Irish Wolfhound History

The Irish Wolfhound

by A.J. Dawson

(Note: I don't know what publication this piece comes from, nor the exact date of publication, but notes by the editor(s) of the publication appear throughout the article and I have put them as close as possible to the relevant paragraphs rather than at the end of the article)

It is frequently claimed, and with a good show of reason, that among large and powerful dogs, no other kind is either so handsome or so truly companionable as the Irish Wolfhound. It is safe to assert that no other breed can boast so ancient and honourable a lineage¹; yet we owe it to the loving labours and energy of men of our own time, and of one man in particular, that this splendid breed of dogs has not become altogether extinct. In view of this fact, it is natural that all lovers of dogs should take pride and pleasure in the notable progress which has been made during the last three or four decades, and more particuarly, perhaps, during the present century, in the breeding of Irish Wolfhounds. During the past five years, hounds of this breed have been reared and exhibited, which have not only served in their own individualities to raise very materially the standard of perfection hitherto placed before breeders, but which are in themselves a credit to modern dog-breeding, and a remarkable evidence of the really wonderful results which may be achieved in this direction. But those who imagine, if any do, that the Irish Wolfhound is a newcomer among dogs, are singularly mistaken.

 ¹[We are afraid that the author's enthusiasm outstrips his accuracy. Putting aside the question as to whether the true Irish Wolfhound ever became extinct, and whether the modern show dog is, or is not, a manufactured article, the fact remains that as regards points of lineage, the Wolfhound of the day cannot in any way compare with, say, the Greyhound.—ED.]

Quintus Aurelius Symmachus was a Roman Consul in the year 391, and he wrote to his brother, Flavianus, of dogs which were, without doubt, Irish Wolfhounds, hounds whose lineal descendants (subject, of course, to all the strange accidents and mischances which may befall a strain, human or animal, during fifteen hundred years of changing history) bear that honourable name to-day, in the kennels of those who own and love them, and on the benches of our modern dog shows. The Roman Consul wrote, more than fifteen hundred years ago:-

"In order to win the favour of the Roman people for our Quæstor you have been a generous and diligent provider of novel contributions to our solemn shows and games, as is proved by your gift of seven Irish dogs. All Rome viewed them with wonder, and fancied they must have been brought hither in iron cages. For such a gift I tender you the greatest possible thanks."

The reason, of course, that the Romans thought these Irish hounds must have been brought to their capital in iron cages was that they were of huge stature, and so courageous and powerful that the Romans were able to employ them to fight beasts and armed men. Bears, lions, and Saxons, one gathers, were pitted against the Irish hounds, and Symmachus laments with quaint annoyance the fact that some nine-and-twenty Saxons cut their own throats on the eve of a great holiday, in the course of which they were to have entertained the Roman public by meeting the great hounds in mortal combat.

During the first half-dozen centuries of the Christian era, and again some six or seven centuries later, hounds for the chase formed a favourite present as between kings and chieftains, between rulers and their high officials. In the admirable little history of the "Irish Wolfdog", written by the Rev. Edmund Hogan, S.J., we are given the records of very many occasions upon which Irish Wolfhounds were given as presents to kings and queens and other great ones of the earth in those days; even as, in our own time, an Irish Wolfhound was presented by the Irish Wolfhound Club to the newly-formed regiment of Irish Guards, as a regimental pet. The writer has frequently had the pleasure of seeing this great hound marching, with a fine sense of its own high position, before the drum-major of the already famous regiment of Guards.

Like many other fleet hunting dogs, the Irish Wolfhound was generally called, in the early days of our era, a "Greyhound". But, again, in Ireland, he was frequently given his right name of Wolfhound, or Wolfdog. The number of Irish Wolfhounds usually selected for a present to a great personage was seven; and in every case one finds that these hounds were regarded as the fleetest and most powerful, besides being very much the largest, of their day. Indeed, from all the records now at our disposal, it is pretty clear that they were the largest dogs that ever have been bred, in that time, or in any other. Some modern authorities have been inclined to ridicule the old records of these dogs, which liken them to young colts for size, and speak of them being a yard high and more at the shoulder. To such sceptics the writer would say that he himself, during this present century, has bred several Irish Wolfhounds which come within less than two inches of being a yard high at the shoulder; while one whelp of his breeding, Mr. J. Hill's "Brian Asthore", stands a good 35½ inches at the shoulder, as measured by several different experts at various dog shows. While admirable for stud purposes, and a winner of several prizes, this great hound has missed his championship by reason of technical shortcomings brought about probably by his enormous size. But it is worth noting that, if in these days, when it is admitted that lovers of the breed have not yet succeeded in restoring the Irish Wolfhound to quite his pristine glories, a hound can be produced weighing a hundred and fifty pounds, and measuring within half-an-inch of one yard at the shoulder, then it certainly is not safe to discredit the records we have of the early days of this remarkable breed. I do not know of any other breed which has produced a taller specimen than the biggest of living Irish Wolfhounds.

