IT Training and Friendliness

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Barked: Tue Sep 4, '12 10:31pm PST 
I'm seriously thinking of getting an Irish Terrier to add to my household where I will be the primary caregiver. I've done a bunch of research, but now I'm curious about a few things:

-Does anyone here do obedience/rally/agility/tracking/disc/etc. with their ITs? How quickly did you feel the dog picked things up? Is there a sport that ITs specifically like/might excel at?

-Does anyone walk their dog off-leash for either short spurts or whole walks? I know they're not the ideal dog for this, but I wonder if anyone has put some serious time and training into this and what there results are.

-Did anyone here clicker train their Irish? Did you feel it made a difference with your IT as opposed to other dogs/IT you may have trained in the past using other methods?

-How dog-unfriendly and stranger-unfriendly are ITs really? Many descriptions depict them as very headstrong and not very peaceful with other dogs, but how is that truly playing out now that we're in a contemporary society where the dogs and their parents are mostly companions with typically higher socialization opportunities than the dogs of our past?

-How much does your Irish Terrier bark? I've heard many different opinions on this.

Much of my internet research has shown me two things: 1 most of the information comes from the same source, often with the same verbiage and/or 2 much of the information is a little outdated, even the breed standard describes the dogs as smaller than what they typically are nowadays. So here I am asking Irish Terrier owners their opinions. Thanks in advance for the advice! =]

Member Since
Barked: Mon Mar 18, '13 3:55pm PST 
Hi, maybe by now you have an IT but I've just read your questions and thought maybe my answer could still be of some use (sorry for my English laugh out loud

I have two Irish terriers both males and even though they have the tipical breed characteristics they are quite different.

- I do blood tracking with both and they excel in it (and love it as well). We tried coursing last summer and they liked it, too. I haven't tried agility with them yet and as for obedience, one of them likes it the other one is bored and doesn't give a ... laugh out loud

- Walks: they can go off-leash when we take a walk in the fields but I would never-ever do this in a wood or in the city (especially because in the woods huntsmen can shoot them).

- One of them I trained with clicker but I didn't feel any difference. It wasn't easier (for me)

- Dog-friendliness: my younger IT is not neutered but he gets on quite well with other dogs. He's dominant also but he never provokes fights (and with hard work I could teach him not to answer other dogs' provoking behavior). The other IT is very-very dominant and I suffer with him a lot confused We adopted him last summer at the age of 3 and from puppyhood he had a very mild tempered, unstable owner who couldn't and didn't control him so we have a lot of work with him. They don't tolerate harsh handling at all so you must be tricky and find a way to be the leader (I strongly advise the books of Jan Fennell) This is not an easy breed in this sense no matter what others say (I love them also and I'd never choose another breed yet it takes a LOT of patience to get on with them). Our Airedale terrier (and other Airedales according to their owners' I know) is a much easier case. Both my ITs like strangers even ones they shouldn't

big grin

- One of our ITs bark rarely the other barks more but not irritatingly much big grin

- the size of these dogs: one of ours is 49cm tall the other is 54 which is huge laugh out loudlaugh out loud 49cm is 'small' today for an Irish. IT bitches I know are between 45,5-49cm tall. There have always been debates as for the size. Of course most breeders try to breed dogs with correct size but when there's an outstanding dog his height shouldn't be that big a problem.

I hope I could help you wave