Irish Wolfhound

Irish wolfhounds originated in Ireland, where they were used to hunt wolves, Irish elk, deer and boar. The prized Irish wolfhounds were also presented as valuable gifts throughout Europe’s royal courts. The sighthounds were such skilled hunters that their prey eventually became extinct, and the need for the Irish wolfhound’s work sharply diminished. This led to dangerously low numbers of Irish wolfhounds during the 1700s. In 1862, Captain George Graham embarked on a breeding program to revive the breed. This endeavor took 23 years. In 1897, the American Kennel Club recognized the Irish wolfhound as a member of the hound group.

The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of dog breeds and even though they were bred to hunt wolves, they have wolf-like features. They have a gray shaggy coat and a rugged appearance. These dogs can sprint and gallop at great speed and have long, muscular legs. Their coat is coarse and rough and needs to be brushed frequently. The coat also requires regular trimming and clipping to look its best. Personality: These are calm, peaceful and patient dogs. They are sweet-natured and gentle with children. Nevertheless, because of their size they may not be the most suitable playmates for kids. This dog breed needs moderate exercise on a daily basis and need a good sprint every day to exercise their long legs. They also like to hunt and should therefore roam in a safe area. They don't like to be left alone for too long. They are friendly towards other dogs and strangers but can be very protective and fearless if they feel they need to step in as protectors.

Irish Wolfhound image
Family
Life Span
5-7 years
Other Names
Wolfhound, IW, Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound Build Information

Size
Giant

The giant Irish wolfhound is the tallest breed, standing 30 to 35 inches tall at the shoulder. When the dog stands on its hind feet, it can almost see eye to eye with a man of seven feet tall. The Irish wolfhound weighs a heavy 105 to 180 pounds. The rough coat is medium in length with slightly longer, wiry hair that is exhibited as a bearded chin and bushy eyebrows. The coat may be gray, fawn, black, white, red or brindle in color. The long tail is slightly curved and hangs downward.

The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of dog breeds and even though they were bred to hunt wolves, they have wolf-like features.

They have a gray shaggy coat and a rugged appearance. These dogs can sprint and gallop at great speed and have long, muscular legs. Their coat is coarse and rough and needs to be brushed frequently. The coat also requires regular trimming and clipping to look its best.

Behaviour and Personality

Kid Friendliness
Affection Level
Activity Level

The Irish wolfhound is a quiet gentle giant with its easygoing disposition, friendly demeanor and patient nature. The breed gets along with everyone it meets, loves children and is gentle with other household dogs that it has been raised with. The Irish wolfhound is courageous and alert, and it will spring into action to defend its family. Indoors, the dog is calm. Outdoors, the Irish wolfhound enjoys exercise in the form of daily walks around the block or playing with the children in the backyard. The Irish wolfhound is a sighthound, meaning that it hunts by sight. Once it catches a glimpse of something interesting, the dog will take off after its perceived prey, which can include cats and wildlife. Irish wolfhounds are affectionate, playful and sensitive family companions.

These are calm, peaceful and patient dogs.

They are sweet-natured and gentle with children. Nevertheless, because of their size they may not be the most suitable playmates for kids. This dog breed needs moderate exercise on a daily basis and need a good sprint every day to exercise their long legs. They also like to hunt and should therefore roam in a safe area. They do not like to be left alone for too long. They are friendly towards other dogs and strangers but can be very protective and fearless if they feel they need to step in as protectors.

Appearance

Shedding
Moderate
Grooming
Medium Maintenance

The rough and wiry coat of an Irish wolfhound should be combed through once or twice weekly to prevent tangles and mats. Brush the teeth at least three times a week to reduce plaque and tartar. This will prevent periodontal disease and help to maintain good overall health. Inspect the ears weekly, clean them if they appear dirty and keep them dry to prevent ear infections.

Breed's Talents and Facts

Training
Easy
  • The stature of the giant Irish wolfhound may seem imposing and commanding, but the dog’s temperament is quite the opposite
  • The Irish wolfhound makes an affectionate, gentle, calm and loving family companion
  • The Irish wolfhound originated in Ireland
  • The Irish wolfhound is the tallest dog breed
  • The Irish wolfhound has a gentle and friendly disposition
  • The Irish wolfhound stands 30 to 35 inches tall and weighs 105 to 180 pounds
  • Irish wolfhounds have moderate energy levels
  • Irish wolfhounds require moderate grooming
  • The average lifespan for an Irish wolfhound is 6 to 8 years

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Common Health Conditions in Irish Wolfhounds

Irish wolfhounds have relatively short lifespans that average 6 to 8 years. Irish wolfhounds are prone to gastric torsion, or bloat. Other health conditions that have been noted in the Irish wolfhound include osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, cardiomyopathy, von Willebrand’s disease, hip dysplasia and progressive retinal atrophy.

Irish Wolfhound Pet Insurance

When adding a dog or cat to your family you want to make sure your pet is happy, healthy and protected. During its lifetime your pet is exposed to many illnesses and diseases and some breeds are affected by a congenital disease which is a condition existing at birth. At these moments when your pet is ill or maybe needs surgery, you want to be protected for the unexpected and high veterinarian costs.

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