Irish Wolfhound vs American Staghound - Breed Comparison

Irish Wolfhound vs American StaghoundIrish Wolfhound is originated from Ireland but American Staghound is originated from United States. Irish Wolfhound may grow 9 cm / 4 inches higher than American Staghound. Irish Wolfhound may weigh 13 kg / 29 pounds more than American Staghound. Irish Wolfhound may live 4 years less than American Staghound. Both Irish Wolfhound and American Staghound has almost same litter size. Irish Wolfhound requires Moderate maintenance. But American Staghound requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Hound dog
Origin:
Ireland
United States
Height Male:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
67 - 77 cm
26 - 31 inches
Height Female:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
63 - 75 cm
24 - 30 inches
Weight Male:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
25 - 41 kg
55 - 91 pounds
Weight Female:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
22 - 39 kg
48 - 86 pounds
Life Span:
6 - 10 Years
12 - 14 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 4
3 - 5
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
None
AS
Colors Available:
red, black or brindle, grey, white, Fawn
Any
Coat:
Medium length, straight to wavy and wiry
Shag, Slick or Broken
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Courageous, Energetic, Gentle, Intelligent, Loving, Stubborn
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Hard
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
No

History

irish wolfhoundIt is believed that the Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed and that it was brought to Ireland as early as 7000 BC.

These dogs were bred as hunting dogs as well as guard dogs. There was a time when these huge canines were only allowed to be owned by the nobility. The breed died out somewhat, but Scotsman Captain George Augustus Graham made efforts to restore the breed’s numbers.

Captain Graham devoted his life to making sure the Irish Wolfhound’s numbers were built up, and the breeding program included Great Danes, Borzois, English Mastiffs and Scottish Deerhounds.

american staghoundThe American Staghound is hunting dog and type of sighthound that is not recognized as a separate breed. They have historically been bred to hunt coyotes and then other game. Even though they are not considered a separate breed some of their breeding lines have existed much longer than some officially recognized breeds. The American Staghound is a cross between the Greyhound and the Scottish Deerhound. There was probably some Borzoi mixed in as well. The Staghound is believed to have traveled with General Custer across the American West. The breed is a long-legged running dog with the speed of a Greyhound, the sighting ability of sight hounds and more endurance than any running breed. They are incredible athletes with amazing agility and have been bred to course game – coyotes mostly – and therefore are bred with a very intense prey drive. In the past they chased stags and deer and today they chase coyotes and hare. Coyotes are much faster than wolves and fight just as hard. The American Staghound is the only breed fast enough to track down the coyote. However, the breed is not recognized by the AKC. Hunting with an American Staghound today is not very different from hunting with them in medieval times. Strict breeding practices and the non-commercialization of the breed has led to the almost perfect preservation of this hunting breed. They have not changed very much over the centuries. They have been breeding Staghound to Staghound since the early 1800’s. At times very, good hunting dogs from Greyhound and Deerhound stock are added to the mix. For hundreds of years now the closed breeding has led to what might be the finest coyote chasing sighthound possible.

Description

irish wolfhound puppyThe tallest of the sighthounds, the Irish Wolfhound looks like a large Greyhound, only he has a rough, wiry type of coat.

He is also gracefully built and known as a gentle giant. The double coat which can be fawn, red, white, grey, black or brindle is straight to wavy.

He stands at about 81 to 86cm and weighs roughly 48 to 54kg. This is one of the few dog breeds that you can’t really call social. He loves his own human family, and becomes unhappy and ‘down-in-the-dumps’ when separated from his family members for too long. He is a quiet dog who tends to be somewhat introverted and reserved, while being highly intelligent.

He will require being trained and socialized to make him obedient as he is an independent dog. He takes his role as family protector seriously and even though he is quiet, he is ready to take on anyone who threatens his property.

Temperament:

The Irish Wolfhound is a gentle, quiet, soft-natured, easy-going dog and even though it is such a large dog, it doesn’t throw it’s weight around but is calm and patient around the elderly and children in the home. It can tend to be aggressive with animals he isn’t familiar with.

He is an intelligent dog, but even so he may be quite resistant to training as he is strong-willed and determined to have his own way. These dogs need to be trained and socialized otherwise they just do their own thing.

american staghound puppyWhen you look at the American Staghound you can clearly see the Scottish Deerhound and the Greyhound lines. They have strong running muscles in their long legs and deep chest. He is of course a sight hound, so his vision is acute. His running endurance is second to none. It is this endurance in running all day that makes the American Staghound difference from the Scottish Deerhound and the Greyhound. Yes, both the Deerhound are greyhound are great runners, but the American Staghound runs just as fast with an endurance level ten times that of the other hounds. His heavy bones structure and thick skin are also different from the other racing fast sight hounds.

Health Problems

irish wolfhound dogOne wonders why breeders seem so bent on breeding such large dogs when they have health issues and they don't live particularly long. Not only do they cost a fortune to feed, but large dogs like this are more prone to illnesses and won’t live as long as small dog breeds. This big dog can live up to 10 years of age or so.

