On this St. Patrick’s Day, we’re taking a look at some fantastic dog breeds that made Ireland famous. A long tradition of hunting in Ireland has made for some fantastic hunting dogs, both big and small, to grab all varieties of game out on the Irish marshes.
One of the first references to the Irish setter was made in the 1500s, where the author describes the setter’s excellent hunting abilities. Primarily a pointing dog, the Irish setter is great at pointing and flushing out game birds such as doves and quail. Many famous individuals have owned setters, including Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys, Richard Nixon, and Harry Truman.
This dog takes its name very seriously. The Irish wolfhound was bred as early as the 3000’s B.C.E. and accounts of it range back as far as Julius Caesar, who reported that the Celts would fight with wolfhounds at their sides. The dog was primarily bred for hunting game such as wolves and boars, neither of which exist on the Irish mainland today.
Irish Water Spaniel
It might be easy to confuse the Irish water spaniel with its Russian cousin the poodle, and that’s because they are both water dogs. The water spaniel was bred to swim, as the name implies, and jump into water after game birds that had fallen in. Its tight, curly coat is great for keeping water away from the skin, which helps it stay warm on those cold Irish nights.
These dogs weren’t bred for hunting like the first few dogs on our list, but the Irish terrier can run with the best when it comes to chasing down mice, rats, and other rodents. The terrier has become much more popular in recent years, mostly thanks to its fondness and gentleness around children.
Kerry Blue Terrier
Originally bred as a ‘vermin’ hunter, the blue terrier has been adapted to all sorts of jobs that may be necessary on the Irish homestead. Great for herding cattle and sheep, as well as preforming guard duties, the Kerry blue terrier has actually begun to lose popularity in recent years. This hasn’t kept it from being one of the most loved dogs in the country. Some have even tried to get it adopted as the national dog of Ireland.
Big or small, hunter or not, your dog is always welcome at Pawderosa Ranch. This St. Patty’s Day, we’ll take care of your dog even if they aren’t wearing green. Click on the button below to check out our boarding options for you night out on the town.