Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America

2023 National Specialty Show - Click Here for Flyer

2023 GITCA Awards Presentation Video

This video, presented at our 2023 AGM, honors those dogs who were recognized with awards for their performance in 2022.

Video: Meet The Versatile Glen

Among the many of its treasures that Ireland has shared with the world, are several beloved breeds of dogs. Among them are four beguiling terriers and perhaps least known of them is the Glen of Imaal Terrier. It has been described variously as a rough-and-ready Sealyham, a miniature Irish Wolfhound, or a Soft Coated Wheaten on short legs, etc. While these descriptions might allude to an aspect of the Glen of Imaal’s profile, they ultimately miss the point. The Glen isn’t a rough-and-ready or miniature anything. It predates many of the breeds to which it is likened and is a truly unique and remarkable creature beloved by most everyone fortunate enough to come into contact with one.

The history of the breed finds its roots in the starkly beautiful Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow. Like its three Irish cousins--the Kerry Blue Terrier, the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, and the Irish Terrier--the Glen of Imaal Terrier was initially bred to rid the home and farm of vermin, and hunt fox and badger. The European badger weighs in at 40 lbs and the Glen was tough and strong enough to go to ground and dispatch the vermin soundlessly.

According to legend the Glen of Imaal also has a unique task which it was expressly designed for: it was a turnspit dog. The turnspit was a large wheel which, when paddled by the dog, would turn the spit over the hearth--a canine-propelled rotisserie, if you will. The Glen’s highly individualized bowed front legs and powerful hindquarters were ideally suited for this. For several hundred years, these hearty dogs performed their tasks unnoticed by all except those who treasured them. With the advent of dog shows in the 19th century, the breed began to emerge into the public eye. In 1934, the Glen of Imaal Terrier was given full recognition by the Irish Kennel Club. It was the third of the four Irish terrier breeds to be so acknowledged. The breed is now recognized by the Kennel Club of Great Britain, FCI, and several rare breed associations. In America the Glen was fully recognized by the American Kennel Club and entered the AKC Terrier Group in October 2004 though the hard efforts of members of the Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America. There are 600-700 Glens registered in the United States.

Owning a Glen of Imaal Terrier can be a unique and rewarding experience...but it is not the breed for everyone. Read on to determine if it might be the right breed for you. 

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