In celebration of International Dog day, it seems only right to acknowledge the magnificent dogs native to Ireland. Possibly one of the most important days of the year, as it acknowledges mans best friend; the loyal and cute companions that have provided people with friendship and entertainment for hundreds of years. Today is a day of celebration for these adorable animals, so whether you are spending today spoiling your own dog, or wishing you had one, our book Native Irish Dogs is here to provide you with some beautiful and adorable photographs of both grown dogs and puppies of many of the different breeds of dogs from Ireland. We have selected some of these below, but more can be found inside the book, which is available here..
Irish Red & White Setter
The Irish Red and White Setter is a loyal and attentive companion and makes for the perfect family dog. Generally submissive and non-assertive, they are a gentle and welcoming breed. Essentially a working dog, they do best in active households where they can expel some of their energy, and do require enough space to run freely so they can gallop and act on their natural searching instincts. Although energetic outdoors, they are quiet and calm indoors, preferring to curl up on the couch. Extremely sweet-natured, they are exceptional with children and other dogs.
Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier
Glen of Imaal Terriers are lively and bold. They tend to be more even-tempered than other terrier breeds, more laid-back and far less vocal. A hard-working and explorative dog, they require less attention than other breeds – apart from regular walks, they will happily laze around the house. They have a stubborn terrier streak and can be independent dogs, but thrive with an owner who is firm and consistent. Unlike some terrier breeds, Glens do well with children and are fiercely loyal to their family, as well as being welcoming and generally calm with strangers.
Early socialisation is important, particularly with other dogs and smaller pets within the household, as their prey drive increases with maturity. This breed would be perfect for a busy family, as they love human companionship, but tend not to crave constant attention. Although small, they are strong, plucky dogs; hardy and able to cope and adapt to a variety of situations.
The Kerry Beagle was bred as a specialised pack hound and still exhibits a very strong hunting instinct. In spite of this, they can make an ideal family pet and are friendly, welcoming, and good with children and other dogs. Kerry Beagles are extremely energetic and require a significant amount of exercise on and off-leash.
Despite its immense size, the Wolfhound is a placid, quiet dog, generally independent and reserved in character. The breed is summed up easily in its historic motto ‘gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked’. Although independent, they thrive with human companionship and are loyal to their family. Again, contrary to their size, Wolfhounds are of a gentle and calm disposition, and are very tolerant of children. An easy dog to train, they respond well to calm and consistent leadership. However, these dogs are not good guard dogs and will tend to watch the family rather than defend territory or possessions.
Although the breed history suggests otherwise, the modern Wolfhound is a kind and patient companion that enjoys worldwide popularity. In owning a Wolfhound you can expect a loyal and devoted companion and wonderful guardian. Surprisingly for a dog this size, they do not require a huge amount of exercise, and a long walk to expend any energy will suffice – they will then happily laze around the house for the rest of the day.
Unfortunately, on this day we also remember that many dogs are left homeless in Ireland, with over 14,000 dogs put in pounds each year, so whilst we celebrate their amazing existence on this day, remember that a lot of dogs are not lucky enough to have a home. So if you have space in your home for an adorable cuddle companion or not, there are many ways to help, either by adopting, fostering or by just sponsoring a dog.
If you don’t have a dog right now, maybe this has been the nudge you needed to go out and find yourself a new best friend? Or you do and this has made you realise you need more in your home? Either way, these are just some of the many wonderful organisations working hard everyday to help our friends who could also use your help.
ASH Animal Rescue
Paws Animal Rescue Ireland