Kiss Me! I'm an Irish Dog!

Celebrate the lucky dog breeds that call the Emerald Isle their home.

Posted: Mar 16, 2015, 5 a.m. PST

Forget your shamrocks and leprechauns, dogs are a much heartier part of the fabric and history of the lucky Irish. Tales of their loyalty, love, pluck and courage abound in Irish folklore and music. So in honor of Americas fascination with St. Patricks Day (not such a big deal in old Eire), we tip our hats to some familiar Irish breeds.

"The histories and legends surrounding these breeds of the Emerald Isle are as rich and vibrant as the Irish culture,” says 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 tough little Irish scrapper was developed to used against badgers and foxes and its courage is legendary. Unlike many other terriers who bark at their adversaries, the Glen of Imaal works quietly, keeping silent even when facing a creature as formidable as a badger. 

Glen of Imaal

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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.

Irish Red White Setter

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Irish Setter

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.

Irish Setter

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 Irish Terrier

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 Terrier




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.

Irish Water Spaniel

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Irish Wolfhound

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.


Irish Wolfhound 

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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.


Kerry Blue Terrier

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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.

Soft Coated Wheaten

   More about the Soft Coated Wheaten>>


More Irish Dogs




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Eileen - 249708   Port Perry, ON

3/22/2014 5:17:09 AM

Great article and wonderful pictures!

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vivian - 188964   merion station, PA

3/18/2014 12:02:44 AM

These are great dogs!

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