Erin Go Bark: The Most Popular Irish Dog Breeds and Names

Irish Wolfhound

In celebration of St. Pawtrick’s — er, Patrick’s — Day, here are the most popular Irish dog breeds and names in the United States.

No matter what breed or mix of breeds your dog happens to be, have a very Happy St. Patrick’s Day. And let’s hope every homeless dog has the luck of the Irish and finds a forever family!

Top 5 Irish Dog Breeds

According to the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Most Popular Dog Breeds of 2022, these are the Irish breeds that made the list:

  1. Irish Setter (71 on the list)
  2. Irish Wolfhound (89; 85 in 2021)
  3. Irish Terrier (131; 124 in 2021)
  4. Irish Red and White Setter (168; 154 in 2021)
  5. Irish Water Spaniel (183; 165 in 2021)
irish setter

Top 5 St. Patrick’s Day-Inspired Dog Names

Back in 2015, the pet insurance provider VPI (now Nationwide) listed the most popular Irish-inspired pet names, based on its database of more than 525,000 insured pets.

These were the top 5 names:

  1. Lucky
  2. Seamus
  3. Clover
  4. Patrick
  5. Shamrock

The most popular name for Irish Wolfhounds was Finnegan, VPI noted. Dublin, after the capital of Ireland, and Jameson, a famous Irish whiskey, were also popular names.

And if you want to give your new four-legged family member an Irish name, the AKC offers these suggestions, among others:

  • Patrick
  • Clover or Shamrock
  • Madigan (Gaelic for “little dog”)
  • Shandy (which is beer mixed with a soft drink, ick)
  • Finn or Finnegan (Gaelic for “fair one,” aww)
irish terrier

Top 5 Irish Beer-Inspired Dog Names

These were the most popular beer-inspired names, according to VPI:

  1. Murphy
  2. Guinness
  3. Harp
  4. Smithwick
  5. O’Hara

Although it’s not on the list, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bailey, after the famous cream liqueur, is also a very popular name, sure and begorrah.

irish water spaniel

Photos: peggycadigan; frame.fusionKathleen Tyler Conklin; Pleple2000

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!