TERRIER GLEN OF IMAAL
Let’s Talk Breed Education!
Judging the GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER
By Mary McDaniel, DVM Judges Education Chair, Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America
lthough Glens were fully recognized by AKC in 2004, they are still a mystery to many observers. Th ey are not a typical terrier and
the rear, and are longer than tall. Th ese are the hallmarks of the breed and should never be lost. When judging a Glen, you should first look at the outline. Glens should be pro- portionately 3:5, with 3 being the tallest height at the shoulder blades and 5 being the length of body from sternum to but- tocks. Th e topline should rise in a straight line from the back of the withers to the tail. Th ere should be no roach or drop- o ff at the croup and the loin should be short and strong. Th ere should be a shelf behind the tail and relatively short hocks. Front and rear angulation should match and allow for free movement and agility. ‘Overall balance is more important than any single specification.’ Once you have established breed type, you can start evaluating the individual merits of each dog. Glens should be judged on the ground, but always examined on the table. Th at is because thedogs are oftenmore comfortable on the ground and will give a more honest picture of their outline. Movement & Size When gaiting the dogs prior to tabling, you should look for free and even movement, e ff ortless ground covering,
and good reach and drive. Glens should move cleanly coming and going. Many judges are surprised at how well a good Glen can move! Glens range in height from 12 ½ to 14 " , but the weight is approximately 35 lbs., bitches somewhat less. ( Th e origi- nal Irish Standard does not allow any leeway on the upper weight, stating only 35 lbs.) Th e standard also calls for ‘the impression of maximum substance for size’. It does not state that bigger is bet- ter. Th is gives us a great deal of informa- tion on the intended mass of the breed. Glens should always be well-muscled and in good working shape. But they should not be built like Sumo wrestlers. I compare them to middle-weight box- ers—fit, strong, agile, and muscular, but not overly massive. A dog that is cumber- some cannot perform the job for which it was bred. Examining the Glen Glens are friendly and confident, so there should be no problemwith examining them on the table. A shy or aggressive Glen is not normal and should not be rewarded.
their conformation breaks many of the rules of ‘correctness’. However, if a judge learns to embrace the di ff erences, he can appreciate a great Glen when it walks into his ring. Th e Glen of Imaal Terrier is a very old breed that dates back to the 1500s. It developed in relative obscurity and isola- tion in the Glen of Imaal, County Wick- low, Ireland as a vermin dog and farm terrier. Th e Glen’s most touted function was to go to ground after badger, dis- patch it in the den and, sometimes, drag it out. Th e task required a specific size and conformation that we seek to pre- serve in the breed. Antique Features Th e Glen of Imaal Terrier maintains certain features that were typical of all dwarf terriers in the early years. Th ey have a large head with small rose or half-prick ears, a slight bowing of the forequarters and turnout of pasterns, a straight rise to
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“The Glen’s most touted function was to go to ground after badger, dispatch it in the den and, sometimes, drag it out. THE TASK REQUIRED A SPECIFIC SIZE AND CONFORMATION THAT WE SEEK TO PRESERVE IN THE BREED.”
