The Irish Terrier, also known as the Irish Red Terrier, has a rich heritage as a working farm dog. It originally was bred to control vermin, guard rural Irish farms and families and work as a reliable and skilled hunting companion, both in water and on land. The distinctive Irish Terrier is one the oldest of the four terrier breeds and is the only terrier that is always red in color. The Irish Terrier was approved by the American Kennel Club in 1885 as a member of its Terrier Group.
The average Irish Terrier stands approximately 18 inches at the shoulder. Males should weigh 27 pounds, and bitches should weigh 25 pounds, in top show condition. The short, wiry double coat of this breed acts as a tight, well-insulated, water-resistant jacket. It requires only moderate regular grooming but should be hand-stripped several times a year. Its color must be solid and can range from bright red to golden red, or from red wheaten to wheaten. A small splash of white on its chest is permissible but not desired.