Irish Wolfhound

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

Sketch of Irish Wolfhound
Average Size
Male Irish Wolfhound size stats
Height: 33-35 inches Weight: 120-180 lbs
Female Irish Wolfhound size stats
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.

Appearance of Irish Wolfhound
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Irish Wolfhound eyes
Nose Color Possibilities
black Irish Wolfhound nose
Coat Color Possibilities
black Irish Wolfhound coat
gray Irish Wolfhound coat
red Irish Wolfhound coat
cream Irish Wolfhound coat
fawn Irish Wolfhound coat
silver Irish Wolfhound coat
brindle Irish Wolfhound coat
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Irish Wolfhound wiry 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
Irish Wolfhound requires weekly brushing
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
$3.00 - $3.50
Monthly Cost
$90.00 - $105.00

Irish Wolfhound Height & Weight

6 Months
Sketch of Irish Wolfhound at six months
Male Irish Wolfhound size stats at six months
Height: 29 inches Weight: 90 lbs
Female Irish Wolfhound size stats at six months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 65 lbs
12 Months
Sketch of Irish Wolfhound at 12 months
Male Irish Wolfhound size stats at 12 months
Height: 32 inches Weight: 110 lbs
Female Irish Wolfhound size stats at 12 months
Height: 29 inches Weight: 80 lbs
18 Months
Sketch of Irish Wolfhound at 18 months
Male Irish Wolfhound size stats at 18 months
Height: 34 inches Weight: 150 lbs
Female Irish Wolfhound size stats at 18 months
Height: 32 inches Weight: 122 lbs

Top Irish Wolfhound Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Irish Wolfhound breeders of 2018.
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder The Hounds of Carroy Irish Wolfhounds
The Hounds of Carroy Irish Wolfhounds
Mariposa, California
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder Sunstag Irish Wolfhounds
Sunstag Irish Wolfhounds
Silverado, California
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder Sarken Kennels for Irish Wolfhounds
Sarken Kennels for Irish Wolfhounds
Tullahoma, Tennessee
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder Mount Olymups Irish Wolfhounds
Mount Olymups Irish Wolfhounds
Carson City, Nevada
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder Rysheron Irish Wolfhounds
Rysheron Irish Wolfhounds
Phelan, California
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder Timbercreek Irish Wolfhounds
Timbercreek Irish Wolfhounds
Blue Rapids, Kansas
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder Kerryarc Irish Wolfhounds
Kerryarc Irish Wolfhounds
Sacramento, California
Top Irish Wolfhound breeder Windy Ridge Irish Wolfhounds
Windy Ridge Irish Wolfhounds
Winterset, Iowa

Irish Wolfhound Owner Experiences

4 Months
1 People
House & Yard
Motley is a riot. He's very loving and completely uncoordinated at this age. He's very playful, but like a toddler, he plays and plays and plays, then falls asleep in the middle of it. He currently likes to steal stuff off the end table, shred paper and cardboard, and bring rocks in from the yard. He's eating 3 times per day. It's interesting though - he eats then wanders away then comes back and eats then wanders away. He's been very easy to train. He knows sit, wait, watch me, and is learning shake. He likes to sleep all twisted up.
4 months ago
7 Years
I walked a set of irish wolfhound brothers and they were fantastic. Their face seems to never lose this calm smile and their gait seems to match this quiet happiness they exude. Like many long-legged and calm dogs, I'd suggest that they lumber everywhere they go. There is no rush. Nothing is urgent. Everything is a-okay. We didn't do much more than lumber around the neighborhood. The boys were primarily interested in the stroll and casually gazing at the world around us. Even when a squirrel ran across our path (and startled itself), the dogs barely glanced down at it. They're really beautiful dogs that inspire a meditative outlook on life. I'd walk these boys anytime as a way of breaking up my day, slowing things down, and giving them a little extra excitement in their day.
11 months, 3 weeks ago
6 Years
He was the biggest dog I've ever seen before. With long legs and crazy hair. I loved it! I'm a sucker for big dogs. He was nothing but nice to me. In the beginning of the walk, he pulled a little bit but, after a while he slowed down and started to relax. He wasn't phased by other dogs or small animals. Not even by humans, he just decided to go wherever he wanted to without any distractions. He sat at every crosswalk and just kind of moved along. Such a good and trained dog. It made my experience with him a lot easier. After the walk, we got back to the house and i put a few ice cubes in his water. He loved the refreshing taste of it! couldn't stop licking the ice cubes.
12 months ago
16 Months
Irish Wolfhounds have a varied range of personalities and are most often noted for their personal quirks and individualism.[20] An Irish Wolfhound, however, is rarely mindless, and despite its large size is rarely found to be destructive in the house or boisterous. This is because the breed is generally introverted, intelligent, and reserved in character. An easygoing animal, the Irish Wolfhound is quiet by nature. Wolfhounds often create a strong bond with their family and can become quite destructive or morose if left alone for long periods of time. An Irish Wolfhound is not a guard dog and will protect individuals rather than the house or the owner’s possessions. However independent the wolfhound is, the breed becomes attached to both owners and other dogs they are raised with and is therefore not the most adaptable of breeds. Bred for independence, an Irish Wolfhound is not necessarily keen on defending spaces. A wolfhound is most easily described by its historical motto, “gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”.[21] They should not be territorially aggressive to other domestic dogs but are born with specialized skills and it is common for hounds at play to course another dog. This is a specific hunting behavior, not a fighting or territorial domination behavior. Most Wolfhounds are very gentle with children. The Irish Wolfhound is relatively easy to train. They respond well to firm, but gentle, consistent leadership. However, historically these dogs were required to work at great distances from their masters and think independently when hunting rather than waiting for detailed commands and this can still be seen in the breed.[22]
12 months ago
Book me a walkiee?
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