About the Irish Wolfhound
Instinctively Irish Wolfhounds are hunters. They were bred to hunt and kill wolves, which once roamed the woodlands of Ireland. The last wolf was killed in County Carlow in 1786, after which the Irish wolfhound breed, went into decline. Though a natural hunter, the Irish Wolfhound is a gentle and loyal hound. With being the largest dog in the world (1), and commanding so much power, it is very important that they are well cared for and well socialised from a very young age.
“Irish Wolfhounds are mentioned in old Gaelic history dating back over three thousand years
ago, and are therefore one of the oldest breeds of dogs recorded in the history of man.
In early Irish law, they are mentioned under the name “Cú” (Irish for hound). The name "Cú" was taken by Satanta, after he killed the wolfhound of a neighbour named Culann.
He soon regretted killing the animal and promised Culann that he would guard his land until he raised him another hound. Thereafter Setanta was known as Cuchulainn, and he went on to fight many a battle, and to defend the Provence of Ulster against the ambitious and cunning Queen Mebh of Connaught. There are many tales passed down about Irish wolfhounds.
Some say that those who have passed away before us come back in through the form of the hounds. Some say they can see into a man’s soul. Kings and Clan leaders of old would have had wolfhounds around them, and it is said they could see into the heart of a traitor and would instinctively know if a person meant their master harm.
What I know for certain is the Irish Wolfhound is a gentle and loyal breed that will protect their master until to the death, hence the adage: “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked
(1) https://www.irishpost.com/news/irish-wolfhound-height-weight-breed-information-facts- history-and-personality-traits-191486
(2) https://stairnaheireann.net/2016/05/02/irish-wolfhounds-gentle-when-stroked-fierce-when- provoked/