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 appears 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 (c.f. Chúlainn) and Conn. The latter term
appears in many modern Irish Surnames like O'Connor, Conaire, Conolloy
etc. Through the centuries they were referred to by many other names
including the Irish wolf dog, Irish greyhound, or Irish war dog.