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GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER
By Colleen Dougherty
Glens are generally good with chil- dren but supervision is essential. Because of their low center of gravity, Glens can knock children down in their exuber- ance. A Glen is a stoic breed and an own- er must take care to understand their dog and its reactions to ensure that it is not in pain or distress. Trainability & Versatility Irish folklore and fables also hint at the Glen as being a dog which would turn a spit or churn in the Irish home. Although this story may be the kind of which Irish tales are made, there are some illustrations showing the prospect. It does, however, illustrate the versatility of the Glen. Glens excel at nearly anything they set their mind to. However, it must be their idea. Glens can be stubborn but are food and praise motivated. Glens succeed at go-to-ground trials such as Earthdog and Strongdog. Th ese trials are similar to those held in Ireland to test a terrier’s game- ness. Earthdog requires a Glen to army crawl into a nine inch by nine inch tun- nel and “work” the caged rats at the end of the tunnel. Strongdog, a nod to the larger working terriers, requires a Glen to negotiate a ten inch by ten inch tunnel to retrieve a weighted badger pelt and drag it back through the tunnel to its handler. In a new but similar activity, Glens are tear- ing up the Barnhunt trials. For Barnhunt, Glens utilize their sense of smell to locate rats hidden throughout a barn type loca- tion. Th eir sense of smell also allows Glens to succeed in Nosework and Tracking. In addition to the traditional terrier activi- ties, Glens participate in obedience and rally. Glens also thoroughly enjoy agility and have competed on a national level. Lure coursing, typically thought of for sight hounds like greyhounds, is also a new activity in which Glens excel. Lure cours- ing consists of chasing a lure (think a fake bunny or bag) around a circular course at a high rate of speed. Th is activity really plays
he Glen of Imaal Ter- rier is first and fore- most a terrier of func- tion. Glens, as they are a ff ectionately called, began in a remote area
of Ireland in the Wicklow Mountains as a farmer’s dog. Glens are an achondroclas- tic, or dwarf, breed. Glens are a medium sized dog with short legs. With an average weight of about 35 to 40 pounds and a height of 12 ½ ”-14” at the withers, Glens are a short, sturdy and solid breed. Origi- nally, Glens were asked to keep vermin, large and small, at bay. Glens were devel- oped to go to ground and kill badger in the den. Glens are built to accomplish this task by its slightly bowed front legs that push dirt out from under their undercar- riage and by its rose and half prick ears. Th e shape of a Glen’s ears is to keep them close to their skull and away from the snapping jaws of a badger in a den. With respect to its proportions and structure, the magic numbers of the Glen are three and five. Th e proper propor- tion of a Glen is three in height to five in length. Th ink of a 3 x 5 card. It should be just a bit longer than tall. Furthermore, the ratio of the length of muzzle to the length of skull is also 3 to 5. Personality A typical Irish personality, Glens are intelligent with a tendency to be stubborn, and have a sense of humor all their own. Make no mistake, they are terriers. Terriers were bred to hunt, chase and kill vermin. Th ey are quiet and determined hunters. Quiet is not necessarily silent. Glens will bark but they are not like other terriers that bark incessantly or without purpose. As with most terriers, Glens are not a cat’s best friend but it does depend on the cat and the Glen. Glens can be in multiple dog house- holds but one must pay special attention to address any prey drive or dominance issues.
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to a terrier prey drive without the use of another animal as in Earthdog. Because of their sensitive nature and peculiar look, Glens are well suited for therapy and service dog work. You can find them in libraries helping children read as well as giving comfort to those in hospice care. Th ere are a number of Glens that enjoy boating and frolick- ing in the sand and surf under the watchful eyes of their own- ers. It should be noted that Glens are not capable swimmers as their short legs cannot paddle adequately to keep their sub- stantive bodies afloat. Many Glens have drowned in backyard ponds and pools as they do not fear the water. Many owners ease this concern by utilizing life jackets for their Glens. Grooming As far as colors, Glens come in three basic colors, wheaten, blue and brindle. Wheaten can be as light as nearly a cream and as dark as a red wheaten. Brindle includes grizzle and any shade of blue brindle. Glens also come in livers and blacks but neither color is acceptable. Glens have a double coat, a harsh outer coat covering a softer undercoat. Grooming a Glen entails regular brushing to keep the coat from matting and to keep dirt from accumulating. Th e coat is hand stripped to maintain the harsh texture and to keep from getting long and matted. Another option for dogs that are not competing in conformation events is to clipper them. However, you may lose the harsh texture and original color of the Glen jacket once clippered. Health Concerns Puppy buyers should inquire of their breeders as to the required testing of the parents. Glens should be tested for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy. Th ere are genetic markers for progressive retinal atrophy which is a disease that can eventually lead to blindness.
