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Re: About Irish Wolf Hounds

Poster: nancy lynch <lughbec@erols.com>

Kristi Why wrote:
> Poster: Kristi_Why@ena-east.ericsson.se (Kristi Why)
>      Good Gentles,
>      While we are discussing dog breeds, how about Irish Wolf Hounds?
>      I was informed by someone (who really wants one) that though they are
>      very big @200lbs they are sweet, obedient,non slobbery, non shedding
>      and soft to the touch.  Also, that they are not hyper in anyway (I
>      have a Dalmatian and I dread the thought of what a dog four times her
>      size could do to my house).
>      So, is it all true?  Is there more to the breed that I should know.
> Greetings Elspeth,

Two years ago my lord husband was making "I want an Irish Wolfhound" 
sounds.  Being an attentive wife (though not very obedient) I went to 
researching the breed.  
I found that Irish Wolfhounds are loving, calm (for their size), shed no 
more than most dogs, gentle, and in the right home - the most wonderful 
of pets.  They are also prone to hip displascia, they grow to near adult 
size in 6 months (causing them to not really understand how BIG they 
truly are), they eat gargantuan amounts (befitting their great size), 
vet bills are also equal to their size (larger shots, more 
anesthetic, etc...).  Most disturbing is that I was told their genetic 
makeup has a weakness toward heart disease and cancer, and their life 
expectancy is short (7 to 10 years max).

These last bits were heartbreaking thoughts.  I can only hope that they 
are able to eventually weed out these difficulties from the breed.  If 
one was still inclined, please check out the breeder and talk to several 
owners and check with the Irish Wolfhound rescue folks.  Ask lots of 
questions and get lots of answers before proceeding.

Part of the problems with the breed were in the "redevelopement" of it.
Apparently the actual original Irish Wolfhound as a breed became 
extinct, in the last couple of centuries I think.  The breed that we 
have now was genetically *made* by selecting dogs with the wolfhound 
blood and crossing them with other breeds to achieve the animal that 
resembles the original.  I am going from memory so my facts about the 
genetic makeup are scant.

I have known a few of these animals and adore them as personalities.  
Though we are never certain what the future holds when we get a pet we 
should at least know the possible difficulties and be willing to make 
that kind of commitment.

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