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The gentle and intelligent Wolfhound is one of the largest of all dog breeds, reaching up to seven feet tall when stretching on its hind legs, with the name deriving from one of its earliest uses as a hound to hunt wolves. The breed is an ancient one, with some sources suggesting Wolfhounds were being bred in Ireland as early as 273BC. Despite being in the distance past known as a fighting dog, the Wolfhound is a friendly dog who gets along with everyone, be that children, other dogs and some other animals. As they also get along well with strangers, the Wolfhound does not make the best guard dog, but their loyalty to their family and caring nature makes them excellent guardians.
Although the breed is prone to joint problems, the Wolfhound enjoys exercise, suited to homes with garden/yard space to run around in and leisurely walks. Being a gentle animal, the Wolfhound responds well to training through positive reinforcement, such as praise and treats, rather than using a commanding tone.
Their coat is rough and wiry and comes in many colours, including grey, red, black, brindle, white and fawn, grey being the most common.
Life expectancy: 6-10 years, with 7 years being the average
Originating country: Ireland
Temperament: intelligent, sensitive, easy going
Interesting fact: A Wolfhound called Digger is the mascot for the London Irish Rugby Club!