The earliest history of Ireland, and even of Britain, includes some remarkably interesting details of the part played in the chase, and in war, by the Irish Wolfhound. The "Tales of the Cycle of Finn" are full of such references. Finn was a mighty hunter, and in the poems attributed to Ossian there are more than two thousand verses dealing with Finn, and his hounds, and his hunting, and the names of three hundred of his hounds are given. The wild boar and the red deer contributed largely to the larders of the Irish people in the early days, and for the hunting of these and other wild animals, a variety of different breeds of hounds were developed. But the Wolfhound was the only breed that achieved fame in foreign lands; and for this particular breed, Ireland was famous throughout the world, as then known. It is recorded that Henry VIII and the good Queen Bess both received presents of Irish Wolfdogs, and the first-named monarch sent them as presents to notabilities in other lands. Father Edmund Campion, in his "Histories of Ireland," which was finished in 1571, wrote that "They (the Irish) are not without wolves, and hounds to hunt them, bigger of bone and limb than a colt." In December, 1595, Henry the Great of France wrote to Essex, asking for an Irish Wolfhound bitch of the same strain, in order that he might "keep up the breed" in France. "You know how much I love the chase, and this gift will enable me to while away time, and sometimes to capture wild boars, and essay if the goodness of these dogs is equal to the reputation that they have."

An astonishing number of these huge "Irish Greyhounds" were ordered from, and sent into England during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Every great peer in England seemed to desire these wonderful hounds for purposes of the chase, or to send as presents to rulers and chieftains in other lands. So great was the demand that we have records of complaints being registered that the breed was being depleted in Ireland, and that, as a consequence, the peasantry were suffering greatly from the depredations of wolves. It does not seem to have occurred to the people of Ireland that they might have reaped great profits by breeding these dogs for the purpose of export, and the result was that every fresh order received, or present made, served to reduce the numbers of the breed in Ireland. In 1652 a declaration against the exportation of Wolfhounds was published, and Customs officers were ordered to seize any hounds that were being sent out of the country, in view of the alarming increase among wolves, and the people's lack of protection from them now that the great Wolfhounds were becoming scarce. Evelyn in his "Diary" describes in 1670 the extraordinary prowess of an Irish Wolfdog, who carried everything before him at a certain bear-garden. In the year 1750, Harris wrote that the English Mastiff was in no way comparable with the Irish Wolfdog, either in size or shape, the latter being thought a valuable present for the greatest monarch, and as such being sought after and sent abroad to all quarters of the earth. "This has been one cause why this noble crature has grown scarce among us, as another is the neglect of the species since the extinction of the wolf."

But, among eighteenth-century records, Irish Wolfhound lore has nothing more interesting than the following passage from the writings of the famous French naturalist, Buffon:-
"The dogs of Tartary, Albania, North Greece, and Ireland are the biggest of all dogs. Those dogs that we call the dogs of Ireland have a very ancient origin, and are still kept up, though few in numbers, in their native country. They were called by the ancients dogs of Epirus and Albanian dogs. Pliny describes a combat between one of these dogs, first with a lion, and then with an elephant. These dogs are much bigger than our Mastiffs (Mâtins). In France they are very rare and I have seen only one of them, and he seemed when sitting to be about five feet high, and resembled in figure what we call the Great Dane, but differed from him a great deal by the enormity of his size. He was all white, and of a gentle and quiet disposition. The Mâtin, Greyhound, big Danish dog, and the dog of Ireland have (besides the resemblance of form and the long muzzle) the same dispositions. The Irish dog is the tallest of all dogs."

