What Kind Of Dog Does The President Of Ireland Have?

It is common to see celebrities and other famous individuals carry their pets with them on their travels and other work. Most often, it would be a pet dog that follows celebrities and even gets its share of fame.

How often do you see the leader of a country taking his pet dogs that manage to steal the limelight? It is precisely what happens when the Irish President takes his canine friends out in public.

What kind of dogs does the President of Ireland have? Here is the full story of this dog breed and what you can expect of them.

Who Is The President Of Ireland?

Michael D. Higgins is the ninth President of Ireland. He was inaugurated on 11 November 2011. He is a politician, passionate writer, poet, academic and statesman, human rights advocate, and promoter of inclusive citizenship.

He was born on 18 April 1941 in Limerick City and moved to County Clare. Higgins continued his studies at the University College Galway, the University of Manchester, and Indiana University.

He also served as a political science and sociology lecturer at the National University of Ireland. Higgins has worked in public service as a councillor, mayor, and now the President. 

What Kind Of Dog Does The President Of Ireland Have?

The Irish President, Michael Higgins, is a proud parent of two Bernese Mountain dogs named Bród and Misneach. These canine companions often steal the show during Higgins’ meetings and public appearances.

For example, there is the instance when Higgings couldn’t help but pet Misneach while addressing a gathering in August 2021.

A similar situation occurred when the President gave a speech about the late Irish actor Tom Hickey in May 2021.

All these occurrences prove Higgins’ love for his pets and the strong bond that they share.

Let’s learn more about Micheal Higgins’s breed, the Bernese Mountain Dog.

What Kind Of Dog Does The President Of Ireland Have?

About Bernese Mountain Dogs

The Bernese Mountain Dog is a strikingly beautiful dog that is powerful, big, and built for hard work. Although it has such an external appearance, it has a very affectionate nature.

The Bernese Mountain Dog stands over 27 inches at the shoulder and has a tri-colored, thick, silky, and long coat. Its coat is a combination of clear white, jet black, and rust. The Bernese Mountain dog can thrive in cold weather.

This dog breed is particularly gentle with children and often becomes more attached to one family member. It is not aggressive but will bark in the midst of strangers to protect its family and territory.

7 Fun Facts About Bernese Mountain Dogs

Here are some interesting facts about the Bernese Mountain Dog. 

  1. It Is A Versatile Dog Breed

The Bernese Mountain Dog originates from Bern, an agricultural region in Switzerland. Therefore, these dogs are all-rounders, good as farm dogs, drafting, herding, droving, and protecting the farmlands.

They are also fantastic family dogs and get along very well with children and adults.

  1. It Is A Majestic Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog has a powerful build and stands tall against most other dogs. No matter how big, it’s a very sweet and affectionate dog.

These dogs have beautiful tri-colored coats of white, black, and rust, with distinctive markings. Their dark and sharp eyes radiate intelligence.

  1. It Is A Cold-Weathered Dog 

Bernese Mountain Dogs love to do outdoor activities in cold weather. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t like to live indoors with their family.

It is a dog that you can take on your hiking, backpacking, and camping adventures. It will be a good sport in many outdoor activities.

  1. It Is A Very Sporty Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog does well in sports. It is from the working group that competes in a range of activities.

They excel at drafting, herding, agility, obedience, and conformation. Their powerful build and high-energy levels make them the ideal dogs for these.

  1. It Will Be Your Child’s Best Friend

The Bernese Mountain Dog gets along well with children. They are very affectionate and gentle with them. 

They may even take up the duty of watching over the family’s children. However, their size may seem intimidating for very young children. Also, you should never leave any dog unattended with children, no matter how gentle it is.

  1. It Loves Its Family

Bernese Mountains dogs are incredibly loyal, affectionate, and protective of their families. They are not meant to be kenneled on our left outside. Instead, they want to be where their owners are.

They are easy-going dogs, so owners don’t mind having them around.

  1. It Is Very Hairy

Bernese Mountain Dogs have a double coat and are frequent shedders. They also cast off their coats cyclically or seasonally.

So, if you or anyone in your family has allergies, then this breed may not be the ideal pet.

Taking Care Of Bernese Mountain Dogs

Owning a Bernese Mountain Dog is not simply about loving and cuddling it. There is more to having a pet dog than merely showing it affection.

