This site is a comprehensive, on-line resource for information about the Irish Terrier breed and the National Club. The ITCA promotes responsible ownership of Irish Terriers and encourages membership in the National and Regional Clubs.
The Irish Terrier originated in Ireland many years ago and can now be found on all continents of the world. Never existing in great numbers, once seen and owned, an Irish Terrier is never forgotten. The existence of an Irish Sporting terrier is referenced for centuries in ancient manuscripts archived in the Dublin Museum. One old Irish writer referred to these dogs as the “poor man’s sentinel, the farmer’s friend, and the gentleman’s favorite”.
Early Irishmen did not keep accurate breeding records. As a result, the origin of the breed has been subject to conjecture. In Vero Shaw’s The Illustrated Book of the Dog (1881) George R. Krehl, an early advocate of the breed, stated “the Irish Terrier is a true and distinct breed to Ireland and no man can trace its origin which is lost in antiquity.”
On a humorous note, the early and prominent breeder William Graham theorized “that the only reason they were not itemized in Noah’s list of the cargo of the Ark was that it was quite unnecessary to take a pair of Irish Terriers aboard. They could swim alongside so well.”