By: Cassidy Moody

In 1571, Father Edmund Hogan, an Irishman and a Jesuit priest wrote, “The Irish are not without wolves, and greyhounds to hunt them bigger of bone and limb than colt.” He wasn’t actually referring to a small and slender greyhound known for its speed, but rather the larger than life Irish Wolfhound.

Wolfhound2Seen in ancient wood carvings as far back as 273 BC, the Irish Wolfhound has long been a part of the Irish culture. Often used in ancient battles, it was said that Julius Caesar and “all [of] Rome viewed them with wonder.” In addition to fighting and hunting, the wolfhounds were also used to guard homes and livestock. The dogs became very popular with the British nobility in Ireland, causing them to become a negative symbol to the public. Due to their regal appearance and calm nature, the dogs were often presented as gifts to other aristocrats. Soon, more hounds were being exported from Ireland than were being born and the population began to decrease. Continue reading