For starters, just because he is a deep chested dog, bloat or gastric torsion can be a threat. Other illnesses to look out for are dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy:

This is a disease of the heart muscle where the enlarged heart won’t function properly. The upper- and lower chambers of the heart are enlarged and the heart isn’t able to pump blood out properly. When the heart’s ventricle doesn’t pump enough blood into the lungs, fluid accumulates in the lungs and this ultimately leads to congestive heart failure.

Older dogs battle more with this heart disease and it is also more common in some dog breeds of which the Irish Wolfhound is one. Your dog will have shortness of breath, coughing and abdominal distension. He will need to get to the vet for medical tests.

Bone Cancer:

Bone cancer can strike any dog, but you’ll find in more commonly with larger dog breeds. It can spread quickly and the long term prognosis isn’t good. It’s not easy to pick the disease up and it can mean joint pain for your pet and even lameness.

Your dog will be tired too. Your vet will do X-rays and other tests, but unfortunately the prognosis isn’t usually good. Big-dog breeders should take this into consideration.

american staghound dogThe American Staghound has been bred so consistently within the breed and true that they exhibit very few health problems. All running dogs are susceptible to joint issues, but the Staghound has less than most. Two issues they do face more often are a problem with anesthesia if they ever need it and the propensity to be vulnerable to bloat. Since they are a centuries old hybrid there are no real health issues born of genetics.

Caring The Pet

Exercise:

irish wolfhound puppiesThis isn’t a particularly energetic dog and he can tend to become lazy. Don’t allow this as becoming unfit and overweight can be very bad for such large dog. Being so large already puts stress on the dog’s body, and the dog is already susceptible to cardiac and skeletal problems. Allowing him to become lazy and overweight will be a death sentence for this large dog. It is imperative to make sure you take him on walks and play games with him.

Grooming:

The coat of your dog is thick and medium length and he will require being brushed at least twice a week. You may want to also trim the longer hair you find around his face and legs.

When it comes to his ears, you can moisten some cotton wool and wipe the inside of his ears to remove dirt and excess wax. Remember not to probe too deeply to avoid damaging the ear. If you’re uncertain how to do this, your vet can explain to you how its done.

Check his teeth regularly as dental disease can affect other areas of the body too. Don’t allow his nails to get too long as they can cause paw problems and the nails can hook onto things and cause injury.

Diet:

Because this is a giant breed, the puppy will grow for a long time. Speak to your vet about how to ensure you feed your puppy in such a way that he doesn’t grow too quickly.

If you feed your dog a commercially manufactured food, make sure its one of the top quality brands. Include home-made cooked food such as chicken, rice and vegetables into his kibble from time to time, and also try to feed him some raw meat occasionally.

Fresh, cool water must be available to your Irish Wolfhound around the clock.

Feeding

american staghound puppiesIt is important that you don’t ever over feed you American Staghound as they are thin and bred to run. Even though they are heavier boned than their closest relatives, they are still very susceptible to obesity if overfed. The adult AS should be fed about 4-6 cups of dry food every day in at least 2 meals but 3 of more would be better. This will prevent bloat.

Health issues

As previously mentioned there are no genetic issues with the health of the American Staghound. Bred for one reason and one reason alone for many centuries has led to this healthy state. Also, as stated previously they can have issues with bloat and anesthesia. The issue with anesthesia comes from the fact that the American Staghound has very little body fat to muscle ration. The issue with bloat or torsion can be avoided with many smaller meals and not running your Staghound right after they eat a large meal.

Exercise and games

Of course, the American Staghound loves to run and if you are not going to hunt with her, you will have to find another source of vigorous physical activity. Every day from puppyhood on the AS must be stimulated mentally and physically in order to grow and mature correctly. He must have a home where the freedom to run is an everyday experience, not a dog park once a week. If you ride bikes, race walk or run on a daily basis this might be the dog for you. They obviously excel at games like lure coursing and can be good at agility.

Characteristics

irish wolfhound dogsThe most notable aspect of the Irish Wolfhound is his amazing height. The legs are long, the body narrow. He is gentle and easy-going but because he is a sighthound he loves to give chase after animals.

He is capable of living in the city or countryside, but your home will need to cater to his size. He isn’t particularly energetic, enjoying a quiet life but he will absolutely need to be exercised.

Provide your gentle giant with everything needed to make him content, and you’ll have a faithful, loving friend for about 10 years.

american staghound dogsThis dog was bred to run fast and long after something it sees. They are not considered hyperactive but won’t live well in a confined space such as an apartment or condo. You will need a single-family house with a large yard. Though they are affectionate, family dogs, they are not cut out to be guard dogs. They are not especially protective or territorial, though they may bark at what they can see in the distance. They are calm in their homes if exercised enough and great with children. They are often gentle and loving. They are pack oriented and accept other dogs, but they are not welcoming toward cats or other prey sized animals. Be careful with the AS around small children as he might knock them down or see them as prey as well. They consider anything smaller that runs to be prey. When chasing prey, they are not only fast and enduring, they are tenacious and courageous. Remember that this is a breed that has been bred true in order to hunt and only in order to hunt. Their hunting instincts will override almost any other. Over the centuries only the best hunters were allowed to be bred so that only the best hunters would be born.

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