irish, ireland, irish soft coated wheaton terrier

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with dog breeds native to Ireland

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! To celebrate the occasion we decided to highlight the beautiful dog breeds native to Ireland.

Irish dog breeds

According to the Irish Kennel Club, there are 9 breeds of dogs that originate in Ireland. There are two Hounds – Irish Wolfhound and Kerry Beagle; three Gundogs – Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Red Setter and Irish Red & White Setter; and four Terriers – Irish Terrier, Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier, Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier.

Let’s get to know one of each category!

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Kennel Club says these large wolfhounds were probably bred by Irish Celts and were established in Ireland in the first century A.D.

We know the continental Celts kept a greyhound probably descended from the greyhound first depicted in Egyptian paintings. – Irish Kennel Club.

Irish Wolfhound
photo credit: Seluryar Irish Wolfhound via photopin (license)
Irish Red Setter

According to the Kennel Club, the Irish Red Setter was developed in Ireland as a working dog for hunting game. It says this breed was clearly identifiable in the 18th Century.

The Irish Red Setter has evolved down the years into a hardy, healthy, intelligent dog, possessed of excellent working ability and great stamina – Irish Kennel Club

Irish red setter, ireland, st. patrick's day
photo credit: Natasha d.H Down via photopin (license)
Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

This breed is known as the oldest of the four Irish terriers. In 1937, the Irish Kennel Club recognized this as an official breed.

The history of the Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has been somewhat obscured by its closeness to the other Irish Terrier breeds – Irish Kennel Club.

irish, ireland, irish soft coated wheaton
photo credit: Eric.Ray proud to be Irish via photopin (license)
Irish Water Spaniel

The Kennel Club says, “The first Irish reference to ‘water dogs that pursue water fowl’ dates from 1600.” The most unique feature of the Water Spaniel is their rat-like tail.

The tail has given rise to the names “ Whip Tail” and “ Rat Tail” – Irish Kennel Club.

Irish water spaniel, ireland, irish, st. patrick's day
photo credit: dglassme Irish Water Spaniel “Duke” via photopin (license)

Learn more about Irish dog breeds here.

Pet Safety – St. Patrick’s Day

Also, check out our blog on tips to keep your pets safe on St. Patrick’s Day!

4 tips to keep pets safe on St. Patrick’s Day

Mar 17, 2017
by Emily Cook