Irish Wolfhound History

Dog World (USA) - Breed Notes

Irish Wolfhound Specialty

The 1968 Irish Wolfhound Club of America Specialty Show was held on April 4, 1968, at Rimrock Farm, Milford, Kansas — the spacious and lovely home of the Rathrahilly Irish Wolfhounds and Mrs. John W. Wofford, long-time IWCA Vice President. Until this year, this specialty has always been scheduled in the eastern U.S., with the exception of a trip to California in 1951, so the central location in 1968 gave an opportunity for exhibitors to come from both coasts as well as the heartland of the U.S. There were 43 of the 62 entered hounds present, and Eastern exhibitors took the top awards under judge Alva Rosenberg.

Best of Breed and winner of the coveted Best Moving Hound award was Mrs. C. Groverman Ellis's best-in-show winner, Ch. Caragahoolie O'Killybracken, a 3½ year old grey brindle male from New Hampshire, bred by Mrs. F. Philip Hunt. Caragahoolie flew to Kansas and then motored up to Chicago to spend two days On Exhibition Only at the International Show of which his owner is Honorary Chairman. Best of opposite sex, also a grey brindle, was Eng. and Am. Ch. Boroughbury Brona, bred by Mrs. Elsie James and owned by Samuel Evans Ewing 3rd, of Pennsylvania, who stayed on for the three all-breed Kansas shows and went Best-in-Show at Salina and Wichita, the two largest shows held in Kansas to date. Interestingly enough, in these placings Mr. Rosenberg reversed his decision at the Westminster Kennel Club Show in February, 1969, when he placed Brona Best-of-Breed and Caragahoolie Best Opposite Sex.

Both winners came from the American-Bred Class. Winners Dog and Best of Winners was Miss F. Jeanette McGregor's home-bred Deric of Kihone, a 1½ year-old grey brindle, who also went on to Chicago where he was Winner's Dog. Winner's Bitch was Mr. Ewing's 13-month-old wheaten brindle, Fleetwind Raglan of Eagle, bred by Lois J. and Norman Hall of California's Fleetwind Kennels. Raglan went Winner's Bitch at Salina and Wichita to finish her championship with three five-point majors in four days.

Reserve Winners Dog was Mrs. Grant Messinger's young Texas homebred, Myown Michael McManus, who was Best-of-Breed the next day at the Hutchinson show and Best-of-Winners the following day at the Salina show. Reserve Winner's Bitch was Mrs. Wofford's black home-bred Rathrahilly Annie Roonie, who, with her sister, Rathrahilly Roosma, won the Brace Class.

The Best Puppy award, with twelve puppies present, went to Mr. Thomas P. Wall, Jr.'s Cranard of Eagle, a six-month black male from Nashville, Tennessee bred by Mr. Eweing. The Stud Dog Class winner was Mrs. Wofford's Rathrahilly St. Patrick, and the Brood Bitch Class winner was her Ballykelly Rhoonagh Dhu.


A puppy presented to a home where he'll be loved is a wonderful gift to both the home and the dog.


Ballykelly Biddy Flanagan
Befinn of Eagle
Killykeen Micky Finn
Maghera Glass Sean


The control of shock is the most important initial treatment for an animal that has been hit by an automobile.

August, 1968

Wolfhound Forum
Part II
(Continuation of "English Dog World's Forum 68, on the Irish Wolfhound; first part appeared in our November issue.)

FN—The Irish Wolfhound makes a charming companion. He is to be trusted with children and has a delightful temperament, he obeys you because he wants to please you.
It is impossible to force him by brute force as he is much too powerful for such treatment.

MH—Yes, the mental qualities of the Irish Wolfhound fit him very well for the role of companion, as he is gentle, especially with children, and really prefers human companionship to that of his own kind. He is a wonderful guard and well knows the difference between friend and foe and although he is slow in making friends he will never forget them.
If anything, according to what one has read, his character and temperament have improved, as in the years past he was encouraged to be fierce.

