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Irish Wolfhound

Size: Giant

Weight: 105 - 125 lbs.

Height: 30" - 35"

Life Span: 11 years

Health Problems: Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle); bone cancer; bloat; progressive retinal atrophy (disease of the retina causing blindness); Von Willebrand's Disease (bleeding disorder preventing proper clotting of blood); hip dysplasia

Origin: Ireland (Ancient times / 1800s)

Also Known As: No Nicknames.

Group: Sighthound

Category: Companion Dog, Hunting

Exercise Needs

Like all giant breed dogs, do not over-exercise young Irish Wolfhounds. It may interfere with the proper growth of bones and joints. Daily walks are adequate, although puppies will likely want more activity. Be cautious, but do not discourage exercise.

Grooming Needs

No special grooming requirements.

Temperament

The Irish Wolfhound is intelligent, patient and excellent with children. Requires consistent training as a puppy in order to develop into a manageable adult. Fully-grown Irish Wolfhounds can weigh as much as an adult human, so it is important to teach them not to pull on their leash or jump up on you as a greeting. These dogs are fast learners and are easily trainable. The breed tends to be friendly to everyone -- it does not make a good watch dog. Irish Wolfhounds grow fast, get big, and have even bigger appetites. Be prepared to invest in large quantities of high-quality food to accommodate their growth.

Compatibility with Kids

Excellent with children.

History

The Irish Wolfhound is a descendant of the Cu, an ancient breed that helped early man hunt wolves more than 2,000 years ago. Nearly extinct by the 19th century, the breed was revived by a British army officer named Captain G.A. Graham by crossing Irish Wolfhounds with Great Danes and Deerhounds.

Pet Facts

The Irish Wolfhound was such a popular gift from Britain to foreign royal families that Oliver Cromwell, Britain's head of state in the mid-1600s, outlawed the breed's export in order to save it from extinction.