Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is a breed of dog of the terrier category and one of four Irish terrier breeds. It is sometimes called the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier or the Wicklow Terrier, and the name of the breed is often shortened by fanciers to just Glen.The breed originates in, and is named for, the Glen of Imaal in County Wicklow, Ireland. It was recognised first by the Irish Kennel Club in 1934 and most recently by the American Kennel Club in 2004.The Glen reportedly came into existence during the reign of Elizabeth I, who hired French and Hessian (soldiers) mercenaries to put down civil unrest in Ireland. After the conflict, many of these soldiers settled in the Wicklow area. They brought with them their low-slung hounds, which they bred with the local terrier stock, eventually resulting in a distinctive breed that became known as the Glen of Imaal Terrier. The Glen was developed for eradicating vermin such as rat, fox, badger, and otter, and also as a general-purpose working dog for herding. Unlike many other terriers, they are "strong dogs" rather than "sounders"—they were bred to work mute to ground, going silently into dens after their quarry, rather than barking to indicate its location. In trials, they are actually disqualified if they sound at the quarry. According to Irish lore, which is repeated in many descriptions of the breed, Glen of Imaal Terriers were also used as turnspit dogs to turn meat over fires for cooking. However, evidence for this is scarce, and engravings of turnspit dogs from the 19th century do not show much resemblance to the modern Glen. The breed almost died out before being revived in the early twentieth century. Today, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is still one of the rarest breeds of dog (in the US, registered animals number in the hundreds) and the least-known Irish terrier breed.

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