Irish Terrier as the name denotes, is a representative of the Emerald Isle, and it is well known that Irishmen, of what ever rank they may be, whether gentlemen, farmers, or cottiers, have always been noted sportsmen, and there is no doubt whatever that a sporting terrier has been kept in Ireland for many generations, as they are referred to in old Irish manuscripts. They are described by an old Irish writer as being the poor man’s sentinel, the farmer’s friend, and the gentleman’s favourite.
These dogs were originally bred not so much for their looks as for their working qualities and gameness, the Irish Terrier being by instinct a thorough vermin killer. They were formally of all types and all colours, black and tan, grey and brindle, wheaten of all shades, and red being the predominant colours. Colour or size evidently did not matter if they were hardy and game.