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Ulster Museum

Champion Patrick of Ifold

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The ancient and beautiful wolfhound

When an Irish Wolfhound stands on its hind legs it can reach a height of seven feet. No wonder then that these beautiful animals became a symbol of wealth and strength.

Our Irish Wolfhound is named Patrick of Ifold. He was born on St. Patrick's Day, 1923 and he died in 1931 at the age of eight.

Patrick was a very famous champion wolfhound during his lifetime and fathered many famous hounds. His son International Finbarr Boroimhe, is believed to be the model for the hound on the old Irish 6d coin.

The Irish dog, the wolfdog of Ireland and the great hound of Ireland, are often mentioned in Irish history, literature and legend.

Whether these dogs resembled the modern Irish wolfhound is not altogether clear. What we do know is that these Irish wolfdogs were huge, powerful and very much in demand. In 393 AD, the Roman Consul wrote to his brother thanking him for the seven Irish wolfdogs that he had sent to Rome.

Wolfhounds have been associated with Ireland for hundreds of years. The famous Belleek china factory used a wolfhound as its mark in 1857 and in 1902, the Irish Guards adopted the Irish wolfhound as their regimental mascot.

Irish wolfhounds are often noted for having quirky individual personalities but they are quiet by nature and often create a strong bond with their family. Most Wolfhounds are very gentle with children and responding well to firm, but gentle, training.

Just look at Patrick of Ifold, he seems a friendly sort, as long as you are not a wolf….

Look at Patrick's nose. Many years ago he was on open display and visitors would stroke his nose. Slowly the fur around his nose was worn away leaving a bald patch.