Irish Wolfhound vs Billy - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Irish Wolfhound is originated from Ireland but Billy is originated from France. Irish Wolfhound may grow 18 cm / 8 inches higher than Billy. Irish Wolfhound may weigh 22 kg / 49 pounds more than Billy. Irish Wolfhound may live 5 years less than Billy. Both Irish Wolfhound and Billy has almost same litter size. Both Irish Wolfhound and Billy requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Hound dog
Origin:
Ireland
France
Height Male:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
58 - 68 cm
22 - 27 inches
Height Female:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
56 - 66 cm
22 - 26 inches
Weight Male:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
22 - 32 kg
48 - 71 pounds
Weight Female:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
20 - 29 kg
44 - 64 pounds
Life Span:
6 - 10 Years
12 - 15 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 4
3 - 5
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
None
Chien de France-Comte
Colors Available:
red, black or brindle, grey, white, Fawn
White or off-white; may have orange or lemon patches or mantle.
Coat:
Medium length, straight to wavy and wiry
harsh, short
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
Alert, Courageous, Friendly, Independent, Intelligent, Loyal, Outgoing, Stubborn
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
Yes
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

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.

The Billy (or Billie) Dog is a rare breed developed in France and mostly still only found in France. Created in the 19th century by Monsieur Gaston Hublot de Rivault and named after his home, Chateau de Billy, he is hunting dog of high quality. The Billy dog was developed by crossing the Poitevin’s original three lines – the Larrye, the Ceris and the Montemboeuf. In developing the Billy, Rivault favored the colors found in the Ceris and Montemboeuf strains as opposed to the tricolors of the Larrye strain. The Billy is a scent hound from all the lines leading back to the monks of the Saint Hubert Monastery in the middle ages, in Belgium, then refined in Gaul (France). The Billy line was considered the most elegant French breed and they were the last breed to come from that large scent hound type that the French nobility and royalty loved to breed.

In 1886 the Federation Cynoloquique Internationale established the standard for the Billy breed. The breed was a great hunter with resilience, speed, scenting and fortitude. The Billy hunted in large packs in pursuit of Wild Boar and Roe Deer. This was accomplished by the crossing of great hunters developed for their specific skills. The Ceris was amazing in its skill to hunt down wolves and hares. The Montemboeuf was a large, elegant dog that hunted wild boar and Larrye for his strong scent ability. Since these three breeds were true French breeds, the Billy was a true aristocratic scent hound in a pure scent hound line.

This gregarious, handsome dog became extremely popular in France in the 19th century. Unfortunately, the World Wars of the 20th century would take their toll on this rare breed and they were almost extinct by the late 1900’. There were only two hounds left by the end of the Second World War. Anthony Rivault, the son of Gaston, set about saving the breed by incorporating the lines of Harrier, the Poilevin and the Porcelaine with the two remaining hounds. From there the breed has been revived and is no longer on the verge of extinction. They are still rare and certainly not “popular”, but they are excellent hunters, especially hunting in packs. Today they are considered one of the breeds used to develop the Grand Anglo-Francais Blanc et Orange in France and there are several packs that hunt roe deer in France, while a couple packs are used to hunt wild boar.

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.

The Billy dog is powerful, beautiful and built extremely well. He is large but he should also be light weight and lean. He has an athletic look, powerful muscles, and strong bones. He has floppy ears, dark eyes with dark rims and a white coat. This breed has a medium size head with a domed forehead and square muzzle. The ears are high on the head, flat and floppy while the neck is long and strong. Shoulders are also long and the back broad, the thighs muscular and the feet round. He has a long fluffy tail. The coat is short and can be seen through to the skin. He has white skin with brown spots and the fur is white or off white. The females are smaller than the males. He is a great family companion as well as a hunter. They have high pitched voices and they can be howlers. They have a strong prey drive and are great hunters. They can be great companion dogs for any family, just watch them with small children and small animals. They are big enough to need a lot of space and a lot of exercise. Scent hounds can be stubborn, and that trait is not lost on the Billy dog.

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.

Despite their history of almost becoming extinct the Billy dog is a hearty and healthy group. They do tend to get Bronchitis and colds due to the short, thin coat. Keep them indoors during winter. Another area of concern is the ears. They are prone to ear infections so keep their ears clean. They should not be exposed to cold weather. The Billy life expectancy is 10-14 years which is very good for such a large dog.

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

The Billy dog is large, muscular and lean. Do not overfeed him, but you can safely free feed. Watch to be sure he does not gain too much weight and if he does go to two feedings per day.

Health issues

As previously mentioned this is a healthy, long-lived dog. Watch for ear infections and keep him out of extreme cold.

Exercise/Games

This is a very athletic, active hunter, who needs a lot of exercise. Daily walks are good, but he needs 45 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. Remember he was bred to hunt and loves to do so. Find activities that let him use his athletic skills and strong sense of smell. He needs a big yard to romp in. He will excel at obedience, barn hunt and agility. A lure game might be good also, but he would be happier with a scent oriented “find it” game.

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.

Even though the Billy Breed is very rare and faced potential extinction it is a terrific sporting dog who loves children, other dogs, and adults. He could be a good family dog if his exercise needs are met. He is social, gregarious, and gentle with people. They are happiest in a pack and do not do well in a one dog household. They form extremely strong bonds with their people and household. They are friendly and outgoing. This makes them a poor choice for guard dog. They have an exceptionally well-developed prey drive do they might be aggressive toward any animal smaller than them. This includes the family cat, other smaller dogs, hamsters etc.

Comparison with other breeds

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  37. Billy vs Alaunt - Breed Comparison
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