Irish Wolfhound

Breed Rating

family friendly:
Dog friendly:
Watch/guard dog:
Affection / Dependance:
Exercise needed:
Space needed:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:
Tendency to bark:
Grooming Requirements:

Breed Attributes


Breed group: Hounding    Type: Pure Breed    Talent: , , , ,


Size: Large     Weight: 90-150 lbs     Fur length: Long    Ears: Pointy    Fur type: Straight    Fur Color: Black, Gray / Salt & Pepper, Light Brown / Golden, Merle / Spotted / Brindle / Speckled, White / Cream


Life Expectancy: About 6 – 8 years    Rarity: Common    Availability: Easily available    Climate: Good for every climate.

Breed Details


The Irish Wolfhound originated in Ireland, just as its name suggests. They were used to hunt wolf and were very capable of doing so as they are a large, agile breed that hunts using their sight. They are considered the largest dog in the world as they can grow up to a whopping 35 inches high!

The original blood lines of the Irish Wolfhound came from a dog called the Cu. They were used to hunt boar, elk and wolves as well. They were dogs owned by Irish nobility and were given as presents to royalty. This breed was so efficient that they eventually killed off wolves entirely in Ireland. From then on they were seen less and less as their job had been done!

The Irish Wolfhound is a regal and athletic breed of dog with a famously shaggy coat. They are an extra large breed that is gentle and sweet although they may not look it. They love people, children, and if raised with smaller pets will co-exist well as they are very loyal and love to be part of the pack.


The Irish Wolfhounds most popular coat colouring is a solid gray. Solid white, red, black, brindle, fawn and brown are also acceptable colours.


This breed has a hard, bristle-like coat texture that is designed to keep them warm in cold temperatures. They have a distinctive face that is slender with fringed eyebrows making them look like big friendly dogs. Their coat will require weekly brushing and at least 2-3 times per year it will need to be plucked of the dead fur.


The Irish Wolfhound is a loyal, loving companion that greatly enjoys the company of their owners. They are perfect for families as they love children and are generally well behaved and calm individuals. Friendly towards everyone, this big dog is an oafish giant. As puppies, they will grow at a very quick rate so premium food will be needed, and loads of it. Exercise should be kept to a moderate level as too much can be hard on their bodies which will affect them when they reach adulthood. As a puppy, the Irish Wolfhound may seem to grow up quickly. Leash training will need to be started at an early age to get them used to walking at the owners pace or else when they?ve reached full grown size, there will be a large dog walking a person at the end of the leash!


The Irish Wolfhound will need to be brushed about once or twice per week. Plucking their coat should be done about 2 or 3 times per year just to make sure all the dead fur is removed. This breed is prone to bloat, cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and bone cancer. During the first 6-8 month period of their life, the Irish Wolfhound will need to be monitored when exercising as over doing it at this age could result in overly stretched limbs. Unfortunately the bigger the dog doesn't mean the bigger the lifespan. These dogs only live to around 8 years old.


This breed is a relatively easy dog to train. They love to please their master so as long as basic obedience is taught in a firm but positive manner, there will be no problems. Negative training methods will not aide this dog. On the whole, this breed is very bright and will be able to understand and grasp training quickly.


This breed will need at least 1-2 long walks per day. They would not do well in an apartment as they need as much space as possible because they are very big dogs. Either a yard or even acreage would be perfect so they have room to run around. Oddly enough, daily walks will be sufficient for this breed but as puppies the exercise should be kept to a minimum.

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