The Irish Wolfhound is a historic sighthound dog breed from Ireland that has, by its presence and substantial size, inspired literature, poetry and mythology. Like all sighthounds, it was used to pursue game by speed; it was also famed as a guard dog, specializing in protection against and for the hunting of wolves.
The modern breed classified by recent genetic research into the Sighthound United Kingdom Rural Clade (Fig. S2), is used by coursing hunters who have prized it for its ability to dispatch game caught by other, swifter sighthounds.
In 1902, the Irish Wolfhound was declared the regimental mascot of the Irish Guards.