Irish Wolfhound Times
(Irish Wolfhound Database and Breed Information Exchange)
The Irish Wolf-Dog - Two Types
"Pagan Ireland; an Archaeological Sketch: A Handbook of Irish Pre Christian Antiquities.."
by William Gregory Wood Martin - 1895
Two interesting depictions of the Irish Wolfdog and a brief narrative by William Gregory Wood Martin
The pre-historic mammals domesticated by man were—if judged by the traces they have left—not numerous. Foremost stands the Irish wolf-dog, generally considered to have resembled the present rough-haired deer-hound of Scotland, and the formidable character of this dog is the subject both of history and tradition. 'These records it is, moreover, now fairly ascertained do not exaggerate the power and strength of an animal which was the faithful companion not only of the hunter, but possibly also of the warrior, in far remote, pre historic, as well as in more recent times
It appears there is very positive evidence that there were in Ireland, formerly, two races of wolf-dogs, one approaching the skull of Irish Wolfgreyhound, the other the mastiff type. The discovery of several specimens of the crania of this kind of dog in the refuse-heaps of lake-dwellings has afforded a good opportunity of making comparative examinations. The skull measurement of one of these 'crannog dogs' was compared with that of an average modern German boar-hound, and the Irish skull was in every way the most capacious. In the Ballynamintra Cave, besides the bones belonging to the wolf, other specimens were referred to a dog even taller than the wolf. 'This animal may have been domesticated by the hunters, who are believed to have split the Irish elks' bones for extraction of the marrow, and who manufactured the stone implements which were found in the cave.'
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