Irish Wolfhounds have their origin from the Cu. These are very
large dogs that are used for the hunting of wolves and boars. Irish
Wolfhounds used to be given as royal gifts and they eventually became
so well-liked that their export from England had to be stopped.
The Wolfhound disappeared from Ireland during the year of 1766,
but was later brought back to Ireland by the Romans. This breed
of dogs was eventually revived by the incursion of Great Dane and
Of great size and commanding appearance, the Irish Wolfhound is
remarkable in combining power and swiftness with keen sight. The
largest and tallest of the galloping hounds, in general type he
is a rough-coated, Greyhound-like breed; very muscular, strong though
gracefully built; movements easy and active; head and neck carried
high, the tail carried with an upward sweep with a slight curve
towards the extremity. The minimum height and weight of dogs should
be 32 inches and 120 pounds; of bitches, 30 inches and 105 pounds;
these to apply only to hounds over 18 months of age. Anything below
this should be debarred from competition. Great size, including
height at shoulder and proportionate length of body, is the desideratum
to be aimed at, and it is desired to firmly establish a race that
shall average from 32 to 34 inches in dogs, showing the requisite
power, activity, courage and symmetry.
Irish Wolfhounds are sweet-tempered, patient, kind, thoughtful
and very intelligent. Excellent and can be trusted with children.
Willing and eager to please, they are unconditionally loyal to their
owner and family. They tend to greet everyone as a friend, so do
not count on them being a watch dog, but may be a deterrent simply
due to his size. This giant breed can be clumsy and are slow to
mature in both body and mind, taking about two years before they
are full grown. However, they grow rapidly and high-quality food
Height and Weight
Height: 28-35 inches (71-90 cm.)
Weight: 90-150 pounds (40-69 kg.)
The most common causes of death in the Irish Wolfhound are bloat,
cancer and heart disease. They also have growth problems so feeding
and exercise are very important particularly in the growing dog.
Wolfhounds are very difficult to breed from and mothers have to
be constantly monitored during the first 3 weeks or so as they can
very easily crush their puppies by accident.
The Irish Wolfhound is a relatively easy dog to train. A gentle
approach, with plenty of understanding, will be rewarded by an obedient
dog. As puppies, they are very quiet and well behaved. Jumping up
should be discouraged from day one as adult dogs can weigh a lot
and will easily knock people over.
The Irish Wolfhound should have a large head with a long muzzle.
The jaws should be strong and have a complete scissor bite. Both
the nose and the lips should be black. The eyes should be oval and
dark in colour. The ears should be small in size, rose-shaped, hanging
away from the face and dark in colour. The neck should be long,
strong, muscular and well arched with no loose skin at the throat.
The chest should be very deep and the back long with the belly being
well drawn up. The front legs should straight, strong and muscular,
the back legs, strong, muscular and long. The feet should be large
and round with well arched toes. The tail should be long, slightly
curved and be well covered with hair. The coat should be rough and
harsh and wiry over the eyes and jaw. The colours desired are grey,
steel grey, brindle, red, black, white, fawn and wheaten.