It is further recorded that an Irish Wolfdog bitch, kept by Buffon, killed the male wolf she was bred up with, thereby proving the notable quality of her great breed at that period. Fifteen years later, Goldsmith wrote in his "Animated Nature":-
"The last variety, and the most wonderful of all that I shall mention, is the great Irish Wolfdog, that may be considered as the first of the canine species. This animal, which is very rare even in the only country in the world where it is to be found, is rather kept for show than use, there being neither wolves nor any other formidable beasts of prey in Ireland that seem to require so powerful an antagonist. The Wolfdog is therefore bred up in the houses of the great, or such gentlemen as choose to keep him as a curiosity, being neither good for hunting the hare, the fox, nor the stag, and equally unserviceable as a house dog; nevertheless, he is extremely beautiful and majestic as to appearance, being the greatest of the dog kind to be seen in the world. The largest of those I have seen, and I have seen above a dozen, was about four feet high, or as tall as a calf of a year old. He was made extremely like a Greyhound, but rather more robust, and inclining to the figure of the French Mâtin, or the Great Dane."

Goldsmith's chapter is interesting, as an eighteenth-century British verdict upon the Irish Wolfhound, but some of his comments are not quite explicable. The Irish Wolfhound had certainly been used in the hunting of the stag, and that for centuries; and it almost certainly could be so used to-day. The writer has himself coursed hare with Irish Wolfhounds of his own breeding, besides running down innumerable rabbits. One cannot quite follow Goldsmith either regarding the hound's quality as a house dog. Also, four years after the date of Goldsmith's work, Smith wrote in his "History of Waterford":-
"The Irish Greyhound is nearly extinct. I have known twenty-five guineas to be paid for a brace of them; it is much taller than the Mastiff, but more like a Greyhound, and for size, strength, and shape cannot be equalled."

A year after this, Twiss wrote in his "Tour in Ireland":-
"The Irish Wolfdog is now nearly extinct. I saw two of them in Dublin, much taller than a Mastiff or any dog I had seen; they appeared to be of great strength, and their shape was somewhat that of a Greyhound. They were the property of a nobleman, and were valued at twenty guineas each."

These two references to the value of specimens of the breed 130 years ago are interesting. The writer has sold single whelps of his own rearing at fifty guineas, and knows of Irish Wolfhounds whose price has run into hundreds.

As one's study of the Irish Wolfhound approaches more nearly our own day, historical references come very much closer to the hound known to our present Irish Wolfhound Club. The Rev. Edmund Hogan's book of the Irish Wolfdog contains some extremely interesting references from the literature at the end of the eighteenth century. As for example:-
In 1789, Gough, in his edition of Camden:- "Under the article 'Greyhounds', Camden seems to place the Wolfdogs, which are remarkably large and peculiar to this Kingdom (of Ireland). The race is almost extinct; there are not perhaps ten in the country. The Earl of Altamont, at his seat at Westport, possesses a few of the true breed of Irish Wolfdog, a species of animal considered as worthy the acceptance of kings. They are large, noble, handsome, remarkably quiet, patient in anger till really provoked, but then truly formidable, their hair standing erect, and they never quit their hold but with certain destruction. They are generally about three feet high, sometimes larger; they are white, or white with a few black or brown spots."

Again, in 1790, Bewick wrote:-
"The Irish Greyhound is the largest of the dog kind, and its appearance the most beautiful. It is only to be found in Ireland, and is now extremely rare. These dogs are about three feet high, generally of a white or cinnamon colour, somewhat like a Greyhound, but more robust. Their aspect is mild, their disposition peaceable, their strength so great that in combat the Mastiff or Bull-dog is far from being equal to them. They mostly seize their antagonists by the back, and shake them to death, which their great strength enables them to do."

