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Irish Dogs

Updated on January 6, 2017

Meet The Dogs Of Ireland

Tis' the time for wearing the green all around our country and I thought it would be a grand time to introduce some Irish Dog Breeds to you.

Being an Irish lass I do have a fondness for all things Irish, and these dogs make me proud. There are brave and loyal companions to be found among these Irish breeds.

The Irish dog breeds are :

  • The Irish Setter
  • The Irish Wolfhound
  • The Kerry Beagle
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • The Wheaton Terrier
  • The Kerry Blue
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier
  • Irish Red and White Setter
  • Irish Terrier
How many of these lucky pups have you heard of?

Irish Kerry Terrier Photo Credit

Have You Heard Of All These Dog Breeds?

Did you know there were so many breeds of dogs from Ireland?

Did you know there were so many breeds of dogs from Ireland?

This Red Setter Was Bred To Find Birds And Point To Them For The Hunters.  This picture of the red Irish Setter is from Wikipedia and used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License
This Red Setter Was Bred To Find Birds And Point To Them For The Hunters. This picture of the red Irish Setter is from Wikipedia and used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

The Red Irish Setter

I think this is the most familiar dog breed from the Irish group. With it's beautiful coat of chestnut red, it's certainly a dog you would remember seeing. This setter has an even temperament and makes a wonderful family dog. Originally bred for hunting, the Irish Setter would flush birds out for the hunters with their keen sense of smell and then point to their position.

Actor Clark Gable owned a beautiful Irish Setter named Queen.

This picture of a large Irish Wolfhound was taken at the Kerry Bog Museum and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This picture of a large Irish Wolfhound was taken at the Kerry Bog Museum and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Irish Wolfhound

Not a wolf at all, the Irish Wolfhound is the tallest breed of dog in the world often reaching heights of at least 30" tall for the females and 32" tall for the males. The name comes from the days when hunters would hunt wolves with dogs. These sensitive and gentle giants make wonderful pets, they are loyal, friendly and affectionate to their owners.

Ten Interesting Facts About the Irish Wolfhound:

1. The Irish Wolfhound takes its name from its original purpose of hunting wolf packs.

2. It is the tallest of the dog breeds recognized by the AKC.

3. Color of its coat is red, brindle, grey, black, fawn, pure white, steel grey and wheaten.

4. Quiet by nature, they become depressed if left alone for too long.

5. Very easy to train and quite gentle with children.

6. Their large size limits their lifespan to an average of 7 years.

7. Bone cancer is leading cause of death.

8. History of breed dates back to Ireland in 7000 B.C.

9. Originally only nobles could own Irish Wolfhounds.

10. Shares same name as Ireland's National Rugby Football team.

Meet Coco, An Irish Kerry Beagle.  In this picture Coco is 18 months old and weighs about 40 pounds.  This picture is from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Meet Coco, An Irish Kerry Beagle. In this picture Coco is 18 months old and weighs about 40 pounds. This picture is from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Kerry Beagle

The Kerry Beagle is one of the oldest of all the Irish dog breeds, there are pedigrees that go back as far as the late 1700's. These beagles were used to track and to hunt game. Kerry's make a great companion dog but do need lots of exercise!

Facts about the Kerry Beagle:

1. Thought to be a descendant of the Celtic Hounds.

2. Has a very strong hunting instinct.

3. The Kerry Beagle has a very strong sense of smell.

4. This breed is considered to be one of the rare dog breeds.

5. Smart and easy to train, the Kerry makes a great pet.

Lucky Irish Dog Breeds

Love the Irish dogs? Here are some doggie items you might find interesting.

The Dog Pictured Here Is An Irish Water Spaniel.  These water dogs are a breed that needs lots of exercise, something to consider before choosing one as a pet.  This picture is from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alik
The Dog Pictured Here Is An Irish Water Spaniel. These water dogs are a breed that needs lots of exercise, something to consider before choosing one as a pet. This picture is from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alik

The Irish Water Spaniel

Look at the curls on this Irish Water Spaniel! This breed of dog doesn't shed very much and that makes it a good pet for someone with allergies. Less shedding usually means less of an allergic reaction! This dog, like many water dogs, has webbed feet. There's something quite unique about the Irish Water Spaniel, it's fur has a purple tint to it, a color that's not seen in any other dog breed.

Interesting Facts About Irish Water Spaniel:

1. The Irish Water Spaniel is native to Ireland.

2. Its coat is a unique purple in color and consists of tight curls with minimal shedding.

3. A great choice for individuals allergic to dog hair.

4. The largest and oldest of the Spaniel variety.

5. An active, energetic breed that loves the water.

6. Has a natural team instinct which makes it an easy dog to train.

7. A very smart breed of dog with an intense curiosity about everything.

8. Can be trained to be excellent guard dogs for protection.

9. Most distinguishing characteristics include smooth rat tail and smooth-coated face.

10.Has webbed feet which encourages its prowess as a strong swimmer.