EFJ—Yes, I, too, believe the Irish Wolfhound has the mental qualities to fit him for the role of companion dog. I think his character and temperament have kept pace with his massive frame, down the years. The Irish Wolfhound has all the characteristics that anyone could wish for in a companion dog. He is gentle and affectionate and loyal to his owner, content to be with his owner whether in the house, or outdoors; he loves human companionship.
He is respected by strangers if only because of his size. He is however slightly suspicious of strangers and waits until he is sure it is a welcome stranger before making friends. He is adaptable to all conditions and climates. He is not a fighter, nor does he readily use his teeth in an aggressive role — gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.
I believe that once one owns an Irish Wolfhound, one is never happy without one.

(From "English Dog World")
(Part III is scheduled for our January issue)

[Note: I presume that FN is Florence Nagle (Sulhamstead), MH is Margaret Harrison (Sanctuary) and EFJ is Elsie James (Boroughbury) but unfortunately I don't have the issue that contains Part I and which presumably gives the names]

Ch. Mary of Eaglescrag 
Irish Wolfhound owned and handled by
Robert Hunter, finished title at the Memphis K.C.
'67 show under j Dr. F. Rutherford; pictured here
as she made a major win under j L.J. Murr (Ritter photo)

Derie of Kihone
Garda Siocana Astoir
Sanctuary Shamus Again
Sulhamstead Marda, CD
Argideen of Eagle
Ben Bane of Glen Tara
Beowulf of Crooked Billet
Bidelia of Killybracken
Garda Siocana Serendipity
Mapleton Breda
Myown Michael McManus
Rory Carrah of Andaki
Rory of Red Rock
Slattery of Ballinaboy

December, 1968

Wolfhound Forum
(Continuing material from "English Dog World's" report on its "Forum 68" on the Irish Wolfhound. Parts I and II appeared in our issues of November and December, 1968, respectively.)

TH—The Wolfhound is a very old breed of dog. Would the panel give me some idea of the breed's original work and how he has adapted to changing times? Miss Harrison and Miss Atfield, please.

MH—We know that the Irish Wolfhund was a dog that hunted, among other things, wolves and elks, which abounded in Ireland years ago. As well, the dogs were trained to fight in battle — two dogs to a man, and it is said that the enemy were more afraid of the dogs than of the men.
Many were sent as gifts to the Romans where they fought animals and men in the amphitheatre. What a dreadful sight!
Queen Elizabeth I sent a brace to Phillip of Spain as a very precious gift. Many kings of Ireland sent them also to various monarchs. Since those days the Irish Wolfhound has become a very wise and sagacious dog and a splendid companion. But he will still protect his owner against any attack.

EFJ—The Wolfhound's original work was to kill wolves. Now that there are no wolves in the British Isles, he still loves a chase, and the hare is the one thing that he is encouraged to chase, and kill. Some Wolfhounds can work a hare quite well, but their size does not help them to be sharp enough on the turn.
Of course, their original work did not require them to turn as a hare does and I think that this must be remembered. Hunting wolves requires strength, stamina and courage.

FN—He was the castle dog and accompanied his lord out hunting, also fighting in battle. He is still a great big-game hunter when he finds himself in that environment.

TH—Would the panel describe (a) the basic differences and (b) any similarities between the Irish Wolfhound and the Deerhound? Would you answer first, please, Mrs. James.

TH—The Standard does not mention the mouth at all. Do you consider this a serious omission? Again it is not very defnite regarding the head and the eyes. Can the panel please give some guidance on these points?

MH—It is not a very serious omission but quite an important one. The mouth should have a scissor bite or be level, neither badly overshot nor equally undershot. If the dog in question has excellent points in most ways, then a mouth that is not quite level might be overlooked, but it is desirable to have a level mouth.
It is a pity that the points of the head are not definite as a lovely head is one of the main attractions of an Irish Wolfhound. The head should be long and broad across the forehead, but not too broad, with the muzzle longer than the forehead, and this should not be pointed but ending in good sized nostrils which is an important point.
The head should be in complete relation to the size of the dog and it is most important that the neck be long and muscular.

