Appearance and personality

Short-legged and heavily built, willful and good with children, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is full of surprises. Here are some basics to get you started.


Glens are medium-sized dogs with very short limbs, just like human dwarves. They have rose or half-pricked ears and a double coat. Unlike other terriers, Glens’ feet are turned out—more like the Basset Hounds or the Cardigan Welsh Corgis. This is most likely a reminiscent of the fact that Glens were initially used for badger hunting.

Glens look like such cute fur-balls in pictures. But don’t be fooled by this first impression. Glens are heavy, substantive dogs. It may be hard to tell how impressive they are at first glance but keep in mind they’re big strong dogs on short legs.

At just 12 1/2 – 14’’ (around 35cm) high, adult male Glens often weigh over 44lbs (about 20kg). Each country has different standards regarding the weight. But what you need to remember is that we’re dealing with a powerful and strong kind of dog!


Glen Terriers’ personality is bigger than their looks.

Which means they’re NOT for everyone. Fanciers might fall in love with their scruffy appearance and kind, intelligent eyes. However, take heed: the strong appearance translates into an equally strong personality. In other words, YOU may end up with a new boss running your household if you don’t show this dog a bit of structure. In fact, your Glen enjoys you teaching him some good manners. So, it’s best to establish a working relationship based on mutual respect.

Owning a Glen may seem like a challenge but don’t get discouraged. You’ll win a highly intelligent partner to bring a smile on your face. Glens are bold and gleeful. They can open zippers or doors and will never let you get bored.

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How do Glens behave with other dogs?

When it comes to getting along with other dogs, Glen of Imaal Terriers certainly have a street rep. While young pups play nice with other dogs, a mature Glen can be scrappy especially with other glens of the same sex. That’s why it’s so important to socialize puppies properly so they learn to work and play well with other dogs.

Glens also have a strong prey drive. That means they can be unreliable off lead. When they give chase, they tend to have selective hearing.

Glens often get along well with other breeds even with small or fragile dogs. Many glen owners find that a male and female glen make for a happy household but a multiple glens home requires a bit of experience and management.

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How do Glens behave with other animals?

A Glen of Imaal Terrier will consider any small animal its prey, especially rodents. Unless he’s been raised with a cat, a Glen is likely to chase it. And unfortunately, the cat is likely not to survive the encounter. Puppies can be socialized to leave it alone but the prey instinct is quite strong because this breed still retains a lot of its working roots.

How do Glens behave with children?

A loyal and loving breed, Glen of Imaal Terriers are usually wonderful with children. They enjoy playing as much as kids. So, they make great fun companions. Word of advice though, young children shouldn’t walk Glens on a lead. A quick tug from this low-to-the-ground dog can easily sweep them off their feet.