BBS Breed Spotlight: Irish Wolfhound
In Ireland, one dog is the stuff of legend—the Irish Wolfhound. One look at this powerful breed and you’ll see just why this Wolfhound has a reputation. With a scraggly coat and a loveable heart, the Irish Wolfhound certainly does have a reputation for being a wonderful dog. Read on about this giant breed in the BestBullySticks.com Breed Spotlight.
History & Background: Dating far back into ancient Irish history, the Irish Wolfhounds were first known as “Irish dogs,” “big dogs of Ireland,” “Wolfdogs of Ireland,” or “Greyhounds of Ireland” all used interchangeably. A coveted dog for its keen hunting abilities, this Wolfhound is called such not because of its resemblance to a wolf, but its use as a wolf hunter. In fact, boar and wolf populations in Ireland were wiped out because of the Wolfhound. During the English Conquest of Ireland, only nobility could own this breed. The English began heavily exporting these dogs and it almost caused this breed’s extinction. One Englishmen, however, brought the Irish Wolfhound back from the brink.
Captain George Augustus Graham took the remaining Irish Wolfhounds and with very precise breeding with Borzoi, Great Dane, Deerhound and possibly Mastiff, this breed was reconstituted. Only 23 years after Graham began rebuilding this breed, a breed standard was set. Today, the Irish Wolfhound is the unofficial dog of Ireland and many organizations and sports clubs use this breed as their mascot. In 1897 the AKC recognized the Irish Wolfhound in their Hound Group. Read more