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Celtic Dogs

Celtic Dogs on parade at the 2023 Rio Grande Valley Celtic Festival

Traditional Celtic life has always been based on agriculture, and animals were partners in daily work.

  • Herding dogs moved cattle and sheep to the whistle of the shepherd.
  • Terriers kept vermin out of the house and barn.
  • Hounds, used for hunting mammals, could be owned only by the ruling class.
  • Sporting dogs hunted birds with the net-wielding commoner until the invention of guns, when “gun dogs” became a status symbol for land-owning elite.


Not just any pet is allowed at this festival. Only Celtic dogs that have been pre-registered with the festival will be allowed in.

(And, of course, trained service dogs are allowed, as well.)


There are over 30 breeds of dogs that originated in or near the borders of the seven Celtic nations, areas of the world now called Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, Galicia (in Spain) and Brittany (in France).

Celtic dog breeds include:

  • Galician Barn Dog
  • Brittany Basset
  • Kerry Beagle
  • Bearded Collie
  • Border Collie
  • Rough Collie
  • Smooth Collie
  • Cardigan Welsh Corgi
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Scottish Deerhound
  • Brittany Griffon
  • Airedale Terrier
  • Border Terrier
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Glen of Imaal Terrier
  • Kerry Blue
  • Irish Terrier
  • Scottish Terrier
  • Galician Hound
  • Galician Pointer
  • Galician Quisquelo
  • Golden Retriever
  • Gordon Setter
  • Irish Setters
  • Shetland Sheepdog
  • Welsh Sheepdog
  • Brittany Spaniel
  • Irish Waterer Spaniel
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel
  • Sealyham Terrier
  • Skye Terrier
  • Welsh Terrier
  • West Highland White Terrier
  • Wheaton Terrier
  • Irish Wolfhound

Will there be water available on the field for the dogs or should we bring our own?

While there will be some water available at various locations around the field, you may want to still bring your own as well as a small dish just to be safe.

Will there be shade for the dogs?

Yes. We will have four pop-up canopies set up for dogs and their owners to sit under at the Celtic Dog Exhibit.

Is there seating available at the exhibit?

We will have some chairs for participants, but it is a good idea to bring your own portable chair in case you want to sit at other exhibits.