St Paddy’s Day might have you thinking a bit more about the luck of the Irish, green beer and Irish dogs today. But have you ever wondered which dogs are Irish descendants?
Maybe you’re on the hunt for a new dog in your household. These top Irish dog breeds originated in Ireland … and most of them make great pets.
The Irish Setter is a popular choice for Irish and other owners. This breed can be traced to the 1800s and boasts a stable temperament. In 19th century Ireland, Irish Setters were used to hunt birds. But their beautiful coats and graceful movement have made them into popular show dogs. Unlike many other Irish breeds, Irish Setters are larger dogs weighing up to 70 pounds. They often live between 12 and 15 years.
Irish Setters have a lush red coat, but some may have some white on the chest, throat or toes. They have long, straight coats that give them a distinct look. Irish Setters have lots of personality and are generally easy to train. These dogs are great with children and personable, so they’re well-suited as a family pet.
The Irish Terrier is a small to medium-sized breed that lives an average of 13 to 15 years. The ideal weight for these dogs is around 25 to 27 pounds. These dogs were originally bred as protectors to chase pests like rats and raccoons off the farms.
The breed standard for Irish Terriers includes a long head, and a strong, straight back, with a dense, wiry coat. They can come in many colors that range from bright red to wheaten. Historically, Irish Terriers are known for being guard dogs and are a trainable, intelligent breed.
Use caution if you come across a Miniature Irish Terrier. This breed is likely not a purebred Irish Terrier.
While they’re very handsome dogs, you may not see this one in your everyday travels. The Irish Wolfhound is an impressive breed. Despite the name that suggests Irish Wolfhounds are fierce hunters, they are a calm and vigilant breed that makes great family dogs. This breed can be more than 32 inches tall and weigh over 120 pounds. Their coats are medium length and have a wiry texture that can be black, gray or brindle. They have long tails, dark eyes and small ears.
Irish Wolfhounds are a muscular but level-tempered breed that were once bred to hunt wolves and elk in Ireland. But their versatility means they’re quite content to lounge inside with their owners … or participate in light exercise activities.
Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniels, like other spaniels, are medium-sized, water-lovers and very affectionate. This breed usually lives between 12 and 13 years. Irish Water Spaniels have short curly coats that require consistent attention to keep them healthy. They have a distinct tail that helps them swim by acting as a rudder.
These dogs are eager to please which makes them easy to train as well. A differentiating characteristic of the breed is that they can be nervous around people they haven’t met before … unlike other spaniel breeds.
Kerry Blue Terrier
If you’ve never heard of a Kerry Blue Terrier, you’re not alone. Kerry Blues are medium-sized dogs that originated in County Kerry, Ireland. The breed was used to scare vermin off of farms and assist in hunting. The Kerry Blue Terrier is generally between 33 and 40 lbs.
Kerry Blues are high-energy dogs with happy temperaments. This makes them ideal family dogs … and they’re good with children. But, if brushing your dog isn’t for you, then you might not want to have a Kerry Blue Terrier. Their soft, dense and wavy coat is a blue-gray color with wisps of black and silver, and needs regular grooming to keep its condition.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Looking for a dog that will fit into your family? Then the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier might be for you. Soft Coated Wheatens are usually between 35 and 40 pounds and live up to 14 years. Wheatens are Irish farm dogs that are friendly and loyal.
As the name suggests, Wheaten Terriers have a soft, wheat-colored coat. According to the breed standard, Soft Coated Wheatens often have a distinctive tuft on their head that falls forward and covers the eyes. They are alert and coordinated, which allows them to move gracefully through their bodies.
Those are some of the top Irish dog breeds. They say everyone’s an Irishman on St Patrick’s Day. But you don’t have to be Irish to fall in love with one of these charmers!