Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound Overview

The Irish Wolfhound is well known as one of the largest dog breeds in existence. It was used throughout the Middle Ages to hunt boar, stags and elk as well as wolves. They also served a purpose guarding property and going to war with their humans.

Irish Wolfhound Characteristics

The Irish Wolfhound is tall, and features a brindled scraggily coat, giving him a naturally shaggy appearance. His large size may be intimidating, but he is a gentle, calm dog that is not easily excited or noisy. Their slender, lanky appearance makes them a great breed for traversing terrain and hunting down faster prey.

Irish Wolfhound Temperament

Irish Wolfhounds are gentle giants, despite their history of hunting and war. They are calm, sweet natured and intelligent, and a great companion to the family. Even with their large size, the Irish Wolfhound makes a great companion to even children or smaller pets. The friendly nature expands outside of the family unit, and this dog breed is sweet toward anyone he meets.

Irish Wolfhound Care

Average life span is 6 to 8 years, typical for a giant breed dog. They have quite a few health concerns including heart disease, hypothyroidism, liver shunts and Von Willebrand’s disease. Their large size also makes them prone to cancers, especially bone cancers, and bloat or Gastric Dilation and Volvulus.

Irish Wolfhound Coat

Regular brushing and combing helps keep the shaggy medium coat of this breed looking its best. The breed does shed somewhat, and professional grooming a few times a year will help keep the coat clean and free of mats. The longer, coarser hair should be plucked on occasion to keep it looking nice.

Irish Wolfhound Training

The intelligent nature of this dog makes him very easily trained. His calm, even temper makes him eager to learn and pick up on obedience without losing interest. Praise and positive reinforcement are key to helping the Wolfhound learn.

Irish Wolfhound Activity

Long walks, hunting trips, or runs in a fenced area will help keep the Irish Wolfhound exercised and happy. Like other hunting breeds, it is best to keep him in a securely fenced area when off leash, or else his instincts may kick in and send him off on an adventure. Like other giant breed dogs, the Wolfhound does well with regular exercise and lounging on the couch.