The Irish Wolfhound is a symbol of Ireland, pride for every citizen of this country. This is one of the oldest breeds in the world that comes in Britain with Celtic tribes that inhabited this territory 300 years BC. Thanks to its impressive appearance, courage and physical strength the Irish Wolfhound is a hero to many legends, myths and ballads.
This is the largest hunting dog on the planet. In the XIX century this breed practically disappeared along with the total extermination of wolves in Ireland. The revival of the breed began in 1860, when the Irish coach George Graham crosses the last remaining representatives of the breed with Deerhound, Dane and Borzaya. The standard of the breed was approved in 1897.
The height of males is 81-90 cm, females reach up to 80 centimeters. The weight is between 41 and 54 kg. This is one of the highest dogs in the world. The muzzle is elongated and slightly pointed. The jaws are massive and well developed. The eyes are dark, the ears are small and worn backwards. The neck is long, strong and muscular. The back is elongated, the chest is large. The tail is long and covered with a large amount of hair. The legs very muscular, the coat is medium length, hard and slightly wavy. The colors are gray, black, reddish brown, brindle, pure white, yellowish brown.
Character and behavior
This very bold and confident dog has incredible stamina and strength and can be a wonderful pet, but if provoked - becomes cruel. It was used for hunting wolves and wild pigs, and as a guard dog. It should not be trained in any case to protect and attack, as it can be really dangerous.
The Irish Wolfhound is a creepy-looking dog, which, however, is strongly tied to family members and is a good friend of small children.
Training and education
The Irish Wolfhound has a well-developed intellect, so it easily lends itself to training. You should start from a very early age. You should manifest firmness and persistence to request the execution of commands, but without the use of physical force or punishment.
If treated roughly, your pet may suffer from depression. It is better to learn the Irish Wolfhound to perform at least basic commands to avoid any problem when your dog is outside.
The Irish Wolfhound is susceptible to swelling of the stomach, which can be fatal. It can also suffer from hip dysplasia and twisting of the knee cap. Dogs of this breed can develop cardiomyopathy - heart disease, which can lead to fatal consequences. Irish hounds may are also prone to cataracts and entropion - reversal of the eyelid, leading to damage to the cornea that can cause blindness. The average life expectancy is about 7-10 years.
Grooming and care
The Irish Wolfhound is a dog that needs a lot of movement. Despite the impressive size, it can live in the apartment, but would have to walk several hours a day. If you live in a house with a big yard, your pet will feel wonderful. The coat of the Irish Wolfhound needs daily brushing. Dead hairs can be removed with a special rubber glove, which is sold in specialized pet shops. The beard needs special care, as it may accumulate residues of food. The ears must be regularly checked for infections. Once a year, the Irish Wolfhound coat should be treated by a specialist, to pull all the dead hairs that has not separated themselves to allow new hair to grow. Irish Wolfhound nails are curved and therefore should be regularly pruned.
Children and other pets
The Irish Wolfhound shows affection even to very young children and allows them to harass him in every way, without reacting aggressively. It makes friends easily with both other dogs and other pets.
The Irish Wolfhound's image was engraved on the armor of Irish soldiers, and the inscription below read: "Gentle - in response to a caress, scary - if provoked."
The Irish Wolfhound becomes an adult after the age of two years. Until then, he is considered a puppy despite its impressive size. It never shows aggression without being challenged before. Usually this dog will attack after being attacked.
An interesting fact is that the Royal Irish Regiment of Britain's Prince William has chosenthis breedas its mascot. In Scotland, these dogs are used as shepherds. The Irish Wolfhound easily cope with the task of gathering sheep flock and guide them in the right direction.