(The next part of this discussion is scheduled for our February issue)

[Note: Any response by Mrs. James on the differences between the Irish Wolfhound and the Deerhound were not included in the article. I am presuming that TH was Tom Horner]

Cilwych Dragon
Fleetwind Frona
Himself of Killybracken
Imperial Aleita
Shannon of Keystone
Stonnach Smuitean of Eagle
Sulhamstead Marta of Killybracken.

January, 1969

Wolfhound Forum
(This is Part V of material from "English Dog World" report on its "Forum 68" on the Irish Wolfhound. We have published an instalment each month, beginning with our November 1968 issue.)

TH— The section on body makes no mention of ribs or coupling. Should a Wolfhound be barrel ribbed, or what? Loins should be arched but what of their length?

EFJ— No, a Wolfhound should not be barrel ribbed, but should have a good spring of rib. Although this is not mentioned in the Standard, it has always been accepted I think, by judges and breeders alike, that a deep chest with good spring of rib is to be aimed at.
Loins vary and so do both breeders' and judges' opinions on this point. Personally I do not like too short a loin, it gives a "cobby" appearance which I do not feel is true hound type.

FN— A Wolfhound should have well sprung ribs and a wide, powerful loin. Not too long though as that means weakness in the back.

MH— Ribs should be well rounded so as to give plenty of space for the heart. I suppose it is known as "barrel-ribbed". On no account should they be "flat sided". The loins are nicely arched in proportion to the rest of the body, neither too long nor too short. If too short, the gait might be stiff and if too long, it might give a slight waddle.

TH— On e of the best sections of the Standard is that on hindquarters, but even then no mention is made of the angulation at the stifles. Would you say to what extent the Wolfhound should show bend of stifle?

FN— I should have thought all running dogs need a bend of stifle as movement is very stilted with a straight stifle.

(From "English Dog World")

 Keystones Lace Curtain Irish
Irish Wolfhound bred, owned and handled by
Donna Turnan, went BB under j Vincent Perry
at the Cabrillo KC show (Stillman photo)

Cori Callien of Ambleside
Heathcliff of Hawthorne
Imperial Heather of Tuxedo
Pequest's Pegeen of Roreen


March 1969

Wolfhound Forum
(This is Part VI of material from "English Dog World's" report on its "Forum 68" on the Irish Wolfhound)

EFJ— I think the main difference between the Wolfhound and the Deerhound is the greater size and substance of the Wolfhound. Another difference is in their heads, the Deerhound having a more finely chiselled head with a much more wistful expression. In colour they also differ, the Deerhound being mainly dark grey, some slightly brindled but Wolfhounds can be any colour from pale fawn to black, including wheatens, brindles of various shades, dark and light greys, etc. In most cases I think the Deerhound can be said to have a darker eye.
The similarities lie in the overall likeness to a Greyhound in conformation; in the texture and length of coats to a great extent although the Deerhounds as a breed have a more uniform coat than the Wolfhounds. In the hound his instincts are to chase anything that moves. They both have gentle, affectionate natures, both being noble hounds.

FN— The Irish Hound is more powerful with more substance and probably not as fast as the Deerhound. They are first cousins and Irish Wolfhound breeders have always acknowledged the debt they owe to Deerhounds from the crosses with that breed.
The Deerhound is more elegant and finer in head which is carried higher than the Wolfhound and they have darker eyes.

MH— Of course, basically, the Irish Wolfhound resembles the Deerhound. The difference is the Irish Wolfhound is a heavier dog, much more powerful, and his head is larger. His bone structure is much larger.
The colouring is much the same, mostly grey brindle, although Irish Wolfhounds do range from black to cream and most Deerhounds are grey and dark grey. Both breeds carry the small ears and the head carried high. The coat is rough and harsh, and the placing of the tail is similar. Both are hunting dogs and we are told hunt by sight.

(From "English Dog World")

 Ch. Imperial Paddy of Kilkenny
Irish Wolfhound owned by Patrick and Janice O'Flanagan,
going BoS at Chicago International KC show under j
Mrs. W.P. Wear. (Gilbert photo)

E.C. Gamble, Judge. BB, Ardmore of Nendrum. WM, Ballykelly Powerscourt Tomas.

