Irish Wolfhound vs English Mastiff - Breed Comparison

Irish Wolfhound vs English MastiffIrish Wolfhound is originated from Ireland but English Mastiff is originated from United Kingdom. Irish Wolfhound may grow 10 cm / 4 inches higher than English Mastiff. Irish Wolfhound may weigh 59 kg / 130 pounds lesser than English Mastiff. Both Irish Wolfhound and English Mastiff has almost same life span. Irish Wolfhound may have less litter size than English Mastiff. Irish Wolfhound requires Moderate maintenance. But English Mastiff requires Low maintenance

Basic Information

Group:
Hound dog
Molosser dogs
Origin:
Ireland
United Kingdom
Height Male:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
74 - 76 cm
29 - 30 inches
Height Female:
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
70 - 73 cm
27 - 29 inches
Weight Male:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
68 - 113 kg
149 - 250 pounds
Weight Female:
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
54 - 84 kg
119 - 186 pounds
Life Span:
6 - 10 Years
7 - 12 Years
Litter Size:
3 - 4
5 - 10
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
None
Mastiff Old English Mastiff
Colors Available:
red, black or brindle, grey, white, Fawn
silver-fawn, apricot-fawn, or dark fawn-brindle, fawn
Coat:
Medium length, straight to wavy and wiry
fine, smooth
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
Courageous, Docile, Friendly, Independent, Loyal, Protective, Quiet, Stubborn
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Low maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Moderate
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.

english mastiffThroughout most of history there have been images created by people of very large, sturdy dogs that they shared their space with. The English Mastiff can trace some part of her ancestry to these same dogs. This breed is thought to have come from the stock of ancient breeds such as the Alpine Mastiff, Pugnaces Britanniae and Alaunt. The Mastiff in general has then become a main descendent of many other breeds of dogs since the 1880’s. The images of these types of dogs goes back to the 5th and 6th century.

There is no genetic evidence linking these dogs to the modern Mastiffs and the English Mastiff, but the resemblance is obvious. There is anecdotal evidence that these Mastiff type dogs were exported from England – the English Mastiff – to Greece to hunt game but were also used as war dogs by the Celts. The Alaunt was probably used the Normans and bred by the Alans. Writings and images throughout these times depicted a dog that looked very much like today’s English Mastiff. Some speculate that the English Mastiff came to the United States of the Mayflower.

There was a decline in the English Mastiff in its homeland in the 1800’s following the Cruelty to Animals Act of 1835 which prohibited owners and trainers from baiting animals. Then in the 19th century, prior to the first World War, systematic breeding programs began with J.W. Thompson. His first English Mastiff was a female named Dorah. Dorah’s ancestors included dogs from Thompson’s Grandfather. Captain John Garnier of the Royal Engineers also had dogs that contributed to the development of the English Mastiff.

During this time some breeders got away from pure type and began to breed for other factors. In the late 1800’s, Edgar Hanbury and Mark Hanbury Beaufoy began restoring the breed to its original soundness. One of their dogs was exported to the US were breeding to soundness continued until the First World War reduced the number of English Mastiffs around the world. By the time the war ended there were no English Mastiffs outside of England.

There was a dog in Canada named Beowulf and direct descendent of imports from Britain, who came to the States after the war and began to re-establish the breed on this continent and registered with the American Kennel Club. Yet as of 1945, the contribution from North

Breeding was stopped again for World War II and started again after the war. Many of these puppies died of distemper. Only one female had pups that were able to grow up into adults. North America sent dogs to England at this time and all of the Mastiffs from that time, could be traced back to Nydia and the 14 North American Mastiffs. Since then the breed has been restored slowly in Europe, North America and everywhere in the world.

The English Mastiff is known by his massive head with a black mask and comes in a wide variety of colors. He is also known as a gentle giant because of his personality and the love he has for his people.

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.

english mastiff puppyThe English Mastiff is a giant dog with a broad head and body. In terms of mass it is the worlds largest dog, just a little bigger that the Saint Bernard. The Great Dane and the Irish Wolfhound are 6 inches taller but do not carry the weight and bulk of the Mastiff. Mostly square in his body and his head with a massive chest and wide set forelegs. The head is square and very large. No matter the color of the coat, the face should have a black mask like the St. Bernard. His eyes and nose are also dark.

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.

english mastiff dogBeing a massive dog can take its toll on the body’s development and that is certainly true of the English Mastiff. A lot of running is not recommended in the early life of the dog – preferable for the first two years. This could damage the joint’s growth plates and cause him a lot of problems in later years. Too much exercise in this massive dog can hurt him but so can, not enough exercise.

Some of the health issues other than this that the English Mastiff is prone to include:

  1. Calluses –
  2. On their paws. Must be taken care of before infection sets in.
  3. Arthritis

A large dog like the English Mastiff is always prone to pain from arthritic joints. See your vet about pain medication.

Hygroma

A spot under the skin that is swollen and filled with fluid. Can be treated. It is not an infection or contagious.

Hip Dysplasia

Can result in lameness and arthritis.

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.

english mastiff puppiesThis is an enormous dog that grows quickly. It is important to feed them properly as they grow. If he doesn’t get what he needs as a puppy you will not be able to make it up to him later on.

Feeding the puppy

The English Mastiff puppy needs good nutrition for growing properly.

From 12-16 weeks of age feed him 3-4 cups a day of a high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 3-4 meals.

From 4 -6 months of age feed him 8-10 cups a day of a high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 2-3 meals.

From 6-18 months of age feed him 8-12 cups a day of a high protein, high quality, dry food. Break this up into 2-3 meals.

Feeding the adult

The English Mastiff is still growing from a year to 18 months. Starting at 18 months feed him 10-12 cups a day of high protein, high quality dry food. Break this up into 2 meals.

As your Mastiff ages, cut down on the protein and feed a dry food appropriate for his age.

Points for Good Health

The English Mastiff is a very large dog that should not be allowed to get obese since he is prone to dysplasia. He needs protein throughout puppyhood and until he is about 8-10.

Games and Exercises

This is a couch potato if you let him be. Make sure he gets at least one long walk per day or he will tend to gain weight. Play with them off leash about an hour every day.

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.

Children friendliness

english mastiff dogsThe English Mastiff is very happy to play with children. You willl need to be careful with small children as he does not know his size and is likely to sit on them.

Special talents

This lovable giant is noble and loyal. He will protect his family and he will be courageous about it.

Adaptability

This is a big dog but he doesnt live outside. You need a big yard and perhaps a big house. He may not adapt to an apartment.

Learning ability

The English Mastiff is smart and certainly trainable. He can be independent and stubborn at times but he has the ability to learn.

Comparison with other breeds

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