Irish Wolfhound Breed Information

Irish Wolfhound  

The easygoing Irish Wolfhound has a life expectancy of 6 to 8 years.

The Irish Wolfhound is believed to be an ancient breed of dog. Their ancestry is thought to include the Mastiff as well as the Irish Sheepdog and the Scottish Deerhound. The first recorded reference of the Irish Wolfhound dates back to 391 A.D. In that year, the Irish gifted several of the dogs to Roman diplomats. The breed was used to hunt large game and guard property, and was once highly coveted by European royals.

In the late 1770s to early 1780s, the Irish Wolfhound nearly became extinct. In 1862, a Scotsman with the British Army took it upon himself to try and save the breed. He located all the Irish Wolfhounds he could find and bred them with the Scottish Deerhound, Great Dane, Russian Wolfhound, Pyrenean Mountain Dog and the Tibetan Mastiff. As a result, Irish Wolfhounds were able to survive.

The Irish Wolfhound is a large dog measuring 30 to 34 inches and weighing 105 to 120 pounds.

Grooming Needs
The Irish Wolfhound has a short and wiry coat that sheds year round. The Irish Wolfhound should be brushed once a week and bathed a few times a year. The Irish Wolfhound’s coat can also be hand stripped for a cleaner look or for show. Like all dogs, the Irish Wolfhound needs basic grooming. Brush their teeth, clean their ears and trim their nails on a regular basis.  

The Irish Wolfhound is highly loyal and people oriented.

The Irish Wolfhound thrives on human companionship and bonds closely with their family. The Irish Wolfhound has a sweet and gentle disposition with most people. They make great family companions but poor guard dogs. Irish Wolfhounds may look intimidating, but they are friendly and even tempered.

Irish Wolfhounds are especially tolerant of children and tend to be quite fond of them. They generally get along well with other dogs and pets, but should be socialized with them early to prevent any aggressiveness.

Training Needs
The Irish Wolfhound is stubborn and strong willed, and can be challenging for first-time dog owners to train. The Irish Wolfhound prefers to do things their own way and needs a firm, assertive leader who sets clear boundaries. Although the Irish Wolfhound’s leader should be assertive, they should also be kind as this breed is sensitive and responds best to positive reinforcement.

Activity Level
Like many large breeds, Irish Wolfhounds grow quickly and are susceptible to joint and bone problems. As puppies, they should be exercised very little and instead given time to play and time to rest. Irish Wolfhound puppies should be discouraged from jumping and agility training, although obedience training and socialization should still be carried out.

Once out of the puppy stage, Irish Wolfhounds should be taken on a daily walk. They may have a tendency to be lazy, but need regular exercise for their health.

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