Cordelia of Denmar

April 1969

Wolfhound Popularity

It isn't too many years ago that were very few Irish Wolfhound breeders who worked diligently in breeding the very best and the reward is coming to these breeders with group and best in show wins. However, can these few hold up the standard they have strived to uphold?

There are imports being brought into the states in litter lots. Many are buying bitches indiscriminately and breeding them without any planned breeding program. Their main interest is to supply a demand for the large hound. Dedicated breeders in Ireland and England do not ship puppies in litter lots for resale in the states. On occasion a breeder may have a good one that can be used in a breeding program here and is willing to part with a good hound at a good price. They are not bred indiscriminately so as to supply a foreign market. Those who are breeding for export are only doing so to have an added income. You may ask or look up in the foreign stud books and most of the names appearing on the export certificates are unknown to the old time fanciers.

Cyd of Long Lane
Fleetwind Just Plain Julie
Sallins of Eagle
Word of The Wind of Ironwood

March 1970

Irish Wolfhound Specialties

The months of July and August provided three specialty shows for Irish Wolfhound exhibitors.

July 10 began the sequence with the Irish Wolfhound Club of Canada Specialty. Gen. Alfred W. DeQuoy judged a total entry of 64 dogs. BB was claimed by Colm Colm Cilie of Dunderry, owned and bred by Robert and Janet May. Coming from the Bred-by-Exhibitor Class, he went on to be Winners Dog and Best of Winners. Best of Opposite Sex went to Mrs. Wm. R. Morrison's Ch. Dignity of Killybracken. Lord Samson ofConcordia, owned by Susan Bennett Thompson, was Reserve Winners Dog. Mr. and Mrs. John Scarlett are the breeder-owners of Winners Bitch, Seancroft's Damask of the Rood. Reserve Winners Bitch was Anelif Kirkoelin Daefadelle, owned by Ann Nielsen. The special Canadian classes presented Amer. and Can. Ch. Redtop Shean of Elmbrae, owned by Rosalie and David Wortman, as the Best Canadian-Bred. The Best Canadian-Bred Puppy was Elmbrae Elegance of Redtop, also owned by the Wortmans. The Winning Gait and Head Classes were both taken by Ch. Sulhamstead Fred, owned by Miss Mary Jane Ellis.

 Sandra of Clara
owned by Sue and Rosalie Engel and handled by
C.W. Rubenstein, going BW for four pts. under
j Wallace H. Pede at the Lawrence-Jayhawk KC show
(Olson photo)

On July 26, the Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast was host to a total entry of 112 dogs. The Endlish judge, Mr.R.N. James, presided. Best of Breed went to Ch.Canyon Creek Mullingar, owned and bred by James and Anne Sweeney. Kelly Glen's Gaelic Gift, owned by N. & J. Kelly, went Best of Opposite Sex after having been Winners Bitch and Best of Winners. Major Acres Vanguard, owned by Harold and Mary Major, was Winners Dog. Reserve Winners Dog was Kelly Glen's Gaelic Kinsman, owned by N. and J. Kelly. The Reserve Winners Bitch was Major Acres Vixon, owned by Harold and Mary Major.

The Irish Wolfhound Association of New England held its specialty show on August 17. Thirty-nine hounds of a total entry of forty-four were presented to Mrs. Winifred L. Heckmann, who judged that day. Best of Breed went to Tarkin's Garth, owned and bred by Sarah and Ronald Fink. Coming from the Bred-by-Exhibitor Class, he was also Winners Dog and Best of Winners. Best of Opposite Sex was won by Ch. Mistimourne Wild Isle Mirage, owned by Mrs. Louis F. Bregy. Winners Bitch was Eldirderg of Pequest Knoll, owned and bred by Frances F. Hall. Reserve Winners Dog was Shawn of Elmbrae, bred and owned by Mr. and Mrs. R.M. Kelly of Canada. Reserve Winners Bitch was Buckhurst Dagmar, owned by Keith and Margaret Johnson.

My special thanks to Mrs. C. Groverman Ellis, Mrs. Wm. R. Morrison and Mrs. William B. Donahue, for helping me to verify these results.