In 1794, Aylmer Bourke Lambert read a paper before the Linnean Society, which is now of the greatest interest because it gives exact figures regarding the Irish Wolfhound just before the beginning of the last century. It should be remembered, by the way, that when Goldsmith described the Irish Wolfhound he saw as being four feet high, he may have meant from toe to forehead, rather than to shoulder-bone, which is our present method of measuring height. In the same way, when Buffon speaks of a sitting Irish Wolfhound as appearing to be about five feet high, he may have meant from haunch to nose-tip. But the Linnean Society's record is exact, and encourages one to believe that our modern breeders have at all events succeeded in making substantial progress with the breed since the period of its decadence in the late eighteenth and middle nineteenth century. The writer, and other latter-day breeders have reared a number of 34-inch hounds, and one of the writer's breeding, already mentioned, measures 35½ at the shoulder, which is more than six inches higher than the eighteenth century hound mentioned in the Linnean Society's Paper, in which A.B. Lambert said:-
"I took the measurement of one of the largest, which is as follows:-From the point of the nose to the tip of the tail, 61 inches; tail, 17½ inches long; from tip of nose to back part of skull, 10 inches (This has been exceeded in our own century by nearly 3 inches to the writer's certain knowledge); from the back part of skull to the beginning of tail, 33 inches; from the toe to the top of fore-shoulder, 28½ inches; length of the leg, 16 inches; from point of hind toes to top of hind shoulder, 13 inches; from point of nose to the eye, 4½ inches (We have beaten this important point very handsomely); the ears 6 inches long (Our modern standard has reduced this very greatly and wisely); round the widest part of the belly (the chest, really), 35 inches; round the hind part (belly proper), 26 inches; the colour of some, brown and white, others black and white. They seem good-tempered animals, but from the accounts I received, are degenerated in size. They were formerly much larger, and their make more like a Greyhound."

These last sentences indicate that the development of the Irish Wolfhound during the past quarter of a century has been steadily and increasingly in the direction of getting back to the original high level of the breed.

Coming now to what may be called the modern records of the Irish Wolfhound, his nineteenth century history, two facts stand out clearly: 1. That by about the middle of the last century the Irish Wolfhound had become so nearly extinct that specimens of the breed were hailed as extreme rarities, and there probably were not more than three or four thoroughly genuine specimens in existence; 2. That Captain George Augustus Graham, J.P. of Rednock, Dursley, founder of the Irish Wolfhound Club, saved the breed from becoming actually extinct; preserved for us, by means of his laborious research, a great deal of the history of the breed; gave us, by means of his sportsmanlike industry and loving care, not alone a standard by means of which other breeders might work back to a good model, but also actually obtained for us, from the few true specimens of the breed then to be found, the strain of pure Irish Wolfhound blood from which the whole of the breed as known to-day has been built up.

The writer has no wish to be extravagant in paying to Captain Graham the tribute of gratitude and appreciation which must be paid by every understanding lover of the Irish Wolfhound; and he sees no need for extravagance. The bare statement of fact is sufficient; for it is so remarkable. Fifty years ago everything pointed to what is almost certainly the most magnificent breed of dog the world has ever known - of dogs, which, as I have shown, were chosen as gifts for monarchs as far back as the early years of the Christian era - becoming entirely extinct as a breed. At this stage one man stepped in, with a fixed determination that he would preserve this splendid race of canine friends of kings and sportsmen, and give it back to the world. As a result of that one man's wonderful perseverance and loving labours in a generous cause, we have to-day an Irish Wolfhound Club of more than sixty members, and we have hundreds of specimens of the breed which that club was formed to foster. Fine specimens of the Irish Wolfhound have now been established in most countries of the world. Scores of noble specimens are being bred each year in the United Kingdom, and there is no sort of doubt that the breed is being gradually raised in the direction of the highest level it ever did attain in the days of its great glory. In point of size it can already beat any other known breed. In point of good looks, very many of us believe that nothing can approach the modern Irish Wolfhound. The breed has many good friends to-day, some of whom have done wonders for it during the present century. But those who really know the history of the breed will always be glad to accord honour where honour is due, and to admit gladly that the Irish Wolfhound, as we know him to-day, owes his existence to the untiring efforts of Captain Graham.

In 1859 Wood's "Natural History" referred to the Irish Wolfhound as being almost extinct. In the same year Sir W. Wilde, in a Paper read before the Royal Irish Academy, made the same statement. In the same year the "Gazetteer of the World", in speaking of the majestic appearance of the Irish Wolfhound, said the animal was then very rare. Other authorities of that period spoke of the breed having practically disappeared. But, under that same date, 1859, we find this passage in the Rev. Edmund Hogan's "History of the Irish Wolfdog":-
"In 1859 a dog got from the 'Ballytobin' bitch (before she came into the possession of Captain Graham) by a dog bred by Major Garnier, was seen near Knowsley by Lord Derby, who stated that it was like the dogs kept formerly at Knowsley, but finer and larger. He is said to have been 32 inches high, and of a reddish brindle."

