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Irish Wolfhound


dog photos - Irish Wolfhound



The Irish Wolfhound is very a old breed; there are suggestions it may have arrived in Ireland around 3500bc during the arrival of early settlers. The Irish bred them to hunt and kill wolves and boars and were later exported for this purpose.  The Irish Wolfhound has been recorded as being exhibited in ancient Rome and mention is made that they so amazed and terrified the Romans that it was seen fit to only transport them in cages. There exist stories that in the arena, the original Wolfhound was the equal of a lion. There are reports of Irish Wolfhounds chasing away lions in Africa.



What sweet-tempered, patient, generous, thoughtful and trusting dogs they are.  Not a guard dog by any means but can be a deterrent simply due to their size, although when they or their owners are put in real danger, they display a fearless nature.  Dignified and willing, they are unconditionally loyal to their owner and family and tend to greet everyone as a friend.  Because of their sensitivity they require a positive environment, encouraging attitude and non-overbearing training methods. They must have a good run every day and are then happy to sleep it off on the couch.



Height:  50-90cms (30-36in)

Weight:  46-70kg   (101-154lbs)

Group: Hounds

Being the tallest of all the breeds and coming in a variety of colours, this very large, rough, hard and shaggy coated dog is a heavily built.



The Irish Wolfhound just requires a good 15 minute brush once a week and a monthly bath.  Ensure you check and clean their ears and trim their claws fortnightly. If you don't have the time to bath or groom your dog, your local  dog grooming salon provides these services.


Life Expectancy

6-10 Years


Health Concerns

Unfortunately these dogs do not live long lives, dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer being the leading cause of death and like all deep chested dogs, gastric torsion (bloat) is also very common.  Heart problems (Arterial fibrillation) can be a problem although from clear lines, can live to a good age especially if not allowed to get overweight and exercised regularly. Always try to feed good quality dog food to extend the life and health of your dog.



These dogs need a large quantity of good food especially when growing so quickly and a daily run is highly recommended for adults with shorter exercise for young growing hounds.  Its larger food and room requirements make this a breed that is not right for everyone.  And most importantly for health reasons DO NOT LET THEM GET FAT.  They love children and can be trusted to be left alone with them. Not a breed to be left alone for long periods and need to live inside with it's family - not a yard dog and do not cope at all well with the heat 

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Hounds: these dogs hunt by sniffing the ground to pick up and then follow a scent, calling and barking all the while.  Dogs of this type include English Foxhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback and Saluki to mention a few.


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