Dogs were always held in high esteem by the Celts, as a friend and as protection. The fearsome battle hound is featured in many Celtic myths. In general, hounds were representative of tracking skills, the ability to scent a trail, and of companionship.
The White Hound was a title of honor for Celtic chieftains. Many Celtic myths involve dogs or dog familiars which belonged to heroic figures or deities and wars were often fought for and over them.
Cuchulainn, the hound of Ulster, was a great Irish warrior of myth and legend. His greatest deed was when he held the army of Connaught at bay by himself. As most great warriors did, Cuchulainn died on the battlefield in combat in a fight between himself and his friend, a rival champion from Connaught.
The hound was used in battle as well as a symbol of Ireland's royalty.