Now, while it may seem a bit “cliché,” starting an article about the Irish Wolfhound by stating the obvious: this is a BIG dog. But hey, since most people would say that the Great Dane is the tallest dog breed today, we figured, why not immediately clear up that misunderstanding?
Because you see…
While there may be “larger” dog breeds out there, you’re not going to find a taller one, and that’s because the Irish Wolfhound dog breed is “officially” recognized as the tallest dog breed out there. And this is just when they are standing on all fours because you, me when these guys decide to stand on their hind legs unless you’re tall, chances are you will have your furry buddy looking down on you.
But don’t fret…
Despite these guys’ size, at their core, they are just big, furry, gentle giants! Gentle giants who happen to be super sweet to bo. This, coupled with the fact that tharen’tn’t shy, means that if you decide to adopt an Irish Wolfhound puppy or, better yet, an Irish Wolfhound rescue dog, chances are everyone in the neighborhood will know all about you and your new best friend.
But remember, just because we here at IndulgeYourPet love these guydoesn’tn’t mean they’ll be the right dog for you. This is why we wanted to take a moment and talk about what it might be like to own one of these beauties. This way, if you ever get a chance to get your hands on you’ll know it’s a good idea.
So, without further, let’s dive right in.
Irish Wolfhound Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Ireland
Original Purpose: Hunting wolves
Breed Group: Hound
Height: 30 to 35 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 105 to 180 pounds
Dog Breed Classification: Hound group
Life Span: 6 to 8 years
Irish Wolfhound Origin
The Irish Wolfhound dog breed comes from a long line of ancient dogs dating back as far as 391 A.D when these dogs were first used “war d”gs” by Roman soldiers. These same Roman soldiers first brought the Irish Wolfhound to Ireland right around the m400’s-0s when consul Quintus Aurelius Symmachus sent a few of these dogs to his brother, who was stationed in a Roman outpost in Ireland.
These enormous dogs became highly prized because of their size and courage to take on any anima. And because of their sheer size, they were immediately considered “d “spec”al” a”d “uni”u .” For this reason alone, kings and Queens wanted them – Edward III, Henry VIII, Elizabeth I of England, and Henry IV of Fran e. Kings of Denmark, Spain, and Sweden also had them in their courts.
Now, as for…
The common folk also found these dogs to be a considerable asset and began breeding the Wolfhounds to hunt wolves and keep them away from their farms and homes. A job that the Wolfhounds excelled at. They were so good at their job that by the 18th century, they had already hunted down most of the wolves in Ireland, which meant that they effectively eliminated their primary purpose, which is why their numbers began to decline.
Which was really…
Bad timing on their part because right around this time, Ireland was also being hit by the great potato famine, which nearly caused the Irish Wolfhound to go extinct! Fortunately, in 1869, Captain George Graham took it upon himself “o “result”ct” the breed by taking the few remaining Irish Wolfhounds left and beginning crossing breeding them with:
Which effectively saved the breed, allowing us to enjoy this excellent breed tod. Since then, the Irish Wolfhound’s popularity has spread throughout Europe and the United States, which is why the Irish Wolfhound is one of the earliest dogs “officially” recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1897.
The Irish Wolfhound is the largest of all dog bree s. They can rise to 30 to 35 inches at the shoulder lev. And while they may have small ears, they more than makeup for that with their extended head and long, arched ne. They also have a tall and curved tail, much like a Greyhound, only they are much more prominent.
Now we should warn you that the Irish Wolfhound has a rough and wiry coat which comes in many different colors such as brindle, gray, red, fawn, and black, which does shed quite a bit so that he will require a suitable bushing every couple of days.
Comparison dog breeds
The Irish Wolfhound Dog may be compared to other dog breeds such as the Scottish Deerhound, Great Dane, Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Portuguese Podengo, Flat-Coated Retriever, Bull Terrier, Griffon Vendeen, Deerhound and Curly-Coated Retriever.
Personality and Temperament
Irish Wolfhounds are gentle giants – big in size – most significant, but such softies at hea t. Ywon’tn’t believe how sweet, gentle, generous, and sensitive this big guy can be. At his cohen’s, he wants everyone in the family to love him and can get upset and sulk in a corner if anyone ignores him. This is probably why he is so friendly, patient, and good-nature d. These guys want to make you happy and are very sma t. He is loyal to his family and is such a sweetheart.
Did we mention that he is lovely with kids?
Suppose you’re dropping the ball because these guys adore children and are patient. Don’t snap at them even if a child does something stupid, like pulling his tail or trying to mount him. He sees them as a part of his flock and is very protective of the young. He’s also good with cats and other dogs as long as he has grown up with them. Som times, he starts chasing small animals that arouse his curiosity. But this is something that you can discourage him from doing, even though he may not always be the easiest dog in the world to train.
You’ll want to be sure and begin your training early because the last thing you want on your hands is a giant friend, “y “goofball,” jumping up on everyone because he doesn’t know any better!
Potential Health Concerns
Unfortunately, the Irish Wolfhound may be big and powerful, but he is not the healthiest of dog breeds. His life expectancy is only 6 to 8 years, which is heartbreaking. He is s ceptible to many health problems, such as…
- VWillebrand’sd’s Disease,
- Bone cancer,
- Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA),
- Elbow and hip dysplasia.
While many of these conditions may not be life-threatening, they can become expensive, mainly if they b. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.
Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?
No, probably not. But until you fully understand what these policies “s “w”ll” a”won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?
For more information on who we feel currently offers t”e “b”st” pet insurance policies, we encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.