Irish Terriers can make wonderful pets for singles or families. They are intelligent dogs that are loyal and affectionate with their owners and that make fun and playful companions. However, Irish Terriers require more obedience training than some other breeds.
Irish Terriers are known for being willful and hot tempered. They are also courageous to the point of being daredevils, a trait that can be dangerous for them. Some of the behaviors you can expect from an Irish Terrier include:
Confronting strange dogs
Refusing to obey commands
To prevent these traits from posing problems, it's important to begin obedience training at an early age and to be very consistent and patient with your training.
First and foremost, you'll need to work with your dog as long as is necessary to ensure that he obeys the most important commands from you without hesitation. These include "come", "sit", "stay", and "down". These commands will come in very handy when your dog tries to run from your yard to chase a car or is about to leave you for any other reason. Because of the Irish Terrier's willful nature, you can expect it to take a while before your dog obeys your commands instantly and consistently. Lavish the praise on him when he obeys and he'll eventually get the message that life is more fun when he listens.
Your dog will also need proper leash training. It is critical that your dog be comfortable and compliant on a leash as you will need to use a leash extensively with this breed. Because of their temper and tendency to confront other dogs, you cannot trust them off leash in any area where another dog might be encountered.
You'll also need to ensure that your yard is equipped for your Irish Terrier if he will be outdoors unsupervised. A fence that is at least 5-6 feet high is a must in order to keep your dog confined and prevent him from chasing cars and getting into other mischief.
Many experts recommend obedience classes for any breed of dog, but they may be especially important if you own an Irish Terrier. Particularly for the novice dog owner, the Irish Terrier can be quite a handful, and some expert advice and training might be in order. Visit your local pet supply stores and your veterinarian to learn about dog obedience classes in your local area.
Once trained, the Irish Terrier is an excellent pet. They are loyal and brave and make great watchdogs and family members. Just keep in mind that this breed requires some extra special attention when it comes to training.