Prudence is a model!
See the cozy hemp collar she models.
by Ara Lynn
|Ara Lynn was
named a Life Member of the Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America on October 9, 2010 for
her "dedication, unflinching honesty and personal sacrifice in the service of our
Ara Lynn handled Ballyfoyle Scoobie to the first AKC Champion Glen of Imaal Terrier
dog in 2004.
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The most informative Glen of
Imaal Terrier site including Glen sketches by Irish artist Louisa Nally, links to
kennels, photos of important foundation dogs and more.
on this Page
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[ AKC CH Ballyfoyle
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THE GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER
evidence that the Glen of Imaal Terrier is a centuries-old breed, but until recently it
has not been well-known even in its native country. It originated in a place called the
Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow, Ireland.
Serving as all-around farm dogs, to guard and work livestock, to eradicate
vermin, to hunt fox, badger, otter, mink, and so on, these earth dogs (terriers) were also
reputedly used to turn kitchen treadmills, spits and churns, and in dog-fighting.
|The Glen of Imaal Terrier was first recognized by the Irish Kennel Club in 1934, and
the Kennel Club of England in 1975. It has been recognized in many countries by Federacion
Cynologique Internationale (FCI). After a couple of decades establishing its presence in
the United States, the Glen of Imaal Terrier finally achieved full AKC recognition on
October 1, 2004.
1934 Irish Kennel Club Show
description of the Glen of Imaal Terrier as an antique breed is probably apt in terms of
character as well as conformation. The Glen has retained its qualities of versatility,
intelligence and ruggedness. This is not a cookie-cutter breed, and even within a litter
there is often variation. Its character and temperament are best described as complex.
It is a tough and fearless dog, and before the badger trials were outlawed
in Ireland in 1966, the Glen was required to earn its "Teastas Misneach," or
Dead Game Certificate, in order to win a Championship. This meant silently drawing a
badger from its den within a specified time. The Glen tends to be a quiet dog in general,
barking only when necessary, although a Glen wanting your attention or bemoaning being
left alone can have an enormous vocabulary.
In play, Glens tend to prefer games of tackle over tag. While possessing
the energy and tenacity of terriers when called upon, the Glen of Imaal has an
un-terrier-like, laid-back temperament. It is affectionate and easy-going.
Most Glens are gentle, friendly and trustworthy with
children, patient, and not constantly demanding attention. It loves to play, yet also
knows how to sit calmly and wait patiently for attention. Although a Glen may choose a
special person, it works well as a family dog. It is often happy to make friends with
whomever is willing to pay it attention. It is loyal and tends not to wander, and in fact
prefers physical proximity to its owner.
It makes an excellent companion and learns quickly, always impressing
obedience instructors, although Glen of Imaal Terriers can get bored with formal obedience
routines if you are not careful. Glens love agility and earth dog activities, and also
make excellent therapy dogs.
Glens have character. They are thinking dogs, and quickly understand what
their owners want. They love to please their owners and respond best to positive
reinforcement, such as words of praise or a pat, for jobs well done. A verbal scolding is
usually sufficient reprimand.
Sometimes, however, Glens can be quite stubborn. Owners must be prepared
to be firm and consistent. It is usually best to avoid treats for training Glens, so they
don't over-focus on food and owners don't get in the habit of bribing Glens to do their
housetrain very quickly, others require months. Some Glens love the water, others sink
like a stone, so owners need to be careful until they are familiar with their dog's
We have found the Glen to be an easy dog to live with. It does not thrive
in kennels, preferring a human environment where it can use its intelligence and enjoy its
owners' companionship. It has few parallels as a weather-hardy, working dog. Adult Glens
can easily handle two-mile walks.
Most Glens enjoy riding in the car and do not need tranquilizers for
airline travel. Veterinarians who meet Glens marvel at their calm temperament, even as
Strong dogs both physically and mentally, Glen of Imaal Terriers regard
themselves as large dogs and have a hard time imagining that anything--a bigger dog, a
car--could hurt them.
Be very careful around roads. As earth dogs, Glens are comfortable being
underneath things, and being short, can see right beneath the undercarriage of a vehicle
to the other side. Good fences are the best way to prevent problems.
Glens usually prefer to avoid a fight but are fully capable of defending
themselves. Some Glens become dog aggressive as they mature, either by nature or in
response to aggressive acts by other dogs. Good early socialization and firm guidance may
help to avoid this but owners should be observant and use common sense. Occasionally Glens
have been known to kill small, yappy, dogs in their own households when they got fed up
with the noise and aggression. Glens have also been known to kill cats, raccoons, skunks
However, Glens will usually get along well with other dogs, cats, birds
and other pets if they are raised with them from puppy hood. On several occasions we have
also successfully re-homed certain adult Glens with cats, depending on the individual dog
and knowledgeable owners.
