(AKC Hound Group)
Size: Very large.
Weight: Over 120 pounds (male); over 105 (female).
Availability: May take some effort to find.
UTILIZATION : Up to the end of the17th century, Irish Wolfhounds
were used for hunting wolves and deer in Ireland. They were also used for
hunting the wolves that infested large areas of Europe before the forests
a greyhound probably descended from the greyhound first depicted in
Egyptian paintings. Like their continental cousins, the Irish Celts were
interested in breeding large hounds. These large Irish hounds could have
had smooth or rough coats, but in later times, the rough coat predominated
possibly because of the Irish climate. The first written account of these
dogs was by a Roman Consul 391 A.D. but they were already established
in Ireland in the first century A.D. when Setanta changed his name to Cu-
Chulainn (the hound of Culann). Mention is made of the Uisneach (1st
century) taking 150 hounds with them in their flight to Scotland. Irish
hounds undoubtedly formed the basis of the Scottish Deerhound. Pairs of
Irish hounds were prized as gifts by the Royal houses of Europe,
Scandinavia and elsewhere from the Middle ages to the 17th century.
They were sent to England, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Persia, India
and Poland. In the15th century each county in Ireland was required to keep
24 wolfdogs to protect farmers’ flocks from the ravages of wolves. The
Cromwellian prohibition (1652) on the export of Wolfhounds helped
preserve their number for a time but the gradual disappearance of the wolf
and continued demand abroad reduced their numbers almost to the point of
extinction by the end of the 17th century.
The revival of interest in the breed accompanied the growth of Irish
nationalism in the late 19th century. The Irish Wolfhound became a living
symbol of Irish culture and of the Celtic past. At this time, one determined
enthusiast, Capt. G A Graham, set about obtaining some of the few
remaining hounds of the Wolfhound type that could still be found in
Ireland, and with the use of Deerhound blood and the occasional outcross
of Borzoi and Great Dane, he eventually achieved a type of dog that bred
true in every generation. The results were ultimately accepted as a
legitimate revival of the breed. The Irish Kennel Club scheduled a class
for Irish Wolfhounds at their show in April 1879, and a club was formed in
1885. The Irish Wolfhound now enjoys once again something of the
reputation that it had in the Middle Ages. Wolfhounds are now owned and
bred in fairly large numbers outside of Ireland.
so heavy or massive as the Great Dane, but more so than the Deerhound,
which in general type he should otherwise resemble. Of great size and
commanding appearance, very muscular, strongly though gracefully built,
movements easy and active; head and neck carried high; the tail carried
with an upward sweep with a slight curve towards the extremity.
Great size, including height at shoulder and proportionate length of body,
is the desideratum to be aimed at, and it is desired to firmly establish a race
that shall average 32 inches (81cm) to 34 inches (86cm) in dogs, showing
the requisite power, activity, courage and symmetry.
BEHAVIOR AND TEMPERAMENT : â€œLambs at home, lions in
very slightly raised and very little indentation between the eyes.
Skull : Not too broad
Muzzle : Long and moderately pointed.
Teeth : Scissor bite ideal, level acceptable.
Eyes : Dark.
Ears : Small, rose ears (Greyhound like in carriage).
NECK : Rather long, very strong and muscular, well arched, without
dewlap or loose skin about the throat.
BODY : Long, well ribbed up.
Back : Rather long than short.
Loins : Slightly arched
Croup : Great breadth across hips
Chest : Very deep, moderately broad, breast wide.
Ribs : Well sprung
Belly : Well drawn up.
TAIL: Long and slightly curved, of moderate thickness, and well covered
Shoulders : Muscular, giving breadth of chest, set sloping.
Elbows : Well under, neither turned inwards nor outwards.
Forearm : Muscular, heavily boned, quite straight
Thighs : Long and muscular.
Stifle : Nicely bent.
Second thigh : Well muscled, long and strong.
Hocks : Well let down and turning neither in nor out.
FEET : Moderately large and round, neither turned inward nor outwards.
Toes, well arched and closed. Nails, very strong and curved.
GAIT / MOVEMENT : Movements easy and active.
HAIR : Rough and hard on body, legs and head; especially wiry. Hair
over eyes and beard especially wiry.
COLOR AND MARKINGS : The recognized colors are grey, brindle,
red, black, pure white, fawn or any color that appears in the Deerhound
SIZE AND WEIGHT :
Desired height : averaging 32 inches (81cm) to 34 inches (86cm) in
Minimum height : Dogs 31 inches (79 cm).
Minimum weight : Dogs 120 pounds (54.5kg).
Minimum height : Bitches 28 inches (71 cm).
Minimum weight : Bitches 90 pounds (40.5 kg).