This is a picture of the Australian Grand Champion Dancestar Zero O Seven. "Bondy".  This picture is from Wikipedial and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This is a picture of the Australian Grand Champion Dancestar Zero O Seven. "Bondy". This picture is from Wikipedial and used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier is another dog that's great for people with allergies. The Wheaton, just like the Irish Water Spaniel, doesn't shed much and has hair, and that's great news if you have allergies. These quick and brave little terriers were used to herd and tend the livestock in days past. These dogs have lots of energy and, like the other Irish breeds, need a lot of exercise.

Facts About The Soft-coated Wheaton Terrier:

1. Sometimes this breed is called "Softies" or "Wheaties".

2. Wheatons have hair, not fur.

3. Wheatons have been called "the happiest dog breed".

4. These dogs don't like to go out in the rain.

5. Make great family pets.

Born black, the Kerry Terrier's fur turns blue by the time they are about two years old.  I love dog facts!  This picture is from Wikipedia and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Born black, the Kerry Terrier's fur turns blue by the time they are about two years old. I love dog facts! This picture is from Wikipedia and is used under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

The Kerry Blue

The Kerry Blue is also known as the Irish Blue Terrier. The Kerry was bred to be an all round helper on the farm, herding, keeping vermin away and guarding the home. A unique fact about the Kerry Terrier is that the pups are black when they are born and as they get older the color changes to the blue you see in the dog pictured. Like most terriers, this breed is a feisty little dog and needs lots of exercise. They do make loyal pets and are usually good with children.

1. Kerry Blue Terrier was originally bred to control such vermin as rats and rabbits.

2. Its coat is commonly wavy or curly and comes in several shades of blue.

3. The Kerry is extremely intelligent and agile, gentle with children, but competitive with other dogs.

4. This breed is prone to eye problems and cancerous skin growths.

5. Kerry Blue was the first breed of dog registered with the Irish Kennel Club.

Here's a picture of the loyal and brave Glen of Imaal Terrier.  This picture is from Wikipedia and this file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.
Here's a picture of the loyal and brave Glen of Imaal Terrier. This picture is from Wikipedia and this file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

The Glen of Imaal Terrier

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is cute little dog, but they have the heart of a lion. This is another one of the Irish Terrier group and like the rest it's a smart and energetic little dog. It can be a bit subborn, but I'm not sure if that's the Terrier or the Irish! The Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of the rarest of the Irish Terrier groups and according to Wiki there are less than 1000 of them registered in the United States with the AKC.

Some facts about the Glen of Imaal Terrier:

1. Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier is also called the Glen Terrier or Wicklow Terrier.

2. First bred during the time of Queen Elizabeth I of England.

3. Among the rarest breeds, with only one in every 1,000 dogs a Glen of Imaal Terrier.

4. Considered a dwarf breed due to its large body atop short legs.

5. Puppies develop slowly, taking as long as four years to come to full maturity.

This Is A Picture Of The Irish Red And White Setter.  The picture is from Wikipedia and this file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
This Is A Picture Of The Irish Red And White Setter. The picture is from Wikipedia and this file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Irish Red and White Setter

The Irish Red and White Setter is another hunting dog used to hunt birds. This beautiful breed was once almost extinct but fans of this gun dog worked to promote the breed, it is still known as a Vulnerable Native Breed in the UK. That means there are less than 300 new registrations each year. They are loyal and loving, this dog makes a wonderful family pet.

Five Facts About The Irish Red and White Setter:

1. In Gaelic this dog's name is "sotar rua" which translastes to "red setter".

2. Many of the Red and White Setters have black spots in their mouth.

3. Some people believe only dogs with black spots in the mouth are from true Irish lineage.

4. There is an Irish stamp with a Red and White Setters picture on it.

5. Were recognized as a breed separate of the red Irish Setter by the AKC in 2008.

This picture of the Irish Terrier is from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.
This picture of the Irish Terrier is from Wikipedia and used under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

The Irish Terrier

These smart terriers need lots of mental and physical exercise to be well adjusted pets. They are loyal to their owners, good with children and make a great family pet for the right family. Terriers need lots of stimulation for they are very intelligent dogs.

Facts About The Irish Terrier:

1. This breed is more popular in Europe than in the U.S.

2. The Irish Terrier was developed for fox hunting.

3. Walt Disney's "Tramp" (Lady and the Tramp) was based on the Irish Terrier.

4. Irish Terrier's were messenger dogs in World War 1.

5. The only all red terrier.

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