Irish Wolfhound Times
(Irish Wolfhound Database and Breed Information Exchange)


About IWTLibraryBreed OriginsReserved For FutureAfghan Hound TimesReserved For FutureBreed StandardEphemera

About Dogs from the Crannoges of Ireland.
S. Studer, Zwei grosse Hunderassen aus der Steinzeit der Pfahlbauten. Schweiz. Hundestammbuch V, 1893,


IWT Editor note. Several writers, Richardson, Graham, Hogan, Leith Adams etc have written about canine skulls found in Ireland. The following is an experts article by S. Studer (Switzerland) on the topic. I do not speak German or Swiss, so have used the google translate service to translate the original into English (with apologies to our German/Swiss friends for any errors in translation). The original article can be found here

About Dogs from the Crannoges of Ireland.

The presenter had earlier opportunity to examine the rich prehistoric collections of Irish National Museum in Dublin the remains of dogs that had been found in part in the cultural deposits of prehistoric lake dwellings. Since it is through the kindness of the Director of Collections, Dr. Scharff, a number of excellent plaster casts of those dog skulls been notified, which allow them to make an exact comparison with the information under our collection of prehistoric and recenten dog skulls.

First, there are three casts of skulls from the Crannoge from Dunshaughlin, County of Meath found. Two large skull belong to etiquette, the famous race of the Irish Wolfhound, Irish Wulfsdog. One has a Basilarlänge of 210, the other of 217 mm. The skull is generally narrow, the face part is not sold sharp, forward tapering, the cristae parietal with two very high, the occipital protuberance extended too far back, the Parietalgegend curved slightly so that the skull almost roof shape of the Parietalcrista to the ear area drops. The face part is before Jochbogenansatz still wide, foram before. infraorbital it tapers sharply and tapers forward to Scbnauzenspitze. In the profile area of the nose is not settled, the skull is from the front height gently and uniformly after the tip of the long nose legs, only with the larger specimen shows a depression in the center of the nasal bones. At the same, the muzzle is blunt and wider front, the whole skull. Slightly plumper than the other The forehead is broad, with the larger greatly deepened in the median line, less in the smaller specimen.

In general, when the. One in detail, agree the skull consistent with that of the Irish Wolfhound in the British Museum in London, as a wolf dog skull our museum bred by Mr. Walker in St. Moritz After the last copy may say that the ancient breed has been preserved in the Walker's still good breeding.

Of the older writers who deal with the Irish Wolfhound, is always the same compared it in his behavior with a strong greyhound and especially his relationship with the Scotsch Deerhound hingewiesen.1) skulls of those who sought me out to the farms of Mr. dust Zurich present, confirm the close relationship of the two forms, only shows the Scotsch Deerhound, a gracileres. Character. The snout is longer and narrower, the zygomatic arches are less adapted to the sagittal crest is low and the arched Parietalgegend more.

Both are united in the Canis Leineri from the stilts of Bodman on Überlingersee which the Neolithic pile dwelling) angehört.2 Here the muzzle of the skull and the ratio of the zygomatic arch shows throughout the construction of the wolf dog, while the cranium Scheitelcrista with its weaker and the well-arched parietal repeated the type of Deerhounds.

We may therefore these big races that play in antiquity and in the Middle Ages as a strong hunting dogs a big role, assign a central European origin. Especially among the Celtic nations they seem to haben.3 played by tradition and by the discoveries of ancient pictorial and sculptural representations in the Gallo-Roman remains of a large role)

The third skull, with 167 mm Basilarlänge, shows a very different from the previous habit. He belonged to a medium sized dog, about the size of a vigorous Spitzer.

1) S. Graham, The irish wolfhound by Capt. Graham, Rednock, Durzley 1879 and Walker, the Irish wolfhound. Switzerland. Dog Stud Book. VI, 1896, p. 64th

2) S. Studer, two large dogs from the Stone Age to the stilt houses. Switzerland. Stud Book V, 1893, and contributions to the history of our breeds. Science weekly XII, 1897, No. 28

3) T. S. Studer, The Dogs of Gallic Helvetii. Sheets for Canine. Ii. Vol No. 17, Zurich, August 1886, and contributions to the knowledge of our breeds, etc.

The muzzle is blunt and slightly extended section and sits down at the nose off by a depression of the beautiful domed skull, on a moderately strong crista parietalis is developed. The zygomatic arches are strongly designed. The palate is broad, especially in the area of rice tooth. In a word, the skull belongs to the type of Spitz, Canis f. palustris, and although he agrees with the strong forms of the same larger, as they were bred in the late Stone Age. Similar skulls have already been obtained from the stilts of Lattrigen on Lake Biel and from the Roman ruins at Baden in Aargau.

A fourth skull of a medium-sized dog is from Lough Gur, Limerick. Again, this shows the tracks to old age. He is brown in color, like the skull from peatlands. This skull is consistent in size and shape most of the Canis f. intermedius Woldrich (*1) from the Bronze Age, especially in the proportion of the skull to the facial skeleton, only the cranium appears wider and arched better, the crista parietalis lower and the muzzle pointed slightly. For the rest, he is also the hound forms, including the hounds, very close, so especially the Helvetic Hounds. I have already stated elsewhere (*2) that theC. intermediusfrom the Bronze Age in his skull show the characters of the hounds, and that it the Helvetic Hound of La Tene and the Bernese Hound connect close, on the other hand he shows relations with the shepherd of the Bronze Age , the Canis f matris optimae Jeitteles.

The examination of the dog remains from prehistoric deposits hiernit Ireland shows us that there the same Urrassen the dogs as in Central Europe occurred. Canis palustris, C. Leineri, C. intermedius are the basic forms from which have developed the later races. As far as we thus in Central and Northern Europe, from Ireland to Lake Ladoga, know the prehistoric dog forms, can be anywhere up to now recognize the same archetypes that occurred back in the south German and Swiss lake dwellings during the Stone and Bronze Ages.

1) Woldrieh, On a new dog home the Bronze Age. Releases of Anthropol. Gesellsch. in Vienna. Vol VII, May 1877, p.61

2) Studer, Th, dogs of Gallic Helvetii and contributions to the knowledge of dog breeds.





Library Of Articles