The Dogs of Ireland.
Being Irish I might have a special place in my heart for these breeds but I think they truly represent Ireland, the Irish spirit and the warm Irish soul.
Independent, stubborn, intelligent and always up to no good, the Irish Setter sounds like my perfect dog! It is a tireless puppy that will hunt in wet or dry weather. The name setter comes from the knack of ‘setting’ which means locating and point out game birds. It is a popular dog with American politicians.
Such a beautiful dog both physically and mentally, there are two types. The red one is the more physically glamorous with its luscious red locks. It is the icon of one of the most famous bus brands in Ireland Bus Eireann. The red and white one faced near extinction during WWI. So much so, that it is pretty possible that every current red and white Irish setter has descended from a poorly female puppy what was given to a Maureen Cuddy in 1940. She almost single handedly saved this special breed from extinction.
Another Irish breed - the little known (probably because of its name!) Irish pup is the Irish Water Spaniel. It’s such an interesting breed. It has two coats - one short, dense and thick layer that provides warmth and insulation. Their outer layer provides protection and water resistance.
Lastly we could not mention Irish dog breeds without mentioning the noble Irish Wolfhound. It has played its part in much folklore, many historic battles, featured in fairytales and more but there is nothing imaginary about this gentle giant. They are known for their hunting prowess but also their companionship, which gave way to the saying “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” Often owned by nobility Irish Greyhounds have been homed with Richard III, Anne Boyleyn, Henry VII, Queen Elizabeth I and George Washington to name but a few.