Previous Index Next


he was second to Mrs. Shewell's Ch. Cotswold, of whom he is now kennel companion. At the same show Miss Clifford, of Ryde, exhibited a good hound in Wildcroft, another of Dermot Astore's sons, and other supporters of the breed are Lady Kathleen Pilkington, Mr. T. Hamilton Adams, Mr. G. H. Thurston, Mr. Bailey, Mrs. F. Marshall, Mr. J. L. T. Dobbin, and Miss Ethel McCheane.

The following is the description of the variety as drawn up by the Club :

General Appearance-The Irish Wolfhound should not be quite so heavy or massive as the Great Dane, but more so than the Deerhound, which in general type he should otherwise resemble. Of great size and commanding appearance, very muscular, strongly though gracefully built ; movements easy and active ; head and neck carried high ; the tail carried with an upward sweep, with a slight curve towards the extremity. The minimum height and weight of dogs should be 31 inches and 120 pounds, of bitches 28 inches and 90 pounds. Anything below this should be debarred from competition. Great size, including height at shoulder and proportionate length of body, is the desideratum to be aimed at, and it is desired firmly to establish a race that shall average from 32 inches to 34 inches in dogs, showing the requisite power, activity, courage, and symmetry. Head-Long, the frontal bones of the forehead very slightly raised and very little indentation between the eyes. Skull not too broad ; muzzle long and moderately pointed ; ears small and Greyhound-like in carriage. Neck-Rather long, very strong and muscular, well arched, without dewlap and loose skin about the throat. Chest-Very deep, breast wide. Back-Rather long than short. Loins arched. Tail-Long and slightly curved, of moderate thickness, and well covered with hair. Belly-Well drawn up. Fore-quarters-Shoulders muscular, giving breadth of chest, set sloping, elbows well under, neither turned inwards nor outwards. Leg-Forearm muscular and the whole leg strong and quite straight. Hind-quarters-Muscular thighs, and second thigh long and strong as in the Greyhound, and hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out. Feet-Moderately large and round, neither turned inwards nor outwards ; toes well arched and closed, nails very strong and curved. Hair-Rough and hard on body, legs, and head ; especially wiry and long over eyes and under jaw. Colour and Markings-The recognised colours are grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, or any colour that appears in the Deerhound. Faults-Too light or heavy in head, too highly arched frontal bone, large ears and hanging flat to the face ; short neck ; full dewlap ; too narrow or too broad a chest ; sunken and hollow or quite level back ; bent fore-legs ; overbent fetlocks ; twisted feet ; spreading toes ; too curly a tail ; weak hind-quarters, cow hocks, and a general want of muscle ; too short in body.


THE Deerhound is one of the most decorative of dogs, impressively stately and picturesque wherever he is seen, whether it be amid the surroundings of the baronial hall, reclining at luxurious length before the open hearth in the fitful light of the log fire that flickers on polished armour and tarnished tapestry ; out in the open, straining at the leash as he scents the dewy air, or gracefully bounding over the purple of his native hills. Grace and majesty are in his every movement and attitude, and even to the most prosaic mind there is about him the inseparable glamour of feudal romance and poetry. He is at his best alert in the excitement of the chase ; but all too rare now is the inspiring sight that once was common among the mountains of Morven and the glens of Argyll of the deep-voiced hound speeding in pursuit of his antlered prey, racing him at full stretch along the mountain's ridge, or baying him at last in the fastness of darksome corrie or deep ravine. Gone are the good romantic days of stalking beloved by Scrope. The Highlands have lost their loneliness, and the inventions of the modern gunsmith have robbed one of the grandest of hunting dogs of his glory, relegating him to the life of a pedestrian pet, whose highest dignity is the winning of a pecuniary prize under Kennel Club rules.

Historians of the Deerhound associate him with the original

Irish Wolfdog, of whom he is obviously a close relative, and it

is sure that when the wolf still lingered in the land it was the

frequent quarry of the Highland as of the Hibernian hound.

Legend has it that Prince Ossian, son of Fingal, King of

Morven, hunted the wolf with the grey, long-bounding dogs.



Previous Index Next