Meet the breed: Irish dog breeds

Mar 22, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Still looking for that lucky four-leaf clover? We’ve found it for you, in the form of a lucky four-legged friend. These top Irish dog breeds are loving, loyal and will surely charm their way in to your heart.


Irish setter

Irish Setter

Made famous by President Harry S. Truman, the Irish setter was born with White House sized stamina. This auburn-haired canine loves to run, hunt and play all day. Nature blessed the Irish setter with a heart and lung capacity equipped to sustain a rigorous exercise routine. This loyal and loving breed makes an excellent family pet and is great around children. Apartment dwellers beware — this breed requires constant room to run, so be prepared to spend plenty of time outdoors.

Best fit for

Active families and households with plenty of outdoor room to roam.


Irish water spaniel

Irish Water Spaniel

Born with webbed feet and a furless tail, the Irish water spaniel not only loves to swim but has a natural desire for water sport. Potential owners must keep this high-endurance breed continually engaged in mental and physical activity. Don’t let those curly locks fool you — this breed is surprisingly low-maintenance in the grooming department and simple routine bathing and brushing should be enough to keep this pooch clean and healthy.

Best fit for

Patient and active families. Due to the rarity of this breed, potential owners must be willing to wait in line for an Irish water spaniel to call their own.

Photo credit: Pleple2000, CC BY-SA 3.0


Irish Wolfhound

This gentle giant boasts the prestigious title of the tallest breed in the world. The Irish wolfhound could rival any basketball athlete, as it can reach a height of 7 feet tall when standing on its hind legs. Due to its large proportions, families in small dwellings may choose to opt for a smaller breed, however, this laid-back breed can prosper in an indoor lifestyle. Docile and lovable, the Irish wolfhound makes a great pet for young children, as it requires plenty of attention and affection.

Best fit for

Families with children and extra big hearts.


Soft coated
wheaten terrier

Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Spunky, fun-loving and energetic, the soft coated wheaten terrier will keep you on your toes. With a keen sense for sport and adventure, this breed requires an extensive amount of attention and exercise. With an unbelievably soft and silky coat, you'll want to cuddle and hug your wheaten terrier all day, and trust us, he'll love you for it. This breed does well in both warm and cold environments as long as playtime is a top priority.

Best fit for

Families with a lot of time and energy to spare.

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