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It's understandable why one might be impressed
or perhaps somewhat intimidated upon first
glance of an Irish Wolfhound -their most distinguishing
physical feature which is their great size,
very rarely goes unnoticed. However, these
massive dogs of commanding appearance are
very sweet and calm natured, loyal and friendly.
Irish Wolfhounds are sight hounds descended
from an ancient breed. They were most often
used to hunt wolves, Irish elk, other large
game and were also used in wars. The Irish
Wolfhound almost became extinct by the end
of the seventeenth century mainly because
the animals they hunted eventually disappeared,
therefore there was little demand for this
breed. As a result, large numbers of Irish
Wolfhounds were deported to other parts of
Europe. These dogs were often prized and given
as gifts to royalty. Its revival is credited
to Captain George A. Graham who started his
work in 1862 and 23 years later, accomplished
his mission and restored the breed. It is
believed that Graham bred the Irish Wolfhound
with Deerhound, Borzoi, Great Dane, Tibetan
Mastiff, English Mastiff and other breeds.
The Irish Wolfhound was recognized by the
American Kennel Club as a sporting breed in
The height of an Irish Wolfhound is between
28-35 inches (71-90 cm).
Weight: The weight of an
Irish Wolfhound is between 90-150 pounds (40-69
Coat Type: Irish Wolfhounds have a
double coat - the outer coat is harsh and
rough and the under coat is soft. The hair
on the body, legs and head is rough, hard
and wiry. Hair over eyes and beard is long
and especially wiry. Brushing or combing once
or twice a week will help keep the coat in
good shape. Irish Wolfhounds shed year round.
recognized colors for the Irish Wolfhound
are gray, brindle, red, black, pure white,
fawn, or any color that appears in the Deerhound.
Irish Wolfhounds intelligent, sweet natured
and loyal family pets. They do well with children
- although one must be careful having small
children near because of the this breed's
large size. They are fast learners, easy to
train and respond best to positive training
methods. Irish Wolfhounds are friendly dogs
by nature, even with strangers - which keeps
them from being defined as a watch or guard
dog. Puppies under a year old should not get
too much exercise (too taxing), but love to
play freely. This breed needs to always be
in a secure area and it's important to know
that since they are sight hounds, an invisible
fence is not recommended - they need to see
their boundary. They should never be tied
up and left outside. Irish Wolfhounds want
to be with you. Daily long walks are essential.
Health concerns for the Irish Wolfhound
include: heart disease (one of the major causes
of death), bloat and gastric torsion, liver
shunt, cancer, Von Willebrands Disease (bleeding
disorder) and hypothyroidism. Some of the
less common health issues include: hip &
elbow dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy
and seizures. The average life span of an
Irish Wolfhound is 6-8 years.
•Irish Wolfhounds are
the tallest of all dogs.
•Irish Wolfhounds are the largest
and tallest of the galloping hounds.
•Irish Wolfhound puppies can
weigh as much as a 100 pounds.
•Irish Wolfhounds are also
known as Irish Dogs, Great Hounds of Ireland,
Big Dogs of Ireland, Wolfdogs of Ireland and
and Greyhounds (or Greyhounds) of Ireland.
•The Irish Wolfhound Club was
founded in 1885.
•The Irish Wolfhound was recognized
by the American Kennel Club as a sporting
breed in 1925.
AKC: Hound Group
ANKC: Group 4 - Hound
CKC: Group 2 - Hound
FCI: Group 10 - Section 2: Rough-haired Sighthounds
UKC: Sighthounds and Pariahs