Irish Wolfhound History
The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed of large dog from Ireland. It is believed to have evolved over several thousand years from the fighting dogs used by the Celts who invaded Ireland around 700 BC. These fighting dogs were bred with hounds and mastiff-type breeds, leading to a larger, more powerful animal that was used for hunting and war.
Legendary figures such as King Fergus mac Róich and Cú Chulainn kept Wolfhounds as pets and guards, while they also proved their worth in hunting wolves, boar and other dangerous game. During this time, it was considered a noble pursuit to hunt with the huge hounds which could take down large prey such as deer or wild oxen.
Despite its long history, Irish wolfhounds almost went extinct during the 18th century due to overhunting of their traditional prey species but they were saved thanks to enthusiast breeding programs across Europe in later centuries. They spread across Europe and gained fame by appearing at canine shows during Victorian times. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1897 and since then it has remained one of the most popular siege dog breeds worldwide due to its impressive size and loyalty towards its owners
Irish Wolfhound Characteristics