- Early History:
- In Gaelic this dog was called Cu Faoil, which translated, means hound of wolf or wolfhound.
Some of the earliest mentions of a large dog of Ireland is in 273 BC when the Celts
invaded Greece, there are woodcuts of a man with two horses and a dog.
The dog's back was said to be at the mans waist and ear at his shoulders.
Also, in 391 BC Roman Consul Aurelius Symmachus, was gifted seven large dogs called "canes Scotici".
These giant hunting dogs of Ireland where coveted and given as gifts to Royal family's, all over Europe.
The monograph The Irish Wolfdog writen by Father Hogan in 1897,this monograph is credited
with most of the information that we have on these giant dogs. Most of these monographs
were lost in a fire, but a Long Island sportsman Joseph A. McAleenan obtain a copy and
had two hundreds copies printed. Most of these copies were given as gifts to friendc but
manage to find their way to libraries.
- Past & Present Day Roles:
- Ancient wolfhounds were used as war dogs becasue of their size and speed. They were also used
to guard property and livestock, as well as to hunt deer, elk, boar and wolves. The last wolf was
killed in Ireland in 1786 by a pack of wolfhounds. After this the dogs no longer had a
strong role in protecting farmers properties and started to disappear from Ireland.Today
the wolfhound has been revived and used in military service across England and Ireland.
They are good with children but because of their size, children can easliy be knocked over.
The Irish Wolfhound is known to be alert and brave, but not suspicious or aggressive. If you
have space, they are wonderful family dogs.