On Saint Patrick's Day we turn our attention to all things Irish: shamrocks, the Blarney Stone and, of course, things green. The Emerald Isle has also brought us a wonderful selection of dogs. Back in the time of Saint Patrick, breeds like the water spaniel, wolfhound and the beagle were reserved for nobility; commoners had to be content with terriers. Now, of course, Irish breeds of all types – terriers included – are exceedingly popular on both sides of the Atlantic.
Glen of Imaal Terrier–Glen of Imaal, which is a valley in the Wicklow Mountains, is the region in Ireland after which this hardy breed is named. Longer than tall and sporting a double coat of medium length, the "Glen" possesses great strength and conveys the impression of a dog of good substance. This is a working terrier, who must have the agility, freedom of movement and endurance to do the work for which it was developed. Like its Irish counterparts, the Glen isalso courageous, and always ready to give chase. When working, it is active, agile, silent and intent upon its game. Otherwise, the Glen can be a docile companion for families with older children. Recognized by the AKC in 2004, the Glen of Imaal is one of the newest AKC breeds.
Irish Setter—Green may be the color of the Irish, but deep mahogany is the color of this four-legged beauty. The Irish Setter was among the original breeds recognized by AKC at its inception in 1884 and is part of the Sporting Group. Irish Setters have rollicking personalities and require a good amount of exercise to satisfy their breed instincts; they are tough and tireless field retrievers. They are also loving companion dogs who enjoy the company of children. It takes about three years for this breed to fully mature into adulthood, so if you’re considering bringing an Irish Setter into your home, you should be prepared for an active, fun-loving dog.
Irish Terrier–This breed was featured in the 2007 movie "Firehouse Dog," where it was cast as a canine hero. Not surprising, considering that Irish Terriers were used to transport messages between troops on the front lines in World War I. Their bravery and spirit make them incomparable pals, and they possess great tenacity. Loyal and friendly, Irish Terriers hardily adapt to any situation, and they are deeply committed to their owners. Irish Terriers served as longtime mascots for the Notre Dame Football team, providing halftime entertainment for adoring crowds. The Irish Terrier was first recognized by the AKC in 1885.
Irish Wolfhound–While Irish literature refers to this ancient breed in many ways, including "Big Dogs of Ireland," Irish Wolfhounds were documented in Rome in the year 391 A.D., where they were presented to the Roman Counsel as gifts, which "all Rome viewed with wonder." No wonder-- they are the largest and tallest of the galloping hounds. Males should be a minimum of 32" tall and weigh 120 pounds; females should be a minimum of 30" tall and weigh 105 pounds. This is a swift breed, which hunts by sight, and needs an ample, fenced yard to accommodate its full gallop. As in early times, Irish Wolfhounds possess an extraordinary social temperament, as well as the intelligence to separate friend, family and foe.
Have an Irish Dog you’d like to recognize or a story you’d like to
tell? I’d love to hear from you! Thanks!
Have an Irish Dog you’d like to recognize or a story you’d like to tell? I’d love to hear from you! Thanks!