The Irish wolfhound is an ancient breed. It was first mentioned in 391 AD when it was used as a gladiator and courser in Rome, where it gained its reputation for bravery. The breed became popular with Irish chieftains who used them to hunt wolves and elk. They are still known by the name Cu Faoil, which means brave hound.

The defining characteristic of the Irish wolfhound is its tall stature. This breed is the tallest dog in the world, and because of its size, it can be a dangerous animal. But good wolfhounds are much more than tall dogs; they are swift and sturdy animals who can bring down large game.

In the late 1800s, Irish wolfhounds nearly became extinct in Ireland. The extinction of the wolf in Ireland was one factor that led to their decline. Another reason for their decline was that they were given away as gifts to the nobility who visited Ireland. And finally, the 1845 Irish famine caused many people to move away from rural areas and take their hunting dogs with them.

McCormick discussed the systematic evidence of historic dog sizes in Ireland. He stressed that no dogs of Irish Wolfhound size were known from sites of the Iron Age period (1000 BC to 1200 AD) and on the basis of the historic dog bones available, dogs of current Irish Wolfhound size seemed to be a relatively modern development.

Physical Appearance

The Irish wolfhound is a large breed of dog. It stands at least 30 inches tall, with the tallest dogs reaching up to 35 inches. But it is more than just its height that makes this breed unique. They are strong dogs, capable of running down and killing prey much larger than themselves. Males are at least 32 inches tall and weigh 120 pounds. Many weigh more than that. They do not curl up, even if they could.

An Irish dog displaying its physical appearance

The greyhound is a dog that has a distinctive build. It tends to have long legs, a narrow body, and a loin that is arched. The chest is deep and the waist is moderately small; it also has a coat that is harsh and wiry. It can come in a variety of colors, including grey, brindle, red, black, white fawn, or wheaten.

Behaviour

Most Irish Wolfhounds are friendly to strangers, although some are wary. They enjoy being petted, but early socialization is needed to encourage an outgoing attitude. Most individuals aren’t guardians; suspiciousness or aggressiveness should never be encouraged because of their massive size.

The breed doesn’t do well with other animals unless they are introduced when young. Some Irish have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures. Remember that these were hunting hounds that brought down wolves.

The speed and power of this breed should never be underestimated. Irish wolfhounds like cold weather and will often seek out a cool hard floor in the summer months. Calluses often form on their elbows because of this, and these unsightly calluses can even become uncomfortable for the dog.

An Irish dog sitting by the river side with calm behaviour

Caring and Training

He needs to get regular exercise, whether he seems to want it or not. A daily walk at least 40min per day. Wolfhounds are enough exercise to keep him fit and healthy, but not too much that his soft growing bones, joints, or ligaments become overstressed and damaged. The proper amount of exercise is difficult to observe in giant breeds.

An Irish dog undergoing caring and Training

Health Issue

Wolfhounds are extremely prone to a life-threatening digestive syndrome called bloat. It comes on suddenly and can kill a dog in just a few hours. In addition, Wolfhounds are frequently stricken at an early age by crippling joint and bone disorders, heart disease, and cancer.

They have a short life span. Wolfhounds are large dogs and have a relatively short lifespan. The published life expectancy is between 6 and 10 years, with 7 years being the average.

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