Irish Terriers can be great family pets. Their small size and intelligence make them well suited to being family pets. In addition, they love to play, so they are great companions for children. However, Irish Terriers have some very noticeable characteristics to their behavior that owners should be prepared to deal with in order to enjoy the most benefit from owning an Irish Terrier.
Irish Terriers are daredevils - Irish Terriers are brave to a fault. They are known to love to chase things, including cars, and are often a danger to themselves. You must be prepared for this behavior and train your Irish Terrier accordingly. Obedience training from an early age is a must. It's critical that this breed listens to their master's commands in order to stay out of trouble.
Irish Terriers can be willful - Irish Terriers need plenty of obedience training, but you may find that they are not the easiest dogs to train. They have a stubborn streak that requires plenty of patience and consistency. Begin early and practice daily to ensure that the behaviors you desire from your pet are constantly reaffirmed. Positive reinforcement when your dog has behaved appropriately is far more effective than reprimands for bad behavior. Keep plenty of treats and praise on hand for this breed.
Irish Terriers are hunters - Though the Irish Terrier's small size makes them perfect for living indoors, it's important to remember that they do need appropriate exercise. It's best if your dog can get some time to run off leash, but it's important that he be trained appropriately first, so that he doesn't get away from you. The natural hunting instincts possessed by all Irish Terriers needs an outlet, such as running and chasing a ball or playing hide and seek with a favorite toy.
Irish Terriers must be well contained - A fenced yard for playing is perfect for an Irish Terrier, but the fence must be sturdy and at least five or six feet tall. Irish Terriers are known for their ability to jump and many will jump the fence if given the chance.
Irish Terriers do not always get on well with other dogs - Irish Terriers can be hot tempered, particularly around dogs they don't know. While they'll likely get along well with other dogs in your home, they may well instigate a fight with a strange dog that they come in contact with. It's wise to socialize your dog with other dogs at an early age. But still, you should be prepared for confrontation by keeping your dog on leash whenever there's a possibility that he might come into contact with an unfamiliar dog.
Irish Terriers can be excellent family dogs. They are loyal and affectionate with their families and are playful and friendly companions. When appropriately trained, Irish Terriers are one of the most enjoyable of all dog breeds.