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9 Native Irish Dog Breeds (With Pictures)

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

irish setter in mountains

Ireland might be a small island, but it’s full of history and dog breeds. In fact, while Ireland is about the size of Indiana, the country is responsible for nine dog breeds. We’ve highlighted each one for you here and came up with a brief rundown of what each dog breed offers.

Whether you’re looking to learn more about Irish dog breeds or you’re thinking about bringing one home, you’re in the right place to learn a little more.

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The 9 Irish Dog Breeds

1. Irish Setter

irish setter dog in the garden
Image Credit: Mr_Incognito, Pixabay
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 53 to 71 pounds
Average Lifespan 12 to 15 years

The Irish Setter is by far the most well-known dog breed that originates from Ireland, and the more you learn about the Irish Setter, the easier it is to fall in love with them. They have great personalities, are quick, and have beautiful red coats that help set them apart from other dogs.

If you’re looking for an outstanding companion or hunting dog, the Irish Setter is an exceptional choice.

2. Irish Wolfhound

irish wolfhound dog at the park
Image Credit: volofin, Shutterstock
Height 30 to 36 inches
Weight 150 to 180 pounds
Average Lifespan 6 to 10 years

If you’re looking for the largest dog breed from Ireland, or perhaps one of the largest dog breeds in the world, the Irish Wolfhound is the answer. Males can stand 3 feet tall and weigh up to 180 pounds, making them a physically imposing dog.

They’re shaggy-looking, extremely fast dogs, and for the most part are calm and relaxed, although they have relatively high exercise needs.

3. Kerry Beagle

Kerry Beagle dog laying down
Image Credit: DannyWalsh, Shutterstock
Height 22 to 24 inches
Weight 50 to 60 pounds
Average Lifespan 10 to 14 years

While the Irish Setter is one of the most common Irish dog breeds, the Kerry Beagle is likely the rarest. Like all beagles, they’re hunting dogs that work by scent and in packs, and they feature a strong build and extremely loyal nature. While they’re not the easiest to track down, they’re well worth it if you can find one!

4. Irish Water Spaniel

Typical Irish Water Spaniel_Nikolai Belyakov_shutterstock
Image Credit: Nikolai Belyakov, Shutterstock
Height 21 to 24 inches
Weight 45 to 65 pounds
Average Lifespan 10 to 12 years

Once you see an Irish Water Spaniel for the first time, they instantly become one of the most recognizable dog breeds out there. They’re a tall breed with a thick curly coat, and they’re also extremely rare. In fact, in the United States, there are only a few hundred purebred Irish Water Spaniels registered every year.

5. Glen of Imaal Terrier

Glen of Imaal Terrier walking on grass outdoor
Image Credit: DejaVuDesigns, Shutterstock
Height 12 to 14 inches
Weight 30 to 40 pounds
Average Lifespan 10 to 15 years

The Glen of Imaal Terrier is one of the smaller dog breeds from Ireland, but don’t let their small size fool you about their large personalities. They have scruffy coats and stand close to the ground, but these dogs are all about hard work. They’re also extremely smart and friendly, making them great companions or working dogs.

6. Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier in a spring garden
Image Credit: Colin Seddon, Shutterstock
Height 17 to 20 inches
Weight 33 to 40 pounds
Average Lifespan 13 to 15 years

If you want a dog with Irish origins but suffer from pet allergies, the Kerry Blue Terrier might be just what you’re looking for. They’re considered a hypoallergenic dog breed, although there is no truly hypoallergenic dog, and their unique facial hair makes them instantly recognizable. Just be ready for a dog with a beard that can rival yours!

7. Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Irish soft coated Wheaten Terrier
Image Credit: Dora-Zett, Shutterstock
Height 17 to 19 inches
Weight 30 to 40 pounds
Average Lifespan 12 to 15 years

The Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is another dog with Irish origins. They’re great family dogs that always seem happy and are incredibly loyal, but they do have a stubborn streak that can make them a bit more challenging to train. But an experienced handler that stays consistent shouldn’t have any problem with an Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.

8. Irish Red and White Setter

Irish Red and White Setter
Image Credit By: Dinotopia, shutterstock
Height 22 to 26 inches
Weight 55 to 75 pounds
Average Lifespan 12 to 15 years

Technically, the Irish Red and White Setter falls under the “Irish Setter” category, but most avid fans of the dog will classify them separately. That’s because Irish Red and White Setters stand smaller, have a slightly different body shape, and have an overall stockier build than a traditional Irish Setter.

There’s not much difference in personalities, and they’re both great dogs, but when you compare them side-by-side, there’s a difference between the two breeds.

9. Irish Terrier

irish terrier dog standing in the park
Image Credit; Radomir Rezny, Shutterstock
Height 17 to 19 inches
Weight 24 to 26 pounds
Average Lifespan 13 to 15 years

As yet another hypoallergenic dog bred with Irish roots, the Irish Terrier is a great companion for you if you suffer from pet allergies. They get along great with children with proper socialization, and you’re not going to find a more loyal dog breed out there. They can be a bit stubborn at times, but with a little consistency and training, they’re easily tamed.

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With so many different dog breeds with Irish origins, there’s no reason you can’t bring one home if that’s what you want to do. There are hypoallergenic options, common dog breeds, and rare options for you to pick from, allowing you to get exactly what you’re looking for, all while getting a dog with some Irish roots.

Featured Image Credit: Kseniia Kolesnikova, Shutterstock

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