By the year 391A.D., the Irish Wolfhound was known in Rome, when the first authentic mention of it was written by the Roman Consul Quintus Aurelius, who had received seven of them as a gift which "all Rome view with wonder."


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In 1790 it was written, "The Irish Greyhound is the largest of dogkind and its appearance the most beautiful. He is about 3 feet high, somewhat like a Greyhound but more robust. His aspect is mild, his disposition is peaceable, yet his strength so great that in combat the Mastiff or Bulldog is far from being equal to him."

In the following century another wrote of the Irish Wolfhound, "This noble animal is similar in shape to the Greyhound, larger than the Mastiff, tractable as the Spaniel."

The Irish Wolfhound is a large rough-coated, shaggy-browed hound, built on galloping lines. Even as he lies by a modern hearth or romps about an enclosed lawn, gallops in a meadow or along a beach, it is easy to imagine him as the prominent figure he once was in the feudal life of the Middle Ages.

Because of his great size and the amount of exercise essential to his well-being, the Irish Wolfhound is not a dog to be acquired without serious fore-thought. His ideal home is one which provides fenced property of sufficient size to accommodate the galloping natural to this athletic sight hound. Hunting by sight and chase is what he was bred and historically used for; the length of leg and back, the deep chest, the power of his limbs and body attest to the heritage and needs of the Irish Wolfhound.

The Irish Wolfhound does best when human companionship is the core of his daily life...He is a calm presence within a family circle, dignified and responsive, providing no harshness of attitude or deed is directed his way.

Although the chase is not his preoccupation, we must never forget it is his natural sport and the sight of him in characteristic gallop, swiftly covering the ground beneath him, is exhilarating and leaves no doubt of his need to exercise this birthright.

All photographs on this page courtesy Shot On Site