Leonberger vs Irish Wolfhound - Breed Comparison | MyDogBreeds

Leonberger vs Irish WolfhoundLeonberger is originated from Germany but Irish Wolfhound is originated from Ireland. Leonberger may grow 6 cm / 2 inches shorter than Irish Wolfhound. Leonberger may weigh 23 kg / 51 pounds more than Irish Wolfhound. Both Leonberger and Irish Wolfhound has same life span. Leonberger may have more litter size than Irish Wolfhound. Both Leonberger and Irish Wolfhound requires Moderate maintenance.

Basic Information

Group:
Working dog
Hound dog
Origin:
Germany
Ireland
Height Male:
65 - 80 cm
25 - 32 inches
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
Height Female:
65 - 80 cm
25 - 32 inches
81 - 86 cm
31 - 34 inches
Weight Male:
40 - 77 kg
88 - 170 pounds
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
Weight Female:
40 - 77 kg
88 - 170 pounds
48 - 54 kg
105 - 120 pounds
Life Span:
8 - 10 Years
6 - 10 Years
Litter Size:
6 - 14
3 - 4
Size:
Giant dog
Giant dog
Other Names:
Gentle Leo, Leo, Gentle Giant
None
Colors Available:
sandy or yellowish, tan, Reddish-brown
red, black or brindle, grey, white, Fawn
Coat:
Thick double-coat - straight or wavy
Medium length, straight to wavy and wiry
Shedding:
Moderate
Moderate
Temperament:
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Territorial
Affectionate, Alert, Cheerful, Courageous, Curious, Docile, Energetic, Friendly, Gentle, Independent, Intelligent, Lively, Loving, Loyal, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Quiet, Responsive, Social, Sweet, Territorial
Grooming:
Moderate maintenance
Moderate maintenance
Trainability:
Easy
Easy
Hypoallergenic:
No
No
Kids Friendly:
No
Yes
New Owners Friendly:
Yes
Yes

History

leonbergerHailing from Germany, and more specifically the city of Leonberg, the Leonberger is a giant dog breed.

A resident of Leonberg, Germany, was looking to develop a dog that resembled a lion and in 1846 it was announced that such a dog had been developed by crossing a Newfoundland, Saint Bernard and Pyrenean Mountain dog.

It was after 2010, when the Leonberger Club of America joined the American Kennel Club, that the strict breeding rules were no longer mandatory for all Leonbergers.

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.

Description

leonberger puppyAs a giant breed, the Leonberger stands at between 65cm and 80cm in height. He weighs a hefty 40 – 77kg both males and females.

These dogs are described as being dimorphic. It means that there is quite a difference in the looks of the males and females, with the male dogs being heftier and larger than the females.

The head of the dog is large, he has almond-shaped, dark brown eyes and the ears are medium sized and floppy. The tail is long and he has webbed feet which makes him a good swimmer too.

The thick, double coat can be straight or wavy and comes in different colors such as reddish-brown, tan, sandy or yellowish and the hairs can be tipped with black. He sheds quite a bit so will need regular brushing.

The Leonberger can have between 6 – 14 puppies and these puppies are like big, fat, cuddly, fluffy teddy bears. Don’t be tempted to just buy one because of his wonderful looks because they turn out to be huge dogs that eat a lot and the coat can take quite a bit of effort to keep groomed.

Temperament:

Fondly referred to as the Leo, this giant beautiful dog is social and in spite of his size, he should never be left alone in the backyard for long periods of time. He needs to come indoors from time to time to enjoy some interaction with his human family.

He is a family dog, and with training and socialization, he becomes a well-rounded, confident, obedient pet, quiet and content and sensitive to his owner’s moods.

Even though he becomes a great family pet, you need to think twice before you decide to own one of these large dogs as he can be costly to feed.

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.

Health Problems

leonberger dogLeonbergers are strong, generally healthy dogs. It is said that very large dogs like this don’t live as long as smaller dogs and they also face more health issues. Orthopedic issues such as hip dysplasia are more common with large breeds.

Hip Dysplasia:

An orthopedic problem like this is a misalignment of a joint. This large dog also tends to develop elbow dysplasia too. Fortunately today, hip- and elbow dysplasia is controlled because of efforts of breeders to have their Leonbergers screened.

Nonetheless it is important to know about this ailment. The word ‘Dysplasia’ is referring to an abnormality of development. With both hip- and elbow dysplasia, there is abnormal development of the joints, and osteoarthritis can build up, causing lameness for your giant canine.

Cancer:

Cancer is sadly a leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10 years. Lymphoma is a blood-related cancer – a tumor of the lymph nodes. Dogs can develop different forms of lymphoma. The warning signs are a lump or a wound that won’t heal, swelling in the bone and abnormal bleeding.

Luckily cancer is very treatable in dogs, but you need to get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

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.

Caring The Pet

leonberger puppiesThat long coat of the Leonberger is going to require some brushing at least twice a week. He is also a moderate shedder and you want to get rid of all that loose hair and to keep him looking well groomed.

Diet:

A proper, nutritious diet is an essential part of having healthy, happy dogs and if you’re unsure about how to feed your giant pet, speak to your veterinarian.

The best diet for dogs is always very debatable, but essentially it needs to be kept simple. Try and invest in the very best commercially manufactured dog food for large breeds. Every dog wants a tasty home-made morsel from time to time. Add in cooked chicken, brown rice as well as cooked or raw vegetables. Raw meat can also be added in from time to time.

You want to avoid feeding the Leonberger puppy a high protein diet as this encourages rapid growth and you want to avoid that.

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.

Characteristics

leonberger dogsDon’t be deceived by the looks of the big Leonberger because he isn’t aggressive, but quiet and calm. Large he may be, but he isn’t sluggish either and he will certainly require exercise such as a long, fairly lively walk every day.

They’re intelligent dogs too and respond well to socialization and training. He is a social dog and wants to enjoy plenty of interaction with his human family members.

These dogs are often used as rescue- and therapy dogs as they are so loving and sensitive. Give him lots of love and good care and you’re going to have the most wonderful pet that lives up to the saying – dogs are man’s best friend.

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.

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