MADISON, WI – When one thinks of authentic Emerald Isle dogs, the rusty-haired Irish Setter probably springs to mind first. But there are many other breeds with a pedigree that originated in Ireland. In fact, according to the Irish Kennel Club there are nine native breeds to the land of the Leprechauns:
1. Irish Red Setter
2. Irish Red and White Setter
3. Irish Glen of Emaal Terrier
4. Irish Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
5. Irish Terrier
6. Irish Water Spaniel
7. Irish Wolfhound
8. Kerry Beagle
9. Kerry Blue Terrrier
“These nine breeds were bred for a variety of tasks. They were used as bird retrievers, wolf hunters and vermin hunters” says Lis De Souza, owner of both Serenity Pet Salon & Spas in Madison. “They were primarily used for hunting and, as the case with the Irish Wolfhound, for protection.”
De Souza says that because of their mild temperaments and willingness to please, they have become favorite household pets. But they have some interesting historical backgrounds as well.
“For instance, during World War One, Irish Terriers were used as messenger dogs,” says De Souza. “Despite the chaos and clamor of trench warfare, they proved to be fearless in their duty to deliver messages in terrifying life-and-death situations.”
Another breed with a rich history is the Wolfhound. A fixture of Irish folklore, the breed is often associated with nobility. During the Middle Ages through the 17th century, pairs of Irish hounds were gifted to royal houses in England, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Persia, and India.
“Some history isn’t so glamourous, though,” says De Souza. “Like the Kerry Blue Terrier. In all likelihood, it originated as Ireland’s rat catcher.”
At Serenity Pet Salon & Spas, De Souza and her staff groom five of the nine indigenous Irish breeds: Irish Wolfhound, Irish Terrier, Irish Setter, Kerry Blue Terrier, and Irish Soft Coated Wheaten.
“I’m sure they’ll all be in soon so they can look their best on St. Patrick’s Day,” jokes De Souza.
About Serenity Pet Salon & Spa
Lis De Souza has been grooming dogs since 2004. She opened Serenity Pet Spa and Salon in September of 2015. She is a National Certified Master Groomer, a Groom Team USA Member, a National and International Award-Winning Stylist, and she conducts seminars nationwide. Serenity Pet Spa & Salon’s mission is to give pet owners ease of mind by providing a compassionate grooming experience for their loving animals. They have an open and welcoming environment wherein their professional groomers are better able to provide pets with the best care possible. They consider every client a member of their family and they treat every dog like one of their own. They have two locations in Madison: Westside at 6039 Odana Rd. and Eastside at 5550 Eastpark Blvd. To learn more, visit serenitypetspamadison.com.