Standard calls for a shoulder height of 12-1/2 to 14 inches. Glens can be shorter and
occasionally taller. Glens typically weigh 35 to 45 pounds, so you can imagine what a
muscular, heavy-boned breed this is, with its big head and broad chest. It has a long
body, short legs and an oddly rising topline. Its front legs are bowed with its front feet
turning out. Its tail is docked at half length. This allows a safe handle for pulling a
working Glen out of a hole, as well as a rapid, rat-a-tat-a-tat wag from a happy Glen. Its
colors are wheaten (from a light wheaten to a reddish shade), and blue-brindle (from light
silvery-blues to very dark). It is a shaggy, double-coated dog which essentially does not
shed. Therefore a Glen should be stripped two to three times a year to remove the
"dead" hairs, neaten the coat and reduce any tendancy toward matting.
Some people with allergies to dogs can tolerate Glens, but other allergic
people develop a reaction that may intensify until the person eventually must give the
Glen up. It is best for an allergic person to expose him or herself thoroughly to a Glen
before making an ownership commitment. Glens do not have a strong "doggie odor."
Glens tend to have good appetites and efficient metabolisms. Their food
should not be too rich or abundant. Please give them sufficient exercise to prevent
getting fat. This will extend their lives and help prevent health problems. Adult Glens
would appreciate a brisk 20-30 minute daily walk, and are capable of more. Although Glens
don't particularly care for hot weather, some have made adjustments to tropical areas.
is simply a matter of an occasional bathing and brushing as frequently as your tastes
A slicker works well for brushing.
the coat gets long enough that it mats often, it is probably time to strip the dog. This
is a simple procedure requiring an hour or so for an adult Glen.
||It involves pulling out the long hairs of the outer coat, and it does
not hurt the dog if you wait until the coat is ready to be stripped. If the hairs don't
come out easily, the dog is not yet ready to be stripped.
In general, Glens are a strong breed, robust and healthy. Their lifespan
is around 10-13 years, although a few Glens live to 14 or even as much as 17.
technically exists in about 30% of Glens, although it does not appear to cause symptoms in
the dogs, probably because of their low-to-the-ground structure and their massive muscling
in the loin area.
More care must be taken with the front end. As a chondrodysplastic
breed, Glens are supposed to have a crooked front with front feet turned out.
This structure leaves the growing Glen puppy susceptible to growth plate fractures
(premature closure of the distal ulna), so going down steep stairs, jumping out of cars or
off couches or beds should be discouraged until the growth plates have closed, around one
year of age.
If a puppy starts limping on a front leg (commonly between four and ten
months of age), immediately enforce crate rest and curtail any activity that leads to
excessive force on the joints. Your vet may want to follow up with x-rays. Careful
attention during this time period may be sufficient to avoid surgery that is sometimes
Fortunately we now have a simple blood test for the
recently discovered genetic mutation that causes PRA in Glens. Dogs affected with this
inherited disease, known as crd3, usually develop late-onset progressive blindness. An excellent power point presentation by Alison Seale in the UK
explains the disease, the international history of the research, & the use of the
In short, Glen breeders now have the tools to avoid ever again creating a
blind dog. As long as at least one parent in a mating has two normal/clear genes,
none of the puppies will ever go blind from crd3. Breeders MUST make use of the
blood test for their breeding stock to accomplish this!
It is unnecessary, and probably unwise for the health of our gene pool, to
insist that both parents always have two normal/clear genes, since over 50% of Glens are
associated with the mutation, either as carriers (the majority) or affecteds. We
simply cannot afford to throw away half of our gene pool and still expect to maintain
desired characteristics and health of our breed.
Statistically, by always ensuring that at least one parent is
normal/clear, we can eliminate the disease in about five generations while still
maintaining 95% of our desired breed characteristics and genetic diversity. This
could take at least a couple of decades, but if we are patient and careful, we will still
have a genuine Glen of Imaal Terrier breed to work with.
The Glen has a very limited gene pool and a history of inbreeding, which
increases the risk of inheriting genetic diseases. The Glen is very lucky to have
come up with only one notable inherited disease so far, and even luckier to now have a
solution for it.
To minimize the serious and detrimental effects of genetic bottlenecking,
it is recommended that breeders pay attention not only to pedigrees, but also to
inbreeding coefficients. It is strongly recommended to have inbreeding coefficients
below 25%; I personally strive for less than 20%, although this is not easy.
An excellent resource for depth of pedigree and inbreeding coefficient information is the Glen of Eden Database.
This volunteer, international database for Glen of Imaal Terriers was widely used by the
university researchers in both Europe and America while pursuing our PRA problem.
Glen breeders can sign up for a
password to access the database, which includes many ancestor pictures as well as both
PRA exam status for previous years and now the more reliable genetest results.