November, 1974

Irish Wolfhound Specialty

The Irish Wolfhound Club of America recently held a specialty show in Waukesha, Wisonsin. Mrs. Kelly Fox officiated as judge. There were sixty males entered and the winner came from the puppy class. King's Grant Joshua, a homebred of Charles M. and Mary V. Lang, took the points and later forged through to Best of Winners. The Reserve Winner, Dugal O'Killybracken, came from the Bred-by-Exhibitor class, owned by Mrs. Ellis of Killybracken Kennels.

 Falcarragh Jelough
bred and co-owned by Cameron Smith and handled by
co-owner Diane Koontz, was BB for three pts.,
over special, under j Winifred Heckmann at the
Danville KC show. (Graham photo)

In an entry of seventy-five bitches, Seancroft's Damash of the Rood owned by Mr. and Mrs. J.E. Scarlett took the points. This was a homebred. The Reserve Winner was Tyree's Longing for Tara, owned by Clara Feuer.

For Best in Show 36 very fine champions competed. All were carefully examined, gaited, and the handlers were given ample time for proper presentation. On this day Ch. Wild Isle Warlock, a homebred of Jill R. Bregy took top honors and another very successful Irish Wolfhound specialty came to a close.

Applearbor's Dark Challenge
Bradfield Aughrim
Colm Cille of Dunderry
Roise of Ronor
Just Call Me a Rose of Tralee
Rierends Cahir Braun
Shanids Tiger Roar
Arra of Eagle
Breac of Roreen
Garda Siocana Dublin Hearts
King's Grant Piper
Tivoli's Abacus Dabber

IW advertisements 

September 1975

 Ch. Imperial Grand Sun
 Imperial Irish Wolfhounds
 Champion Imperial Grand Sun beautifully represents the standard with his graceful conformation, beautiful head, and fine movement. "Sunny" as we call him, because his temperament is just that, is a solid red in color. If you ever have a chance to meet Sunny, you will never forget him. He is an Irish Wolfhound with presence and personality, and has produced several champios to date with several more on their way.
Ch. Imperial Grand Sun is at stud along with Ch. Imperial Paddy O'Shea, a red brindle son of Ch. Imperial Robin, DW's Standards issue Ideal Irish Wolfhound of 1974.
Imperial Ambassador, a grey brindle son of Ch. Imperial Robin, has already given us puppies with excellent heads, dark eyes and top movement.
Also at stud is Barrister Imperial Seamoor, a 36½-in. silver wheaten who is a son of Champion Imperial the Counselor, top-winning Irish Wolfhound for 1974 and 1975.
Imperial Sunsation, who we expect to live up to his name, is a beautiful cream wheaten son of Ch. Imperial Grand Sun. His dam is from the last litter bred by Bradfield Kennels, England.
For 13 years, Imperial has been dedicated to the breeding of quality Irish Wolfhounds. We have owned or bred 45 champions to date. Quite a few hounds have earned obedience titles as well. Imperial bred the first Irish Wolfhound to win a Tracking Dog (T.D.) degree, at a record age of 10 months. He is Imperial Irish Sweepstakes, also a son of Ch. Imperial Grand Sun; Imperial hounds have brains as well as beauty!
Pupies for show and for lovely pets will be available this summer and fall from the above sires. Imperial is happy to help any Wolfhound owners with their problems, regardless of where their hounds were purchased. We really care about the breed.
Visitors are welcome by appointment for coffee, conversation, and a lot of loving by the Imperial hounds.

June 1976

The Irish Wolfhound

By Edith Warren
Part II

After this period of rapid growth, theWolfhound develops more slowly, not attaining his full height until eighteen months. Many males cannot serve under that age, and bitches generally come in season at fifteen to eighteen months (Some, however, not under two years). The Wolfhound is not easy to breed. The male can be quite choosy, refusing to mate with some females while avidly seeking others. Some bitches are even more select, and indeed would remain virgins if they weren't muzzled and held for a dog. Usually bitches can be managed, but there is not much that can be done for the male that lacks interest. Handling the Wolfhound at stud is best left to the experts.

