Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed
|Life Span:||Around 6-8 years|
|Litter Size:||3 to 4 puppies|
|Group:||Southern, AKC Hound|
|Recognized By:||CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR|
|Color:||The colors of the Irish Wolfhound may vary from grey, wheaten, brindle, red, black, pure white, brown, or fawn, although grey is the most common color.|
|Male Height:||33-36 inches (85-90 cm)|
|Male Weight:||90-120 pounds|
|Female Height:||31-32 inches (75-80 cm)|
|Female Weight:||105-150 pounds|
|General info courtesy of terrificpets.com. Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.|
|Living Area:||The Irish Wolfhound is a dog that can be kept indoors or outdoors, but is best kept indoors with the family, although apartment life would not allow much room for this large dog. If they are kept indoors too much, they are inactive which isn\'t good for them. They thrive very well in a large yard where they can run free. Due to their desire to chase smaller animals they don\'t know, they should always be kept in a fenced yard. They do enjoy being indoors with their family members as much as they can.|
The Irish Wolfhound is a huge, muscular breed of dog that is bred to hunt. The Irish Wolfhound gets its name from its purpose, which was wolf hunting. This dog is one of the tallest breeds in the world. They are known for being like a huge gentle giant. They can reach the size of a small pony and when on their hind legs can reach 7 feet tall. They move a very swift pace and are known for having excellent eyesight.
The Irish Wolfhound has a big arrow-shaped head with a long muscular arched neck and pointed muzzle. They have a body shaped similar to a greyhound only larger. The tail hangs down with a curve. They walk with a look of elegance and grace. The paws are round and big with arched toes and curved nails. The ears are laid back against the head unless they are excited in which case they hold them up part-way. They come in a variety of colors, although grey is the most common.
The Irish Wolfhound is a friendly and loving dog towards everyone. They are rather clumsy and are slow to mature often not reaching adult size until they are at least 2 years old. They do grow fast and need good quality dog food so their bones can grow healthy as fast as the rest of them are growing. A very unfortunate fact about the Irish Wolfhound is that they don\'t have a real long life span like many other large dogs.
The Irish Wolfhound has a medium length rough shaggy coat that needs regular brushing. He is an average shedder.
The history of the Irish Wolfhound began as early as the 1st century when the Celtics bred these dogs as war dogs and to guard their homes and protect their livestock. There were some reports of them being used for dog fights although this is surprising considering how affectionate and loving they are. With their speed and intelligence, they were successfully used to hung wolves and wild boars. They then were exported to other countries for this purpose. Today they are sometimes referred as the national dog breed of Ireland, although nothing has been done officially.
It was said that during wartime they were trained to take an armored knight off its horse. When they were only allowed to be owned by royalty (and banned by everyone else) in the 19th century, the breed became almost extinct. The Irish Wolfhound was then bred with the Deerhound, Great Dane and Borzoi, which brought the breed back, changed its initial appearance slightly. The dog was not always as big as it is today but became that way after it was bred with a Kerry Blue Terrier. They were not as mellow and affectionate as the modern day Irish Wolfhound. The motto of the breed is "Gentle when stroked. Fierce when provoked". Today they are one of the best-known Irish breed dogs. Everyone that owns an Irish Wolfhound loves them.
The Irish Wolfhound club was started in 1885 and the Kennel Club recognized the Irish Wolfhound as a breed in 1925.
The temperament of the Irish Wolfhound is loving, patient, generous, thoughtful and extremely intelligent. If they were a human, they would be everyone\'s best friend. They are wonderful with children and a most loyal member of the family. If you are looking for a watchdog, the Irish Wolfhound is not the dog. His size is about the only thing that may scare strangers. He is far too loving and friendly to be a watchdog.
They are easy to train due to their intelligence, loyalty and desire to please. He will respond well to a firm and loving hand. Make sure you are consistent in any training you give you Irish Wolfhound so he will always be self confident and well adjusted in the home. The get along well with everyone in the family and will get along with other small animals if they grew up together. If not, he may try to chase them while in the yard, although it\'s usually not a problem.
They are a friendly dog that wants to make friends with everyone they meet. Their love and loyalty for their family is unconditional. It is because of these qualities that the Irish Wolfhound is so easy to train. Very few dogs have the completely all loving temperament that these dogs possess.
Thyroid Disease - Low Risk
The Irish Wolfhound ranks #121 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it).
|Rank Among Breeds||Number of Dogs Tested||Percent of Dogs With Disease|
You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here
Other Health Problems
The Irish Wolfhound is prone to Cardiomyopathy, bone cancer. Bloat, PRA, Von Willebrands and hip Dysplasia. If you plan to breed your dog, it is recommended that you have their hips x-rayed first and check the pedigree of the parents to assure that they are certified OFA excellent or good. Breeders and vets recommend against giving food supplements with their food as this may make them grow at an irregular and unhealthy pace. Make sure the dog doesn't over eat. They may be a large dog that looks like he needs a lot but they are prone to bloat, which could be fatal.