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Irish wolfhound
Irlanda FCI 160 . Rough-haired Sighthounds

The Irish wolfhound It is the largest breed of dog that exists.; adults reach an average height of between 95 and 100 cm to the cross.

Lebrél irlandés


Characteristics "Irish wolfhound"

Coexistence is important that you have with your new friend. Before considering the acquisition of a dog of the breed "Irish wolfhound" you know certain factors. Not all breeds of dogs are apt to live in an apartment, you must take into account his character, their need for exercise, their interaction with other pets, their care and if you have small children, their level of tolerance towards them.

Adaptation ⓘ

3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

friendly dog ​​ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

hair loss ⓘ

3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Affection level ⓘ

5.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Need for exercise ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Social need ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Home ⓘ

2.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Toilet ⓘ

3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Friendly with strangers ⓘ

3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

barking ⓘ

1.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Health ⓘ

2.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Territorial ⓘ

2.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Cat friendly ⓘ

2.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Intelligence ⓘ

3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Versatility ⓘ

3.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Child friendly ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

Surveillance ⓘ

2.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)

joy ⓘ

4.0 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)


The Irish wolfhound it is a very old canine breed, It was used as a war and hunting dog as early as the 3rd century BC..

As the greatest of the Sighthounds and hunting dogs, they were already admired. In fact, its impressive size and exceptional bravery even allowed it to hunt the now-extinct Irish elk, that doubled him in size. But, It was his ability to attack wolves that gave the name to the Irish Wolfhound. Before taking this name, he was known simply as Cu, a Gaelic word whose meaning is not very clear; according to the texts, this word was sometimes translated as dog, sometimes like war dog, sometimes like wolf.

In any case, it's easy to imagine how, on the battlefield, the Irish wolfhoundhe could look like a fierce fighter and impress with his size. Its main use was to knock men off their horses or from enemy chariots. But, although his warrior past is mentioned during the various Celtic wars, there are few texts that narrate his exploits with greater precision. However, It should be noted that during the sacking of Delphi in the year 279 a.C., one survivor mentioned the presence of giant dogs fighting alongside their masters, but without giving more details.

Although it was used against him in some conflicts with the Celts, was admired by the Romans. This is attested by writings such as those of the Roman consul Quinto Aurelio, who received them as a gift and reported in the year 391 a.C. that Rome admired them in amazement. The Romans also used them as fighting dogs in the arenas., making them compete with other animals and prisoners of war.

The Irish wolfhound is intrinsically linked to the history and folklore of its country of origin, which is the national dog. In addition to the historical mentions of his role in wars and conflicts, this gentle giant is also at the center of the legends told in various writings, already in the 3rd and 4th centuries. In fact, its popularity has endured throughout the ages, as illustrated by numerous examples. One of the most famous comes from a twelfth-century writing that relates that Mesrodia, then king of Leinstern, In Ireland, owned an Irish Wolfhound so remarkable that the King of Connacht offered him six thousand cows and other treasures in exchange for his dog. Mesrodia's refusal led to a war between the two kingdoms, but the text does not specify what happened to the Greyhound, called Aibe.

In ancient ireland (until the 5th century AD), A law reserved to kings and nobles the possibility of owning a Irish wolfhound, and his number was a prestige mark of the person's title. These may include, minor members of the nobility could only own a maximum of two Irish wolfhound. But, this did not mean that the number of representatives of the breed in the country was extremely limited, since Ireland was divided at that time into more than 150 kingdoms, with many kings and nobles.

The Irish wolfhound it was a popular gift among the nobility, and was often delivered with silver and gold chains to develop or strengthen alliances. One of the most famous exchanges was the sending of an Irish greyhound named Gelert to Prince Llewellyn of Wales by King John of England in 1210, and the burial place of the august dog can be seen today in Wales.

Either used in battle or gifted to consolidate alliances, The Irish Greyhound has also made a name for itself outside its native country; mentions of the breed can be found in numerous writings. In 1596, in Spain, the poet Lope de Vega wrote a sonnet entirely dedicated to the Irish wolfhound.

Despite its glorious past, the Irish greyhound was not far from extinction in the early 1800s. At that time, the Irish wolfhound it was used mainly for hunting, but the disappearance or near disappearance of wolves, deer, roe deer and wild boar in Ireland took away much of its usefulness. It survived because some families already used it as a pet.

The Irish wolfhound he probably owes his salvation to Commander H as well. D. Richardson, who wrote a book about dogs in 1842 (The Dog: Its Origin, Natural History, and Varieties), in which he suggested that the Irish wolfhound and the Deerhound they were the same race. This led him to start a breeding program for the Irish wolfhound using Irish wolfhound from the Glengarry area (Ireland), saving the race from the brink of extinction.

