This section is from the book "Sporting Dogs. Their Points And Management In Health, And Disease", by Frank Townend Barton. Also available from Amazon: Sporting Dogs; Their Points and Management in Health and Disease.
The present breed of Irish Wolfhounds appears to be the outcome of crossing the Deerhound with the Boarhound, though several centuries ago this variety of dog was said to be in existence, and employed, as its name indicates, for hunting the wolves in this and his own country.
The extermination of wolves in these countries would naturally account for the decadence of the Hounds hunting them.
Be this as it may, the present type of Hound is a fast and powerful dog, and, we should judge, would prove to be quite equal to his earlier representatives.
In colour these Hounds are red, brindle, fawn, grey, black, white, etc., and have a rough, hard coat on body, head and limbs, the hair under the jaw and over the eyes, being long, and wiry in texture.
Weight, height (proportionate), and powerful build are essentials, and should be one of the principal aims of the breeder.
Doo's ought not to be less than 31 inches, and bitches 28 inches. In weight, the former ought to scale 120 lbs. and bitches about 100 lbs.
Must be long, of medium width above the eyes, and the muzzle long and pointed.
Ought to be well curved, long, and deep.
A deep chest, wide brisket, and long, strong back and loins, together with a long curved tail, having an abundance of hair upon it, are qualifications for a typical specimen.
Strong, big-boned fore-arms, straight and carried straight, ending in large round feet and strong claws, are essentials of beauty in these regions.
To be clothed with well-developed muscles—weakness in this respect being a fault-having a long second thigh, and hocks low placed.
In many respects the Irish Wolfhound resembles the Russian Wolfhound, our own Deerhound and Greyhound, though it is a more massive animal than any of these, but like these Hounds, built upon racing lines, though of the heavy-weight class.
The Irish Wolfhound Club watches over the interests of the breed.