Tips & Information

Tips & Information

Back to Our Blog

Best Dog Breeds to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with!

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and celebrating the Irish culture doesn’t only apply to humans: The Emerald Isle is also home to a number of dog breeds.

According to the Irish Kennel Club, Ireland has a total of nine native dog breeds.


Irish Red Setter Irish Red Setter

A working dog bred for hunting game, the Irish Red Setter is a friendly, mischievous, high-energy breed. In addition to its hunting and sporting roots, the Irish Red Setter’s calm and relaxed temperament means it’s also commonly used as a therapy dog in schools and hospitals.
   

Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier
Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier

A breed local to the Glen of Imaal region
in County Wickow, this terrier’s history datesway back to the reign of Elizabeth I, and was originally employed to catch vermin, such as rats and otters.  A strong, quiet working dog, the Glen of Imaal Terrier was at risk of extinction until Irish breeding efforts in the early 20th Century gave it a comeback. It’s still a rare breed, and considered a "vulnerable native breed" by the UK Kennel Club. 
 
   

Irish Red and White Setter Irish Red and White Setter

The precursor to the more widely-known Irish Red Setter, this breed almost became extinct by the end of the 19th Century due to the popularity of its solid red cousins. The Red and White Setter was re-established by the middle of the 20th Century and continues to thrive and compete successfully in field trials against other breeds.
   

Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
Irish Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

Bred in Ireland for centuries as a farm dog, the Wheaten Terrier worked at herding, hunting vermin, guarding livestock and other rural/agricultural duties.  The Wheaten Terrier is currently a strong competitor in obedience and agility events and is sometimes used as a therapy dog as well. They’re related to American Wheaten Terriers, but have a silkier, wavier coat.
 
   

 Irish Terrier Irish Terrier

One of the oldest Irish breeds, the Irish Terrier is known for its bravery and for its service during the First World War, when the dogs were used as messengers in the heat of trench warfare.  One of the most popular breeds in Britain since the 1880s, the Irish Terrier’s thick red coat helps it survive in any kind of weather.
   

Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniel

The largest of the spaniel group of dogs, the Irish Water Spaniel is recognized for its uniquely smooth "rat tail", which gives it the alternate names of "Whiptail" and “Rat Tail Spaniel”. Its dense, curly coat sheds very little, making the Irish Water Spaniel a hypoallergenic dog. Comfortable in water, as its name suggests, this dog has webbed feet to help its powerful swimming. 
   

 Irish Wolfhound Irish Wolfhound

A very large and imposing dog, the Irish Wolfhound’s name comes not from its appearance, but from its original purpose, as a hunting dog bred to accompany humans on wolf hunts. The Irish Wolfhound, with roots in Ireland dating back to ancient times, became a dog coveted by royalty and nobility, and eventually took on a role as the living symbol of Ireland’s cultural and Celtic heritage.
 

 
Kerry Beagle
Kerry Beagle

One of the oldest Irish breeds, with roots going back to the time of the first Celtic settlements in Ireland, the Kerry Beagle is a pack hound with a strong hunting instinct. Despite the name, they have little in common with other beagles. The breed was almost eliminated during a famine in the 1800s, but was taken to North America by many Irish immigrants and has continued to thrive.
 
 
 
Kerry Blue Terrier Kerry Blue Terrier

With humble origins as a rat-catcher and farm dog, the Kerry Blue developed through the 19th and 20th centuries. At one point, it was (unsuccessfully) suggested as a potential “National Dog of Ireland”. The current Irish Kennel Club (IKC) is a direct descendent of the Dublin Irish Blue Terrier Club, and a Kerry Blue was the first dog registered by the IKC.


Kerry Beagle

One of the oldest Irish breeds, with roots going back to the time of the first Celtic settlements in Ireland, the Kerry Beagle is a pack hound with a strong hunting instinct. Despite the name, they have little in common with other beagles. The breed was almost eliminated during a famine in the 1800s, but was taken to North America by many Irish immigrants and has continued to thrive.
Kerry Beagle

One of the oldest Irish breeds, with roots going back to the time of the first Celtic settlements in Ireland, the Kerry Beagle is a pack hound with a strong hunting instinct. Despite the name, they have little in common with other beagles. The breed was almost eliminated during a famine in the 1800s, but was taken to North America by many Irish immigrants and has continued to thrive.

Petsecure

×