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Th e proportions of the skull are 3:5 muzzle to skull. Th ere should be a pronounced stop and a strong foreface with good fill under the eyes. Th e skull is slightly domed and when viewed from the top, will be somewhat square. Glens have full dentition and a scissors (preferred) or level bite. Th ey are not under- or over- shot. Pigment is always black. Eyes are medium sized, round, set well apart and brown. When examining the shoulders and forelegs, you should feel a slight wrap of the upper arm. Th e humerus and scapula should be of equal length—short upper arms are not correct! Th e feet should turn out slightly from the pasterns. Th is is in no way a fiddle-front and the turn out should not be exaggerated. Check for dogs that are pinched elbows or out at the elbow. Th e chest should extend below the elbow. Th e topline should be strong and rise in a relatively straight line from the back of the withers to the (high) onset of the tail. Th e tail should be carried gaily (happily) from about 12-2. Th e tail should be docked to about half-length, but undocked tails should not be penalized. Th e loin must be strong to protect the back., and should be short compared to the length of the rib cage. Th e ribs should be well-sprung and never slab-sided. Th e hindquarters are strong, well-muscled and have a well-defined second thigh. Th e hocks should be short and a good bend of stifle is desirable. Glens should not be cow- hocked. Length of leg is not addressed in our Standard. Glens should appear balanced and have enough leg to perform as a working farm terrier. Legs that are too short restrict movement and agility, legs that are too long destroy type. Balance is the key. Color, Coat & Grooming Glens come in all shades of wheaten, blue and brindle. No color is preferred over another, but these are the only allow- able colors. Th e pigment is always black. Glens have a double coat, with a harsh outer coat and soft undercoat. Th e coat over the body should be of medium length (1"-2 " ), with the furnishings longer and softer. Th e exact length of the coat is not as important as the texture. Th is is a working dog and requires a harsh coat that will pro- tect its body. Long, soft coats pick up debris and are not desir- able. Th e Standard states that over-trimming of dogs is unde- sirable. Th is does not mean that they should not be shown clean, brushed and shaped. It does mean that the dogs should never be scissored or highly stylized. Clean up on the pads and hygienic areas with shears is acceptable. Faults Any departure from the Standard is considered a fault and should be penalized to the degree from which it departs. Full- drop or prick ears, and over-trimming are undesirable. Light eyes should be penalized. Th ere are no specific disqualifications.
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- The Glen of Imaal Terrier – A Brief but Action -Packed History
By Bruce Sussman
The name of our
tracts of land in the largely barren moun- tains of County Wicklow. Among those tracts was but one jewel, the Glen of Imaal. The sol- diers did Elizabeth’s bidding effectively and happily accept- ed their payment since none of them were landowners and even this barren land was more than they had to begin with. Finding the one place that they deemed habitable, they proceeded to settle the Glen of
breed is good launching point for a discussion of the history of the Glen of Imaal Terrier. The breed is named after a valley in the Wicklow Mountains, which dominate the northern region of County Wicklow, Ireland. County Wicklow itself is sit- uated on Ireland’s east coast, south of Dublin. It is Ireland’s
least populated county and the
Wicklow Mountains are Ireland’s most
remote region. Smack dab in the center of this hard-to-reach place is a lovely valley, the Glen of Imaal. This bit of geogra- phy speaks to a great extent about why our breed is and has been so little known and has come down to us unrefined by fashion—geographic isolation is very much a factor in the development and history of the Glen. And while we’re on the subject of our breed’s name, let me add that we are quickly becoming the most misspelled AKC breed. There’s one ‘n’ in Glen, double ‘a’ and a single ‘l’ in Imaal. They usually get ‘of’ right. Usually…not always. Most terrier enthusiasts know that the historical trail with regard to the development of all the terrier breeds tends to evaporate in the early 19th century—about 1820 or so. We are fortunate in our breed, largely because of the specificity of its place of origin, to know quite a bit about how this unique creature came about. In the late 16th century—around 1570— England’s Queen Elizabeth I faced what most every British monarch has faced—an Irish rebellion. She had sev- eral problems in addressing it. She had no standing army and she had no funds to pay mercenary soldiers. But she was clever. She struck a deal with Flemish and Lowland mer- cenaries to go over to Ireland to deal with the rebels and for payment she offered them tracts of Irish land. Now she was no fool, and a bit stingy to boot, so the land she gave them was none too good. In fact, it was fairly lousy. They were
