Celtic Hounds often referred to as the Greyhound, is an extinct ancient Irish sighthound breed that lived in Europe throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. These large-sized sighthounds were used as battle companions for soldiers and also to hunt both big and small game.

The Celtic Hound was a short-coated dog with long legs, medium-sized tail and a small head with pricked ears. Also, they had a long and slim body with dark spots on their body.

Origin & History

According to the Irish legends, the Celtic Hounds originated in Gaelic Ireland in the 17th century. They became popular after the Celtic tribes started using them for hunting purposes. Later on, the Celtic troops began rearing them as war dogs.

Celtic Hound are found in the Celtic jewelry designs and ancient paintings.

The existence of the Celtic Hounds can be found in the Celtic jewelry designs and paintings which date back to the 1600s. In wars, they helped the soldiers by dragging and carrying them by their soldiers. Likewise, they served as perfect watchdogs and hunting allies because of their strong hunting instinct.

How Did Celtic Hounds Got Extinct?

The Celtic Hounds became extinct somewhere between the late 18th century and early 19th century. They ceased to exist due to lack of conservative measures to protect them. As they were used in wars, a large portion of this breed died in battles.

Hunters started bringing new hunting breeds to Europe in the early 2000s after which the Celtic Hounds were barely used by the Irish people. Hence, this started the downfall of this breed and the people did not focus on preserving them. Therefore, it vanished and now remains only in myths and legends.

Temperament, Behavior, and Personality

The Celtic Hound was a calm, gentle and obedient breed that thrived on affection. Although they were aloof and shy to strangers, they were playful and lovable once they got along with people.

Celtic Hounds were kind, gentle, and affectionate dogs.
PC: Shioban O’Shea

The Celtic Hounds possessed a tolerant nature with gentle behavior. If they got bored being around their master, they would just move to another place and lay down rather than growling or scratching. As they were used as war and hunting dogs, they were very disciplined.

Were Celtic Hounds Child-Friendly?

Yes, the Celtic Hounds were extremely child-friendly dog breed and loved being around kids. Moreover, they would quickly adapt with the children even if not brought up together. The kind and even temper of the extinct Irish breed made them totally reliable for children.


  • Though the Celtic Hound is an extinct breed, it is often referred to as the popular Greyhound.
  • It is considered the ancestor of the Scottish Deerhound, Greyhound, and Irish Wolfhound.
  • According to Irish mythology, they are also believed to protect and guide the lost souls in the other world or Heaven.
A painting of a Celtic Hound chasing a hare.


The Celtic Hounds were found in the following colors:

  • White
  • Black
  • Fawn
  • Brindle
  • Blue
  • Red


Height: Celtic Hounds used to stand tall around 68-76 cm (27-30 inches).

Weight: The ideal weight of the Celtic Hound ranged somewhere between 25-38 kg (55-83 pounds).


On average, a mother Celtic Hound gives birth to 4-12 puppies at a time.

Similar Dog Breeds to Celtic Hounds

Visit Doglime for more information about other extinct dog breeds.