FCI Standard No. 139 of the Irish Terrier.
Utilization: Ubiquitous farmyard dog, family pet, guard dog with utter contempt for danger or hurt, hunter and gundog.
Classification: Group 3 (terriers) Section 1 (Large and medium sized Terriers).
Brief Historical Summary: Ireland has produced four terrier breeds, all of which are markedly different from terriers on the continent and in England. The dog now officially called Irish Terrier is possibly the oldest of the Irish Terrier breeds, but records are so scarce that it would be difficult to prove this conclusively. Before the 1880s the colour of the Irish Terrier had not been settled Apart from red, they were sometimes black and tan or sometimes brindle. At the end ofthe 19th century efforts were made to breed out gehe black and tan and the brindles, so that by the 20th century all Irish Terriers showed the red coat. The Irish Terrier´s red coat soon made ist appearance on show benches in England and in the United States where it was enthusiastically received. Their reputation was enhanced during the First World War when they were used as messenger dogs in the terrifying noise and confusion of trench warfare, thus proving both their intelligence and their fearlessness.
The first club in the breed was set up in Dublin on March 31st 1879, and the Irish Terrier was the first member of the terrier group to be recognized by the English Kennel Club in the late 19th century as a native Irish breed. The dog´s reputation for getting into scraps with others, sometimes even in the showring, is undeserved. Though the terrier may be fierce when the circumstances call for it, the Irish Terrier is easily trained and a gentle pet, living up to his early descriptiona as "the poor man´s sentinel, the farmers friend and the genleman´s favourite".
General Appearance: The dog must be an active, lively, lithe and wiry appearance, lots of substance, at the same time free of clumsiness, as speed and endurance as well as power are very essential. They must be neither "cloddy nor cobby" but should be framed on the "lines of speed" showing a graceful "racy outline".
Temperament: The Irish Terrier, while being game an capable of holding his own with other dogs, is remarkably loyal, good tempered, and affectionate with mankind, but once he is attecked he has the courage of a lion and will fight to the bitter end.
Cranial region: Skull flat and rather narrow between the ears getting slightly narrower towards the eyes, free of wrinkles.
Stop: hardly visible except in profile
Nose: must be black
Lips: should be well fitting, and externally almost black in colour
Jaw: must be strong and muscular.
Cheeks: not to full and of good punishing length. There schould be a slight falling away below the eye so as not to have a Greyhound appearance.
Teeth: shoud be strong, level, free from canker, and the to teeth slightly overlapping the lower
Eyes: should be dark in colour, small, not prominent and full of life, fire and intelligence. A yellow or light eye is most objectionable.
Ears: small and v-shaped, of moderate thickness, set well on the head, and dropping forward closely to the cheek. The top line of the folded ear should be well above the level of the head. An ear hanging by the side of the head, like a hound´s, is not characteristic of the terrier, while an ear which is semi-erect is even more undesirable. The hair on the ear should be short, and darker in colour than that on the body.
Neck: Should be of a fair length, and gradually widening towards the shoulders, well carried, and free from throatiness. There is generally a slight sort of frill visible at each side of the neck, running nearly to the corner of the ear.
Body: Should be symmetrical - neither too long nor too short.
Shoulders: must be fine, long and sloping well into the back.
Back: Should be strong and straight, with no appearance of slackness behind the shoulders
Loin: Muscular and very slightly arched.
Chest: Deep and muscular, but neither full or wide. Ribs fairly spring, rather deep than round, and well ribbed back. A bitch may be slightly longer than a dog.
Tail: Should be set on rather hight, carried gaily, but not over the back or curled. It should be of good strength and substance and fairly long - a three-quarters dock is about right, well covered with hard rough hair and free from fringe or feather.
Limbs: Both, fore and hind legs should be moved straight forward when travelling, the stifles not turned outwards.
Forequarters: legs moderately long, well set from the shoulders, perfectly straight, with plenty of bone and muscles; the elbow working freely clear of the sides; pasterns short and straight, hardly noticeable.
Hindquarters:Should be strong and muscular, thighs powerful, hocks near ground, stifles moderately bent.
Feets: should be strong, tolerably round, and moderately small; toes arched, and neither turned out nor in; black toenails most desirable. Pads sound and free from cracks or corny excrescences.
Gait/Movement: Fore and hind legs carried straight forward and parallel, elbows move perpendicular to body, working free of sides stifles neither turning in nor out.
Hair: should be dense and wiry in texture, havin a broken appearance, but still lying flat, the hairs growing so closely and strangly together that when parted with the fingers the skin cannot be seen, free of softness or silkiness and not so long as to hide the outlines of the body, particularly in the hind-quarters, and free of lock or curl. Hair on face of same description as on body, but short (about a quarter of an inch long) in appearance, almost smoth and straight, a slight beard is the only long hair (and it es only long in comparison with the rest) that is permissible, and that is characteristic. A beard like a "goat" is suggestive of there beeing silky and bad hair running through the coat generally. Legs free of feather, and covered, like the head, with as hard texture of coat as body, but not so long.
Color: Should be "whole-coloured", the most preferable being bright red, red-wheaten, or yellow red. White sometimes appears on chest and feet; it is more ojectionable on the latter than on the chest, as a speck of white is frequently to be seen in all self-coloured breeds.
Size and Weight: Height at the withers: approximately 18 inches (45 cm).
Weight: dogs 27 lbs (12,25 kg)
Bitches 25 lbs (11,4 kg)
Notwithstanding the desirable weights mentioned above, it is mainly a question of general appearance, and if adogis over-sized or undersized, it is easily discernable in the ring, whatever ist weight may be. The actual weight, therefore, regardless of other considerations, must not become an obsession, otherwise the wrong type of dog may be brought to the front. For instance a comparatively small, heavily made, cloddy dog - which is not what is wanted - may easily be the standard weight or over it, whereas another which is long in leg, with not the necessary substance, and build somewhat on the lines of a whippet - also not what is wanted - my be the exact weight or under it, which proves that while the standard weights must be borne well in mind, it is not the "last word" in judging, the main thing being to select, as far as possible, those of the generally accepted size, possessing the other necessary charecteristics.
Disqualifying Points :
Nose: any other than black
Moth: Decidedly undershot or overshot.
Colour: any other than red, yellow red, or red-wheaten. A small patch of white on chest is
permissible, as in other whole-coloured breeds.
Feet: corny excrescences or cracks on pads.
Note: male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scotum.