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Irish Wolfhound

Meet the tallest of the dog breeds-- the Irish Wolfhound. These gigantic canines can stand 3ft tall at the shoulder!

Not only are they the tallest dog, but they are also one of the oldest breeds out there. Their ancestors appear in art and writings that date back to around 300BC, and they could be even older than that! They were bred to be all-purpose dogs, able to be used for war purposes, as well as herding and hunting. For a while they were only be owned by members of the nobility, and were involved in wolf, bear, and elk hunts. As those species became rare and extinct due to over-hunting, the Wolfhound lost part of its purpose and dwindled in number.

The breed was revived in the late 19th century by using the few remaining Wolfhounds and crossing them with Great Danes, Deerhounds, Borzoi, and Mastiffs. The results was the breed we now have, and its first breed club was founded in 1885.

Irish Wolfhounds are very sweet-natured, easygoing dogs. They are very loyal, gentle dogs, and are great with children. The downside to such a gentle giant? They have a very short lifespan (usually only 6-8 years), and are susceptible for bone cancer and heart disease.

Status : Domesticated
Location : Ireland
Size : Height around 32in (81cm), Weight around 120lbs (54kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Carnivora
Family : Canidae -- Genus : Canis -- Species : C. lupus -- Subspecies : C. l. familiaris
Image : Dux


  1. Dogs that look deformed are often breeds that don’t have any more working lines and the show line breeders completely took over. Working lines in breeds are healthy and look similar to their ancestors. For example many show line German Shepherds are very different from working line and Czech German Shepherds that I think they should eventually be considered different breeds. If you want to preserve a breed and keep dogs looking like dogs, the working lines have to be preserved. Looking for large dog breeds for families Wondering what large dog breeds are good with kids or would be good for apartments Find out here A complete list of large dog breeds


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