Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A new study by University College Dublin shows that the Irish really love their dogs…. and aren’t that crazy about cats. About 36% of Irish homes have a dog, but less than 10% own cats.

That compares to the United States, where dog and cat ownership is about equal, and 64% of households have at least one pet.  (Humane Society statistics)

Why? Some reasons could include the importance of farming and rural life in Ireland. On a farm, a dog is a helpful companion while cats generally have the run of the property and aren’t regarded so much as “pets” as strays, say researchers.

Most Europeans live in apartments where a cat is an ideal pet, but Irish tend to live in homes, larger homes at that. So a dog makes sense.

And then there’s the plain old Irish bias: they think cats are silly, and strictly for older single women. Whatever the reasons, dogs rule in Ireland!

This Yorkie may be from northern England, but she loves St. Patrick’s Day.

Now THIS is shocking

The latest study shows that Irish people love dogs more than children!

Newstalk (a  news service out of Dublin Ireland), reports about a study undertaken in 2016 to see just how much animals mean to the Irish.

The results may be quite shocking to you.

A massive 69% of people think a family dog makes a house a home – compared to 55% who think children do the same.

Some 84% of all participants consider having a dog as a great way to teach children responsibility, while 82% strongly agree that dogs contribute greatly to children’s development and growth.

And 72% stated that “having a dog “completes the family”.

An impressive 97% of all dog-owners admit they talk to their dogs – with the majority, 60%, also using a silly ‘childlike’ voice when talking to their pet.

While 68% believe a person with a dog can often be more attractive as a potential date or partner.

The research by iReach for Purina is part of their support for DSPCA’s on-going Pet Adoption Drive.

Favorite Dog in Ireland? The Irish Terrier.

When it comes to native-bred dogs, the Irish are blessed with NINE different breeds of dogs exclusively from Ireland. One of the most popular is the Irish Terrier, called “an adventurous pup fit for the city or the suburbs.”

The Irish terrier has a medium-sized, compact build, and typically weighs an average of 30 pounds. This is a very manageable size for those who don’t want a dog on the too-small size nor one considered a large breed.

The Irish terrier coat varies from golden red to red wheaten or wheaten, which is described as a pale yellow or beige color, like the color of wheat. The coat itself is straight and wiry in texture, and feels almost coarse to the touch, although this is what protects the Irish terrier from all kinds of weather.

9 Dog Breeds Native to Ireland

1. Glen of Imaal Terrier
2. Irish Red and White Setter
3. Irish Setters
4. Irish Terriers
5. Irish Water Spaniel
6. Irish Wolfhounds
7. Kerry Beagle
8. Kerry Blue Terrier
9. Wheaten Terrier