My interest in Glen of Imaal Terriers arose from my search for a working farm dog that
would control rodents, help with our livestock, protect the grounds from strays, and be
good with our then-preschool children. We have been very happy with our Glens. Since 1989
I have experienced many aspects of the Glen, including showing, grooming, obedience and
working, as well as breeding.
to the breed has included helping establish the original and largest breed club in the
U.S., The Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of
America (GITCA). I have been a member of the Board of Directors and a former
Registrar. My breed research has included trips to Ireland, England, Denmark and France. I
am a member of the GITCA Health Committee and PRA Task Team, and am involved the PRA
research effort for Glens being conducted at Cornell University and the University of
I am also one of several organizers of an informal group of Glen enthusiasts in the New
England area. Every fall we hold a the Glen Gathering in central
Massachusetts. It is a great opportunity to see lots of Glens and meet their
owners. If you live too far away, you can share in this special community by
subscribing to the Glen Gathering Newsletter, which gives info on the upcoming
Gathering, and afterwards shares stories and links to lots and lots of photos taken by
attendees. The Glen Gathering Newsletter comes out approximately three times a year,
your e-mail address is never shared with others, and the subscription is free.
below to get our free
Glen Gathering Newsletter
I enjoy handling my own Glens in the show ring, and finished several ARBA
Champions from the early days when rare breed organizations were our only venue. In 1997
our bred-by-exhibitor ARBA and CRS CH Liberty Belle became the FCI World Champion Bitch in
Glen of Imaal Terriers, as well as a FCI International and Puerto Rican Champion.
In 2003, Glen of Imaal Terriers entered AKC Miscellaneous class. At Montgomery
County Kennel Club all-Terrier show of that year, at the age of 10-1/2 months, my
owner-handled Irish Import stud dog Ballyfoyle Scoobie won best dog in a field of a dozen
Glen dogs. The following year Scoobie became the first AKC Glen of Imaal Terrier
Champion with three consecutive five point majors.
In the six following years, at least nine Liberty-bred Glens earned AKC titles, including
eight conformation Champions and one Agility dog with two titles. At least two
Liberty Glens have been certified as Therapy dogs. In 2010, based on my breeding
record and my dedication to healthy Glens, I became one of the first AKC Breeders of
Merit in Glen of Imaal Terriers.
Also in 2010, after more than a decade of persistent work towards helping find the
mutant crd3 gene that caused PRA in our breed, I was named a Life Member of the national
AKC breed club, the Glen of Imaal Terrier
Club of America, for my "dedication, unflinching honesty and personal
sacrifice in the service of our beloved breed."
My profile of Glens published in the Feb/March 2010 issue of the Canadian dog magazine "Canine Review"
was praised by AKC judge Sandra Goose Allen as one of the best breed articles she has ever
My steadfast goal in breeding Glens is to maintain the original integrity of this unique
breed, and to the best of my ability to preserve its genetic diversity, so that new owners
can continue to experience the joys of knowing and loving Glen of Imaal Terriers.
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Other Glen Sites
|If you are looking for a Glen of Imaal Terrier puppy,
the Glen Breeders of Merit website has a breeder referral list to other Glen of Imaal
Terrier AKC Breeders of Merit.
Probably the most important and valuable website for the health of our breed is:
Glen of Eden Website and Data Base
Kudos to the people who have volunteered their time and resources to make this thorough
and extensive database available to serious Glen researchers.
Searchable pedigree database includes PRA and heartcheck results, some picture
pedigrees. Access is for registered users only. Register online from the
"Database" page, or use this link.
|The AKC Breed Standard
is the International umbrella organization for kennel clubs in countries other than the
U.S., Great Britain, and Canada. Here you can find FCI show information and
country-of-origin breed standards for all 339 FCI recognized breeds.
|Home of Homer, a nice, substantial
dog and definitely the most titled Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier in the world
||Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier Sporting Club of Ireland
an Irish organization dedicated to maintaining the working abilities so crucial to the
temperament of the Glen of Imaal Terrier.
Club information, membership, show & event information, and photo galleries.
Glen Gathering (USA),
an informal group of Glen owners and enthusiasts who get together to have fun and learn
with other owners and Glens every September in New England. Or sign up for the Glen
Gathering Newsletter, a free e-mail newsletter that comes out approximately three times a
Subscribe to the
Glen Gathering Newsletter
British-based Photo Archives
with loads of pictures from shows as well as informal galleries, mostly from Great Britain
but including a few other places as well.
British Glen site
Originally a rescue site; this site lays out very bluntly the challenges of
the Glen of Imaal Terrier's complex nature.
Interesting historical photos and a clever and sobering interactive quiz to determine
whether you can handle a Glen. I do not agree that no Glen can ever be trusted throughout
its lifetime with other small animal pets like birds, cats, rabbits, hamsters, etc., (some
Glens live quite harmoniously with such, but you MUST train it thoroughly and you must be
regarded by your Glen as the pack leader to be successful with this. It helps to start out
with a puppy.) I certainly do agree that you must be willing and able to be the boss if
you want to live happily with a Glen (which, by the way, will make your Glen happy, too.)
Just in case you would like to explore other Rare Breeds.