I always wanted an Irish Wolfhound. I was going to call him Rufus and we were going to get us a castle, an old style castle – you know with a moat and a draw bridge and possibly a dragon. These are super sweet dogs, but they are also very large dogs. And as such, they don’t typically live as long as smaller breeds and they do need a bit of space to stretch their legs. They are a coursing hound and can gain great speed over short distances.
Their history is fascinating. As their name implies, they were once used to guard against wolves which overran Ireland in the 15th century. They did their job too well and hunted wolves almost to extinction. They themselves were endangered for a time from having no more use. That kind of makes me sad for both wolf and hound.
The saying about this hound is gentle to the stroke, fierce when provoked. A great dog to be sure. Especially if you have a medieval style castle somewhere in Ireland.