Years ago in the woods of Ireland lived elk so tall they measured six feet at the shoulder. There were also plenty of wolves. To hunt those animals the Irish used the gentle dog now known as the Irish Wolfhound--the largest dog alive.
Despite his size, this shaggy coated sight hound has a peaceful and quiet personality. He is affectionate and loves to be with people. He makes a good pet because he is quiet indoors, after he has outgrown his puppy years.
Those who live with Irish Wolfhounds know that, because of their size and history as a castle breed, these dogs require a lot of food, space, and exercise. Coat color is usually gray, brindle, red, black, white, or fawn.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: Strong though graceful, of great size and commanding appearance. Tail carried with an upward sweep.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: For dogs more than 18 months: Height--males, 32 inches or more; females, 30 inches or more. Weight--males, 120 pounds or more; females, 105 pounds or more.
The Irish Wolfhound's puppy years are something to think about. In just six months, these puppies weigh about 100 pounds. That's a lot of untrained, inexperienced dog to handle. They may be clumsy as puppies because of their size. Children can be accidentally knocked over, even though the dog really means to be playful. Future owners of Irish Wolfhounds need to be aware of these challenges.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.