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The Irish wolfhound, one of the largest dogs

Its appearance is enough to attract attention. The Irish wolfhound is one of the largest sighthounds. In addition to its impressive, rustic brown appearance, this dog has a caring, patient, gentle and affectionate character, perfect for keeping company with owners who have room to accommodate it.

Irish Greyhound Characteristics

One thing is for sure: you will rarely see a dog this big. The Irish Greyhound measures between 71 and 90 cm at the withers and weighs between 40.5 and 68 kg depending on sex and age. This dog with an imposing build develops a massive musculature as well as an elongated body without being too heavy or massive. It has a long head carried high with a skull of medium size. The long muzzle is one of its particularities. It has small dark eyes and small ears that form a rose. The Irish wolfhound also has a long tail in harmony with the body and with hair of medium thickness. It is best recognized by its short, shaggy coat, which is so hard to the touch that it is called "wire". The coat can be red, grey, brindle, fawn, white or black.

History of the Irish Wolfhound breed

The Irish wolfhound has a rather tumultuous history. It is a very old breed whose existence is mentioned by the Celts of Ireland, its country of origin. One of the first stories about it was told by the Roman consul Quintus Aurelius in 391 B.C. He received seven Irish dogs as gifts and never stopped praising them, especially for their ability to fight lions and bears in the arena. The strength of this dog is such that it is used to hunt wolves. In Europe and especially in Scandinavia, it was offered as a prestigious gift to kings and nobility. Unfortunately, the Irish wolfhound almost disappeared in the 19th century because of the reduction of the wolf population in Ireland. It was reborn from its ashes thanks to George Augustus Graham, a passionate breeder who made crosses with the Borzoi, the Deerhound and the Great Dane to develop the breed.

Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound owes its success to its exemplary character. It is a patient, gentle, quiet and pleasant dog. He is affectionate and gets along wonderfully with children to whom he will show himself very protective. Because of their sighthound origins, Irish Wolfhounds are certainly not made for sedentary or urban life. He needs a lot of space to be able to move and preserve his balance. Beware, it is a great hunter and it tends to run away. Houses should be secured with very high fences to keep it in the garden.

Diet and main health problems of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound has a relatively short life span. It can live from 6 to 9 years generally. Because of its weight and size, it ages very quickly. In addition, this breed can suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer. It needs a diet rich in energy to adapt to its physical activities.