Irish Wolfhound

31 Mar


irish 2



This dog truly is the giant of the dog world, being one of the tallest breeds, even reaching the size of a small pony. The reach 28-35 inches in height and weigh 40-69kg (90-150 pounds). When standing on its hind legs. this is a dog that can be taller than a man, reaching up to 7 feet tall! This dog has a long head with a long and pointed muzzle. When the dog is relaxed, it holds its ears back against the head, and you will see them partway pricked when it is excited. They have a long tail which hangs down and is slightly curved. They have a shaggy, wiry coat that is rough to the tough. It is longer over the eyes and under the jaw. The colours include grey, brindle, red, black, pure white or fawn. Although the most commonly seen is grey.


irish descr        irish



Health problems:

Prone to cardiomyopathy, bone cancer, bloat, PRA, Von Willebrands, and hip dysplasia.



This is a very old breed of dog, even appearing in Roman records. The dog was used in wars, for guarding and also for hunting with their name coming from their use of hunting wolves. This is a dog that was highly treasured with battles being fought over them and often being given as royal presents. When the boar and wolf became extinct in Ireland, the Irish Wolfhound declined, but the breed was restored using the introduction of great dane and deerhound blood. The breed was recognized by the american kennle clb in 1897 shortly after the Irish Wolfhound Club was founded. In 1935 they were recognized as a sporting breed by the kennel  club.



Although you might feel intimidated by their size, these tend to be very gentle, good natured and patient animals. They are very intelligent and always eager to please their humans. They respond very well to firm, but gentle leadership and like all dogs they need consistency when it comes to following rules and boundires. They tend to get on well with children and can generally get on with anybody they meet. As a giant breed, they are often very clumsy and also take about two years before they are fully grown. This also means that they take longer to mature regarding their mind (they stay young for a long time). Whilst it is still young, walks must be kept short so to allow its developing legs to stay strong without putting too much pressure on it. It is important that they are trained to heel before they get too large.

irish child         irish-wolfhound-0001



Despite its scruffy appearance, this dog does need regular and thorough grooming with a bursh and groom. The coat should be plucked once or twice a year to remove excess dead hair.


Living conditions:

Although it is relatively inactive indoors, this dog is not suited for apartment life and does best with a large yard. As a giant breed, it needs some space. This also might mean that you need to invest in a larger car in order to take it for trips out or to visit the vet. Although large in size, they would be unhappy living in a kennel as they love to be a part of the family. These dogs need lots of space to run, but in reality do not need any more exercise than smaller breeds. As always they need a minimum of a one walk a day in order to fulfill their instincts to walk. Make sure they they are made to heel as not only do they need to see you as their leader but they are also easily big enough to pull you over.


Life expectancy:

6-8 years





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