Canine Breed Menu

Irish Hound

Irish Hound

No Additional Pictures
Breed Organization
Irish Wolfhound Club of America
Native Country
Other Names
Wolfhound, Irish Wolfhound, Irish Wolfdog, Cu, Cu Faoil
Life Expectancy
Approximately 6-8 Years
Litter Size
Average 3-4 Puppies
Breed Group
AKC Hound
Breed Appearance
The Irish Wolfhound is one of the largest and is the tallest of dogs in the world. By the age of six months they can weigh as much as ninety pounds and do not reach maturity until twenty to twenty-four months. They have a deep chest, straggly looking fur, and similar in shape to the greyhound. They have a long tail, almost reaching the ground. The Irish Wolfhound has large feet, and a double coat that may be gray, brindle, red, black, white or fawn. Despite their great size, they are very gentle in nature. They are excellent with children, and acknowledge that they are protectors of the family. Known as the gentle giant, they are a perfect gentleman who shows no signs of aggression to their family. Irish Wolfhounds are willing to please their owners and make a good family dog for those who have adequate space and a lifestyle to feed them, as they are rather expensive to look after. Irish Wolfhounds are calm, loving and affectionate. They are very loyal and courageous.

Breed Description
Head: Long. Skull not too wide. Long, moderately pointed muzzle.
Ears: Small, carried like those of the Greyhound.
Eyes: Dark.
Body: Powerful, elongated. Neck fairly long, very strong and muscular, well-arched, without dewlap. Wide, very deep chest. Arched loin. Pronounced tuck-up. Fairly long back.
Tail: Long, slightly curved, moderately thick and well-furnished with hair.
Hair: Harsh and rough on the body, legs and head. Especially hard and long above the eyes and below the jaw.
Coat: Grey, brindle, chestnut, black, pure white or any other color appearing in the Deerhound.
Size: Dog: at least 79 cm (31 in) (preferably 81 to 86 cm) (32-34 in).Bitch: at least 71 cm (28 in).
Weight: Dog: at least 54 kg (119 lb).Bitch: at least 40,5 kg (89,5).

The Irish Wolfhound, the world’s largest sighthound, may be descended from dogs brought to Ireland by the Celts or from an old breed indigenous to Ireland. Some believe it is the product of crossing Irish sheepdogs with Arabian Greyhounds. Others believe the Deerhound was used in creating the breed, developed to hunt and kill wolf. The Irish Wolfhound nearly went extinct around 1800, at the same time as the wolf. In 1860, Captain G. Graham decided to revive the breed by crossing the last specimens with the Deerhound and perhaps the Great Dane, the Borzoi and other breeds. The Irish Wolfhound was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1897.

This very bold dog with incredible stamina and strength may be gentle when petted but can be ferocious when provoked. He hunts wolf and wild boar and also makes an effective, dissuasive watchdog. He should not be trained as a defence and attack dog, since he could be very dangerous. Calm and gentle with children, he is very attached to his owner. Firm training is necessary to keep him under control.

Dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer are the leading cause of death and like all deep-chested dogs, gastric torsion (bloat) is common; the breed is affected by hereditary intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.

He should not live in the city. He needs to run often in wide open spaces. He must be brushed weekly.

Hunting Dog, Companion Dog.

Horse Herd