Irish Dogs Information on St. Patrick's Day
For a small island, Ireland sure has contributed to the world’s dog breeds in a big way!
The Emerald Isle is about the size of the State of Indiana, with a population of 4.595 million people – and they boast at least 8 native dog breeds that are recognized by the American Kennel Club.
On St. Patrick’s Day, give these breeds an extra cookie:
These striking red dogs are affectionate, sweet, and very enthusiastic. First recognized in 1878, they are number 73 on the AKC list of breeds ranked by popularity, which is based on number of registrations with the Club.
Irish Water Spaniel
These playful dogs have a great sense of humor, but are probably best known for their water-repellant double coat of crisp ringlets. They were recognized in 1884 and are currently the 152nd most popular breed.
Rexxx, from the 2007 film “Firehouse Dog” was an Irish Terrier (played by 4 different actors). Recognized by the AKC in 1885, they are currently ranked 125th.
The world’s tallest dog, Irish Wolfhounds are pretty unmistakable. First recognized by the AKC in 1897, they are currently the 72nd most popular breed, and each year, one strolls down New York City’s Fifth Avenue as Grand Marshal of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue was the first dog registered to Irish Kennel Club. The fiery and fun terrier was bred as an all-purpose farm dog, watchdog, herding dog, hunting dog, water retriever, and of course, vermin hunter. They were recognized by the AKC in 1922 and are 128th on the list.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
These lifelong puppies were bred for vermin control and herding. They’re pretty popular here in North America, ranking 49th with the AKC, despite being recognized as recently as 1973.
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Recognized by the AKC in 2009, these dogs were originally bred to keep vermin out of the home, and to hunt badgers, foxes. The gentle but spirited terrier ranks 162nd.
Irish Red and White Setter
While they were first recognized by the AKC in 2009, 131 years after the Irish Setter, these dogs are the older of the two. They make great family dogs for active households, and are 155th on the AKC registration list.
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