Animal Friends Blog
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we look at some of the most famous breeds that originate from the land steeped in heritage, folklore, flora and fauna. From terriers to giant dogs, how many of these breeds do you recognise?
The Irish Wolfhound is one of the country’s most famous breeds, known as The Great Hound of Ireland. These gentle giants have appeared in Irish Folklore since tales began and are even intertwined in the story of Gelert, an Irish hound gifted to Llewelyn, the prince of Wales.
A breed originally used for hunting and as war dogs, they make wonderful companions which are likely to fill any owner’s life with love, admiration, and kisses.
The Irish hunters wanted and needed a fast dog with a keen nose and that was easy to spot as they worked. They are believed to have been developed from pointers, English and Gordon setters and other spaniels.
Their stunning deep mahogany or auburn red coat gives this high-energy dog elegance and charm. They’re eager to please which helps with their training, making them fantastic family pets.
Irish Terriers are probably one of the oldest Terrier breeds and are thought to have descended from the old, now extinct, black and tan terrier. During the First World War, Irish Terriers were used to deliver messages, stand guard and rid camps of vermin. They received many accolades for their bravery and loyalty, earning the nickname of ‘Daredevils’.
These brave, energetic and people-orientated dogs can make great pets but often prefer to be the only dog in the home and will need plenty of exercise to keep them happy and healthy.
Another ancient breed, the Kerry Beagle and are believed to have introduced to Ireland by the Celts. Despite their name, these athletic dogs are technically a hound rather than a beagle breed.
Even though they’re best known as a hunting dog, they can make great family pets thanks to their even temperament.
Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniels are one of the tallest spaniels around with their actual origins and ancestry still a bit of a mystery. It’s believed that the ones we see today can be traced back to one dog named Boatswain who was owned by Justin McCarthy during the 1800s.
Their kind natures and natural instincts helped them become highly prized in a hunting environment. They are known to form strong bonds with their families and is bound to entertain all with their clownish behaviour and mischievous attitude.
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