Irish Wolfhounds – “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”

Stair na hÉireann/History of Ireland

Irish Wolfhounds are one of the oldest breeds of dogs recorded in the history of man. They appear in early Irish law tracts under the name “Cú” (modern Irish word for hound). The dogs are known as the “gentle giants” of the canine world expressed in the breed slogan, “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”. Wolfhounds also appear on the coat of arms of early Irish kings and were revered by the ancient Irish and remain a revered symbol of Ireland to this day. The name “wolfhound” is relatively new. In times past the dogs were refereed to as Cú Faoil. Cúchulain, a name which translates literally as “hound of Culain”, gained his name when as a child, known then as Stanza, slew the ferocious guard dog of Culain forcing him to offer himself as a replacement. The term Conn appears in many modern Irish Surnames like O’Connor, Conaire, Conolloy…

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