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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Irish Wolfhound

Group: Hounds (Group 4)
Club: Irish Wolfhound Club Of Victoria Inc
Contact: Kathryn O'Brien
Phone: 0402 276 852

Brief History
There are references to the “great hound of Ireland” in many ancient classics. The ancient Celts possessed a giant hound that was famous throughout the ancient world for its size and hunting ability, which was also used as a companion for their chiefs, as a protector of their settlements and accompanied their masters on raids and into combat. They were well known in ancient Rome, the first authenticated reference being made in 391AD, and there are constant references to the Wolfhound throughout the history of the Irish people. The breed nearly became extinct during the 1800’s but survived through the diligent care of a few devotees.

Average Life Span
When considering a dog please realise that you are taking it on for its lifetime. Like many large breeds the Irish Wolfhound tends to have a shorter life than smaller breeds, their average life span is about 8 years.

Gentle and affectionate. They are loyal and friendly and their kindness and patience are key characteristics of the breed.

General Breed Description
These gentle giants are strong and powerful hounds whom resemble a large rough-coated greyhound, being muscular, strong and graceful. They were bred to chase and hunt large game, so are a combination of strength, speed and stamina. Although they are a big dog, they are exceptionally fast and athletic, and not cloddy. As a sighthound, they may retain an instinct to chase any small furry animals that cross their path.

Irish Wolfhounds are a slow maturing breed and playful as puppies, but quiet as adults and adapt to being lounge lizards very easily. Their calm temperament makes them a very good companion. They get on well with other dogs and humans and need to have company.

They can come in colours from white to black, with grey and brindle being very typical.

Coat and Care Requirements
The coat is harsh, very waterproof and of moderate length, with a softer layer near the skin. It requires maintenance every week with a good brush to prevent knots.

The Irish Wolfhound is best with some regular exercise. Good fencing is essential.

Height: Males 81 to 86cms (32 to 34ins), Females 71 to 81cms (28 to 32ins).

All breeds have individual health issues. When speaking to breeders it is recommended you enquire about breed’s health and what health testing the breeder does. Irish Wolfhounds are generally a healthy breed. However, health conditions will occur occasionally. These may include bone cancers, heart problems, and osteochondritis dessicans(OCD). As with other large breeds they may be prone to bloat.

An ideal owner will have the patience and understanding to meet the needs of a giant breed whose size belies its sweet and gentle nature, which makes it very suitable to be an indoor/outdoor hound. It is good with a single owner or in families and considered very kind in nature.

In Conclusion
Now you know a little more about this breed. If you have decided this is the dog for you and wish to investigate further, please contact the Breed Club or Dogs Victoria. They will be able to give you information about available puppies and also suggest dog events where you can see the breed and speak to breeders. In this way you will gain a better perspective of the breed and its needs. With any breed of dog, it is important to research and determine suitability for your lifestyle before committing to a puppy which will be a part of your family for many years to come.

Whilst many breeds are recommended for families, it is imperative that when children are with dogs they are supervised at all times. Basic obedience training is a vital part of dog ownership.

Dogs Victoria is about the responsible ownership of all dogs and in particular the preservation of pure breeds.

Link to ANKC Breed Standard

Registered Breeders

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