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Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed

This is an ancient breed dating as far back as 391 A.D. used in wars and for guarding flock and property as well as for hunting big game. The name comes from its function as a wolf hunter and not from its appearance. The breed almost suffered near extinction but was restored in the 19th century with the combination of Great Dane and Deerhound genes. Considered as one of the tallest dog breeds in the world, the Irish Wolfhound stands at an impressive height of 28 to 35 inches and weighs between 90 to 150 pounds. When it stands on its hind legs, it can reach up to 7 feet tall. It has a long head, a long and pointed muzzle and a neck that is also long, strong and well arched. Its chest is wide and deep, but the ears are small - when excited they are slightly pricked, but when relaxed they are carried back against the head. Its tail is long, slightly curved and hangs down and its feet are round with well arched toes. The coat is wiry and shaggy with longer hairs over the eyes and under the jaws. Typical colours for the breed include gray, brindle, red, black, with gray being the most common.

Despite its size, Irish Wolfhounds are sweet, patient, kind and unconditionally loyal to their owner and family. They do not make for good watch dogs because they are friendly to everyone. They are slow to mature both in body and mind, but they grow rapidly. It is an easy breed to train and responds well to firm, but gentle commands. It has a short life expectancy of about 6 to 8 years.

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