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What is the national dog of Ireland?

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What is the national dog of Ireland? PDF Print E-mail
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Ireland - Ireland FAQs and Trivia
Written by Hugh McManus   

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Sunday, 24 August 2008 23:05

Great question.  There are many breeds of dogs from Ireland, so what is the national breed?  Well, let's see if you can decide: here's a list of breeds of Irish dogs.

  • The Irish Glen of Imaal Terrier 
  • The Irish Red Setter 
  • The Irish Terrier
  • The Irish Water Spaniel
  • The Irish White Setter
  • The Irish Wolfhound
  • The Kerry Beagle
  • The Kerry Blue Terrier
  • The Wheaten Terrier (Soft coated)

So which one of these beautiful dogs is the national dog of Ireland?   You'll have to go to the next page to find out.

There is none.  That's right: there is no official dog of Ireland.  Belgium has a national dog; it's one of the few countries that actually has one.  Ireland, which has some spectacular breeds, has no national dog.

What is interesting is that Ireland tends to produce some of the largest dogs within a group.  The Kennel Club (UK) has seven groups and most countries that have had an historical relationship with Britain tend to adopt this pattern.  The American Kennel Club, the AKC has seven breed groups: Sporting, Hound, Working, Terrier, Toy, non-Sporting and Herding.  The Irish Wolfhound is the largest breed in the Hound Group; the Irish Terrier is the largest in the Terrier Group.  The Irish Water Spaniel is the largest spaniel in the Working Group.  For a small country, Ireland produces big dogs–the canine variety.

If you think about it, arguments in Ireland can erupt for the most trivial of reasons.  Irish history is littered with organizations starting strong, then splitting unceremoniously in two, then into four, then into eight and so on.  There just aren't enough adjectives left for an organization to claim to be the "official" or "real" or "united" or whatever they want to be.  Just imagine the uproar if one breed were to be singled out as special–as the national dog of Ireland.

 

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