| Michaela Fisher
Saint Patrick’s Day is here, and what way to better celebrate the luck of the Irish than to see how lucky they’ve been with their dogs? Here are nine Native Dogs of Ireland that are recognized by the Irish Kennel Club(http://www.ikc.ie/).
1. Irish Wolfhound
- Aptly named, the Irish Wolfhound is a big dog, weighing in between 100 and 120 pounds! This breed is very old, with some estimates citing the dogs originating in Ireland over 5,000 years ago. These large canines used to be deployed as tools of war, but in recent centuries their ferocity has disappeared, leaving behind a truly gentle giant.
2. Kerry Beagle
-Not to be confused with the American beagle, this dog is larger and longer than its United States’ counterpart. Like the Irish Wolfhound it is one Ireland’s oldest breeds, perhaps originating from Celtic hounds. They have a strong hunting instinct but are good with children and other dogs. These dogs just need a lot of exercise to be happy!
3. Irish Terrier
-The Irish terrier are likely the oldest of the Emerald Isle’s native terriers. They are lean dogs with a reddish coat that need lots of physical activity. They are good family dogs and find success in canine sporting events such as agility competitions.
4. Irish Red Setter
-These dog are the total package! They are very smart, with gorgeous mahogany coats, and are true athletes. These dogs really fancy having a job, and have found success with hunting waterfowl and other game species. They were recognized as a breed in Ireland during the 18th century.
5. Irish Red and White Setter
-This dog breed is nearly identical to the Irish Red Setter, but it is not a solid color. The Irish red and white settler is also distinct for its use as a gun dog, and require ample exercise.
6. Irish Water Spaniel
-These dogs have some curly coats! As their name suggests they love the water, which make them excellent dogs to use when hunting waterfowl. They were recognized in Ireland in the early 19th century, and are possibly derived from dogs brought over in Portuguese fishing boats.
7. Kerry Blue Terrier
-The Kerry Blue’s coat is striking, with its exotic dark blue hue. It was recognized as a distinct breed in the 20th century, and was originally bred to capture vermin on farms. These terriers make great all around farm dogs and family dogs.
8. Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
-This playful dog has a sweet personality and lovely fur to boot! They made their first appearance in the show ring at the Irish Kennel Club Championship back in 1937, on St. Patrick’s Day no less! It is worth noting that these dogs can be particularly vulnerable in hot weather because of their dense coats.
9. Glen of Imaal Terrier
-Mouse hunter at work! The Glen of Imaal Terrier (named for the region in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland) were originally bred as a vermin-hunting aficionados. Nowadays this hearty terrier breed are beloved family dogs.
So what do you think? Did you learn something today? Did one of these Celtic canines really grab your heart? Well then click on the link below to our Facebook page to vote on your favorite Irish breed and get a chance to win a 6 pack of Eau de Bedtime-Canine Calming Scent. Hurry, the poll closes March 16th!