Irish Wolfhound

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105-140 lbs
Cu Faoil

The Irish Wolfhound is a very large dog originally used to drag men from their horses and off of chariots. Also an accomplished hunting dog, the breed almost became extinct after boar and wolves disappeared from Ireland. Captain George Graham introduced Great Danes and Deerhounds to the breed; he helped to restore the breed by doing such. At one time, the “Great Hound of Ireland” was highly sought by royalty; the dog was sometimes given as a gift and battles were even fought over the ownership of the dog. The Irish Wolfhound was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1897.

coursing wolves and elk
Date of Origin
390 AD
great dane, deerhound

Irish Wolfhound Health

Average Size
Height: 33-35 inches Weight: 120-180 lbs
Height: 30-34 inches Weight: 105-140 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Gastric Torsion
Minor Concerns
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
Occasional Tests
  • Hip
  • Heart
  • X-Rays
  • Physical Examination

Irish Wolfhound Breed History

History tells of a “Great Hound of Ireland” that was presented to Quintus Aurelius Symmachus by his brother (in total, seven Irish Wolfhounds were given to Aurelius). The Irish Wolfhound was a mainstay of many royal courts, and at one time, law stated that only royalty could possess the lovable giant dogs. The dogs were often given as royal gifts; Sweden, Denmark, and Spain all received gifts of Irish Wolfhounds by other royal families. Irish Wolfhounds were using for hunting – and not just boar or wolves. They were trained to pull men off horseback and out of chariots on the battlefield. The breed almost became extinct in the eighteenth century; however, Captain George Graham was able to find a few of the Wolfhounds, crossbreed them with Scottish Deerhounds, the Tibetan Borzi, a Pyrenean Wolfhound, and a Great Dane. This produced the Irish Wolfhound we know today.

Irish Wolfhound Breed Appearance

The Irish Wolfhound can reach seven feet in height when standing on its hind legs. On all fours, it is the size of a small pony. The head is long, and so is the muzzle. This extra-large canine has small ears that lay back against the head; an excited Wolfhound will prick them up. This striking dog has a coat that is shaggy and wiry; the hair on its head is longer over the eyes and under the jaw. The coat usually feels rough to the touch. An Irish Wolfhound may be gray, brindle, red, black, white, or fawn colored; however, gray is the most common color.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Irish Wolfhound Breed Maintenance

An Irish Wolfhound is definitely not an apartment dog. He requires daily exercise. A fenced-in yard is necessary so that the Irish Wolfhound can get adequate exercise. This breed is not prone to a lot of shedding; it is considered an “average” shedder. It is recommended that you regularly brush the coat (perhaps very week) and every six months, and you or your groomer should pluck the coat in order to remove excess dead hair. The nails and teeth should not be neglected; a large dog should have his nails trimmed often as it is much easier to trim bit by bit. While one must be careful about feeding an Irish Wolfhound puppy – growth formula is never a good idea for this breed when very young – it is important to feed your Irish Wolfhound puppy a high-quality food. Stay away from high-protein formulas as well.

Brushes for Irish Wolfhound
Pin Brush
Slicker Brush
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Irish Wolfhound Temperament

Although they are giant dogs, the Irish Wolfhound is not necessarily a good guard dog. They are very sweet, patient, kind, and highly intelligent. An Irish Wolfhound might be able to ward off any would-be mischief makers because of its size; it will not be aggressive toward strangers. They are very eager to please their owners and are incredibly loyal. For the first two years of their lives, they are quite clumsy. They often take at least two years to mature. Because of this, extra time should be taken with your Irish Wolfhound puppy in order to build confidence in your dog. It is also recommended that you leash train the Irish Wolfhound at a young age, teaching him to walk beside you and not pull the leash before he gets too strong. Irish Wolfhounds like a firm, consistent handler. He gets along with other dogs well, and children too. The Irish Wolfhound is one of few that gets along with virtually any other animal. 

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
15 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
60 minutes

Irish Wolfhound Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4.5 cups
Daily Cost
$3 - $3.5
Monthly Cost
$90 - $105

Irish Wolfhound Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 29 inches Weight: 90 lbs
Height: 26 inches Weight: 65 lbs
12 Months
Height: 32 inches Weight: 110 lbs
Height: 29 inches Weight: 80 lbs
18 Months
Height: 34 inches Weight: 150 lbs
Height: 32 inches Weight: 122 lbs

Top Irish Wolfhound Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Irish Wolfhound breeders of 2017.
The Hounds of Carroy Irish Wolfhounds
Mariposa, California
Sunstag Irish Wolfhounds
Silverado, California
Sarken Kennels for Irish Wolfhounds
Tullahoma, Tennessee
Mount Olymups Irish Wolfhounds
Carson City, Nevada
Rysheron Irish Wolfhounds
Phelan, California
Timbercreek Irish Wolfhounds
Blue Rapids, Kansas
Kerryarc Irish Wolfhounds
Sacramento, California
Windy Ridge Irish Wolfhounds
Winterset, Iowa

Irish Wolfhound Owner Experiences