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Arch Creek Animal Clinic
Call us today! 305-945-1223
Give us a call today! 305-945-1223

15372 W Dixie Hwy, 
North Miami Beach,
FL 33162

Irish Dog Breeds

March 16 2021

St Patrick’s Day is coming up fast! It’s always fun to celebrate Ireland’s culture and heritage, and perhaps indulge oneself with a minty Shamrock shake or some corned beef. Of course, dogs love celebrating holidays with us. As it turns out, quite a few of our canine pals are of Irish descent. A vet lists some Irish dog breeds below.

Irish Dog Breeds

The AKC recognizes eight breeds that are native to Ireland. These pups include the Irish Setter, an active, loyal field dog; the playful Irish Water Spaniel, a liver-colored pup that loves to go swimming; and the Irish Terrier, whose loyalty and bravery led to them being used as messengers in World War I. Next up, we have the Kerry Blue Terrier, a wonderful farm dog and guardian; and the stoic, larger-than-life Irish Wolfhound, a pup that was so impressive that they were offered as gifts to members of the Roman Consulate back in 391 A.D. Of course, we can’t forget the adorable Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, a big, goofy cotton ball that just loves life; and the Glen of Imaal Terrier, a small but high-spirited hunting dog that makes a wonderful companion.

These cute pups come in all shapes and sizes, and they have very different temperaments. One thing many of them have in common? Gorgeous fur! Some of these pups have curly coats, while others have waves or even straight locks.

Irish Dog Legends

Ireland definitely has its fair share of fascinating myths and legends. Dogs pop up quite frequently in some of these stories. Some famous legendary Irish pooches include Bran and Sceolan, the warrior poet Fionn mac Cumhaill’s loyal dogs; the Cŵn Annwn or Hounds of Annwn, a pack of supernatural dogs; and Prince Llewellyn’s hound, Gelert.

Celebrating With Fido

Do you have one of these pooches? Get into the spirit of the holiday, and give your four-legged pal something special. Corned beef is too salty for pets, but some regular beef isn’t inappropriate, given that it’s a special occasion. A Shamrock shake also isn’t good for dogs (too much sugar) but you can make Fido something with a little mint in it. Or, just snap some photos of your furry best friend with something green and festive. Of course, no matter how you celebrate, don’t give your pooch any alcohol!

Our Advice on Irish Dog Breeds in 2024

How do Irish dog breeds vary?

Irish dog breeds vary significantly in size, temperament, and coat type, reflecting their diverse roles in Ireland’s cultural and practical history. Breeds range from the large and majestic Irish Wolfhound, known for its calm demeanor, to the playful and water-loving Irish Water Spaniel and the energetic and loyal Irish Setter. The terriers, like the Kerry Blue and the Glen of Imaal, offer a range of sizes and are known for their spirited nature and versatility as farm dogs, guardians, and companions. Despite their differences, many share the common trait of having beautiful, distinctive fur, whether curly, wavy, or straight.

Are there famous Irish dogs in myths or legends?

Yes, Irish mythology and legends feature several famous dogs. Notable among them are Bran and Sceolan, the loyal hounds of the warrior poet Fionn mac Cumhaill, known for their bravery and fidelity. Additionally, the Cŵn Annwn, or Hounds of Annwn, are depicted as supernatural dogs that hunt with Arawn, the king of the otherworld, showcasing the mystical aspect of Irish lore. Another famous legend involves Gelert, Prince Llewellyn’s hound, celebrated for his loyalty and the tragic misunderstanding that led to his untimely death. These stories highlight the importance of dogs in Irish culture and mythology, symbolizing loyalty, protection, and the supernatural.

Which Irish dog breeds are best suited for different lifestyles?

The suitability of Irish dog breeds for different lifestyles varies by their energy levels, size, and temperament. For active individuals or families, the energetic Irish Setter, known for its loyalty and love of exercise, is an excellent choice. The Irish Water Spaniel, playful and fond of swimming, is great for those near water. For those seeking a calm companion, the majestic Irish Wolfhound, despite its size, fits well with a more relaxed lifestyle. The adaptable Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, with its friendly demeanor, suits various environments, including apartments. Meanwhile, the smaller Glen of Imaal Terrier, spirited yet manageable, is ideal for less spacious living situations or less active owners.

Are any Irish breeds prone to specific health concerns?

Yes, some Irish dog breeds have predispositions to specific health concerns. For example, the large and noble Irish Wolfhound is known to have a shorter lifespan, often prone to cardiac issues and bone cancer. The active Irish Setter may experience hip dysplasia and epilepsy. The Kerry Blue Terrier can have skin conditions and eye problems, while the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier might be susceptible to protein-losing nephropathy and protein-losing enteropathy. It’s crucial for owners to be aware of these potential health issues and seek regular veterinary care. For specific concerns regarding Irish breeds, our clinic in West Greenwich, RI, is equipped to provide guidance and support to ensure their health and well-being.

Are there any less common Irish dog breeds?

Among Irish dog breeds, the Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of the less common varieties. This breed is known for its robust and spirited nature, compact size, and strength. Originally bred for hunting and farm work, the Glen of Imaal Terrier possesses a unique blend of courage and adaptability, making it a cherished companion for those familiar with the breed. Despite its rarity, this breed embodies the resilience and charm of Ireland’s canine heritage, appealing to dog enthusiasts seeking a distinctive and loyal pet.

Do you have questions about your pup’s health or care? Contact us, your veterinary clinic in North Miami Beach, FL, today.