Shoulder height: 71 – over 85 cm
Weight: 40 – 60 kg
Age: 6 – 8 years
Color: grey, brindle, red, black, white, fawn, blue-grey
Use: companion dog
The Irish Wolfhound is a giant with a gentle nature. It is calm, adaptable, tolerant, and easy to train. Because of its size, it needs a lot of living space to be able to move freely. The friendly and tolerant wolfhound is not suitable as a guard dog.
Origin and history
The Irish Wolfhound goes back to traditional Celtic Wolfhounds used in ancient and medieval Ireland to hunt wolves and other big game. The exceptionally large dogs were also very much appreciated and loved by the European aristocracy. By the late 17th century, with the increasing disappearance of wolves and due to strong demand from abroad, the population in Ireland declined drastically. In the late 19th century, a dedicated breeder succeeded in reproducing the traditional Irish wolfhound by crossbreeding it with Deerhound, Borzoi, and Great Dane to breed back and secure the stock. Today, the Irish Wolfhound is once again widespread outside of its homeland.
The Irish Wolfhound is one of the absolute giants among dogs. According to the breed standard, the minimum size is 79 cm (males) or 71 cm (females). Compared to the Great Dane, which is about the same size, the Irish wolfhound is less bulky and not quite as heavy. He has a strong, muscular body, yet is light on his feet and agile.
The head is relatively long and straight, the ears are rather small, hanging, and folded (rose ears), and the tail is long, hanging, and slightly curved at the end.
The Irish Wolfhound’s coat is rough and hard to the touch. Possible coat colors are grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, or blue-grey.
The Irish Wolfhound is considered the gentle giant among dogs. It is even-tempered, calm, and very easygoing with strangers and other dogs. In contrast to other driving and hunting dog breeds, his passion for hunting is limited. He forms a strong bond with his people, is extremely affectionate, and needs close contact with its family.
With a little empathy and loving consistency, the sensitive wolfhound can easily be trained to become an obedient companion dog that obeys in everyday life without any problems. Because of its size, it needs a lot of living space but is also a little more frugal than other sighthounds when it comes to exercise.
Like many large dog breeds, the Irish Wolfhound has a relatively short lifespan. On average, they die before the age of 8.