I learn from Captain Graham himself, however, that the dog in question was by a dog bred, not by Major Garnier, but by himself. Thus early then, Captain Graham was at work upon hs task of the salvation for posterity of this magnificent but almost extinct breed.

In the year 1879 the fate of the breed of Irish Wolfhounds was still apparently so doubtful that Mr. Harting included consideration of it in his "Extinct Animals of Great Britain." But he added to his historical remarks a picture of one of Captain Graham's dogs, and pointed out that this gentleman's hounds represented the only authentic strain of Irish Wolfhounds then known. But at that time it evidently was not realised that Captain Graham was determined not merely to possess the last survivors of the breed, but also to re-establish that breed upon an enduring foundation, and make it possible for other breeders to carry it on to permanent life and development. With regard to the ideal aimed at by breeders in that most important part of the Irish Wolfhound, the head, the judgement of "Stonehenge", written in 1882, remains worthy of note:-
"It would not give a stranger a bad impression to describe the Irish Terrier as a miniature Irish Wolfdog; they should look more like running than fighting, though game as fighting cocks. 'Spuds', the subject of the illustration, shows the long, parallel, Wolfhound-like head, her coat the hue of September wheat with the sun on it; very full of the racing build."

 [We have a vivid recollection of "Spuds", having judged her at the Great Dublin Show in the early "eighties". She was the perfection of the then ideal type - deep of brisket, symmetrical, and compact, with the characteristic "varmint" head. Her wheaten colour was considered against her, but she could cede the point and win easily, except when she ran up against her distinguished contemporary and compatriot Champion "Erin", a bitch of similar type and quality, but blessed with the bright red coat, now lost to the breed.—ED.]

In 1887, Mr. R.D. O'Brien, a breeder of Irish Wolfhounds, wrote to the reverend author of "The History of the Irish Wolfdog" as follows:-
"Richardson, in 1840-1, proved what the real type was. He collected and continued the breed, and handed down, not only the authentic tradition, but the actual blood, to Sir John Power, of Kilfane. Sir John and Mr. Baker, of Ballytobin, and Mr. Mahoney, of Dromore, were the last Irishmen found to devote real pains to the breed. The lamp, however, was not suffered to fall to the ground, for in the year 1862-3, an Englishman, Captain Graham, of Rednock, Dursley, who was a friend of Sir John Power's, took up the subject and pursued it with characteristic energy. Some time ago he wrote his admirable monograph, which exhausts the subject, as far as the personal and English evidence is concerned, and indeed contains everything that is known on the subject. About the year 1884-5, he crowned his services by organizing the Irish Wolfhound Club, and by inducing the Kennel Club to admit the dogs in their list of recognized breeds. Such animals as his 'Sheelah', and her son 'Dhulart', had only to be seen to be admired; and there is now no fear that the race will be any longer neglected."

That is happily a safe statement, a perfectly safe statement; but there can be few men in the world to whom the world of dog-lovers owe so much as they owe to Captain Graham for making that statement possible and safe.

The avowed object of the Irish Wolfhound Club, which Captain Graham founded, is to "promote the more complete recovery of this grand dog, and to firmly establish the race, by endeavouring to make the qualities and type of the breed better known; to define precisely, and publish, a description of the true type of the breed, and to urge the adoption of such type upon breeders, judges, and dog show committees as the only recognised standard by which Irish Wolfhounds are to be judged, and which may in future be uniformly accepted as the sole standard of excellence in breeding and in awarding prizes of merit to Irish Wolfhounds."

 TYNAGH 1899

With regard now to living representatives of the breed, two dogs may claim to be coupled together as pretty nearly perfect specimens of the breed. These are Mr. A.S. Hall's Champion "Gareth", and Mrs. Percy Shewell's Champion "Cotswold". These two magnificent hounds were born respectively on May 31st, 1903, and March 7th, 1902; and each of them stands over 34 inches high at the shoulder. Champion "Gareth" is a grey brindle, and Champion "Cotswold" is a fawn dog with dark points. "Gareth" is by Champion "Dermot Asthore" ex "Tynagh", and "Cotswold" is by Champion "O'Leary" ex "Princess Patricia of Connaught". Thus, when it is remembered that "Tynagh" was the daughter of that magnificent hound, Champion "O'Leary" (for long exalted as the Club's type of what should be aimed at in Wolfhound breeding, and, indeed, still remembered as such, though no longer to be regarded as a standard in size), it will be seen that the male blood in both these hounds is similar. The sire of Champion "Gareth" was bred by Captain Graham, and for long was unbeaten in the Wolfhound world; a very fine hound indeed, and exceptionally well-coated, though not, in some few respects, quite so true to type as "O'Leary". In Champion "Gareth" it may be that great size has been paid for, to some slight extent, in a tendency to straightness of hindquarters (though he is stronger than "Cotswold" in this respect), but in head, and generally speaking, in body, leg, size, symmetry, and general appearance, it may well be doubted whether this majestic hound could possibly be improved upon. Practically the same remarks might be said to apply to Champion "Cotswold", whose black nose, seen against a fawn coat, makes him an exceedingly showy hound.

