishes of many so it does not conform with the IKC standard was wrong and showed in my opinion the ignorance of the breed by the committee of the UKKC.

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