The Wolfhound Dane is a wonderful cross that truly brings out the best in both of its parent breeds. The Irish Wolfhound has been traced back to the first century. An ancient breed, he was frequently used to hunt elk and other big game. He was also used as a dog of war. In the breed’s early days, he was referred to as Cu which translates ‘War Dog’ in Gaelic. He has also been a valued guard dog throughout history. Historically, only noblemen and royalty were allowed to own the towering dogs. Limits were also placed on how many each family could own based on the family’s status. The limits imposed on the breed made the numbers dwindle dangerously in the 1800s. Two men, referred to as Major Richardson and Captain Graham, are credited with reviving the breed.
They used Glengarry Deerhounds, Irish Danes, and Tibetan Mastiffs in their breeding program to create the modern Irish Wolfhound. Unlike the Irish Wolfhounds in history, the modern breed does not make a good watchdog as is not aggressive. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1950 and it was entered into the Hound Group.
The Great Dane is an ancient breed that can be traced back to 3000 BC. The Assyrians first bred the Great Dane by breeding their dogs with the Mastiffs of Rome. In the early days, they were known as Boar Hounds because they were used to hunt boars. By the 1500s, the breed was called the English Danois. Frenchmen visiting Denmark in the 1500s started to refer to the dog as the Grand Danois. German breeders eventually took an interest in the breed and refined it from a fierce hunter to a calm, family dog. The Great Dane was first recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and was entered into the Working Group.