This week on Ireland AM, we discussed dog shows: Crufts is on this week, and next week it’s the annual St Patricks Day dog show in Dublin.
Three dogs (with their owners) came along to discuss what’s involved with showing dogs. You can watch the video clip by clicking here or following the link at the foot of this page.
Dougal the Irish Water Spaniel
It’s thought that Water Spaniels evolved from dogs that originated in Persia and came to Ireland via Spain. The first Irish reference to “ water dogs that pursue water fowl” dates from 1600, (Pirate Queen) so we know that dogs with waterproof coats were used in Ireland even before the advent of the fowling piece. There is no real evidence of the ancestry of the Irish Water Spaniel except in its most peculiar feature-the rat tail. This feature appears in no similar dog and makes it very likely that the modern breed had an indigenous Irish ancestor. The tail has given rise to the names “ Whip Tail” and “ Rat Tail”. In any event the descendants of these dogs were accepted and achieved great success on show benches in the second half of the 19th century. In 1890 the Irish Water Spaniel Club was formed to promote the interests of the breed.
Belle the Shetland Sheep Dog
Small, long-haired working dog of great beauty, free from cloddiness and coarseness, action lithe and graceful. Outline symmetrical so that no part appears out of proportion to whole. Abundant coat, mane and frill, shapeliness of head and sweetness of expression combine to present the ideal.
Marco the Pumi
The Pumi is a Hungarian sheep dog, also suitable for herding larger types of animals. His scenting ability is well developed. Has excellently proved his worth when combatting wild beasts of prey and rodents. Excellent house pet, can definitely be kept indoors. Needs plenty of exercise. Is an excellent companion and sporting dog.
Want to more about dogs?
The world of dogs is fascinating, and the Irish Kennel Club is hosting a public-facing event on St Patricks Day at the national show grounds in Cloghran, near Dublin Airport. See below for more details.