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Happy St. Patrick's Day! Now, while dogs don't exactly celebrate it the way humans do, there's still plenty of Irish dogs out there. So in honor of St. Paddy's day, here's a feature on some Irish dog breeds.
1. Irish Wolfhound - This is an extremely old breed, thought to have came to Ireland over 5,000 years ago and were used on the battlefield. Recently though, these dogs became more of big teddy bears than anything. Unfortunately, they have some of the shortest life expectancies of any breed because of their risk of bone cancer.
2. Irish Setter - These are beautiful dogs, but many say their personalities are even better. They're one of the most affectionate breeds but make sure you spend time with them. If they feel abandoned, they tend to get destructive.
3. Kerry Blue Terrier - Some say that these dogs are actually from Tipperary but Simon & Schuster's Guide to Dogs say that they emerged in the 1700's in County Kerry. There's a fun legend tied along with the Kerry Blue that says when a Russian ship crashed in Kerry's Tralee Bay, an exotic blue-coated dog paddled it way to shore.
4. Irish Water Spaniel - This breed has thick, curly hair and a tiny ratlike tail. Their unique appearance is said to have come from breeds like the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog. It first appeared in Ireland in the early 19th-century.
5. Irish Terrier - These pups require lots and lots of activity. They can be hard to train, too, since they constantly want action and physical activity. These dogs are great in sporting events like agility competitions, but they can have some aggression towards other dogs of the same gender.
6. Wheaten Terrier - This dog looks adorable and fun, but they also are deceptively athletic. They are very playful and are known to jump and lick faces repeatedly to show their affection. This breed excels in outdoor and obedience activities.
7. Glen of Imaal Terrier - This unique-looking pooch comes from County Wicklow, a result of Daschund-type dogs breeding with local Irish terriers. This breed is known for vermin-hunting, so watch out for your cat because they're known to chase them! These dogs have a great lifespan of 15 years or more.
8. Irish Toy Collie - "Collie" is an old Celtic term for "useful dog," hence this breed's name! It's lineage includes the Shetland Sheepdog and other talented herders. This dog is known for having a sharp mind and a very sweet personality.
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