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Irish Wolfhound Breed InformationSelect a Breed
Quick Facts
Life Span:6-8 years
Litter Size:3-4 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.
Hair Length:Medium
Size:Extra Large
Shedding:Moderate Shed
Male Height:33-36 inches
Male Weight:90-120 pounds
Female Height:31-32 inches
Female Weight:105-150 pounds
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.

Description

The Irish Wolfhound was given its name for its history as a wolf hunter. This large breed is also the tallest reaching 7 feet tall on its back legs. These dogs are known for their great eyesight and quickness. They are muscular and resemble a greyhound just a bit larger than that breed.

The Irish Wolfhound as a pet is great. These dogs are friendly and loving to their owners. They are intelligent which makes them easy to train. They do need regular exercise so make sure to allow that time in your schedule

Coat Description

The Irish Wolfhound does not shed anymore than other medium long haired dogs. Their coat is shaggy. There is a broad range of coat colors in this breed but grey is the most common.

History

The Irish Wolfound originated with the Celtics in the 1st century. They are the names as the dog of Ireland. During the 1st century, these dogs were used in wars and as guard dogs. In war, these dogs were able to remove knights off their horse. They were even used in dogfights for entertainment. This is a surprise since they are not one of the most loving breeds in the world.

In the 19th century, they were specifically owned by royalty and no others. Because of this exclusion, the breed almost became extinct. After this near extinction, they were bred with the Great Dane, Borzoi and Deerhound.

Temperament

Since these dogs are so loving, they do not make good watchdogs. They would probably approach a stranger with the same friendliness, which wouldn't work out too well for those wanting a dog to protect property. However, if you are just looking for a dog as a companion and best friend you will find that in the Irish Wolfhound.

This breed is a wonderful companion and makes a great pet. They are loyal, smart, calm and loving. If children are in the home, you won't have to worry because this dog is great with small kids. They love to play and they are gentle. They understand when they have to be sweet and patient with others.

Health Problems

Just like all breeds of dog, the Irish Wolfhound can suffer from health problems. Some health issues that are specific to this breed are bone cancer, Cardiomyopathy, Hip Dysplasia, Von Willebrands, PRA and Bloat. Bloat is caused by feeding your dog too much food at one time and could require surgery. Hip Dysplasia is a type of arthritis that affects large dogs which is painful and decreases the ability to walk or run.

Exercise is important for all dogs. This breed needs to be taken out to exercise regularly to help stay healthy. Another good way to prevent health problems is to visit the veterinarian regularly.

Grooming

Regular brushing is required for this dog so that you can keep control on the shedding. If you take your dog outside often, be sure to keep them bathed on a regular basis. Do not bathe him too often just when you start to smell the natural smell of the dog coming off strongly. Yearly, this breed needs to be taken to a professional groomer to have its hair plucked; this is so the dead hair can be removed.

Cleaning this dog's ears is another important grooming criterion. You will have to take a q-tip or cotton ball and wipe the inside of the ear to get all wax and debris out of the inner ear. Watch your dog to make sure he is not vigorously scratching his ears, which could mean ear mites or ear infection.

Sometimes the hair becomes wiry and you will have to cut their hair. This is easy to do if you have trained your dog at an early age to sit still and understand what grooming means.

Exercise

Due to the size of this breed, they need large areas to play and exercise in. You will need to make time at least twice a day to take your dog out for a walk or run. This can be incorporated in your workout routine if you like to ride a bike, run or rollerblade. Make sure you teach your Irish Wolfhound early as a puppy not to pull on a leash or you will have a hard time in the future when you try to walk or do other activities with him.

Training

Training is quite simple with the Irish Wolfhound. These dogs are intelligent and aim to please. So they will do whatever they need to do to make their owner pleased. If you acquire this dog as a puppy, you should start training immediately. It is best to do the bulk of the training as a puppy because they are easier to handle. Your first lesson should be leash control. These dogs love to pull on the leash so you need to teach that it is not acceptable. This is especially important because when they mature into their large bodies they can easily pull most people down.

The way you train this dog is consistency and a patient voice. You need to be loving to this dog just as much as he is to you. When your dog does something right rewards him with a treat. When you’re Irish Wolfhound does something wrong, firmly but positively correct the behavior? This way the dog does not feel discouraged and will continue to pay attention to the lesson.

Because of the intelligence level, it shouldn't take long for the dog to understand what is expected. You will have to continue to work with your dog but you will be impressed with the ease of training. Be sure to socialize your pup with other dogs so that they do not become frightened. This is also true with other people.

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