The Irish Wolfhound is the largest breed of the group of greyhounds chasing movable prey, as well as the tallest dog in the world. One of the first references to these animals dates back to the year 391 AD, when the Roman consul Aurelius wrote about the “great surprise and delight” experienced by the inhabitants of Rome and the aristocracy, when they saw the seven wolfhounds brought by the legionnaires from the campaign.
In Ireland, these dogs were highly appreciated for their fighting qualities, fearlessness and tremendous strength. In battle, an Irish wolfhound was used to knock a horseman off a horse, and, often on the ground, this same horseman found himself with a horse. They hunted big game, Irish elk, wolf and bear.
Irish law in the Middle Ages allowed only an royal wolf and noblemen to have an Irish wolfhound. Continue reading