If Irish eyes are smiling, then surely they’re smiling at these wonderful Irish dog breeds. They may be found all over the world now, but these particular breeds originated in the green isles. Here are some ‘lucky’ dog breeds that are celebrating their Irish heritage on St. Patrick’s Day.
With its slightly shaggy fur and larger build, you’d be forgiven for thinking that any dog breed with ‘wolf’ in it would be fearsome and fierce. The truth is, Irish wolfhounds are loyal, friendly, and one of the oldest breeds in the world. Dating back over 5,000 years, the breed’s been around more than long enough to make us all fall in love with it.
A majestic red or red and white Irish setter is a sight to behold, especially when one of these clever dogs are hunting. They crave affection and activity, so if you can’t provide both, you might want to consider another breed. Setters are great with children, though their long, silky hair can be a pulling temptation for younger kids. Keep them challenged with lots of outdoor play and plenty of cuddles, and these Celtic charmers will be your best friends.
Irish water spaniels
With their distinctive thick, curly coat and friendly disposition, these are great family dogs. People who are allergic to dogs can typically get on well with these hypoallergenic canines, and the breed’s affinity for water makes them a fun addition to any trip to the lake. They can be quite active, so be prepared to make lots of time for swimming and other outdoor activities.
Lurchers are avid hunters that are believed to have been bred for the task. According to history, they came about as a result of the British ban on Irish farmers and hunters having more ‘reputable’ breeds. The lurchers of today are just as quick and clever as their ancient counterparts, and they’re just as adorable.
Irish terriers are long, lean, and have a wiry coat that perfectly matches their sometimes abrasive personalities. It’s not that they’re not friendly, but rather it’s their super-competitive and ‘go-go-go’ nature that makes them a real handful to train. Not for the faint of heart, but if you are a dedicated, authoritative trainer, you may be able to unleash a Celtic champion in this breed.