I actually encountered an Irish Wolfhound once. It was in the Stockholm metro, of all places. The dog was higher than me as I was sitting down. I was surprised by its calm demeanours, but felt relieved when it left. Naturally, I considered the owner to be a crackpot - Irish Wolfhounds, as we all know, were bred to hunt wolfs (hence the name). I assumed that such a dog would be mad, bad and dangerous to know! I felt something similar towards its owner.
I was therefore surprised when reading "Irish Wolfhounds". It turns out that this huge dog - one of the largest - is almost completely harmless and even something of a "couch potato". It's good with children, other dogs and strangers. It also eats much less than many normally-sized dogs.
Still, the Wolfhound isn't for everyone. It does have a strong prey drive which can be triggered by rabbits, other people's pets and even horses (or wolves, presumably). If the prey drive is triggered, the dog spins out of control! Therefore, Irish Wolfhounds should only be kept in *very* well-fenced areas. The fence has to go underground, too, otherwise the dog might dig a whole and disappear anyway. Another obvious problem is the Wolfhound's sheer size: a four-month old puppy is larger than the adults of most other dog breeds! Due to its size, this hound is privy to a lot of health problems, and only lives for about 6 years.
"Irish Wolfhounds" is an excellent introduction to this king-size dog, and many of the colour photos are actually quite entertaining. I mean, a puppy the size of an Alsatian? Another puppy the size of a human child? Another photo shows an Irish Wolfhound tied to a Celtic cross. Eating while having a bad mannered Wolfhound around the table can apparently be a problem. Most photos simply show how absurdly *huge* this creature actually is.
Irish Wolfhounds, obviously, aren't for everyone. If you live in a countryside manor and can afford very sturdy, king-size fences, you're in. Otherwise, please get a poodle! :D