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The final tall breed of dog that we will look at is the Irish Wolfhound. It is possible for males to reach heights of up to 3 feet at the shoulder and weights up to 180 pounds. That’s a large dog! Their large size will make intruders think twice before trying anything, but they’re not the greatest guard dogs according to the American Kennel Club. They are described as amiable and serene which is why they’re not great guard dogs. They can be patient with kids, but their large size warrants some caution around small children.

Wolves were taking over the Irish countryside in the fifteenth century. This led the Irish to train their hounds to specialize in hunting wolves. Unfortunately, the Irish Wolfhounds were too good at their job and by the late 1700s, the wolves and other big-game animals, such as elk, were hunted to extinction.

If you go back even further, Rome even knew of the greatness of these dogs. In the year 391 AD, the Roman Consul Quintus Aurelius wrote the first mention of the Irish Wolfhound. The consul had received seven of these majestic dogs and soon, they were given the motto, “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.”