Irish wolfhound: all about the breed, dog photo


  • Country of origin: Ireland
  • The size:
  • Growth:
    76-86.5 cm
  • The weight:
    50-72 kg
  • Age:
    about 10-11 years old
  • FCI breed group:
  • Brief information

  • smart, calm and intelligent;
  • friendly and peaceful;
  • one of the largest dog breeds in the world.
  • History of the breed

    Experts are of the opinion that Irish wolfhounds belong to a rare type of broad-haired (bearded) greyhounds, which have a distinctive feature hard and long hair on the muzzle.

    It is highly likely that the ancestors of Irish wolfhounds came to the British Isles with Celtic tribes in the 3rd century BC. They were used for guarding and hunting large predators. In those days, they did not care too much about the purity of the breed, so the dogs had different colors and coat lengths. Later, it was hard wool that became their hallmark.

    In the 17th century, the popularity of unusual bearded dogs from Ireland skyrocketed. They were given to representatives of the nobility from different countries. As a result of the constant export of wolfhounds abroad, the breed has become endangered. She owes her revival to several breeders who collected a new gene pool and restored the breed type. One of them was George Graham, who added the genes of Great Danes, Scottish Deerhounds, as well as Russian Greyhounds and Pyrenean dogs. In 1879, the Irish Wolfhound became an official breed.

    Nowadays, these dogs are among the national symbols of Ireland, they are most common in European countries.


    The Irish wolfhound, despite its terrifying size, has a gentle character and a kind heart. This dog is tied to the owner from the first days and is ready for everything for him. Irish wolfhound is calm, balanced and patient. He is sensitive to the manifestation of emotions in the family: he will rejoice with the owner and console him in moments of sadness. If the wolfhound puppy is guilty, in no case should you shout at it, and even more so it is unacceptable to resort to physical strength: this can break the dog’s psyche.

    The wolfhound is extremely peaceful. He will be happy to mess with the children, patiently enduring all their pranks and games. Moreover, this dog will watch with interest other animals in the house and will not touch them, even cats.

    Irish wolfhound: all about the breed, photo of the dog

    Irish wolfhound is easily lend itself to training and education thanks to high intellect and quick wits. It is believed that even a beginner will cope with the training of this dog. There is only one “but”: it is not recommended to develop security and protective skills in a wolfhound, he is not suitable for this role, this dog is too friendly and friendly.

    The wolfhound is very attached to the owner, so the pet should not be left alone for a long time. This dog is unobtrusive, but without his person he will yearn and be sad, which will certainly entail changes in character.

    Description of the Irish wolfhound

    The Irish Wolfhound is one of the largest dogs in the world. Has a proportionate physique. Like all representatives of the greyhounds, they are characterized by dryness and heat. Standard height at the withers of an adult male from 79 cm, females from 71 cm. Despite its impressive size, the movements of the animal show elegance and grace. There is a noticeable strong resemblance to the dirhound, however, the wolfhound is more dense and massive.

    “Irish” have an elongated skull with a flat forehead and a long muzzle. Bite straight or scissor, powerful jaws. Eyes dark brown, set wide apart. Small hanging ears with rounded tips are raised by a third. The neck is long and slightly arched.

    Irish wolfhound: all about the breed, dog photo

    The body of the Irish wolfhound is elongated, with a rounded loin. The chest is well developed, the abdomen is tucked up. The limbs are long, straight, with pronounced muscles. The tail is below the line of the back, curving at the end.

    The coat is coarse and harsh, with wiry hairs on the muzzle. Distinctive feature grows abundantly around the eyes and forms a beard under the jaw. Gray, beige, brindle and black colors of wool are considered traditional, the rarest and most valuable is white. Reddish and red shades are allowed.


    Previously, there were two types of wolfhounds: smooth-haired and wire-haired. Over time, smooth-haired representatives of the breed were supplanted by their counterparts. And today, the Irish wolfhound has a hard coat that requires regular combing. Occasionally rough hair that looks like a wire is cut or plucked.

    They bathe the wolfhound infrequently, as needed, usually 2-3 times a year is enough. More often the dog needs grooming experts draw up the muzzle and ears of the animal. Every few months it is recommended to trim the hair in the ears and care for the claws. It is important to accustom the dog to all the necessary procedures from an early age.

    Conditions of detention

    It is believed that the Irish wolfhound is able to get along in an apartment. However, due to its size, the dog will feel better in a private home. Adult wolfhounds will be happy to spend several hours a day in the fresh air. Therefore, it is so important to be able to release the wolfhound into the yard to frolic and run.

    At the same time, representatives of this breed cannot live in their own enclosure: their connection with a person and the fear of loneliness are too strong.

    Like other large breeds of dogs, the wolfhound is considered a puppy for a long time up to 2 years. At this time, physical activity should be limited so as not to put unnecessary stress on the developing pet’s body and not provoke the development of joint diseases. You should also carefully consider the choice of food for the dog. The food should be intended for dogs of large breeds and contain all the vitamins and minerals necessary for a growing body in sufficient volume.

    Predisposition to disease

    Irish wolfhounds are prone to diseases that are inherited and characteristic of large breed dogs:

  • Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, the most common is bloating. Often accompanied by gastric volvulus, and if not taken urgently, a fatal outcome is possible.
  • Cardiovascular diseases. These include: arrhythmia, von Willebrand disease, cardiomyopathy.
  • Bone cancer most often affects the limbs.
  • Cancer of the lymph nodes young and middle-aged dogs are more susceptible to it.
  • Pneumonia. Causes infections or foreign bodies entering the lungs.
  • Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by rapid muscle fatigue.
  • Portosystemic shunts of the liver are a congenital pathology in which the blood supply to the liver is impaired.
  • Adult Irish Wolfhounds need to have a heart examination at least once a year. It is also recommended to check the liver at an early age. Early detection of diseases can save a dog’s life.

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