Ireland has not named one dog or another as the national dog of Ireland but their are plenty of Irish dogs that could lay claim to that title.
The largest breed is of course the Irish Wolfhound. This breed of dog is given credit for ridding Ireland of wolves. Though imposing, this Irish dog belies a great gentleness and loyal character. it is no wonder he is an iconic symbol of Ireland. Along with the round tower and the harp, the Irish Wolfhound make up the mark found on every piece of Belleek China, iconic indeed.
The breed of Irish dog owned by Michael Collins would be the Irish Blue terrier sometimes referred to as a Kerry Blue terrier. This sturdy energetic and fierce dog with it’s distinctive beard and blueish black coloring was the perfect dog for ferreting out vermin in the barns and fields of Ireland, hunting small game, or protecting the homestead. By all accounts The Kerry Blue is the National dog of Ireland.
Now one would only have to visit an Irish field full of sheep to understand that there are Irish dogs of non – Irish blood that have become iconic dogs of Ireland. The sheep dogs, more specifically the border collie. Border collies are the energizer bunnies of the working dog class. Competitions are held and farmers and herders put on a display of their dogs skill. The dogs manage to herd their quarry into pens while receiving orders via whistles from their owners. It’s amazing to watch.
There are nine native breeds of Irish dogs from Ireland, four Terriers, two Hounds and three Gundogs.
- Irish Terrier,
- Soft Coated Wheaten Irish Terrier,
- Irish Blue Terrier Kerry Blue
- Glen of Imaal Terrier,
- Kerry Beagle,
- Irish Wolf Hound,
- Irish Setter
- Irish Red & White Setter
- Irish Water Spaniel)
All of which believe they lay some claim to the title of #1 dog of Irish dogs
Now I believe the most beloved dog of Ireland is whichever dog greets you at the door, be it setter or hound, wheaton or blue, spaniel or beagle, mutt or mongrel. And it is to this end I’ll leave you with this little ditty about yours truly Irish dog, of American descent.
My dogs a terrier not that bright
He just won’t learn as some dogs might
But he’s a good dog with a bark not a bite
You pet him on his sturdy head
He’ll roll on his back as if he’s dead
But really a belly rub is his aim
And really who doesn’t, he’s not to blame
But in the end he’s a good companion
Chasing squirrels with reckless abandon
His name is Mickey we call him Mic
And when we walk it’s no great trick
He’s not so smart but we’d have no other
just one dumb mic being walked by another