The Irish Wolfhound: A Complete Guide

The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed that originated in Ireland, where he served as both a war and hunting dog.

He is the tallest of all dog breeds and the largest of the sighthounds.

Despite his distant past as a ferocious war dog, he’s a gentle giant who gets along with everyone, including children, dogs, and sometimes even cats.

He loves being taken out on long walks, which are important in maintaining his huge and powerful body. But otherwise, he will also be satisfied being the ultimate couch potato.

While he’s quiet indoors, the Irish Wolfhound is not recommended for apartment living. He is happiest in a home with a large fenced yard where they can have room to run.

The Irish Wolfhound is not the ideal watchdog. He doesn’t bark an alarm.

Although he has the size to deter many would-be intruders, he doesn’t have the nature of a guard dog. He’s brave but not aggressive.

Like any dog, the Irish Wolfhound isn’t the breed for everyone. His size alone is something that you should seriously consider.

He has several health issues that potential owners must be aware of. If you’re looking for a breed that lives many years and is easy to care for, then he’s not the breed for you.

But if you’re looking for a companion dog who will fill your life with devotion, admiration, and love, not to mention slobbery kisses, this is the dog for you.

Irish Wolfhound Puppies – Before You Buy…

Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is very sensible when it comes to strangers.

What Price are Irish Wolfhound Puppies?

The price of Irish Wolfhound puppies is anywhere between $1,500 to $2,000.

How to Find Reputable Irish Wolfhound Breeders?

It may take longer to find that great breeder than it would to get a puppy from a puppy mill, pet store, or from the newspaper, but it’s worth it!

Reputable breeders have a good reason for breeding. Money is definitely not one. They breed because they want to make the breed better.

They have health-tested their dogs for any genetic problems, and they are upfront about any potential problems their puppies may have.

They have only a small breeding program; at most a couple of litters a year. Their puppies are raised with lots of individual care and attention.

They know the pedigree of their dogs inside and out. Most of the dogs in the pedigrees are titled in at least one area.

They offer a contract and a guarantee to take the puppy back at any time in its life if you can no longer keep it.

Reputable breeders also ask you as many questions as you ask them. They want to make sure that all their puppies are going to good homes.

3 Little-Known Facts About Irish Wolfhound Puppies

  1. The Irish Wolfhound’s great size made him fearsome in battle. He is capable of pursuing the Irish elk, as well as the wolf, the predator from which he eventually took his name.
  2. The Irish Wolfhound used to be simply known as Cu, a Gaelic word that probably meant hound, wolf dog, or war dog.
  3. He was used as a war dog, his job being to pull men down from horses or chariots.

Physical Traits of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a large dog that also happens to be one of the tallest. His height can reach the size of a small pony. The head is long, and the skull is not too broad.

The muzzle is also long and somewhat pointed. His ears are carried back on the head when he’s relaxed and partway pricked when he’s excited.

He has a long neck that’s powerful and well-arched. His wiry, shaggy coat is rough to the touch.

His coat colors include pure white or fawn, black, red, brindle, and gray, with gray being the most common.

How Big is a Full-Grown Irish Wolfhound?

The Irish Wolfhound can grow up to 28 to 35 inches and weigh 90 to 150 pounds.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Irish Wolfhound?

The life expectancy of the Irish Wolfhound is 6 to 8 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is a very friendly breed.

Irish Wolfhounds are good-natured, calm, gentle, affectionate, and smart.
Their excellent nature can be trusted with children.

Willing and eager to please, they are unconditionally loyal to their owner and family. They tend to greet everyone as a friend, so do not count on them being a watchdog.

But they can still be a formidable watch and guard dog because of their size. They can be clumsy and slow to mature in both body and mind, taking about two years before they are full grown.

However, they grow rapidly, which is why a high-quality dog food is essential. The Irish Wolfhound is relatively easy to train. He responds well to firm but gentle, consistent leadership.

This approach, with plenty of canine understanding, will go a long way because he quickly grasps what you communicate.

Make sure that he is given as much confidence as possible, and that you are always consistent with him so that he will grow into a well-balanced and confident dog.

This calm dog gets along well with other dogs. This is also true with other animals.

The Irish Wolfhound’s Diet

Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all dog breeds.

Feed your Irish Wolfhound salmon because it is a natural source of omega 3 oils, which are good for heart health, joints, and digestion.

Salmon is also a good source of vitamins, proteins, and essential minerals like iron, calcium, selenium, and phosphorus, and vitamins A, B, and D.

Potatoes have many excellent properties. They are easy to digest, and they also contain vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6 among others.

They help relieve inflammation of the intestines and the digestive system. Collagen is found in raw chicken, raw eggs, and raw bones, and it is purportedly good at helping your Irish Wolfhound maintain healthy joints and tissues.

Collagen also helps keep the health of his skin and prevent certain skin allergies.

How Much Exercise Does an Irish Wolfhound Need?

These giant dogs need lots of space to run, but they do not need any more exercise than smaller breeds.

They need their daily walk, but they can also benefit from other vigorous types of exercise.

Like many other giant breeds, remember that too much forced and vigorous exercise is not good for a young Irish Wolfhound’s growth and development.

Irish Wolfhound Health and Conditions

Health issues that are common to the Irish Wolfhound include Von Willebrand disease, bone cancer, bloat, cardiomyopathy, and elbow and hip dysplasia.

My Final Thoughts on the Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds have a big heart. They are easygoing, gentle, and noble.

Despite the fact that they can run at great speed, most of their actions around the house are in decidedly slow motion.

Underneath their gentle exterior lies their coursing hunter nature, so owners of Irish Wolfhounds must remain vigilant whenever outside.

Irish Wolfhounds love to run after animals that are escaping from them, and they can ignore your calls to stop and come back.

But Irish Wolfhounds are usually on their best behavior when they are with children, other dogs, and other household pets.

Their great size is usually enough to scare away intruders. This is good because most Irish Wolfhounds are peace lovers and suck at being protection dogs.

The major thing that you need to consider when thinking of owning an Irish Wolfhound is his size.

These dogs need room to stretch out and be comfortable. They are the size of another person who takes up even more room because they do not walk upright.

They enjoy a quiet life. As long as you take them out for a good walk, jog, or run once a day, they will be content to sprawl around your house.

Irish Wolfhounds like cold weather better, and they will usually look for cold hard floors during the hot summer months.

Grooming an Irish Wolfhound is not difficult. The coat should be brushed several times a week, but his hair does not have mats.

Dead hair should be stripped or pulled out twice a year. Otherwise, he will look shaggy and unkempt.

This gentle giant is sometimes calm and dignified, sometimes playful and silly, always easygoing and reliable.

The Irish Wolfhound will be happiest in country or suburban home with plenty of companionship and lots of room to run and stretch out.

He needs daily exercise to stay physically and mentally fit, whether he likes it or not. He is also very sensible when it comes to strangers.

Most Irish Wolfhounds are affectionate and expect to be petted and showered with affection, while some are more reserved and cautious.

He can be more friendly and outgoing with early training and socialization. Not many individuals are guardians.

Indeed, suspiciousness or aggressiveness should never be encouraged because of his massive size.

But overall, you will have a pretty delightful and impressive dog in the Irish Wolfhound.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

4.5
Cost to Buy
10
Cuteness Level
9.5
Family Safety
10
Friendliness
6
Health Concerns
4.5
Life Span
1.5
Exercise Required
2
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 6 / 10

The Giant Schnauzer: A Complete Guide

The Komondor: A Complete Guide