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on the ears and paws, and with a black muzzle. There was not so much as a white hair on chest or toes. His coat was strong, harsh, and rather rough, the hair about three inches in length, but longer on the hackles, which, when erected, gave the suggestion of a mane, adding greatly to his apparent height and imposing figure.
His eyebrows were long and shaggy, curving over the eyes, but without obstructing the vision; he had a workmanlike beard, not too long ; and plentiful strong hair on his muzzle. His nose was large, and his mouth and teeth positively alarming when he yawned.
His eyes were dark, and in his gentler moods moist and tender in expression. His ears were small and velvety in substance; in repose carried neatly tucked back, close to the head ; but cocked elegantly and well above it when alert. Their different carriage, combined with the flash of his eye and the uprearing of his hackles, absolutely changed him in an instant from a lamblike to a lion-like being.
His head (which had a comical similarity to an Irish terrier's when he was a baby) was over 14 inches long, but that was because he was so tall. The head must bear artistic proportion to the body, and a 14-inch head on a 32-inch dog would be altogether too exaggerated. Wolfe Terror's head had not the slightest suspicion of dome or peak; the skull followed the configuration, on a massive scale, of a deerhound's; the stop was sufficiently indicated to avoid plainness; the muzzle very full and strong. In this particular he was totally free from snipeyness, and from the weakness of the borzoi, the coarseness of the Great Dane, and the lack-power of the deerhound.
His neck was muscular, moderately long, well-arched, and his throat clean. His body long, the ribs grandly sprung, the belly tucked up, but not so much as to suggest slenderness, yet enough to announce agility. His tail was very long-it could touch the ground when perpendicular-well-covered with hair, yet avoiding suspicion of feather, set rather high than low, and carried slightly below the level of his back, with a half-twist and the extremity curving out to the left.
His shoulders sloped like a race-horse's, and were well-supplied with muscle ; his chest was very deep, and his breast presented a broad front. His loins were strong, full of substance and slightly arched. Everywhere he avoided straight lines and angles, and revelled in curves that suggested grace, suppleness, and harmony of anatomy.
His fore legs were straight, well set under, big-boned, and parallel as Corinthian pillars ; his hind legs carried a long second thigh, with sound, set-apart hocks, well let down, which, taken all round, was perhaps his strongest point in comparison with the breed as it exists to-day, for it is inclined to be woodeny behind. The muscles on the fore arm (which girthed 10 inches) and the thighs were as hard as a prize-fighter's. The feet were compact, and tending to cat-like, but the springy pastern carried this rigidity off. The strong, curved nails were black and even. His bone all over was enormous, and he was well-furnished, but did not carry an ounce of fat.
His trot was a long swinging gait, and he had a sideways action, as though he meant business with his shoulder if you got in his way. He did not lift his legs high, but accomplished a grand stride; extended at full gallop, he travelled low to the ground, but, when necessity required, negotiated a five-barred gate like a Grand National winner.
His temperament was courteous, yet reserved to strangers. He must have a formal introduction ; this accorded, he behaved benignly, but with a proper dignity. In private life he possessed every good quality of a gentleman, and the acutest sense of humour. Nothing delighted him more than a little private joke with any one he was fond of. Pin pricks had no effect upon him, and he equally ignored the snap of a small dog, the scratch of a cat defending her kittens from intrusion, and the irritating remarks of small, facetious village boys.
But when duty called—which it too seldom did for his taste in our peaceful England-he proved himself as gallant as he was gigantic, as unconquerable as he was noble, and as dangerous as he was daring. And there ran in his veins—thin though it might be--an indubitable streak of that ancient blood which, in his distant ancestry, protected him from proprietorship by any but the Kings of Ireland.
And lest any one should suppose this magnificent creature is only the creation of fancy, let me confess I manufactured him out of the following ingredients. He borrowed his noble head, long body, and fine lashing tail from Cotswold, his aristocratic appearance from Marquis of Donegal, his small ears, straight legs, perfect feet, and sound constitution from Wolfe Tone, his kind, dark eyes from Ballyhooly, his height from Brian Asthore, his solidity of body and savage temper (when aroused) from Finn, his graceful action from Felixstowe Emo, his coat from Atara, his castiness from Nuala, his speed from Juno-of-the-Fen, his sense of duty to
his generation from Cheevra of Kidnal, his Irish humour from Wolfe O'Brien, and his affection from Dermot Asthore.
