Illustration by Louis Agassiz Fuertes
The Irish terrier has well earned his nickname "dare-devil," for he has few if any equals for sheer reckless courage. He is an interesting, loyal pal, and until he "hears the call of duty," he has a quiet, unobtrusive manner, which is very deceptive; but he will stand for no nonsense, and once trouble has been started, he'll stay till it's over.
While on a hunting expedition in Africa a few years ago, some hunters were trying by means of a pack of dogs to dislodge a lion which had been brought to bay in a dense tangle of bushes. For a long time they had been unsuccessful, when, without any apparent reason, the lion bolted from the cover. A moment later the reason became apparent. As he dashed into the open his tail stood straight out behind, and on the end of it was a little Irish terrier with his teeth locked.
The Irish terrier is intermediate in size between the Airedale and the Welsh, and is a "self-colored" dog, either wheaten or red. The latter is more desirable. In weight 24 pounds is perfection, and in general contour he should be the counterpart of the Airedale, differing only in size and in color. In disposition he is a true terrier; staunch and courageous, and as he attains years he takes on a dignity and self-reliance rather unusual in a dog of his size. He is essentially a rough or wire-haired dog, and silky or woolly hair is a distinct fault
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