Imaal and its environs. We know from several sources that they brought with them their dogs, and among them was a low slung, harsh coated hound that looked not unlike today’s PBGV or Basset Fauve de Bretange. These dogs in turn min- gled with native Irish types—hounds and the emerging terrier types—and over time these settlers began to develop a race of terrier that would perform the traditional terrier tasks of rid- ding the house and larder of vermin and hunting fox and badger. Tradition holds that these dogs were also bred to per- form a most unique task. These proto-Glens were meant to be turnspit dogs. The turnspit was a large wheel hung from the ceiling and to it was connected a pully that was in turn connected to a rotisserie-like device over the hearth. The dog was put into the wheel, and when he began to paddle away, dinner was cooked over the fire. There is no question that there were turnspits and turnspit dogs in use throughout the British Isles during this period; however, there are several problems with the theory. First and foremost, meat was a rare luxury in the diet of those Irish peasants who owned these dogs. Furthermore, the device itself was too large by far to fit in the traditional Irish cottage of the day. It was indeed used in the larger manses and estates on the Emerald Isle but no such estates existed in the Glen at that time. But in every myth or legend there is usually a kernel of truth, and I sus- pect there is here as well. Further research reveals the com-
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- The Glen of Imaal Terrier – A Brief but Action-Packed History
was drawn up in Ireland. A sparse document of 147 words, it nevertheless became the prototype and launching pad for subsequent breed standards over the years. Several Glen champions were quickly made up but soon came World War II and development of the breed virtually halted. By war’s end, the number of Glens in Ireland may have been fewer than a dozen. Not a single Glen champion was made up in Ireland from 1939 through 1972. Fortunately, this was not the case in the United Kingdom where interest in the breed began to bubble-up in the 1950s and 1960s. By the 1970s there was a full-blown revival in the making, which in turn reseeded the dwindling stock in the breed’s native country. The breed received full-breed status in England in 1980 and has been competing in the Terrier Group there ever since, though CCs have only been awarded since 2008. In the US we know of several early Glen arrivals in the 1930s when individuals emigrated from Ireland with their Glens. In the 1960s, the Kelly family of the Bronx, with the assistance of the late, great terrier authority, Tom Gately, imported a pair of Glens from Ireland, news of which made the New York Times. But the breed did not gain a true foothold here until the early 1980s when several breed pio- neers imported foundation stock from the UK, Ireland and Finland—Finland has been and still is a major center of activity in the breed—and shortly thereafter founded the Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of America. The American Kennel Club invited us to enter the Miscellaneous Class effective September 1, 2001. We became fully recognized on October 1, 2004. Glens first competed in regular classes that same weekend at the four shows that comprise “Montgomery week- end.” The first American champion, a bitch, was made up that very same weekend. Courageous and indomitable, the Glen has survived two near-extinctions to come down to us unaltered by fashion. Glen breeders and fanciers have every intention of keeping them that way. Judges can play a monumental role in sup- port of that mission.
mon usage of a much smaller, canine-propelled treadmill contraption that was hooked up to a butter churn. This makes for a far more plausible scenario since the traditional diet of the average Irish peasant consisted of potatoes and dairy. Regardless of the details, the Glen may be unique among canines in that it helped prepare the family meals. So, for several centuries, these unique dogs performed their unique tasks in this quiet and distant corner of Ireland, large- ly unknown to the rest of Ireland, let alone the rest of the world. Then in the late 1800’s something happened that changed all of our lives—the first dog show in England. Within a decade, Ireland held its first dog show and for the first time ever there was a class for Irish terriers. Now, that’s capital “I” on Irish but lower case “t” on terrier, for the dogs entered that day were not the smart red-coated breed that was then known as the Irish Red, and we know today as the Irish Terrier, but rather any terrier bred in Ireland. Oh, the poor judge. In that motley class were early forms of all the Terrier breeds of Ireland we now know plus several others that either dead-ended or merged into other types. We are fortunate to have several accounts of the ‘Irish Terrier’ entry for that show—it was held at Lisburn in 1870—and the dog that won was described in one account as “not high on leg, longer than tall, not straight in front, turned-out feet, and a slatey-brindle color. The long and useful type of Irish terrier one associates with County Wicklow.” The dog’s name was Stinger—so not only do we know that there was a Glen pre- sent, we actually know his name. But Stinger and his like were not the first breed to organize and gain from the Irish Kennel Club the coveted name of Irish Terrier. That turned out differently as we know. By the 1920s a second Irish terrier breed was recognized—the Kerry Blue, and then, in 1933 a band of folks organized, created the Glen of Imaal Terrier Club of Ireland, sought Irish Kennel club recognition, and were granted it a year later—1934—the Glen becoming the third of the four Irish terrier breeds to be so recognized. Our Soft Coated Wheaten friends achieved the same goal three years later in 1937. It was in that year of breed recogni- tion,1934, that the first standard for the Glen of Imaal Terrier
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Judging the Glen of Imaal Terrier By Dr. Mary McDaniel First impressions are extremely important when judging the Glen of Imaal Terrier. The Glen should appear powerful and somewhat primitive in appearance. The breed’s ‘antique’ features and substance are critical to establishing type and understanding the breed.
