The Irish Wolfhound
So you fancy one of these hairy giants.
Be prepared for a kind loving stubborn family member. They are loyal,loving,good with children,nearly always good with other dogs and will learn to live with cats if socialised from very young age..
Now for the bad points!
They have big hairy feet that bring big muddy pawprints into your home except in the very best of our weather.
They are work surface height,and are very adept at pinching things that you intended to have for your next meal.
They will willingly try to sit on your lap and will often stand on their hind legs to try to cuddle you.
They cannot distinguish between your dog clothes and your special going out outfit. A nice white shirt looks most fetching with a big paw print on the front!
Now to more serious issues, as with most giant breeds they do not generally offer a long life span, at least in comparison to smaller breeds or mongrels. Health problems can be an issue with these dogs, including heart disease and cancer. Also measures should be taken to minimise the risk of gastris torsion.
Do not be put off by these descriptions ,they are not the norm but can arise. When looking at puppies,be sure the litter has been liver shunt tested, always see the mum,ask plenty of questions regarding how the puppies have been weaned,have they been well socialised,reports on the overall health of the parents , arrange to see or at least talk to the owners of the puppies dad.
Be sure to take out dog insurance for your puppy,giant breeds take more medication( obviously) to smaller dogs and can run up very large vet bills.
Having now told you all the worst bits, the best bits are about a dog that you will never want to be without,who is loyal, loving,will look after you and your family, who is a clown,who will make you lots of new friends,and who will,after a while give you a craving for a second one.
Perhaps not for the incredibly house proud, but a breed who will give you so much that you will never regret having one.