 [With all respect to the feelings of those who worship these soi-disant Hibernian canines, it is a misnomer to call them "hounds". There are Greyhounds, Deerhounds, and Wolfhounds; but none of these should be named "hounds" without their several prefixes. In fact, this group of "sight" dogs is the very antithesis of the true Hound.—ED.]

These two are so nearly equal in their all-round excellence that it may be said to be a matter of personal taste as to whether or not there is anything to choose between them. They are both a triumph of good Irish Wolfhound breeding, and a credit to their noble race.

 [In our opinion "Ch. Cotswold" stands out by himself as the nearest to the ideal Wolfhound that has been bred since Captain Graham resuscitated the breed. We believe that we are right in stating that he has beaten every other specimen that has been benched. Fine dog as "Ch. Gareth" undoubtedly is, he should always play second fiddle to the fawn.—ED.]

To attempt a review of all the living representatives of the breed known to those who visit dog shows would, of course, be to attempt something quite outside the scope of this paper. Among famous dams of the breed one would give high place to the mothers of the two champions mentioned above. Mrs. Williams's bitch, Champion "Artara", was for long unbeaten. Mr. Everitt's "Felixstowe Emo", a sister of "Tynagh's", is a very beautiful and typical animal, and on points though not in maternity, could beat the more massive dam of Champion "Gareth".

 [Mr. Dawson unaccountably omits to mention "Ch. Cotswold Patricia", whose portrait we reproduce. This is a truly typical bitch, and one that has from time to time beaten all rivals. She headed the bitch section at the Crystal Palace and Birmingham in 1905; at Crufts, the Crystal Palace and Birmingham in 1907, and Crufts and Dublin (I.K.C.) in 1908.—ED.]

Mr. W. Williams's Champion "Daireen" is a fine typical bitch, but not big enough. Mr. J. Hill's "Brian Asthore" is a notable hound, because, in all probability, the biggest that has been bred in the last century, standing as he does well over 35 inches at the shoulder. But, unfortunately, this hound's great weight bowed his forelegs in puppyhood, and that debars him from such high show honours as have been won by his blood brother (not litter brother) the justly famous "Gareth"; and quite rightly so, though it does not prevent his being a magnificent animal. Mrs. Williams's Champion "Wargrave" was a fine big hound, with a particularly good, long head.

Ch. Cotswold Ch. Cotswold Patricia 

There are very many living hounds of this breed which deserve a good deal more than cursory mention did space permit, and among breeders, apart from Captain Graham, the leader of them all, much is owing to Mr. Walter Allen, Mr. J.F. Baily, Mr. I.W. Everitt, Mr. T. Hamilton Adams (who took over the Honorary Secretaryship of the Irish Wolfhound Club from the writer, and has done yeoman's service in that capacity), Mrs. Percy Shewell and Major Shewell, Miss Clifford, Mr. A.S. Hall, Mr. A.E. Casson, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Gerard, Mr. F. Howard, Mr. R.T. Martin, Mrs. Williams, Mr. W. Lane-Jackson, Dr. Pitts-Tucker, and Mr. Walter Williams.

The Irish Wolfhound is in safe hands to-day, and there is no other breed of dogs which presents a greater claim upon public interest and attention. To breed and rear them successfully is certainly expensive, and entails a vast deal of care and attention. But the reward of such labour is high, higher perhaps than in any other breed of dogs; by which I mean that, in Irish Wolfhounds, the finished product, the hound handled and made, is at once the noblest and most lovable of companions, and as beautiful a creature to look upon as the heart of an animal lover could desire.

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July 8th, 2005