Glens should have well laid back shoulders leading to strong, short, bowed front legs. The forearm curves around the rib cage and the elbows are tight. The feet turn out slightly from the pasterns only. Correct Glens have enough forechest and keel to prevent fiddle-fronts. The hindquarters of a Glen are impressive. They are well- boned and muscled, have a well-defined second thigh, and good bend of stifle. They should never be soft or flabby since they are the driving forces of the dog. The Glen is the only one of the four terrier breeds of Ireland that is not defined by color. They come in an array of colors that fall within the Wheaten, Blue or Brindle ranges. There is no preference for color or depth of color. Regardless of color, the coat is harsh—not wire—with a soft undercoat. It is kept at a medium length of approxi- mately 1 1 ⁄ 2 ” over the body and longer on the head and fur- nishings. The hair of the furnishings is generally softer than the shorter body hair. It is also commonly a bit lighter in shade. The Glen should give the appearance of a rough and ready working terrier. He should never be overtrimmed. The coat is hand-stripped and NEVER scissored. It may be neatened by hand, but should never be sculpted. You may be surprised at how freely a Glen can move. They can cover ground well with good reach and drive. They are clean coming and going without paddling of forefeet and carry their tail gaily. Move them on a loose lead and allow room between dogs. We do not encourage sparring. Glens are generally gen- tle and docile, but can be exceptionally game when called upon. Their short, stocky bodies can be difficult to control if they are focused on a challenge. Aggression in the ring should never be tolerated. Any departure from the standard is considered a fault and the seriousness of the fault is in proportion to the degree of departure. Remember: —Judge on the ground, examine on the table. —Antique features. —3:5 ratios. —Appearance of maximum substance for size. in a dog of approximately 35lbs. —This is a rough and ready working dog, not a groomer’s idea of a generic terrier.
The antique features—those hallmark traits once com- mon to many early terrier types— include a head that seems almost too large for its sturdy body, a matched pair of rose or half-prick ears, slightly bowed front legs with a similarly slight turnout at the pasterns, and a longer-than- tall body profile with a slight rise to the rear. Two numbers resonate throughout the Standard: three and five. We are given to calling them the ‘magic numbers’ for the breed. The muzzle:skull ratio and height:length ratios are 3:5, and the approximate weight is 35 pounds. Glens should have a strong head with a round, medium- sized dark eye. Light eyes are objectionable. The skull should appear almost square when viewed from above and there should be a pronounced stop. The foreface should have good fill under the eye and taper slightly towards the muzzle with a black nose. The teeth are big with full dentition and a preferred scissors bite. Level bites are acceptable. The ratio of muzzle to skull is 3:5. Ears are small for the head and are rose or half-pricked. Full drop or full prick ears are to be faulted. Also incorrect is a ‘mis- matched pair’, that is, one rose and one drop ear or one half-prick and one drop ear. The topline is of particular importance and distinct to the breed’s history. It is straight (not level) with a strongly muscled loin and a slight rise to the highly set half-docked tail or natural tail. That’s a slight rise. Dogs with an extreme rise in the topline are often straight In the stifle or excessivley bowed in the front legs. Regardless of length, the tail should be carried in the 12 to two o’clock position. There should not be a drop-off at the croup. The rising topline served a function in working Glens. It gave the dog leverage for pulling large vermin from dens and for walking the wheel or treadmill that drove a turnspit or churn. The ratio of height (withers to ground) to the length of body (point of chest to point of hip) is 3:5. The maximum height is 14” and the minimum is 12 1 ⁄ 2 ”. Though this is a range of only 1 1 ⁄ 2 ” in height, given that the breed is 40% longer than tall, this can mean there is upwards of 2 1 ⁄ 2 ” dif- ference in length. Add to that the third dimension of sub- stance and you have a substantial range between the smallest and largest Glens. There is no preference for size and overall balance must always take precedence over any particular number.
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