Irish wolfhound

region Ireland
cut Minimum: M 81 cm, F 76 cm at the withers
head Long, with parallel lines, slightly massive
eyes dark
ear Small, worn in rose petals
tail Long, medium thickness, slightly curved
behaviour Calm at home, developed hunting instinct, a lot of sense of smell, watches over his master because he is very attached to him. He has no malice but knows how to impose himself.
federation FCI Nomenclature Group 10, Section 2, No. 160
The Irish wolfhound or Irish greyhound, is the most rustic and the largest of the greyhounds, (it is also the largest dog in the world, if we compare the average sizes by breed). The Fédération Cynologique Internationale lists the breed in Group 10, Section 2, Wirehaired Greyhounds, Standard No. 160. The Irish Greyhound was once used to hunt wolves and deer hunted by the Scottish Greyhound, its cousin. Health Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), bone cancer and stomach upset are the most common causes of death in the breed. In addition, she also has the hereditary liver shunt. Estimates of life expectancy vary, but the scientific literature speaks of an average age between 6 and 9 years. The breed is however not really fragile, but its size and its weight cause premature aging, this being the most marked in the heaviest lines. Sports Racing events on cynodromes or racing. Sight pursuit on decoy (PVL) or coursing.
The Irish wolfhound is a very old breed used to hunt wolves (hence its name wolfhound), great elks and bears, by the Gaels of Ireland. Originally from Asia, it arrived with the invading Celts Gaels in Ireland between 2500 and 1500 BC. Many Celtic legends speak of it. At the circus games, in ancient Rome, from the end of the 4th century BC. J.-C., he faced the beasts and was appreciated for his power and his courage. It was Flavinius, brother of the Consul Quintus Aurelius Symmachus, who in 391 sent him seven Irish greyhounds to fight in the arenas in Rome. Irish stories, from the 7th to the 13th century, celebrate this race worthy of heroes and gods. A little before the year 1000, in 970, the Icelandic Saga of Njall-le-brûlé mentions it: “I will give you a dog that was offered to me in Ireland. It is immense, and worth a solid warrior. Moreover, it is characteristic of the breed to have human intelligence, and it will bark at your enemies but never at your friends; he will be able to recognize at first glance if a man is well or badly disposed towards his master. And for you he will give his life without hesitation. Until the 18th century, the breed enjoyed great favour, its reputation made it imported to hunt wolves in England, France, but also in Spain and Poland. In 1652, Olivier Cromwell prohibited its export, but this was not enough to stop the disappearance of the breed, which would decline due to the disappearance of wolves and the great eland, but above all to the impoverishment of Ireland and the decline of the Irish nobility. The breed was saved from certain extinction by an avid dog fancier, Captain George Augustus Graham, and a group of his friends who undertook the rescue of this noble and ancient breed from 1862. The Irish hound has been the mascot of the Irish Guards since 1902. It is one of the causes of the regiment's popularity in the United Kingdom (the first regimental dog was called Brian Boru after the glorious Irish king, given to the army by the Irish Wolfhound Club Kennel Club). The current titular dog (2008) is named Fergal. Unlike RAF attack dogs, they are not trained in combat but remain at regimental headquarters or take part in official ceremonies, with a red cape in the colors of the regiment.
Effective and dissuasive watchdog, he needs a firm education and should not be trained to attack, because he could then be dangerous. The Irish Wolfhound is not only a big dog but above all a greyhound and like any greyhound he is close to his masters and does not tolerate loneliness so much the human presence is important to him. Life in a kennel is unthinkable for the Wolfhound, it is in the family that he must be able to live and it is at this price that he will be happy and balanced. A great hunter, his innate need to run makes him appreciate the dog track where he can let off steam in greyhound races whether in PVL (Lure Pursuit) and/or Racing events. Because of the large size it will reach as an adult, basic obedience is highly recommended. It is essential to inculcate recall, sitting and lying down. He must also know how to walk on a leash without pulling. Like any Greyhound, it is necessary to accustom it to the presence of cats from an early age to establish a good future cohabitation. The diet of the Wolfhound must be the subject of great attention, especially during its growth which can continue until its 15 months. It will only be mature and really "finished" around the age of 3/4 years.