Listed below are a few breeds which arise in the great island of Ireland and some neat facts about them:
* Glen of Imaal Terrier: Though this particular breed makes a great companion dog, they can readily be trained to hunt badgers, foxes and even mice. This breed makes a perfect family pet but can be stubborn and aggressive sometimes.
* Irish Red & White Setter: A distinctly different breed than the Irish Setter, the Irish Red & White Setter is thought to be the oldest breed of setters. She is intelligent, courageous and athletic – all perfect characteristics for a field dog.
* Irish Setter: A relative of the English setter this breed is known for their glamorous mahogany red coat. Makes a perfect hunting dog as he is easily able to adapt to many different climates and terrain.
Pam Talley’s BARF dog, Clancy, was a stunning Irish Setter. The Irish Setter breed is known for it’s distinct solid red coat.
* Irish Terrier: This breed is more than two million years old and a close relative to the wirehaired fox terrier. Nicknamed the “little daredevil” this breed is known for her outstanding courage and is usually trained to search, retrieve and even relay messages through times of war.
* Irish Water Spaniel: Thought to be a cross between a poodle and Irish setter, this cheerfully obedient breed is bright and easily trained to assist the avid bird hunter. Unfortunately his curly coat is a couple to maintain but when done properly makes for a magnificent looking dog.
* Irish Wolfhound: Originally used to hunt wolves from the Celtics, this breed was later brought to Ireland from the Romans where it was affected by the Great Dane and deerhound breeds. Makes a wonderful companion dog though he does tend to favor a single master. Well suited as a hunting dog or guard dog but does require a whole lot of space to run.
As you can see from the image above, the Irish Wolfhound is a large breed puppy reaching heights of at least 31-35 inches and weighing over 119 pounds.
* Kerry Beagle: One of the earliest native Irish breeds, the Kerry beagle is thought to be a descendant of the Celtic Hound. The Kerry beagle is commonly used for hunting and odor monitoring though she makes a superb pet. One aspect to consider is that she requires constant exercise – routine walks two to three times a day is vital.
The Kerry blue has become the symbol of Ireland. Though a bit stubborn, this breed is trainable to be a faithful part of the family. Frequently used as a hunting dog, retriever, guard dog, mouser, and police canine.
* Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier: A strong yet graceful dog, the soft-coated wheaten terrier is known to be a truly versatile dog and is employed as a guard dog, herding dog, and hunting dog. Fully adaptable, he is happy indoors or outside and makes a great family companion.
The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier weighs about 35 lbs. And known for his thick, soft, wheat coloured coat.
As you can see, Ireland is blessed with so many breeds of dogs that it would be tough to choose a favorite. It is quite amazing that the Irish have so many different kinds of dogs on such a small island, all with varied personalities, uses and characteristics. No wonder the Irish are these great dog fans!