Irish Terriers hold the distinct honor of being the only terrier of solid red coloring. He is also considered to be one the very first European terriers to make the hunting scene. The Irish Terrier is by far the most racy of the terrier group, as his body exudes an athletic and sleek fit, suited to his trademark headlong dash with which he engages threats and enemies. Much is expected of this genuinely intriguing dog when it comes to show quality standards if he is to match the astoundingly heroic and touching reputations of his forefathers on which his standards were built. And if we know anything at all of the regal Irish Terrier it is that he will not fail, he will not falter, he will not disappoint, and he will strut away happily to his beloved family, whatever the outcome.
The stuff that legends are made of, this exemplary dog has inspired centuries old tales of bravery and of stamina, of self sacrifice and loyalty, and of a devoted family member who would lay beside restless and sickly children until the were coaxed to sleep by his calm. A far cry from his little cousin, the Jack Russell Terrier, who would just as soon eat shards of glass as have his ear tugged by a baby, this true and lovely creature lay always between his keep and any possible danger or threat. With the gentle, adoring spirit of a nursemaid, and the instinctively ferocious protection instinct of a mother bear, Irish Terriers have long been entrusted as a premier family dog.
The show quality standards for Irish Terriers are, as mentioned, quite stringent, and slight variances from the model specimen are not tolerated well in the ring. The first impression that this terrier brings to the audience is that of an animal wise beyond his years, yet donning that classic terrier verve for life. His pacing gait should almost jot, allowing judges to get a sense for his streamlined and athletic grace. He is known as speedy, and this should apparent right from the beginning.
His eyes are to express the keen wisdom and intuition for which these dogs are famous, and one may notice that judges tend to gaze a bit longer into the face of this dog than any other. I like to think that they are sharing the secrets of their souls during those few extra seconds, as Irish Terriers enjoy being a shoulder to cry on. When asked to perform, he should light into motion, with a jovial and triumphant happiness, and a wish to be of service to his leader, that shows through to all who look on.