My favorite person in the whole world is my best buddy Mannanan MacLir. "Manny" is a six year old Irish wolfhound who came to live with me when he was eleven weeks old. The first time I saw him, he was a little black ball of fuzz. (Well, not so little...at five weeks he was as big as a lot of grown dogs.)
If you would like a history of the real Mannanan MacLir,
try these two links.
Folk-lore of the Isle of Man
Story of the Irish Race
For those of you who have never seen an IW, he's the one in the encyclopedia that stands on his back legs with his front paws on the man's shoulders and looks OVER the man's head. Great Danes are big dogs, and some of them even outweigh IWs, but IWs are longer in the body and tend to run taller at the shoulder.
The only thing more beautiful than a wolfhound at full gallop, is an Arabian horse racing the wind.
If you are interested in cohabitating with a wolfhound of any kind (Irish or Russian [or Borzoi]), there are some things you should know about the breed.
These traits include:
Rug Impersonations - they are ALWAYS in the way in the house, which means you must step OVER them at least 40 times a day. Houses were simply not designed with the adult wolfhound in mind.
Couch Potato Syndrome - yes, they DO take over the living room couch and spend about 90% of the household's waking time there. (Then they move to your king-sized bed and push you out.)
Race Horse Fevers - they instinctively remember that they are sprinters when let outside on a cool day and are prone to sudden fits of gallopingitis. It is nice to watch, but stay out of their direct paths, they don't turn very well.
Seriously though, you should remember a few items about these dogs.
people and will go to anyone which makes them prone to becoming
"lost" when unattended.
They do best inside the house where they can be with their people and they DO NOT do well when left alone. If you want a yard dog, consider another breed.
They are NOT aggressive dogs and you shouldn't try to make them so. The dogs are naturally reserved with a regal bearing and the mere appearance of a dog this size is extremely frightening to most people.
Irish wolfhounds SHED a great deal. I pick up "Manny hair" daily from the corners of the rooms even though I brush him outside once a day. If you can't deal with the hair - don't get the dog.
Bathing is another matter which tries the patience. IWs are definitely NOT bathtub sized. I bathe Manny with a garden hose which is hooked to the washing machine lines. He gets a warm bath but I do it outside, and in the winter it can be very uncomfortable for him. (Wolhounds only need to be bathed once or twice a year.)
Wolfhounds are very tall and can reach almost anything you can. Manny has stolen a steak off the grill, pancakes off the stove, and a sandwich left unattended on the kitchen counter. They must be taught that not everything is theirs for the taking.
Lastly but MOST IMPORTANTLY, never EVER leave a small child unattended with any dog...especially one as large as this. Accidents DO happen and children get hurt. Manny has bowled over every child that has ever come into my house, he can't help it, he just wants to get close. And when he gets close, he rubs like a cat. He knocks ME over occasionally - just imagine what happens to toddlers!
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An Irish Wolfhound in Germany
this page is not in English but if you love these hounds,
you will understand what it says!
A translator can be found at http://world.altavista.com/
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