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It’s all in the name!
6 April 2016
From Aleksandr Orlov the Meerkat to Vinnie the Panda, to Churchill the nodding dog - many organisations and brands have an animal as their mascot. Irish Wolfhound, Domhnall, is the current mascot of the Irish Guards. His name is Gaelic for 'world leader' and he has been their mascot since 2012. Along with the Irish Wolfhound, we have also included the Samoyed who has Royal links and Chihuahuas, who are comical, entertaining, loyal, and brimming with personality.
You can post photos of your dog on our Facebook page - we would love to see them.
Irish Wolfhound (Cú Faoil)
The Irish Wolfhound is an exceptionally old breed, thought to date back as early as 7000 BC. As indicated by their name, they were bred for hunting wolves, but were also used to guard homes and protect livestock.
During the English Conquest of Ireland, only the nobility were permitted to own Irish Wolfhounds – and the higher your position, the more you could own. These dogs were extremely coveted and were often given as gifts to important people and foreign noblemen. In the 13th Century, King John of England presented an Irish Wolfhound called Gelert to Llewellyn, a prince of Wales and in fact, so many were given away to European Royal Houses, that numbers dwindled in Ireland and Oliver Cromwell published a declaration in 1652 to ensure that sufficient numbers remained in Ireland to control the wolf population.
Today, the Irish Wolfhound doesn’t do much wolf hunting, rather they are favoured for their loyalty, affection, patience and devotion and although their size can be a deterrent, they are generally not very good guard dogs as they are too friendly to strangers, however they have proven to be very sensitive to malicious intentions and if they believe their family are in danger, they will not hesitate to protect.
Taking its name from the Samoyedic people of Siberia, these fluffy white dogs were bred to help with herding and guarding reindeer and to occasionally pull sleds for the nomadic reindeer herders. They are also known as Bjelkier, especially in Europe.
Importation of Samoyeds began in the early 1890s, although in limited numbers, and went on for several years. Queen Victoria’s daughter Alexandra, who married Czar Nicholas II sent a gift of Samoyeds to her brother, the Prince of Wales, who loved their striking appearance. Queen Elizabeth II has paintings of Samoyeds in her extensive art collection.
Both black and white Samoyeds were used on the first Polar exploration, however it is the sparkling white coat that is now the hallmark of this breed.
There are many theories and mysteries surrounding the origins of the Chihuahua, some believe they originally come from China, whilst others believe they are Mexican (and they do take their name from the Mexican state of Chihuahua, where they first came to prominence in around 1895).
First shown at Crufts in 1936, a Chihuahua was also the first dog to ever have dined in the House of Commons. Rozavel Miguel wore a green jersey and a diamond collar to attend the annual dinner of the British Mexican Society in December 1954!!!