Captain George Augustus Graham was another breeder who, in the decade of 1860, kept the race alive. Crossed the Irish wolfhound with the Scottish Greyhoundby Glengarry, Borzoi – Russian Hunting Sighthound and the Tibetan Mastiff (Do-Khy) to avoid inbreeding. He also used the Irish wolfhound that had been crossed with the Great Dane harlequin. Graham was also responsible for the creation of the first breed club of the Irish wolfhound in 1885.

The Kennel Club, the leading british kennel club, was founded in 1873, but did not recognize the breed until 1925.

In United States, was recognized already in 1897 by the American Kennel Club (AKC). The other leading American organization, the UKC (United Kennel Club), it took a little longer to do the same, since it was not until 1921. It also, in 1927 a breed club was founded. Today, the irish greyhound is moderately popular in ireland, occupying an average of 75th place in 200 in the number of pedigrees issued annually by the AKC.

The International Cynological Federation did not recognize the Irish wolfhound until 1955.

Physical characteristics

The Irish wolfhound is the largest of Sighthounds and has an elongated and imposing body, with massive musculature and a broad back. Their legs are long, straight and strong; perfect to let you jump high.

His head is long and flat, and the skull is not very wide. The ears are located high on the skull and fold along it., in the characteristic style of Greyhounds.

The muzzle is long and slightly pointed, and the small dark eyes.

Finally, their fur has a wire texture; it is rough and quite short. The hair under the eyes and under the jaw is slightly curly and longer than the rest of the body. The color of the coat is gray, white, black, red, beige or tabby.

Weight and size

▷ Male size: 81 to 94 cm.
▷ female size: 71 to 81 cm.
▷ Male weight: 55 to 85 kg
▷ female weight: 50 to 70 kg

Character and skills

the size of the Irish wolfhound makes it not a suitable dog for everyone. In fact, even if it is quite passive, it is not recommended to live in an apartment, due to its size. You have to have enough space for everyone to move around easily. It also, how prone to joint problems (starting with the Hip Dysplasia), they are also not recommended for homes with stairs.

So, the Irish wolfhound is much more comfortable in a place with enough space to stretch his legs, preferably with a fenced garden, to prevent the dog from escaping. A wireless electric fence probably wouldn't stop it, since his hunting instinct prevails.

In any case, even if you have access to a garden, it is important that you plan walks with your adult dog for at least 40 minutes a day. Once your need for exercise is satisfied, you will be happier to walk around the house with your family.

Whether walking or running, daily exercise should be much more limited with a puppy of Irish wolfhound, due to the fragility of your joints. It is best to start with a five-minute walk each day and then gradually increase the walking time.. The gradual increase in time and distance of exercise should continue until the child reaches maturity., to prevent joint damage. In any case, children under one year of age should not travel more than three kilometers.

It also, despite your affection and devotion to your loved ones, the Irish wolfhound not the most effective guard dog, as they do not have the reflex to start barking to warn of potential danger. It also, although its large size may be enough to scare away potential intruders, They are not the type to adopt an aggressive temperament towards a human, even if it is malicious. This is not incompatible with his ability to display great bravery; simply, despite his origin as a warrior dog, does not a priori perceive humans as a source of danger. They are often described as gentle giants who, despite its size, they can be very gentle with family and children.

In fact, this intelligent dog naturally seeks human company, making him an extremely loyal companion. They get along with everyone, and this is also true if they have to share their daily life with another dog.

On the other hand, as they have a strong hunting instinct, it can be quite difficult to get them to live with other pets, as they will soon be mistaken for prey. Although he is socialized from a young age to the presence of other species, there is always the risk that your natural instincts will overtake you, so this coexistence must always be carried out under supervision.

It is also his hunting instinct which explains why it is advisable to always keep him on a leash., to prevent it from chasing small animals, unfamiliar cats or even small dogs that may pass by. In fact, there is a real risk that you will be the victim of a traffic accident, 'Cause when he's worried about the hunt, he forgets his immediate surroundings, to the extent, for example, to cross a road without paying attention to possible vehicles.


The Irish wolfhound he is a sensitive and intelligent dog, that it is easy to train if the owner uses positive reinforcement dog training techniques and knows how to stay calm in case of problems, but also rewards the dog when it responds well to instructions. On the other hand, if he is punished or if his owner raises his voice too much, likely to retract and isolate. It also requires a certain consistency in your education..

It also, when they are still small, the Irish wolfhound have a tendency to steal various objects, like shoes. Thus, it is often easier and safer to leave your dog in a crate at home when you are away. But, duration should be minimal: more than half a day would start to cause problems, as your dog needs to move and stretch to prevent joint damage. As i grow, and as long as your education is not deficient, You should understand that this is not acceptable behavior., and that impulse should pass, which would allow him to be let loose at home.


