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HISTORY OF BREED

The Irish Wolfhound has a two thousand years history with a really ancient origin. The breed was closely related to and identified with Celtic tribes, but actually Celts came into Ireland long after the breed was well known. Irish sagas, myths and legends mention the pre-celtic race of "Tuata de Dann" - the Deified Race. Their warriors were accompanied by huge fierce bearded hound type dogs, which easily took riders off their saddle.

Once Satanta, an Irish warrior of the first century AD, approached the smithy of Culan and a huge Irish Wolfhound attacked him. He drew his sward and killed the dog and the property of the smithy was left unguarded. Satanta promised in return to guard the smithy himself for one year until he trained another dog. And they started calling him KU Chulane. In 1571 the chronicler Edmund Campion wrote: Irish people have hunting hounds bigger of bone and limb than a colt. These dogs are the national pride of Ireland. Every year on their national holiday, St. Patricks Day, hundreds of owners of Irish Wolfhounds go out in the streets to join a festal procession. They paint these dogs on coats of arms, flags and advertisements (see the Irish Whisky Tullamore Dew for example). The Irish Wolfhounds were also precious and honorable gifts which were presented to other kingdoms in the neighborhood: Denmark, Sweden, France and the Emperor of Great Mongolia, Persian shahs, cardinals and ambassadors. The priest Edmund Hougan recorded the existence of these dogs in 16th century. In 1641 a couple of Irish Wolfhounds were given as a present to Cardinal Richelieu in France. In 1646 such a present was given to the Duke of Toscana in Italy. In England King James issued a decree according to which 12 couples of Irish Wolfhounds were to be bred in every farm in order to protect the herds from wolf attacks.

 

In 1962 was started revival of the breed by gathering the remaining specimens. In 1867 by means of inter-breeding he infused some blood lines of Great Dane and Scottish Deerhound. 'Thus we will reach the height and the hair of the former' image said Graham. And it appeared to be the hugest dog in the world.

The former type of this dog, however, was exceptionally fierce and Graham himself addressed this problem and managed to suppress the aggressiveness of the breed which is nowadays well known. In 1885 the first Irish Wolfhound Club was founded where J. Graham himself was an officer. The Club developed an official standard for the breed. Then the first Irish Wolfhound show took place. Only a few articles were added later to the first official standard which is still used nowadays.
For the first time Irish Wolfhounds appeared in Russia in the 1980s, and in Bulgaria they appeared in the 1990s.
Now there are only a few Irish Wolfhounds in Bulgaria.