This St. Patrick’s Day, don’t stop at four-leaf clovers and leprechauns; celebrate Ireland’s native dogs and handsome hounds with the American Kennel Club.
“The histories and legends surrounding these breeds of the Emerald Isle are as rich and vibrant as the Irish culture,” said AKC spokesperson Lisa Peterson. “Owners of these unique breeds can attest to the joy that their devotion and fun-loving personalities bring to their lives.”
Glen of Imaal Terrier
This hardy working terrier is named after a valley in the Wicklow Mountains called the Glen of Imaal. The Glen of Imaal is courageous and always ready to give chase but makes a docile companion for families with older children.
This deep mahogany beauty is part of the Sporting Group. As retrievers, they’re known for their rollicking personalities and require a lot of exercise. Irish Setters also prove to be loving companions who enjoy children.
The brave and tenacious Irish Terriers were used to transport messages between troops on the front lines during World War I. They’re incomparable companions who are deeply committed to their owners.
Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel sports a topknot of long, loose curls and a body covered with dense, crisply curled liver colored coat. This natural water dog is devoted to its family and cautious with strangers.
This ancient breed was documented in Roman times in the year 391 A.D. and stands at 32” tall. The largest and tallest of galloping hounds, this swift breed hunts by sight and possesses a very social temperament and keen intelligence.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Named after the Irish county “Kerry Blue,” this terrier boasts superior working and hunting skills. Its typical prey is small game and birds and it can also protect its flock.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
This breed, who made its first show-ring appearance on March 17, 1937, sports a soft, silky warm-wheaten coat. A dog who needs plenty of daily exercise, Wheatens are natural greeters and quick learners.
Irish Red and White Setter
The Irish Red and White Setter has a lot to celebrate. The breed was accepted into the AKC’s Sporting Group on January 1, 2009. This Irish dog’s coat is white with red patches.