You must take good care of your dog, no matter its breed. Dog ownership entails a commitment you must be ready to take up along with this new responsibility.

What Kind Of Dog Does The President Of Ireland Have?

Here are the areas to focus on when caring for a Bernese Mountain Dog.


Bernese Mountain Dogs are generally healthy dogs. Breeders typically screen their stock for health concerns, including blood disorders, hip and elbow dysplasia, certain cancers, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Large breed dogs, including Berners, are generally susceptible to bloat, which could be fatal. Therefore, owners should look for the signs of this condition in dogs. Berner dog owners should also get their pets’ ears checked regularly for signs of infection. 

Here are the recommended tests for a Bernese Mountain Dog:

  • Hip evaluation
  • Elbow evaluation
  • Cardiac exam
  • Ophthalmologist evaluation
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease DNA test


The Bernese Mountain dog has a double coat. It consists of a longer outer coat and a woolly undercoat.

They are known to shed quite often, significantly more during the shedding season that happens twice a year. 

The owner should brush this dog once a week to keep it looking its best. The frequency should increase daily during the shedding season. A slicker brush or metal comb will help remove any tangles in the hair. Its nails should be trimmed regularly.


Bernese Mountain Dogs need high-quality dog food prepared at home as recommended by the vet or commercially manufactured. The diet should be according to the dog’s age.

Some Berners are prone to gaining weight, so checking the calorie count and weight level is vital.

The occasional treat is fine while training, but it shouldn’t go overboard because it could lead to weight gain. It should also have access to fresh, clean water at all times.

The vet can recommend the best food and diet for your Bernese Mountain Dog.


Berners are large dogs who love outdoor activities. They require a minimum of half an hour of moderate exercise daily to stay healthy.

Although Berners love to stay indoors with their families, they enjoy going for walks and hikes. Carting and drafting are also fun activities that they love to do, especially with children.

Other activities Berners enjoy are obedience, herding, agility, rally, and tracking.


Obedience training and socialization should start early for large dogs like Berners. They are intelligent dogs who are eager to learn. It will make training them easier.

Starting this at a very young age ensures that they are well-trained when they are adults. They are affectionate dogs who can have their feelings hurt easily. So, don’t use harsh training or correction methods when training Berners.

History Of The Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the four mountain-dog breeds in the Canton of Bern, Switzerland. Bern is a vast agricultural region with over 12,000 mountains spread over the hills, valleys, and mountains.

Berners were working dogs who drove cattle and guarded farmyards from predators. They also served as gentle companions to the farmers.

The breed began its journey in the US in 1926, when a Kansas farmer imported two of these as all-around farm dogs. Today Berners sponsor carting and drafting events all over the states.

Presidents And Their Dogs

Here is a list of Presidents and their pet dogs.

  • George Washington and his French Hounds
  • Thomas Jefferson and his Briards
  • Theodore Roosevelt and his Saint Bernard, Pekingese, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Manchester Terrier, and Bull Terrier
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Scottish Terrier, Irish Setters, and Bulldog
  • John F. Kennedy and his Welsh Setter, Irish Wolfhound, and German Shepherd
  • Richard Nixon and his Cocker Spaniel, Yorkshire Terrier, Poodle, and Irish Setter
  • Bill Clinton and his Labrador Retriever
  • George W. Bush and his English Springer Spaniel and two Scottish Terriers
  • Barack Obama and his two Portuguese Water Dogs
  • Joe Biden and his two German Shepherds


The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins, is famous for his love for dogs. He has been spotted with his two pet Bernese Mountain Dogs, Bród and Misneach.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are a large dog breed that is very loving and affectionate. Contrary to its size and appearance, it is a very gentle dog that is very protective and loyal to its family.

It loves to stay indoors with its family but will also go on adventures such as hiking, camping, and backpacking with its owner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind Of Dog Does Micheal Higgins Have?

Michael Higgins has two Bernese Mountain Dogs named Bród and Misneach.

What Breed Is Bród?

Bród is a Bernese Mountain Dog.

Are Bernese Mountain Dogs Good Pets?

Bernese Mountains Dogs are gentle, affectionate, and patient. They are great pets as they love their owners and are especially good with young children.

More In: Dogs