Purebred dogs were developed all over the world. Here's a guide to dogs that were specially bred in Great Britain and Ireland along with some culturally appropriate names (and what they mean!).

By Doug Jimerson
Updated February 07, 2019

The British Isles and Ireland once produced numerous dog breeds, most of which are still extremely popular family pets today. Terriers, spaniels, retrievers; many of these dogs were working or sporting dogs that were important assets of life in 19th-century Britain. Even if fox hunts and herding cattle won't be a part of your pup's daily routine, these breed facts and names are a fun source of inspiration as you prepare for your new pet.

    Dog Breeds from Ireland and the British Isles

    • Terriers: From the largest terrier (Airedale) to the smallest (Yorkshire), all terriers except for schnauzers were bred in the British Isles or Ireland.
    • Sporting dogs: This group of dogs includes many hounds, spaniels, setters, and retrievers that were used to hunt game on land and in the water. The breeds that hail from the British Isles include golden retrievers, English cocker spaniels, springer spaniels, Irish setters, flat-coated retrievers, Gordon setters, and English setters.
    • Working/herding dogs: These dogs helped control livestock, such as sheep and cattle, on farms and in rural areas. These breeds include border collies, bearded collies, rough collies, and corgis.

    If you are looking for a country-appropriate name that matches your dog's ancestry, consider these ideas.

    25 Boy Dog Names for British and Irish Dog Breeds

    1. Aidan

    Meaning: Little fiery one

    Origin: Ireland

    2. Conor

    Meaning: Strong-willed

    Origin: Ireland

    3. Angus

    Meaning: Exceptional

    Origin: Scotland

    4. Dermot

    Meaning: Free man

    Origin: Ireland

    5. Dinsmore

    Meaning: From the hill fort

    Origin: Ireland

    6. Bran

    Meaning: Strong

    Origin: England

    7. Brady

    Meaning: Spirited

    Origin: Ireland

    8. Harry

    Meaning: Home ruler

    Origin: Germany (but after the Harry Potter book series is very popular in Britain)

    9. Alfie

    Meaning: Variation of Alfred, which means sage or wise

    Origin: England

    10. Oliver

    Meaning: From the olive tree, symbolizing fruitfulness and dignity

    Origin: England

    11. Cedric

    Meaning: Chief

    Origin: England

    12. Gordon

    Meaning: From the marshes

    Origin: Scotland

    13. Griffin

    Meaning: Strong in faith

    Origin: Wales

    14. Colin

    Meaning: Young child, peaceful dove

    Origin: Ireland

    15. Coby

    Meaning: Variant of Coburn

    Origin: Scotland

    16. Norris

    Meaning: From the North

    Origin: Scotland

    17. Ian

    Meaning: Gift from God

    Origin: Scotland

    18. Inis

    Meaning: From the river island

    Origin: Ireland

    19. Pierce

    Meaning: Rock

    Origin: England

    20. Riley

    Meaning: A small stream

    Origin: Ireland

    21. Rogan

    Meaning: Red-haired

    Origin: Ireland

    22. Kent

    Meaning: White

    Origin: Wales

    23. Romney

    Meaning: Winding river

    Origin: England

    24. Seamus

    Meaning: Form of James

    Origin: Ireland

    25. Shane

    Meaning: God is gracious

    Origin: Ireland

    25 Girl Dog Names for British and Irish Breeds

    1. Bree

    Meaning: Strong

    Origin: Ireland

    2. Alma

    Meaning: All good

    Origin: Ireland

    3. Fiona

    Meaning: White, fair

    Origin: Ireland

    4. Bowden

    Meaning: Messenger

    Origin: England

    5. Keira

    Meaning: Black-haired

    Origin: Ireland

    6. Neala

    Meaning: Champion

    Origin: Ireland

    7. Briann

    Meaning: Strong, ascending

    Origin: England

    8. Moira

    Meaning: Bitter        

    Origin: Ireland

    9. Meryl

    Meaning: Falcon      

    Origin: England

    10. Kerry

    Meaning: Dark princess     

    Origin: Ireland

    11. Bridget

    Meaning: Strong

    Origin: Ireland

    12. Quinn

    Meaning: Wise         

    Origin: Ireland

    13. Rhiannon

    Meaning: Sacred queen

    Origin: England

    14. Winnie

    Meaning: Blessed reconciliation    

    Origin: Wales

    15. Nell

    Meaning: Variation of Ellen, shining light

    Origin: England

    16. Iona

    Meaning: Dove

    Origin: Scotland

    17. Maeve

    Meaning: Goddess of song

    Origin: Ireland

    18. Ethne

    Meaning: Fire

    Origin: Ireland

    19. Delia

    Meaning: Dark

    Origin: Wales

    20. Diva

    Meaning: Divine one

    Origin: Ireland

    21. Gilda

    Meaning: Golden

    Origin: England

    22. Glenn

    Meaning: Narrow valley

    Origin: Ireland

    23. Deirdre

    Meaning: Sad one

    Origin: Ireland

    24. Keely

    Meaning: Beautiful

    Origin: Ireland

    25. Mirna

    Meaning: Tender

    Origin: Ireland


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