Irish Wolfhound general features, temperament, health

Irish Wolfhound dog breed face

FCI # 160, Origin: Ireland, Group 10.2 Rough-haired Sighthounds.

Height: 28-35 in, Weight: 90-150 pounds

Grooming: Medium, Shedding: Medium, Coat: Wiry shaggy coat.

Color: Black, brindle, fawn, white, gray (the most common).

Ease of training: Medium, Energy level: Medium, Span of life: 5-10 years.

Breed: Irish Wolfhound is a noble giant dog, kind and peaceful.??He is really huge and has an impressive appearance.??Originally the Irish Wolfhound was bred to hunt deers and wolves.??As a representative of a hounds family, he usually does not bark much, otherwise it could scare off the prey.

Irish Wolfhound has a quite ancient origins.??During the conquest of Rome, British local nobility had a huge hunting dogs to hunt wolves, boars and other big game. Also this dogs were used against two-legged enemies.??The??Wolfhounds were in the service of the Irish army, used in the fights and chases.??They were so loved by the soldiers, that very often became their talismans.

The coat of arms of the ancient Irish kings consisted of a shamrock, harp and an Irish Wolfhound, under which was inscribed the slogan - "good, when they are petted, fierce when hurt."??This words are????reflecting the main characteristics of this dog.??In 1336 Edward III of England ordered to his hunters to find some of these dogs in Ireland and bring them to England.??The monarch was hoping to use the Irish Wolfhounds for the extermination of wolves, that were causing an appreciable harm to the livestock.

The top of the Irish Wolfhound's glory was in the XVII century.??At this time they were intensely exported from Britain until in 1652 Oliver Cromwell by a special decree prohibited the exportation of this dogs.??This decree is working nowadays as well. ??By??the end of XVIII century almost all big game was wiped out??from the British Isles??. Because of??this both - the number and the best working qualities - of the Irish Wolfhounds were practically lost.??By the beginning of XIX century the Irish Wolfhounds were mixed with other dogs and the purity of the breed was lost.

The modern Wolfhound owes his revival to Captain Graham of Britain, who collected almost 300 pedigree dogs, founded the Irish Wolfhound Club in 1885 and was it's president until his death.

Irish Wolfhound dog breeds

The main subject in the discussion of the breed standard was the issue of height and size of the Irish Wolfhound.??Captain Graham believed that the information about the phenomenal giant Wolfhounds was very much exaggerated.??However, he understood the importance of this parameter for the breed and had chosen the requirements for a wolf hunting as a criterion for the Wolfhound's size determination.

He wrote that the wolf in his savage nature,??strengthened by a hard life, has a certain??????characteristics of power and he is stronger than any dog of similar size.??Therefore, the usual greyhound will not be able to attack him without help, because the wolf certainly will win.??The heavy mastiff could cope with the wolf, but is not able to catch him. The??Irish Wolfhound, that is able to catch and kill the wolf, should be fast enough, strong and not less than 33 inches high - that's what Captain Graham believed.

He decided to restore the breed by interbreeding with Scottish Deerhound dogs and Great Danes. J.Graham believed, that this way he can achieve the restoration of an ancient Irish Wolfhounds.??In 1886 he wrote a description of the Irish Wolfhound standard ("the Standard of Excellence").??It is interesting to note that today we use the same standard.??During all this time only a very small additions were made.??Since then, no exhibition of a high rank is going without the participation of the Irish Wolfhounds.

General Features: The Irish Wolfhound is a huge, impressive and imposing hound, very muscular, sturdy build, but at the same time elegant. His motions are fast, easy, free and rapid. He??is a gentle and kind giant, who comes into a rage, only when he is attacked. His??character is somewhat phlegmatic. The Irish Wolfhound??is very intelligent, infinitely devoted, and it is not easy to make him angry.??He is extremely self-sufficient and independent.

The coat of Irish Wolfhound is rough and tough on the body, head and limbs, especially wiry and long over eyes - eyebrows and chin - a beard, slightly wavy, of a medium length, shorter on the ears and skull.??The coat should look natural.

Color: various shades of gray, preferably a dark blue-gray, red, golden, sandy-red, yellow, yellow and fawn - preferably with blackened ears and mask, black and pure white, different shades of brindle -??preferably darker tons (dark blue-gray and dark reddish-brown background). The head of the Irish Wolfhound should be long, wedge-shaped. His??gait is smooth and elegant.??Movements are free, confident, sweeping, vigorous, well-coordinated.

Irish Wolfhound dog breeds photo

Temperament: The Irish Wolfhound is remarkably adaptable to the existing conditions of life.??He is playful, loves to run, but do not ask him for too much of a seriousness in the training.??Satisfied even with the limited space, Irish Wolfhound becomes more attached and dependent on his owner, but does not change his habits and customs.??He is patient enough and quite able to wait all day long for his master, but try not to leave him alone for a long time - he still needs love and affection.

He likes traveling and he quickly becomes accustomed to unfamiliar surroundings.??Irish Wolfhound is a quiet dog, he has a "voice" of a pleasant low tone.??He is generous and does not seek for a revenge on smaller dogs, even if he was bitten, but the large enemy he will meet with dignity.??He is careful in the game, demonstrating an enviable sense of proportion.

Whoever has the Irish Wolfhound, should also remember, that this dog will never change his habits and will be following them all his life.??If, for example, he wakes you up in the morning at the same time or likes to sniff any certain place while walking, you can be sure that he will do it every day.??Waiver of habits for the Irish Wolfhound is an alarming symptom and often speaks of the disease.

You should not have any illusions about the guarding qualities of the Irish Wolfhound.They say that if his size did not scare off the thief, consider that you are out of luck: your defender will more likely accept the uninvited guest as he is just another friend. The??Irish Wolfhound, of course, is not a guarding dog, although many people fall into this common misconception maybe under the influence of his impressive size, or maybe under the hypnosis of a breed's name, which is often fascinating and impressing the beginners.

Health problems: Unfortunately the Irish Wolfhounds do not have a long life span. Many of them are prone to the cardiomyopathy. Bone cancer is another reason for a short life of this breed. Some Irish Wolfhounds may have a hip dysplasia.

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