The Irish Terrier is probably the oldest of all the terriers to be native to Ireland. However, records of this breed are scarce and therefore, the fact that it is the oldest terrier from Ireland isn't easy to prove. Small-to-medium-sized terrier-like dogs were invaluable to Irish farmers, thus they were common out in the countryside. In the late 19th century, this was the first Irish Terrier breed recognized by the English Kennel Club. Before the 1880's, the color of the breed hadn't been settled. Some were red, but not all of them. Efforts were made to breed out colors like black, tan, and brindle. By the 20th century, all Irish Terriers were red. During the century before they had docked ears, which is a certain sign that shows they were used for fighting. Wow!
The Irish Terrier actually has practically no health problems and isn't prone to many diseases. Exercising the breed isn't as easy as keeping it healthy. Being bred for active work, the Irish Terrier requires a lot of exercise. Make sure you have a secure leash, as the breed can be quarrelsome with other dogs. For this reason, Irish Terriers don't do well with other pets. The breed is also difficult to housebreak. Irish Terriers like to dig, chase things, and explore. It is wise to have a secure yard the dog can't escape from. Early socialization is recommended. The Irish Terrier doesn't shed a whole lot, but it needs dead hair to be removed with a fine-toothed comb and a stiff bristle brush. Bathe the dog only when it's necessary. It makes for a good companion dog as well as a hunter and/or guarding dog. This is a dog that's loyal to its master and it goes well with children if raised with them.
To recap, the Irish Terrier requires exercise and makes a great family dog. It is healthy, so you'll have years of fun with this dog. It is also difficult to housebreak, but given energy and effort, it could be worth it. It has a graceful appearance and can be the best pet for somebody who only plans on having one pet, as they breed is feisty around other pets. See if you've got what it takes to be the rightful owner of what could be your next friend, an Irish Terrier!