The history of the Irish Wolfhound
To the Irish Wolfhound the same applies as to the Celts, we still don't know where they originally came from. This breed has been registered as a wolfhound type for 150 years and in the course of the centuries we see their predecessors with names like Irish Dog - Big Dog of Ireland - Greyhound of Ireland and Big Wolfhunting Greyhound.
In all these cases we are talking about a big, wire-haired, exceptionally powerfully built dog with a commanding appearance, most similar to a Greyhound. It had to be fast en powerful, and strong enough to chase, catch, and kill big game like deer and bears.
The Irish Wolfhound's special qualities in these respects have been mentioned and narrated in all kinds of tales and legends, of which the poem of “Gelert”, printed in this booklet, is best known.
It is assumed that the Celts brought the breed to Ireland from Greece and Cyprus. Egyptian wall paintings from 2500 BC show pictures of hound-like dogs that were probably our sighthounds' ancestors.
In a letter dated 391 AD, the Roman consul Quintus Aurelius Symmachusi expresses his thanks to his brother for presenting him with 7 Irish dogs for the games in the arena.
From the 17th century the population of this breed rapidly decreased, caused by the arrival of guns for hunting, and because the wolf became extinct. Thanks to the commitment of a small group of fanatics who spared no trouble or expenses for its reconstruction, the breed was preserved. In this respect it was especially Cpt. G. A. Graham who, from 1862 devoted dozens of years of his life to recreating this breed.
Of course we will always be available to tell you more.