Dog Breeds: I

The Ibizan Hound’s aloof and reserved demeanour is appropriate, given it is descended from the royal dogs of ancient Egypt. Despite this façade, it is an affectionate and sensitive breed that will get along with any humans or other dogs in the family. Smaller pets are another matter, for this energetic dog, which needs lots of exercise, is a capable hunter.

The Icelandic Sheepdog is well known for being a playful and friendly companion. They are a great outdoor breed with plenty of energy and enthusiasm for exercise. Although some might be put off by their tendency to bark and shed, others will quickly fall in love with their cheerful disposition and engaging characters.

The Indian Pariah Dog, or INDog as its modern fans prefer to call it, is an aboriginal landrace dog from India. They are friendly and loving towards those they know but have a territorial streak in them. They have had an almost commensal relationship with man for many centuries but are finally making an appearance as family pets.

The Irish Dane is a gentle giant with a reputation for being loyal and placid. They require moderate amounts of exercise but plenty of living space. Health problems linked to the breed include bloat, hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and bone cancer. The cost of upkeep for food and routine anti-parasite control can be considerable.

The good-looking Irish Doodle is an energetic dog that bonds closely with its family but can be reserved with others. They need plenty of space in which to stretch their long legs and are not a good choice for apartment dwellers. While many will have the coveted red coat of their Irish Setter parent, this is not always the case.

Once the pride of many Irish estates, the Irish Red and White Setter was a common gundog up until the end of the 19th century. Now a rare breed, they haven’t lost the characteristics, which made them so well loved. A beautiful breed with a friendly disposition and calm nature, the Irish Red and White Setter is a solid family dog.

Developed as a hunting breed with many talents, the Irish Setter is a stunning, aristocratic-looking breed with a fabulous personality. Cheerful, affectionate, and mischievous, they make perfect family pets, as long as their humans have the energy to provide the necessary hours of exercise each day. They require a moderate amount of grooming, and need access to a good-sized garden.

The Irish Terrier is a medium sized, fiery, loyal and intelligent dog, originally used as an all-round farm dog in Ireland. The breed has few health problems, with a long lifespan of 13-14 years old. Day-to-day grooming is minimal, and they barely shed, although once to twice yearly stripping is necessary. They require lots of mental and physical stimulation and are affectionate with people but can be prone to getting into scraps with other dogs.

An energetic and intelligent dog, owners have their work cut out when they take on an Irish Troodle. As well as needing lots of exercise, these guys require a huge amount of mental stimulation to combat any hyperactivity or mischievous behaviour. Playful, active and kind, this breed is a wonderful choice for families with children who spend lots of time outdoors.

The Irish Water Spaniel is a fun-loving, intelligent breed that is popular with hunters for its versatility and stamina. It is alert and naturally eager to please, though its mischievous streak can make it a handful for an inexperienced owner. With discipline and training, it makes a great family pet. Although its unusual coat needs some special care, it sheds very little.

While its great size means that many would-be owners do not have the space in their home for it, there are few who could not find room in their heart for this gentle, laid-back giant. Despite its long history as a war dog and slayer of wolves, it has a benign nature and lives to befriend everyone it encounters.

A good-natured scent hound, the Istrian Coarse-Haired Hound has traditionally been used to hunt small game over rugged terrain, and still works in this capacity to this day in their native land. A sensible and energetic dog, if placed in a suitable environment where it can be exercised adequately, this breed can make a content and devoted family pet.

The Istrian Shorthaired Hound is a Croatian breed renowned in its home country for their hunting prowess. They are an active breed, always eager to head out for a walk and follow as many scent trails as possible. An Istrian Shorthaired Hound is loyal, intelligent and affectionate, but with plenty of steam to let off.

The Italian Greyhound is a delicate dog with a kind disposition and a great athletic ability. They started off as small game hunters and continue to have a developed prey drive and the ability to run at high speeds. While they enjoy canine companionship, they are best paired with dogs of a similar temperament and size.

A fun-loving and intelligent dog, the Italian Greyhuahua adores its family and is more than happy to share its home with other pets. They have moderate exercise requirements and, while they cope well with their training, can take an unexpectedly long amount of time to become completely toilet trained. Brushing your Italian Greyhuahua’s teeth is critical to prevent dental disease as she ages.

Hailing from the Piedmont region of north-western Italy, the Italian Spinone has been a hunting breed for many centuries, but is becoming an increasingly popular pet because of its friendly and docile manner and its fondness for children. Its strong hunting drive means it does not mix well with cats, but it gets along extremely well with other dogs.