The scrappy Glen of Imaal Terrier originated as a hunter of rodents, fox and badgers. Their fearlessness, speed, and ability to rouse animals from their dens made them efficient in the field, as did their unique ability to hunt silently. Today, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is still fearless and strong and functions mainly as a family companion. Like all Terriers, the Glen of Imaal has an independent streak and likes to be the boss of all situations. Though he doesn't bark as often as his terrier cousins, when a Glen barks, many people do a double take. His voice is strong and deep, and sounds like it should be coming from a much bigger animal. They are generally not as high strung as other terriers and are more patient with children than their counterparts.
These little guys don't need an excessive amount of exercise, but enjoy the outdoors and should be walked daily and allowed to run whenever possible. Exercise should be conducted in a fenced area or on a leash, as their chasing instincts are strong and will quickly disappear after cats, squirrels, birds and even bikes or cars.
They are fine for apartments and condos, as well as large homes with yards. They are an adaptable breed and can adjust their own energy levels to the energy level of their owner, however daily walks are still required.
Their willful terrier nature can make the Glen of Imaal a challenge to train, but with gentle, patient and consistent leadership, this breed picks up on new tasks quickly and can excel in advanced training activities. Training should be conducted in short sessions so the Glen doesn't lose interest, and should include lots of treats. They do not respond to harsh treatment or discipline, and these tactics can often backfire, producing a stubborn dog who won't listen to anybody.
Socialization should be conducted early and often, as the Glen of Imaal can be standoffish with new people. Teaching them to accept new people and new situations as welcome experiences can help keep their temperament even.
Though they aren't as “yappy” as other terriers, the Glen of Imaal is still a bit of a barker, especially if someone rings the doorbell. This makes them excellent watchdogs, but if left unchecked, their barking can get out of hand and drive neighbors crazy. Proper socialization and training to obey commands to cease barking are important.
Glens are more patient with small children than other terriers, but are still not well suited for families with toddlers in the house. Small children don't know enough about boundaries, and the way a Glen lets his boundaries known can be to snap. They are fine with older children, however.
Never leave a Glen of Imall terrier unsupervised in the yard. They are serious diggers and can tear up a flowerbed in record time. They have also been known to dig under fences in search of adventure.