This dog has its origins in the ancient breeds of dogs which lived in Ireland for thousands of years. It is believed to be related to the Irish Terrier and the Kerry Blue Terrier. It got into the USA only after 1940.
It is a medium-sized, robust, agile, strong dog, with a square look. The head is long, flat, with a well-defined stop, covered with thick and soft hair. The eyes are medium-sized, almond-shaped, set apart and dark brown. The ears are small to medium-sized, drooping forwards and covered with hair. The tail is short, kept high but not on the back. It has thick fur on its head covering its eyes and forming a beard. The fur on the body is very soft and silky and needs two years to grow. It may be wavy or curly. The colours can vary from straw-yellow to reddish-yellow.
It is a brave, lively dog, with confident and elegant movements, it is active and playful, smart and eager to learn. Sometimes it can be stubborn. It doesn't bark too much. Very attached and devoted to its master, loving and patient with children, it generally accepts other dogs and other household animals, if it was socialized from an early age.
The dogs of this breed don't shed, but they must be combed from time to time, so that the fur doesn't get tangled. The fur is not trimmed or plucked.
It feels best outdoors, being pretty resistant to weather changes, but it also adapts to the conditions in a flat, if it has the possibility of exercising daily, having a high level of activity. It needs socialization and training.
This dog is pretty easy to train, because it is intelligent and it understands quickly what it should do. The training must be consistent, firm but positive, without being severe. It must be taught what it is allowed and what not, it likes sportive activities like flyball and agility contests. If they burn their energy daily, they will be quiet in the house.
It is used to hunt small wild animals, as a watchdog for farms and houses and as a pleasant and loyal companion.