St. Patrick’s Day is an international celebration of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick.
Let’s celebrate with some FUN FACTS about the most popular Irish dog breeds.
THE IRISH WOLFHOUND
Initially used in war to drag men off horses and chariots. He also hunted massive game such as deer, boar, and wolves. Despite his distant past as a ferocious war dog, he’s a
gentle giant who gets along with everyone, including children, other dogs, and sometimes even cats. Today this adaptable dog is a family companion who also competes in obedience, tracking, and lure coursing.
THE IRISH SETTER
Irish Setters originated as gundogs in their native Ireland, and the breed‘s popularity soon spread, thanks to the beauty of their rich mahogany coat and their enthusiasm as bird dogs. They’re friendly, mischievous, and inquisitive, with a high energy level. This is a bold and boisterous family friend with the potential to do well in many canine
sports and activities.
THE WHEATEN TERRIER
Commonly referred to in Ireland as the “poor man’s wolfhound,” this breed is also known as the Irish soft coated wheaten terrier, the wheaten, and the soft-coated wheaten
terrier. Bred as an all-purpose farm dog during the early 1800s, today the breed is skilled in obedience, agility and tracking.
THE IRISH WATER SPANIEL
A native to Ireland going back 1,000 years, the Irish water spaniel is the subject of folklore, believed to be a descendant of the Dobhar-chú, a water hound that is a cross
between a dog and an otter. The Irish water spaniel is known for its intelligence and its great purple-hued, curly fur coat. Also unique to the breed: its “rat-like” tail,
which is hairless. While the dog’s fur has thick curls, the face is completely smooth.
THE KERRY BEAGLE
Another Irish dog breed that nearly faced extinction: the Kerry Beagle, one of Ireland’s oldest hounds. Many believe this breed is a descendant of the Celtic hound, a Gaelic Irish legend depicted in artwork dating back to the 17th century. The oldest Kerry beagle pedigree can be traced back to 1794. The Kerry Beagle was bred as scent hound to track game. Today, the breed is used to hunt foxes.