A Nod to the Irish

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March 17th makes us think of the Irish and their lucky holiday. In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I would like to introduce you to three of my favorite red heads that have a connection to Ireland. In fact, Irish is written all over them.

Irish Setter

Irish Setter

First up from the sporting group we have the Irish Setter. Arguably the most recognized of the Irish breeds. Sometimes referred to as the Red Setter, they were originally bred by the Earl of Enniskillen in 1812 and imported to America in 1875.

Irish Red and White Setter

Irish Red and White Setter

Closely related to the Irish Setter is our next dog, the Irish Red & White Setter. Many people are unaware that prior to 1812 both the Irish Setter and the Irish Red and White Setter were considered to be the same breed. With a “devil may care” attitude these two breeds make excellent gun dogs as well as retrievers. These Irishmen are outgoing and stable and enjoy doing things for sport. If it is a game, these athletes are in no matter what the prize.

Irish Terrier

Irish Terrier

Our last red head is the Irish Terrier. Originally bred to control vermin, these dogs were valuable hardworking farm hands. They are affectionate and protective to family, leery of strangers, and a warrior towards their enemies. First recognized in 1870, this independent creature is known for its good temper, keen expression, and graceful outline. This Irishman is the perfect blend of farmhand and companion.

The Irish may be known for green beer, corned beef, and leprechauns but they’re also part of the worldwide love of dogs and have been committed to our four legged friends for centuries. Other Irish dog breeds include the Irish Wolfhound and Irish Water Spaniel. Although they’re not known as true red heads; they are Irish none the less.

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Michelle "Shell" Toth is a lifelong resident of Geauga County and is the owner of Shell's Dog Design in Newbury. She is a member of the International Professional Groomers, Inc. and has 30 years of experience in the pet care industry. Shell's Dog Design is committed to responsible pet care solutions and has a pet style for every lifestyle.