A word about exercising your dog. While the Irish Wolfhound undoubtedly benefits from much and rigorous exercise, a small amount will keep him in good condition. Walking with him is ideal exercise. He has a keen imagination which alleviates boredom and creates the feeling of liberty so essential to him.

Climate is of no special import to Wolfhounds, as his coat is especially designed to protect him from the extremes of temperature. His coarse outer coat serves as a buffer against both cold and sun, and his undercoat will insulate him not only from subzero temperatures but also against the heat of warmer climes. Generally speaking, if you can stand the climate, he can. His long nose and deep chest constitute an excellent breathing system for any climate. However, they do love cold weather. Should you be considering a Wolfhound for the tropics, it is best to get a puppy, so that he can become acclimated as he grows.

And now a final word of caution about the care of your dog if he is to grow to maturity and live a long and happy life. As a breed, Wolfhounds get along well with all dogs and other animals they are raised with, so that the neighborhood in general poses no threat. In fact, it is neither animal nor man that may bring your dog to an untimely end, but the beautiful, costly and carefree CAR. Take your dog for his walks and runs or wherever you please, but do not let him run loose. Ever! It puts him in danger of being killed by a car. Barring accidents your Wolfhound will live to a good age, comparable to other large breeds. Many have lived to be eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fourteen years old.

Singing Swords advertisement 
 Ch. Barrister Supreme Court

Champion Barrister Supreme Court

Champion Barrister Supreme Court finished Number One Irish Wolfhound for 1977. His sire, Ch. Imperial The Counselor, was Number One Irish Wolfhound, Number One Gazehound, and Number Five All-Hounds in 1974. In 1975, he was Number One Irish Wolfhound. His dam, Ch. Imperial Mari of Barrister, has produced eight champions to date.

At nine months of age, Court was shown in Montreal, Canada, and was picked best Irish Wolfhound puppy, Best Puppy in Hound Group, and Best Puppy in Show.

Court has five full brothers who finished their championships at an early age - Ch. Barrister Breitheamh, Ch. Barrister Son of a Judge, Ch. Barrister The Bishop's Vicar, Ch. Barrister the Jurist, andCh. Barrister the Jury's Verdict; and two full sisters - Ch. Barrister Legal Secretary and Ch. Barrister Christina Justice.

During the year of 1977, Court had 13 Group One's and One All-Breed Best in Show.

His offspring were seen in the ring as puppies and are expected to be shown heavily in 1978.

Audre and Leo Borrello,
63 Benton Rd.,
Saginaw, Mich. 48602
Phone (517) 793-1728

June 1978

Merrimac Ocr's Paddy Too

Banshee celebrates its 16th year in hounds this season. We have been breeding for the last half of that time. We have finished a total of 11 champions, five of which were undefeated to their championships.

Ch. Merrimac Ocr's Paddy Too, a 38" tall, wheaten stud, is the pride of the pack. He is a producer of litters of good size, quality pups.

New American Record! Ch. Cormac of Clearfork, a son of Paddy, out of Brightly-Brightly, a bitch owned by Mr. & Mrs. Hughes, recently became the youngest male Irish Wolfhound to finish its championship in the history of the breed. He finished at nine months and one week.

A number of the Banshee bitches are imports, a factor which we believe injects excellent background into our line. Ch. Aoife of CuUisneoch (pronounced E-Fa) has won the hearts of all who have encountered her. She is due to whelp in mid-April and we are expecting some super puppies. Aoife won her championship in a three day show in Houston with 3-5 point majors and within seven shows was in the top 20 hounds in the nation. What a lady!

Breedings are planned for the Spring and Summer and we will be showing the get at next seasons shows.

Wolfhounds are 'a great and noble breed of great size and commanding appearance' and Banshee owes its foundation in the breed to the dogs of Mrs. Stannie Musson and Mr. & Mrs. Ed. David. Special thanks to Sheelagh Seale for her guidance and love of the breed. Again, many thanks.

All puppies sold at Banshee Kennels are guaranteed to be free from genetic defects. (supplied by owner)

June, 1984

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