Origin and brief history:

Dating from sooner than 1500 B.C. and first mentioned in Irish literature, wolfhounds were famous for their large stature and were used by nobility as hunting dogs, as well as for fighting against wild animals for entertainment. Unfortunately, with the extinction of wolves in Ireland, as well as the famine of 1845, the breed declined and was almost wiped out. The current dog known as the Irish Wolfhound is a mixture of one of the last original wolfhounds with other large breeds such as the Great Dane, by Captain G.A. Graham in an effort to save the breed. The popularity and existence of today’s Irish Wolfhound is the fruit of that labor.



While being such a large and imposing dog, the Irish Wolfhound is pretty laid back. They don’t need a huge amount of exercise or play time, but they can be quite affectionate and create a strong bond with their families. Because of their laid back temperament, this breed is very good with children. While they are hounds and were once used for hunting, many of those attributes that struck people with fear and awe in the 8th century have disappeared. Because of their friendliness towards strangers, the Irish Wolfhound doesn’t make a very good watchdog.



Grooming your Irish Wolfhound does not require a lot of work. A basic brushing a few times a week should do the trick in removing any dirt and debris. You may have to brush the beard area more often to keep it clean and your dog looking neat and tidy. This breed does not require a lot of bathing, only a few times a year minimum. Because the breed is so tall, it’s best to bathe them outside or even in a shower. Make sure that you use a shampoo that will not leave the Wolfhound’s coat too soft. A shampoo used for harsh coats, or a terrier shampoo will do the trick. With grooming, one thing to be careful of is the fact that Irish Wolfhounds have two coats, one of shorter hair, and one of longer. Twice a year this longer coat needs to be “stripped.” This should be done with a special knife, not scissors, which can change the texture of your dog’s fur. Because this takes some practice to master, it can also just as easily be done at a groomer.


Specification of Breed:

The Irish Wolfhound is one of the tallest breeds in the world. Males are typically 33-36 inches and females 30-34 inches in height. They can weigh anywhere from 100-150 pounds. As the name suggests, this breed originated from Ireland and belongs to the sight-hound family of dogs. Irish Wolfhounds typically have a lifespan of 6-8 years.


Buyer Beware:

While this breed has many things going for it, there are things to consider before purchasing your pooch. Because of the size of this breed, they do tend to have a very short lifespan. Also, if any procedure has to be done on them at the vet, they almost always have to be anesthetized because of their size and the vet’s inability to control them while awake. This can rack up quite the vet bill if you need to make frequent vet visits. One last thing to be wary of is the size of your home in relation to your Irish Wolfhound. This breed doesn’t need a lot of exercise, but they do need a lot of room to spread out. If you have a very small home or live in an apartment, your dog may not have the adequate space to stretch his legs.


image credit wikipedia.org