Medieval History

Irish Wolfhounds

Irish Wolfhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs recorded in the history of man.

They appear in early Irish law tracts under the name "Cú" (modern Irish word for hound).

The dogs are known as the "gentle giants" of the canine world expressed in the breed slogan, "Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked".

Wolfhounds also appear on the coat of arms of early Irish kings and were revered by the ancient Irish and remain a revered symbol of Ireland to this day.

The name "wolfhound" is relatively new.

In times past the dogs were referred to as Cú (c.f. Chúlainn) and Conn.

The latter term appears in many modern Irish Surnames like O'Connor, Conaire, Conolloy etc.

Through the centuries they were referred to by many other names including the Irish wolf dog, Irish greyhound, or Irish war dog.

Circa 600 BC when the Tectosages and the Tolistobogii Celts sacked BC when the Tectosages and Tolistobogii Celts sacked Delphi, survivors left accounts of the fierce Celts and the huge dogs who fought with them and at their side. They were mentioned by Julius Caesar in his treatise, The Gallic Wars. In 391 AD Roman Consul, Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, writes he received seven dogs "canes Scotici" as a gift to be used for fighting lions, bears etc. and in his words, "all Rome viewed with wondeDelphi, survivors left accounts of the fierce Celts and huge dogs who fought with them and at their side. 

They were mentioned by Julius Caesar in his treatise, The Gallic Wars.

In 301 AD, Roman Consul , Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, writes he received seven dogs “canes Scotici” as a gift to be used for fighting lions, bears, etc. and in his words “All Rome viewed with wonder”.

 

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