It is believed, that the Glens history began when Queen Elizabeth I hired French and Hessian soldiers to shut down rebellion in Ireland. Those soldiers brought their dogs with them and after the conflict, many of them received a land from the Queen in Wicklow mountains, in area known as the Glen of Imaal. Those soldiers bred their dogs with some local terriers eventually developing a distinctive breed that is today known as the Glen of Imaal Terrier.
2) Turnspit dogs
Interesting fact about the Glen of Imaal Terrier is, that according to legends, they were used as a so called turnspit dogs. A turnspit dog is a a short-legged, long-bodied dog that run on a wheel called turnspit to turn meat. It was basically a dog-operated rotisserie.
Of course, the Glens main purpose was not to work in the kitchen. Most importantly, they were great hunters. They were used to hunt foxes and badger, but also small game such as rats, so they keep the house rodent free. Thanks to their small and long body they were able to follow the prey to underground.
4) Silent Terrier
Most of the terriers are known to be very vocal. The Glen of Imaal Terrier is different. Unlike other terriers they were bred to work mute to ground, going silently into dens after their quarry. And even today, Glens are known for being pretty quiet. Most people also claim, that they are gentlier than other terriers.
5) Glen sit
Another interesting fact about the Glen of Imaal Terrier is the their sitting posture which is not commonly seen in other breeds and which is known as a Glen Sit. They sit on their hind legs and hold the rest of their body body in a vertical fashion. But of course, Glens normally sit just like other dogs do.
Well, Glens were bred to hunt prey under the ground, so it is only logical that they love digging. Especially if they will not get enough exercise, they will probably dig up your flower garden in a few moments. On the other hand, they natural tendency to dig and catch makes them perfect fit for earth dog trials, where they can find a scent and follow it to a den and work with a quarry. They also do good in agility.
This breed is named after the Glen of Imaal which is a remote glen in the western Wicklow Mountains in Ireland. Sometimes the breed is also known as the Wicklow Terrier, after the mountains. Or you can just call them Glens or Glennies.
I would say, that if you are looking for a family companion and you like terriers, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of the best choices. They are less vocal, gentlier more even tempered and easygoing than most of the other terriers. They are also pretty smart and learns new commands quickly, but they know how to be stubborn, so patient training is required. They also have high prey drive and they will most likely follow and try to hunt down other animals, especially if they are running away from them.
This is a small and long, but also very strong dog with average height between 12-14 inches, which is 30-36 cm and weigh approximately 35 pounds, which is 15 kg. Females are little bit smaller than males.
Glens are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they're prone to certain health conditions, like progressive retinal atrophy, skin defects and many of them have Overeating Tendencies and possible problems with becoming obese. The typical lifespan is between 13-15 years.