With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, this is a great time to look at two very popular breeds of Irish dogs that originate in Ireland. There are actually several breeds of Irish dogs, including the massive Irish Wolfhound, the unique looking Irish Water Spaniel, the Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, and the Glen of Imaal Terrier, which is one of 4 different Irish terrier breeds.
The two most common Irish dogs in the United States are the Irish Setter and the Irish Terrier. Both of these breeds have their own unique personality and look, and they both make exceptional pets for singles, couples, families, and for the elderly.
The Irish Setter
The Irish Setter, as with other setter breeds, was originally bred and developed as a gundog. While most Irish Setters are now companion pets, they can be trained in a range of different types of activities, including obedience, agility, retrieving, and tracking.
There are two different types of Irish Setters in the United States. The most common is the show line, while there is also a field line, which is bred to be a gundog rather than for show. Males are bigger than females, with mature dogs weighing between 55 and 75 pounds.
Most people immediately recognize the Irish Setter due to the longer, flowing, mahogany to brighter chestnut colored coat. The breed has feathering on the legs, chest, belly, and on the ears and the tail. They are a breed that required frequent and regular grooming to keep their coat in good shape, and they tend to enjoy their grooming sessions.
They have a happy and playful personality, and Irish Setters love to be around their families. The Irish Setter is a dog that craves human attention and interaction, but they are also comfortable in simply being close with the family.
The Irish Setter is a great family dog and does well with children of all ages, although they can be a bit rambunctious when they are puppies. When socialized early, they do well with other animals, and they are typically friendly with people, but they do bark to let the family know when strangers approach.
The Irish Setter is a higher energy breed and does best with a large, fenced yard or long daily walks or jogs. They can be independent and, if they get on a scent trail or spot birds or small animals, they can ignore calls to come back. Early training on recall is critical for this breed.
As mentioned above, there are actually 4 different terrier breeds from Ireland, wit the Irish Terrier the most common outside of the country. They are one of the oldest terrier breeds and have been shown in the Dublin dog show since 1873.
They have a dense, wiry, shorter double coat that is golden red to darker red, as well as wheaten in color. They may have a white patch on the chest, and their body is long with a deep chest. The breed is typically 25 pounds or more, and they are energetic, active, and curious throughout their life.
The Irish Terrier is a great family and companion dog, and they are naturally friendly, but they are good watchdogs as well. They can be independent and need to be socialized and trained early and consistently. As a true terrier, they can be difficult to have in a home with cats or small animals if they are not socialized early. The breed excels at agility, and they need to feel they have a job to do. This is a breed that required a lot of exercise on a daily basis, and they do best when they are with an active owner.
The Irish Terrier can be challenging to train as they are often independent. They do not respond well to repetitive training methods, but are highly intelligent and learn very quickly. They do best with a lot of variety in their training, and they can be taught to do a wide variety of tricks.