Ireland is blessed with some of the finest, most unique and most beautiful dog breeds in the world.
From the majestic Irish Setter to the graceful Irish Wolfhound, Ireland has gifted the world with several iconic breeds that are native to this lush and ancient green land.
These breeds are not just popular in Ireland. The Irish Setter and the Irish Terrier are all extremely popular in countries such as France, USA and Canada.
All these Irish breed of dogs make excellent pets. They love people and love being in and around a loving family environment.
So if you’re on the look out for a new pup and love the thought of owning one of these incredible dog breeds with a wealth of history behind them, then read on.
The Irish Wolfhound is the largest sighthound and one of the biggest and strongest of all giant / large dog breeds. This sturdy Wolfhound has a long back, deep chest, long muscular legs and a long, slightly curved tail.
The Irish Wolfhound is also known as the Irish Greyhound and the Great Dog of Ireland and is called the national dog of Ireland. The breed has excellent eyesight which he used to chase down wolves and elk in feudal Ireland.
The Wolfhound lives up to his name of the “gentle giant”. This breed makes a wonderful family dog as it is reliable, patient, sweet-tempered, intelligent and is good with children. The Wolfhound adores its family and is not aggressive towards strangers or family pets.
Irish Red Setter
Like the Red & White Setter, the Irish Red Setter, also known as The Irish Setter, was used to hunt game and birds with nests. This four-legged beauty flaunts a shade of mahogany or chestnut red and has a gloriously loving temperament. They are hardy and tireless workers in the field.
The Irish setter is a breed of dog that was developed in Ireland in the 18th century from the Red and White setter.
It takes on average 3 years for an Irish Red Setter to mature, so if you’re thinking about adding one to your family, you should be ready for a lively, sociable companion.
The Irish Setter, a member of the Sporting Group, was one of the first breeds to get official recognition from the AKC. Irish Setters have high energy levels and need a lot of daily exercise to channel their natural drive.
The Irish Collie could be Ireland’s oldest breed of dog. There are records of them being bred by 6th Century monks, which used them to herd sheep and cattle.
Collie is an Anglicized form of a now-extinct Irish term that meant “helper.”
Puppy is translated from the Irish term coileán. The word’s etymology can be traced back to an old word for “helper.”
The Irish Collie work tirelessly through all kinds of weather, are the most devoted of friends, and have the highest intelligence of any dog.
Wicklow Terrier ( aka Glen of Imaal Terrier )
One of the four Irish terrier breeds, the Glen of Imaal Terrier belongs to the terrier subgroup of dog breeds. They have quite an interesting history.
During the time of Queen Elizabeth I, mercenaries from France and Hessen were sent in to quell an uprising in Ireland.
Many of these soldiers eventually made Wicklow their home after the war ended.
They then cross bred their low-slung hounds with the native terrier line, which then created a new breed that is now known as the Glen of Imaal Terrier.
The breed is also known as the Wicklow Terrier or the Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier, and breed enthusiasts frequently abbreviate the breed’s name to just Glens or Glennies.
The name comes from the Irish region of County Wicklow, where the breed’s original home is located: the Glen of Imaal. First officially recognised in 1934 by the Irish Kennel Club.
As with most terriers, Glens were used mainly for ratting and were also trained to hunt and kill other rodents, foxes, badgers, and otters.
They were also a multi-use farm dog and was used for herding as well as being a loving family companion.
Irish Red and White Setter
The original Irish Setter was the Red and White Setter. This large gun dog was used to hunt birds with nests, Before the use of guns, they were traditionally used by falconers to signal the presence of game by entering a “set” or “freeze” when they detected game. The hunter would then throw a net over the ground feeding birds to trap them.
Game hunters preferred the Ret and White Setter because they were much easier to spot at long distances.
The Red Setter’s popularity drastically decreased the Red and White Setter breed numbers in the early 20th century. Thankfully for the breed, it survived this downturn and was saved by a recent resurgence of interest and popularity.
The Irish Terrier, one of the most popular dog breeds in Ireland, served as a messenger for soldiers on the front lines during World War I.
They are amazing dogs, with incredible amounts of courage and spirit. They are incredibly tenacious and never give up helping.
They are highly devoted and sociable canines who adore spending time with kids and family.
Irish Terriers are fiercely loyal to their owners and can adapt to any circumstance. Irish Terriers have been the mascots for the Notre Dame football team for a very long time, entertaining adoring crowds during halftime.
Irish Water Spaniel
The South Country Water Spaniel and the North Country Water Spaniel were two distinct water spaniel strains that existed in Ireland before the 1850s.
Although both of these strains contributed to the development of the Irish Water Spaniel as we know it today, the South Country variety is most similar to it.
The Irish Water Spaniel is the tallest of all Spaniels. They are also known as “Shannon Spaniel,” “Whiptail Spaniel,” and “Rat Tail Spaniel.”
They are alert, inquisitive and is instantly distinguished by its sharply curled coat and rat-like tail. They are incredible swimmers as well as being tenacious and courageous in the field, yet affectionately playful at home.
The Irish Water Spaniel is a lively, high-energy companion and is a typical sporting dog. He is eager to please, which makes training him quite simple, although he need a lot of daily activity.
He’ll stay comfortable and quiet inside the house if he gets daily exercise, such as lengthy walks or hikes, running next to a bike, chasing a ball in the backyard, or playing with other dogs.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier or Wheaten is a medium-sized working dog. The Wheaten has a square and compact body, level back, deep chest and straight muscular legs. The tail is customarily docked to about one third of its length in countries where docking is permitted.
The Wheaten is the oldest native Irish terrier and is probably related to most Irish terriers. The Soft Coated Wheaten was developed as a working farm dog and used to: herd cattle; hunt small game like badgers, rabbits and foxes; guard the farm house; and even act as a hunting gun dog.
The Wheaten Terrier is cheerful, active, busy, playful and affectionate. The wheaten is independent and self confident but also fairly intelligent and eager to learn.
Wheaten puppies should be socialized early with children, other dogs and strangers. The breed is fairly easy to train if you can get their attention.
It’s unclear why the name “Beagle” has been given to the Kerry Beagle dog breed, as it shares very little in common with the Beagle breed. It could perhaps be from the Irish word ‘beag’ meaning ‘small’.
The Kerry Beagle is a medium-sized hound that can weigh up to 27 kg and stands between 56 and 61 cm (22 and 24 in) tall (60 lb).
The more typical colour is black and tan, although other variations include tan and white, blue speckled and tan, and black. It has a large head, a short coat, and long ears. The breed’s appearance suggests both endurance and quickness.
The Kerry Beagle is thought to have been around since the sixteenth century.
By the 1800s, there was only one significant Kerry Beagle pack left in Ireland, the renowned Scarteen of County Limerick owned by the Ryan family, which is still in existence today.
List of All The Irish Dog Breeds
- Irish Red and White Setter
- Irish Collie
- Irish Setter
- Irish Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Irish Wolfhound
- Kerry Beagle
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Red Setter
- Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
- Wicklow Terrier (Glen of Imaal Terrier)