Irish Wolfhound
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The Irish Wolfhound

 The Official Dog of Ireland is the Irish Wolfhound. The Irish Wolfhound has been a featured motif on Irish coins, stamps, and in Irish Mythology. At one time these animals came close to extinction, but they are now holding their own. Their attributes are size, loyalty, intelligence, gentleness with those they serve yet fierceness in battle to protect those they serve, what better symbol could there be for Ireland?
The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all dogs, six foot four on its hind legs and 180 pounds. They come in a variety of colors - white, black, brown, gray, brindle, russet, and more. They have a course, wiry coat that is rather shaggy over the face and smoother over the back. They love kids, and usually like cats and other dogs too. They can be very fierce and intimidating in the hunt but they are a very loving and loyal breed. They need to be near the people they love all the time and hate being left alone in the house, even more than most dogs. A sociable dog for a sociable land.
The Wolfhound however is a hunter. They hunt by sight and they should not be allowed to run loose as it is deeply bred into them to chase whatever they see move. These dogs were bred not only to run the wolf down but also to go in and make the kill. They killed wolves in the same way a cat kills a rat, by shaking it until it's neck snapped so they are both powerful and fast. They are also one of the few breeds that do well both in show and field trial competitions.
Irish Wolfhounds have been kept for hunting and companions for over two thousand years.

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 Gaelic is the Celtic branch of the Indo-European family of languages. About one person in five in Ireland can speak Irish today, but only one in 20 use it daily. In Scotland approximately 80,000 people speak Gaelic.
 Saint Patrick (about 389-461) is the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick was born in Britain.
  Ireland, together with Britain, joined the European Economic Community in 1973.
 The population of the island as a whole is just under 6 million(2006), 4.20 million live in the Irish Republic and 1.7 million live in Northern Ireland.
Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate) Northern Ireland has a parliamentary monarchy and an electoral democracy. The voting age is 18 in both parts of Ireland.


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