The Irish wolfhound is one of the shortest-lived dog breeds and is prone to a variety of health problems, several of which are common to all large dogs :

The hepatic dog
This disease is the result of liver failure., that no longer fulfills its metabolic functions. This functional loss is the cause of serious metabolic disorders. (dehydration, diarrhea, etc.) and can cause the death of the dog . In the Irish wolfhound, the most common cause is intoxication from an inadequate dose of certain medications to which it is particularly sensitive.

Hip Dysplasia
Common in dogs of this size, can have several causes. In the case of the Irish wolfhound, is an inherited condition most often caused by the femur not fully inserting into the hip joint.

heart disorders
Dog heart problems do not spare the Irish Wolfhound. In particular, a third of the representatives of the breed have an increased risk of cardiac arrest caused by dilated cardiomyopathy (also called a heart strain).

▷ The dilation-torsion of the stomach.

It also, like all breeds of greyhounds , the Irish wolfhound have an increased sensitivity to anesthetics and certain medications. In the event of an intervention that requires anesthetizing the dog, it is essential to choose a veterinarian familiar with the Irish wolfhound and its physiological specificities, since a normal dose in another race can be fatal for him.

Life expectancy

Of 6 to 8 years


The Irish wolfhound constantly changes, but not in excess. The dog's coat should be brushed once or twice a week to remove dead hair.. However, the coat is generally easy to care for, and it should not be necessary to bathe the dog more than once or twice a year, unless, Of course, that you come into contact with a substance that is dirty or harmful to your health.

Some owners trim their fur Irish wolfhound, but this is more for aesthetic reasons than a real need. This is done primarily for individuals shown at dog shows. In any case, longer hair around the ears can be trimmed slightly, legs or neck. The underbelly and tail hair can also be shortened to give the dog a proud appearance..

It is also advisable to brush the dog's teeth two or three times a week.. The dog's nails should be trimmed once or twice a month, depending on its wear.

Once a week, brushing the dog's coat is an opportunity to examine its general physical condition, for example, to make sure your ears or skin are not red or show other signs of infection.


Like all large dogs, the Irish wolfhound has a big food budget. In fact, needed between 540 and 1.000 grams of quality dry food each day, administered in two meals: one in the morning and one at night. The exact amount should be determined with the help of your veterinarian., depending on the age and activity level of the dog.

In any case, due to the high risk of stomach bloating, it is important to avoid any intense physical activity in the hour before and especially after each meal.

Price of a “Irish wolfhound”

The Irish wolfhound not only is it an expensive dog to breed (due to the budget for food that it represents), but it is also one of the most expensive breeds to buy. The price of a puppy Irish wolfhound varies between the 1.350 and 1.800 EUR, without there being a significant difference between males and females.

Images "Irish wolfhound"


1 – “Irish wolfhound” by https://pixabay.com/es/photos/irish-wolfhound-chihuahua-poodle-mix-85578/
2 – Meet drew, the new “Irish wolfhound” rescued from my mother. A precious animal by Airwolfhound, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
3 – “Irish wolfhound” by https://pixabay.com/es/photos/irish-wolfhound-perro-1789938/
4 – Attila, Irish Wolfhound, owner Ms.. Sylvie Saulue by Sylvie Saulue/Design Madeleine, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
5 – Irish Wolfhound, striped, macho by Canarian, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
6 – Yesterday my mother received a “Irish wolfhound” rescued. His owner couldn't keep him any longer due to a terminal illness, so the wolf rescue society contacted my mother to see if she would take him in, and he said yes 🙂 Amy and I picked it up yesterday, and this is me bonding with him 🙂 Taken with Amy's phone camera, so excuse the quality. by Airwolfhound, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Videos "Irish wolfhound"

Type and recognitions:

  • Group 10: Sighthounds
  • Section 2: Rough-haired Sighthounds. Without working trial..


  • FCI – Group 10: Section 2: Rough-haired Sighthounds
  • AKC – Hound
  • ANKC – Group 4 (Hounds)
  • CKC – Group 2 – Hounds
  • KC – Hound
  • NZKC – Hound
  • UKCSighthound and Pariah

FCI breed standard "Irish wolfhound"

FCIFCI - Irish wolfhound

Alternative names:

1. Irish wolfhound (English).
2. Irish wolfhound (French).
3. Irish Wolfhound (German).
4. (em inglês: Irish Wolfhound), Lébrel irlandês (Portuguese).
5. Cazador de lobos irlandés, Lobero irlandés (español).

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