A member of the AKC Hound group, The Irish Wolfhound is a large sensitive dog who requires lots of space to accommodate his great size, and an owner who can give him lots of companionship. Wolfhounds are the national dog of Ireland.
They should never be allowed to run loose. This dog breed is very old, possibly from as far back as the 1st century BC or earlier.
Originally a war dog, they were used to drag men out of chariots or off horseback during combat. Also, they were used primarily as a hunter of wolf and elk.
He is a rough-coated, Greyhound-like breed; very muscular and strong though gracefully built; movements are easy and active; head and neck carried high, the tail carried with an upward sweep with a slight curve towards the tip.
The Wolfhound is the tallest of all dogs and are a remarkable combination of power, swiftness, and keen sight. Standing on his hind legs the Irish Wolfhound can easily reach up to 7 feet tall!
The minimum height and weight of dogs should be 32 inches and 120 pounds; of bitches, 30 inches and 105 pounds - these apply only to hounds over 18 months of age.
These gentle giants can reach the size of a small pony. Standing on his hind feet he can easily reach over 7 feet tall. They do get along well with other dogs and other types of pets if raised with them and socialized at a early age.
See one in action
These dogs are not considered emotionally or physically mature until they are at least two years old. Socialization, training, and handling must begin early on however since these dogs are initially suspicious of strangers though this dog breed is generally quiet and calm in their own home.
Though these dogs are basically considered a sight hound dog breed, they were also bred to have excellent scenting abilities. He has a statuesque, muscular body with a rough, weather-resistant coat that needs only occasional brushing. Their color can be gray, fawn, brindle, red, white, or black.
Not recommended for apartment life due to their exercise requirements. Irish Wolfhounds will do best inside in a home with a secure outside exercise area. These dogs need regular exercise along with basic training, and plenty of socialization and handling.
Country of origin: Ireland Lifespan: 6-8 years Colors: Gray (most common), brindle, red, black, white Known health problems: Hip dysplasia, bloat, von Willebrands, bone cancer Famous Wolfhound Owners: John Entwistle (bassist for the rock group The Who) owned several Wolfhounds throughout his life