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Irish Wolfhound


Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Dog Breed Profile: Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed Profile: Irish Wolfhound
Originating in Ireland, the Irish Wolfhound was used as a war dog, hunting hound and guard. The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all dogs with some reaching the size of a small pony. Strong, yet graceful, these gentle giants are remarkable in combining power and swiftness.

Interesting Breed Facts:
Popularity: 81st in 2008; with 863 registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC).
First recognized as a breed: The Irish Wolfhound was first recognized by the AKC in 1925. The Irish Wolfhound Club was founded in 1885.
AKC Grouping: Hound.
Appearance: This tall breed has a long head with long, moderately pointed muzzle and especially wiry, long hair over eyes and under jaw. The eyes are dark and ears are small. Body is very muscular and strong with very deep chest. Legs are strong and quite straight with muscular forearms. Tail is long and slightly curved. This breed has a rough, medium length coat, which can be gray, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, or any other color that appears in the Deerhound.
Medical conditions to watch for: Like other large, deep-chested breeds, the Irish Wolfhound is more at risk for the development of bloat. Bloat is a medical emergency in which the stomach fills with gas and may actually twist upon itself. The most common heart disorder found in the Irish Wolfhound is dilated cardiomyopathy. Atrial fibrillation, another heart condition, is also common, but often symptoms are not apparent.
Preferences: Irish Wolfhounds want to be part of the family and would be very unhappy in a kennel. They love to run and chase, so they need plenty of room outdoors to do so.
Best features: Sweet natured, friendly, and loyal, the Irish Wolfhound is excellent with children. They’re also relatively easy to train and get along well with other dogs.
Biggest challenge to owners: Due to their large size, Irish Wolfhounds need homes that have plenty of room indoors and out. Being hounds, they will chase and therefore, need a secure, fenced yard for exercise.
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