St. Patrick’s Day Tribute to Irish Dog Breeds

Call it the power of the shamrock, the charm of the leprechaun, or just the luck of the Irish. One thing is for certain: the great people of the Emerald Isle have produced some of the most curious, independent, and enthusiastic dogs in the world. Impress your friends at the pub this St. Patrick’s Day with some fun facts about the most popular Irish dog breeds courtesy of

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier – The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is a medium-sized dog that is not only powerful but gentle and affectionate. Most often noted for its warm, wheaten-colored coat, this Irish terrier is also athletic and able to compete in dog trials or shows that require agility. Few could ask for a more wonderful companion for those looking for a curious indoor dog.

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Irish Setter – Its distinctive and eye-catching deep red mahogany coat and full, silky hair makes the Irish Setter a favorite with the well-heeled set. Add in the Irish Setter’s unbound enthusiasm, superior hunting skills, and happy disposition, and few can match this breed as an ideal companion dog.

Irish Setters

Irish Terrier – Speculated to be among the first of terrier breeds, the Irish Terrier is very true to typical terrier traits with its loyalty, adaptability, and spunk. This breed is very well-rounded and makes for an excellent companion.

Irish Terrier

Irish Wolfhound – Often recognized as the world’s largest dog breed, the Irish Wolfhound is a strong and sturdy giant whose temperament is gentle and noble. The Irish Wolfhound makes an excellent addition to any family that can offer plenty of space to accommodate this breed’s size.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Water Spaniel – Though the Irish Water Spaniel is one of the oldest spaniels today, it is also very rare. Unique in appearance with its curly coat, this breed is a fun-loving and spritely dog that makes an excellent pet.

Irish Water Spaniel

The Glen of Imaal – The Glen of Imaal Terrier is more of a working terrier than a fashionable show dog. One of its original jobs was to dig into burrows to root out nuisance badgers – its weight and strength matching the badger’s, and its powerful tail acting as a handle for being pulled from the hole, if necessary. The Glen of Imaal differs from many types of terriers in that it is not a barker.

Glen of Imaal Terrier

Irish Red and White Setter – Most people are much more familiar with the Irish Red Setter; however, it is believed that the Red and White Setter is actually the older of the two breeds, dating back to the 17th century. Best known in the field for its athletic build and keen personality, the Irish Red and White Setter is a perfect family dog.

Irish Red and White Setter

Kerry Blue Terrier – Originally bred as a farm dog in the mountainous regions of Ireland, the Kerry Blue Terrier is a stunning show dog and a giddy house pet. If you want an active dog that will be begging you to run, explore, and play, then this athletic fur ball with a blue-gray coat should be your pet of choice.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Beagle – Not your average beagle, the Kerry Beagle is better qualified as a hound. It is also thought to be one of the oldest of all the Irish dog breeds, originally introduced to Ireland by the Celts. Although they are best know as hunting dogs, the Kerry Beagle is known as a friendly dog, ideal for families.

Kerry Beagle


  1. The Glen of Imaal was new to me. Thanks, learned about one more breed :-)

  2. Anonymous says on  03/17/2012 at 3:50 pm

    Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are the sweetest most affable dogs I have ever come across. My Father has 3 & they each have their own distinct personality.

  3. Elizabeth says on  03/17/2012 at 3:58 pm

    Thank you, I really enjoyed these photos and descriptions

  4. Sara says on  03/17/2012 at 4:08 pm

    They are so beautiful!

  5. Best dog I ever had was half Irish Wolfhound and half Newfoundland.

  6. We had a Wheaton. Awesome dog. Uber cute!

  7. Wonderful pictures and descriptions.

  8. Maria says on  03/17/2012 at 4:22 pm

    Very interesting! I never seen the Irish Red and White Setter or the Kerry Beagle.Thank you for posting this!

  9. Loved my Irish Setters! They are such beauties.

  10. I’ve had Glens for eleven years now and they ate wonderful dogs to live with.

  11. Love of my life was a Soft-Coated Wheaten…

  12. Lisa says on  03/17/2012 at 4:35 pm

    I love the setters silky coats

  13. Sally says on  03/17/2012 at 4:41 pm

    Seriously coveting an Irish wolfhound!

  14. Iva says on  03/17/2012 at 4:51 pm

    The only one I didn’t know was the Glen of Imaal Terrier.

  15. All wonderful breeds….Love them all

  16. Yes, but I watch dog shows.

  17. Julie says on  03/17/2012 at 5:08 pm

    oooh, cannot view. Will someone list the breeds for me, please….

  18. Have Irish Setter here.. WONDERFUL Breed!! Molly is a Gem of all Gems!

  19. Victoria says on  03/17/2012 at 5:37 pm

    LOVE my Irish Kerry Blue…She is the BEST! <3

  20. We had two Wheatens, Molly and Casey….great family dogs, super sweet!!!

  21. Sarah says on  03/17/2012 at 5:58 pm

    I have 3 wheatens :)

  22. Roberta says on  03/17/2012 at 8:14 pm

    All lovely dogs, but gotta say I love those big houndies.

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