Happy St. Patricks Day animal lovers! Did you know there’s 9 gorgeous native Irish dog breeds?? Some are household names and others a little less common…..
- Irish Red Setter
- Irish Wolfhound
- Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier
- Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Irish Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Beagle
- Irish Red and White Setter
For St. Patrick’s Day we’re celebrating a little bit of Irish Dog history with our article on the nine native Irish breeds.
Let’s jump in…….
1. Irish Red Setter
Up first is The Irish red setter. One of the most recognisable of the Irish breeds with their distinctive red coat. Look at this handsome fella, he looks very proud of his gorgeous red hair!
The Irish Red Setter was originally developed in Ireland to be a working dog for hunting game. Today he’s a very loving family dog; intelligent, energetic and has great stamina. Their coat’s do get quite long so you’ll need to make sure you brush them regularly.
2. Irish Wolfhound
You won’t confuse the Irish Wolfhound with another Irish breed that’s for sure! Towering over most other dogs, the Irish Wolfhound is a bit of a gentle giant. They can grow up to 7 feet tall when standing on their back legs!
Generally, the Irish Wolfhound has a rough coat, they can be quite introverted but intelligent and quiet by nature.
One thing’s for sure, you’re going to need a big garden and love long walks if you want to own one of these lovely fellas!
3. Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier
The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier originates from and is named after the Glen of Imaal in Wicklow. Originally, they were bred for getting rid of rats, foxes and badgers for the local farming community.
Today the Imaal terrier is a pretty rare breed and we don’t see them too often in our veterinary clinics.
4. Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten is quite similar to other terrier breeds and has a bit of a mixed background. It was only in 1937 that the breed was officially recognised by the Irish Kennel Club. Since then the breed has grown in popularity as it’s a very friendly and playful little fellow that mixes well with kids and other dogs.
Thinking of getting a new puppy? Remember to avoid Puppy Farms – Contact the Irish Kennel Club or ask your vet to recommend a reputable breeder….
5. Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier has been native to Ireland for hundreds of years and we think was originally bred by famers to help around the farm and hunt out any pests such as rats.
Their lovely coat is medium in length and requires a lot of grooming – it has a distinctive blue tint mixed in with darker colours.
The Kerry Blue Terrier is suited to a medium sized house and garden and like most dogs loves a good walk!
If you’re looking for some great dog walks in Dublin here’s 7 of our favourites.
6. Irish Terrier
There’re four Irish terrier breeds in total and last but by no means least is the stunning Irish Terrier. It’s thought that the Irish Terrier might be the oldest of the four breeds, but the records are a bit sketchy, so it is hard to know for sure.
A fearless dog that became famous during World War One when they were used to pass messages along the trenches, showing off their extreme intelligence.
The Irish Terrier also needs quite a lot of grooming and like the Kerry Blue is suited to a medium sized house and garden.
7. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is considered a large breed that needs both a lot of grooming and a lot of walking. There’s a bit of uncertainty as to the origins of this handsome guy but there’s speculation that they may have originally come to Ireland from Persia via Spain!
The Irish Water Spaniel is an active dog and a good energetic pal that likes to play and keep their family happy. They’re quizzical in nature but considered quite easy to train. They make good pets and tend to mix well with children and other animals.
8. Kerry Beagle
The Kerry Beagle is a medium sized dog that normally has a short black and tan coat. He’s a friendly and good-natured dog that loves being part of a family. They’re a patient and loyal companion and are pretty laid back so they get along well with other dogs and pets.
They were originally built for speed and endurance as hunting dogs but are now commonly found sitting around houses soaking up a few well-earned pats from their family.
9. Irish Red and White Setter
Last on our list is the Irish Red and White Setter. A large breed dog that needs its’ fair share of grooming. It’s quite similar in temperament to the closely related Red Setter and was originally bred as a gun dog.
They make great pets for energetic families who enjoy long walks.