Irish Wolfhound | Dog Breed Information & Facts – Pictures

Irish Wolfhound

One of the largest dogs in the world is the Irish Wolfhound. Huge dimensions do not interfere with the look of this animal elegantly. It is difficult to name another type of dog, which would perfectly combine high intelligence, speed, greatness, crushing power and endless devotion to the owner.

Residents of Ireland consider the Irish Wolfhound a symbol of their country and are proud of it. If you are ready to have a huge, but loyal and friendly dog as a pet, pay attention to the Irish Wolfhound.

However, currently, the Irish Wolfhound stands out as one of the most docile and loving dogs. For centuries this dog breed has defended land and animals from predators, especially the wolf, being recognized as an especially brave dog. Peaceful and very friendly, this dichotomy has surprised those who have been able to enjoy his company.

Dog sheet Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound photos

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Physical characteristics

The general appearance of the Irish Wolfhound is impressive, such a dog is able to inspire fear in anyone. But at the same time, his movements are surprisingly free and swift. The growth of adults is 75-90 cm, weight 45-55 kg.


Distinctive features

  • Head: The skull is elongated. The forehead is flat with a narrow muzzle. The transition from forehead to muzzle is clearly defined.
  • Jaws: Strong and solid teeth. Straight or scissor bite, but scissor bite is more common.
  • Ears: The ears are medium in the shape of a “rose”, hanging over the sides of the head.
  • Eyes: The color of the iris is dark brown.
  • Frame: The body is elongated, extending into the region of the croup, powerful and muscular. The kidney is convex. The neck is long and arched, of athletic build. The chest is broad, voluminous and well developed. The abdomen is in.
  • Limbs: The legs are elongated, straight and strong with sloping shoulder blades. The thighs are oblong, developed. The legs are oval, the fingers and claws are arched.
  • Coat: Wool with a rough texture. Above the eyebrows and the chin is slightly longer than on the rest of the body. Color wheat, gray, brindle, black, white, tan, fawn, red.

Character and behavior

The huge and scary Irish wolfhound is extremely kind and affectionate with his loved ones. His huge heart is full of love and devotion to the owner and family members, so it is extremely difficult to bear the separation from them.

By their temperament, they are not very active, but still need regular physical activity to keep the musculoskeletal system in good condition.

Foreigners are treated calmly. To family friends in general, relatives, especially if they see the friendly relationship of the owner with the guests. Fighting inclinations are most often manifested during a fight with another dog.

They are not very suitable for the role of guardian. Irish wolfhounds do not have a sense of territoriality, moreover, they are very lazy to bark, but with special training they can become good guards.

With the children

He loves children, behaves like a harmless creature, allowing children to ride on his huge back, like a pony. However, you should not allow such a ride, as there is a risk of damage to the animal’s joints and spine.


The owner of the dog should know what diseases it is predisposed to. The Irish Wolfhound most often has the following health problems:

  • Hypothyroidism – a lack of thyroid hormones for a long time.
  • Bloating – most often comes from improper care and nutrition.
  • Hygroma of the elbow – inflammation of the ulnar bursa, there is a swelling in the region of the ulnar process.
  • Von Willebrand disease is a hereditary disease that leads to impaired blood coagulation.
  • Hip dysplasia is usually congenital dysplasia, but can occur after birth or even in adulthood. It leads to lameness and even immobility.
  • Cataract is a clouding of the lens. The main reason is heredity, since it is a genetic predisposition that causes vision diseases most often.
  • Malassesial dermatitis or pyoderma is a skin disease.
  • Osteochondrosis of the shoulder – the formation of a defect on the distal surface of the medial condyle of the shoulder.
  • Osteosarcoma is the most common bone tumor that usually affects limb bones. May develop on any skeleton bone.
  • Wobbler’s syndrome – a violation of the structure of the vertebrae (malformation) or their articular connection (malarticulation).

Life expectancy

Representatives of the breed can live about 10 years.


The long, curly coat should be brushed once or twice a week. Walking through a park or forest belt, the Irish wolfhound can enthusiastically climb into the bushes, and therefore, after a walk, be sure to inspect it for ticks.

Ears should be cleaned 2-3 times a week, eyes – daily. The claws are trimmed three times a month, the animal is bathed once a month.

Fun facts

  • Irish Wolfhound is a symbol of Ireland.
  • According to tradition, Irish Wolfhound dogs are in the service of the Irish Guard. Only males are allowed to serve. They take part in all public celebrations.
  • An Irish wolfhound serving in the army is provided with food, housing, and even special service clothing.
  • In 1641-1646, the Irish wolfhound was considered a valuable gift for royalty and their close associates.
  • According to ancient legend, the first Irish wolfhound dog became the rebellious princess, who was bewitched by the druid.

History of the breed

The Irish Wolfhound has been living on the earth for more than two thousand years, its history is one with Ireland, which is considered the birthplace of this type of dog. He is one of the most ancient. The first owners of the Irish wolfhound were continental Celts. It was with their tribes that the ancestors of modern Irish wolfhounds came to the British Isles about 300 BC.

This dog, surrounded by households, behaves like a friendly sheep, but on the hunt, he turns into a fearless, formidable lion. Such a dog was appreciated not for appearance, but for power, huge size, speed, in a word, for working ability. Sayings, legends and ballads were composed about it.

Initially, Celtic dogs were found with both hard and soft hair. But over time, due to a permanent stay in the harsh Irish climate, the coat remained only tough. When breeding, the owners of the Irish Wolfhound practically did not pay attention to the appearance of the puppies, the main thing is that they be healthy, mobile and not cowardly. Only the strongest dogs participated in the breeding, from which there was a high probability of obtaining full-fledged offspring.

Irish wolfhounds brought great benefit to their owners. Their popularity reached such heights that representatives of the breed in large numbers began to be exported to other countries. As a result, in the seventeenth century, these dogs almost disappeared, they were less and less common in the homeland. It is good that the connoisseurs of the breed are closely engaged in the restoration of the purebred Irish wolfhound. At the moment, the breed is not threatened with extinction, and it has retained all its pristine qualities, almost unchanged.

Many mistakenly believe that a large dog should be a guard, fighting or service dog. In fact, this is not so, the Irish wolfhound, despite its large size, is only a hunting greyhound. In ancient times they were used to exterminate a large number of wolves, the name of the breed came from this. When the wolves were almost exterminated, the Irish wolfhounds hunted, helping the owners, for wild boars, deer and other wild animals.

Today, the Irish wolfhound is again very popular. Only now it runs for the most part not for deer or other game, but for a mechanical hare, taking part in competitions. They are also faithful companions of men.


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