Irish Wolfhounds are active and good-natured dogs. In return, those who meet their needs will receive a loyal and cuddly companion for life. Learn all about the Irish Wolfhound breed here.
Irish Wolfhounds are among the most popular pedigree dogs among dog lovers. Here you will find the most important information about Irish Wolfhounds.
Size: at least 71 cm at the withers
Weight: dog 55 kg, bitch 40 kg
Coat length: short to medium length
Coat colors: gray, black, brown
Country of origin: Ireland
Origin of the Irish Wolfhound
Irish wolfhounds were originally the dogs of the Celts, kept for hunting wild boar, deer and the now long-extinct Irish elk, and for fighting. Later, their main task was to hunt the wolf. From the 15th century, every Irish county was required to keep at least two dozen wolfhounds to protect farmers’ flocks. With the introduction of firearms and the accompanying extermination of wolves, dogs became unemployed and were almost extinct by the 19th century.
From the 1860s onwards, Captain GA Graham endeavored to locate the last remaining specimens on the island of Ireland and, with the help of the Deerhound, Great Dane, Borzoi and several other large breeds, to reestablish a stable breeding base of the great Irish.
The appearance of the Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is one of the largest dog breeds in the world. The representatives of this breed have long legs and a wide, powerful body with a small head. The small ears hang slightly down and are called rose ears. Male dogs reach a height of 79 cm and weigh around 55 kg, bitches weigh around 40 kg with a height of 71 cm at the withers.
Irish Wolfhound Coat and Colors
Irish wolfhounds have rough, harsh hair. They appear slightly shaggy and knot quickly. These dogs have a distinctive undercoat because they originally came from cold regions and were able to warm up in winter. The standard colors are grey, brindle, red, black, pure white or fawn.
Temperament and training of the Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds are generally quiet and unobtrusive in the home and need close family connections. The large wolfhounds are usually extremely patient with children and are very careful with them. Adults should also be wary of boisterous puppies, as they can be “gorgeous” in the truest sense of the word. Of course, a wolfhound of this size can accidentally just wag its tail around a toddler.
In addition, Irish Wolfhounds are not suitable as guard or protection dogs. Although the size often deters intruders, the dogs are often too gentle and sensitive to defend house and yard.
When training, you must not forget that Irish Wolfhounds are sight hunters. They are very keen to run and move. Hardly any Irish Wolfhound can resist a fleeing deer or hare, a pheasant in flight or a flock of crows and would try to rush after the fleeing animals if this is not consistently prevented from the start. Overall, however, the dogs of this breed are easy to care for and relatively easy to train.
Keeping and caring for the Irish wolfhound
Because Irish Wolfhounds are very large, they need a sufficiently large living space. A ground floor home with direct access to a garden is desirable, constant climbing of stairs is poison for the growing dog.
Young Irish Wolfhounds grow very quickly. A weight gain of around 9 kilograms and growth of up to 10 centimeters per month can occur, even with carefully adjusted feeding to try to prevent too rapid growth. This can lead to various problems with the skeleton. In young animals in particular, sudden, clumsy lying down on a hard surface can cause trauma to the elbow, and more rarely to the ankle or hip, which can result in bursa inflammation. Therefore, look out for padded beds for the Irish Wolfhound.
Raising Irish Wolfhounds requires a proper level of exercise and a controlled diet and is expensive and laborious. Stick to what the breeder or nutritional vet says. Only then is a gentle muscle build-up possible.