Tag archives: St. Patrick's Day

Dog Breeds of Irish Origin: Part 2 – Terrier Breeds

Dog Breeds of Irish Origin: Part 2 – Terrier Breeds

In the spirit of the impending annual homage to one of the most widely recognized patron saints of Ireland, St. Patrick, we are taking a look at the wonderful dog breeds of Irish origin and some of the inherited diseases that are reported to affect them. In part one, we discussed dogs developed in Ireland that fall outside the terrier group such as the Irish wolfhound and the Irish setter. In this second blog of the two blog series, we will discuss four terrier breeds gifted from the Emerald Isle to the rest of the world for dog lovers to enjoy!

Kerry Blue Terrier

Like many terrier breeds, the origins of the Irish-bred Kerry blue terrier are closely linked to their abilities in controlling a variety of vermin nuisances. Though not a particularly popular breed in the US (most recently ranked 128th based upon their AKC registration statistics), the Kerry blue is easily recognizable by their characteristic progressive gray (“blue”) wavy to curly coat. Born black, this attractive breed slowly develops their characteristic gray/blue color over their first 2 years of life in a process referred to by breeders as “clearing”. Though variability exists in regards to the ...

Dog Breeds of Irish Origin: Part 1 - Non-terrier Breeds

Dog Breeds of Irish Origin: Part 1 - Non-terrier Breeds

It’s the time of year to break out your green attire, shine up your Claddagh ring, and water your shamrocks because St. Patrick’s Day is upon us! In the spirit of this traditional Irish holiday, it is also time to take a look at some of the dog breeds that the people of Ireland have so graciously developed for the rest of the world’s dog lovers to appreciate. In addition, we will also take a look at some of the inherited diseases reported to affect these breeds and the genetic tests available through Paw Print Genetics. Through the implementation of genetic testing and selective breeding, these diseases can be completely eliminated from any dog breeding program.

Irish Wolfhound

One breed with its roots firmly planted in Irish soil is the Irish wolfhound. One of the most ancient and arguably the most visually striking dog breed of Irish origin, the Irish wolfhound, was originally developed as a fierce hunting companion, military dog, and guard dog. However, the temperament of the modern wolfhound bares little resemblance to ancient descriptions of the ferocious canines known for their selfless bravery in battle. Now much more known for their quiet, confident, and introverted demeanor, there ...