The interests of the Irish wolf-hound are well looked after by the Irish Wolf-hound Club, which numbers about sixty members, and has done a great deal for the breed. The entrance fee is a guinea, and membership entitles subscribers to compete for a forty-guinea challenge shield and five ten-guinea challenge cups, besides special prizes, in apportioning which the club is very liberal. Financially there is no similar institution so soundly, not to say opulently, established, for it has a reserve fund of a hundred pounds. Another club, the Northern Irish Wolf-hound Club, is a kindred institution, whose aim is to cater for fanciers in the north of England. With the strides that the breed is making in popularity there seems room for the existence of a third club in Ireland, where a considerable body of fanciers have lately sprung into existence.
The following are the Irish Wolf - hound Club's Standard of Points of the breed :
STANDARD OF POINTS OF THE IRISH WOLF-HOUND
1. GENERAL APPEARANCE. — The Irish wolf-hound 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 grace. fully 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 lbs. ; of bitches 28 inches and 90 lbs. 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 to firmly establish a race that shall average from 32 to 34 inches in dogs, showing the requisite power, activity, courage, and symmetry.
2. 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.
3. Neck. – Rather long, very strong and muscular, well arched, without dewlap or loose skin about the throat.
4. CHEST.--Very deep; breast, wide.
6. Tail.---Long and slightly curved, of moderate thickness, and well covered with hair.
7. Belly.- Well drawn up.
8. FOREQUARTERS. — 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.
9. HINDQUARTERS. — Muscular thighs and second thigh long and strong, as in the greyhound, and hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out.
10. Feet.--Moderately large and round, neither turned inwards nor outwards ; toes, well arched and closed ; nails, very strong and curved.
11. Hair.-Rough and hard on body, legs, and head; especially wiry and long over eyes and under jaw.
12. Colour AND MARKINGS. - The recognised colours are grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, sawn, or any colour that appears in the deerhound.
13. Faults.-Too light or heavy a 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 or hollow or quite straight back; bent fore legs ; overbent fetlocks ; twisted feet; spreading toes; too curly a tail ; weak hindquarters and a general want of muscle ; too short in body.
I am able to present my readers with a very fine illustration of Irish wolf-hounds, thanks to the kindness of Major Shewell and the perseverance of Mr. F. Parsons of Cheltenham, who took more photographs than I should like to commit myself to numbering, before he obtained the absolutely perfect one of two unleashed-up hounds, in an alert attitude, which I reproduce. Unfortunately, owing to their great size, they are out of proportion to the "scale" adopted for illustrations in this volume, and would require a double page to do their dimensions justice.
Ch. Costswold was bred and is owned by Mrs. Percy Shewell. His sire was O'Leary and his dam Princess Patricia of Connaught, and he was born in March 1902. He weighs 142 lbs., stands 344 inches at shoulder (being the tallest dog figured in this work), and is a wheaten colour, with a long head, great bone, hazel eyes, and long tail, well carried ; good coat, and lots of it; straight on his legs, and with great freedom of movement; a long body and good girth, but is not yet fully filled out. He has won three championships, and is, without doubt, the most typical hound in the breed.
Wolfe Tone, also the property of Mrs. Percy Shewell, is by Ch. Wargrave ex Wolfe Colleen, and was born in August 1900. He is a black and grey dog, weighing 139 lbs., and standing 33} inches at shoulder. His owner describes him as “a fine upstanding hound, with lots of courage, splendid legs and feet, good bone and perfectly straight ; good coats and lots of it; has a wonderful nose and hunts well ; small ears and carries them well ; wants length of head and tail, and his eyes are somewhat light. Winner of a championship and many prizes, and sire of Cotswold Desmond and Cotswold Paddy, and many other whelps.”