Irish terrier, a breed of hardy working terrier developed in the British Isles and believed to be one of the oldest terriers. It stands about 18 in. (46 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 25 to 27 lb (11–12 kg). The dense, wiry coat lies fairly close to the body and is usually solid red-wheaten, bright red, or golden red in color. Probably descended from the same wirehaired black-and-tan dog of Great Britain that produced most of the terriers, the Irish terrier was used to hunt small game and destroy vermin, both on land and in the water. Today it is principally raised as a show competitor and family pet. See dog .
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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