The tallest and possibly the most powerful of dogs, the Irish Wolfhound is the great heroic dog of Ireland associated with its ancient and glorious history. Irish Wolfhounds were valued by ancient Celtic chieftains for their hunting prowess against wolves, boars and stags. Today, the Irish Wolfhound is the national dog of Ireland.
This huge, rough-coated dog, sometimes known simply as the Wolfhound, was developed to hunt down the wolves and defend livestock against these marauding animals. By the 18th century all wolves had all been exterminated and the Wolfhounds began to vanish. By the middle of the 19th century there were only a few mongrel wolfhounds left. The breed was reconstituted by a Scotsman, Captain George Augustus Graham, who introduced a lot of fresh blood in the breed by crossing it with the Scottish Deerhound, the Great Dane, the Russian Wolfhound, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog and the Tibetan Mastiff.
In personality this powerful breed Wolfhounds do better in the country and do not adjust easily to new environment.
The Irish Wolfhound is friendly, kind and loyal, thus he is an excellent companion. Because he is very calm and dignified, without harshness of attitude, he does not make an effective guard or watch dog. Docile and friendly when it is around his family, and fierce and tenacious when hunting and guarding, dignified and calm, he is very dependable around children and makes an excellent playmate.