It is believed that the Great Pyrenees is an ancient working breed that originated in Central Asia or Siberia. They migrated with shepherds and their herds of sheep into the Pyrenees Mountains around 3000 B.C. This breed is named after this mountain range. In the United States they are called Great Pyrenees. In France, they are called Le Chien des Pyrenees, which translate to the dog of Pyrenees. They were loyal companions and hard-working dogs, protecting the sheep from predators. They would bark and charge the predator to alert the shepherd that the sheep were in danger. The Great Pyrenees was lovingly called “pastou” by the shepherds, which means pasture in old French. The first pair of Great Pyrenees were brought to the United States in 1824 by General Lafayette and J.S Skinner. A breeding program was established in 1931 by Mr. and Mrs. Francis V. Crane who founded the Basquaerie Kennels in Needham, Massachusetts. The Great Pyrenees was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in February 1933. Today, the Great Pyrenees is still a working dog as well as a companion. They work as therapy dogs on farms and ranches and as search and rescue heroes. The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed. There is mention of them as early as 7000 B.C. There are Irish laws and literature that mention the Irish Wolfhound. Wolfhounds were bred as hunting and guard dogs. The Irish Wolfhound would hunt wolves and elk, working in packs. They were called “Cú Faoil”, which is Celtic for Irish Wolfhound. The Irish Wolfhound almost became extinct because of less game in the countryside and because of the Great Irish Famine (1845-1852). In 1862, a Scotsman named Captain George Augustus Graham dedicated his life to save the breed from extinction. He bred the remaining Irish Wolfhounds with the Scottish Deerhound, Great Dane, Russian Wolfhound and the Great Pyrenees. The English Kennel Club recognized the Irish Wolfhound in 1925. The Irish Wolfhound was officially recognized by the AKC in 1897. Today’s Irish Wolfhounds excel in the sport of lure coursing and trails. Lure coursing is a sport for sight hounds, which uses a mechanical lure.