Dogs 101 - IRISH WOLFHOUND - Top Dog Facts About the IRISH WOLFHOUND
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Dogs 101 IRISH WOLFHOUND Top Dog Facts About the IRISH WOLFHOUND
The Irish Wolfhound is a breed of large sight hounds, native to Ireland. Very large hounds, in all likelihood the modern Wolfhound’s ancestors, are believed to have been in existence in Ireland as early as 250 BC, and according to some reports even earlier. First brought to these parts by the Greeks, these dogs were bred to an even larger size here. By AD 391 there is definitive mention of the famed hounds from these parts being gifted to the Romans. These dogs associated with the Celts gained fame for their stature and valor in hunting and in battle. Illustrations from the 17th century depict dogs very similar to the modern Irish Wolfhound. Apart from being popular with Irish chieftains for hunting wolves and elk, they were also gifted to foreign nobility. But the slow extinction of the wolf in these parts in the 18th century, followed by the Great Famine of 1845 to 1852, led to the near extinction of the breed. In 1869, a Capt. Graham decided to resurrect the Wolfhound by crossing the few remaining pure specimens with some other large breeds. He also set up the Irish Wolfhound Club in 1885 and helped draw a breed standard.
Time for some Ruff Trivia: The Irish national team in which sport is known as the Wolfhounds? o A: Rugby o B: Soccer/Football o C: Cricket What do you think, give it your best guess in the comments below before we get to the answer! Hang on tight and we’ll get back to this Ruff Trivia Question toward the end of the video.
According to the breed standard, the height and weight of the adult male Irish Wolfhound have to be at least 32 inches and 120 pounds. The corresponding lower limits for the female are 30 inches and 105 pounds. In general appearance, the dog resembles a roughcoated Greyhound, with a more powerful build. It is a very muscular, but graceful, dog, with head and neck carried high. The head is long, with the frontal bones of the forehead very slightly raised, the skull not too broad, the muzzle long and moderately pointed, and the ears small and Greyhoundlike in carriage. The coat is rough and hard on the body, legs and head; especially wiry and long over eyes and under the jaw. The accepted colors are grey, brindle, red, black, white, fawn, and wheaten.
Grooming:The Irish Wolfhound’s coat needs to be combed or brushed twice weekly, with an occasional slight scissoring to neaten up untidy hairs. Stripping to remove dead hair is recommended twice a year. Brushing of teeth, trimming of nails and cleaning of ears has to be regular.
Temperament:Called ‘a Lincoln among dogs’ by the poet Christopher Morley, the Irish Wolfhound is indeed a serene and sensitive breed. Too introverted and peace loving to be the aggressive beast that legends speak of, it can still be fierce if it senses any danger to its family members. It is not particularly territorial when it comes to homes or property, and does not make for a great watchdog. It is easygoing with kids, or other dogs and pets. Deeply attached to its family members, it should never be left for long periods alone.
Training:The Irish Wolfhound was bred to hunt independently at a distance from its master rather than function with detailed commands, which is reflected in the breed’s nature even now. While it is an intelligent dog, and basic training is necessary for a breed this huge, these dogs are not particularly common in competitions or trials. While not requiring excessive workout, they do need daily walks and space to stretch. This makes them better suited for houses that have access to a fenced open area.
Health:Life expectancy for the Irish Wolfhound is relatively low at 6 to 10 years. Bone cancer and dilated cardiomyopathy are leading causes of death. Other common concerns can be bloat, congenital heart disorder and liver shunt. The dog can develop calluses if made to lie on hard surfaces too often.
‘Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked’ is an apt description of the stately Irish Wolfhound. Intelligent and easy to care for, it is even adaptable to life on the farm or in the suburbs, as long as it gets the space needed for a dog this immense.
Find out if the Irish Wolfhoundwould be a good addition to your home. Now you can visit Brooklyn’s Corner.com to take our quiz and find out which dog would be the best match for you.