Irish wolfhound

Other name: Irish Wolfhound

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The Irish Wolfhound is a large dog, of both imposing and elegant build, with well-developed musculature and a high head carriage. Its appearance evokes that of the Scottish Greyhound, but it is more massive than the latter. The gait of the Irish Wolfhound is characterized by movements full of ease and activity.



Photo: Irish Wolfhound dog on Woopets
Hair type Half-long
Origin Ireland
Template Giant
Head shape Long
Weight and size
Sex Weight Cut
Female From 40 kg to 60 kg From 71 cm to 80 cm
Male From 54 kg to 68 kg From 79 cm to 90 cm
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History of the breed

The Irish Wolfhound is said to be descended from the first large-sized greyhounds bred in Ireland by the Celts from the ancient Egyptian greyhounds. One of his ancestors is often cited the Irish Cu-Chulainn (Culann’s dog). In addition, it is from the Irish Wolfhound that the Scottish Greyhound breed was developed. It has long been used to hunt wolves and deer in Ireland , in other European countries (England, Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Poland …), but also in Asia (Persia, India …) , up until the 17th century.

The Irish Wolfhound then fell into disuse in the rate of deforestation and the wolf population decline in Europe, before experiencing a renewed interest in the late 19th century. It was at this time that the breed began to benefit from the contributions of Borzoi and Great Dane, hence its current characteristics. The Irish Wolfhound club was created in 1885. The breed was definitively recognized by the FCI (Fédération Cynologique Internationale) on April 26, 1955. Its official FCI standard in force was published on March 13, 2001.

Irish Wolfhound Pictures

Photo of Daya from the Legends of Biscay, Irish WolfhoundPhoto of GAEL, Irish WolfhoundPhoto of stephen, Irish WolfhoundPhoto of Foden, Irish Wolfhound

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Physical features

Behavior and character

Barks / howls

Behavior with others

Cohabitation with children
Sociable with other animals
Love strangers

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Firmness, patience and encouragement are the keys to the education of the Irish Wolfhound. His learning must start as early as possible , otherwise he can do as he pleases as he grows up . The reminder is one of the first things to instill in him. Imposing, the Irish Wolfhound is no less sensitive and it is therefore necessary to proscribe any form of brutality towards him. An education based on positive reinforcement makes it possible to make a balanced dog, obedient and pleasant to live in .

Living conditions

Suitable for apartment living
Good for new masters
Love it hot
Love the cold

The Irish Wolfhound is made for the great outdoors . He will hardly adapt to living in an apartment and will rather find his happiness in a house with a large fenced garden .


Ease of gaining weight

The Irish Wolfhound is a rustic and very robust dog . However, there are some predispositions to diseases to watch out for in the breed: hypertrophic osteodystrophy (cartilage disease in puppies), portosystemic shunt, cataracts, cardiomyopathy, calluses, osteosarcoma, among others. Note that this breed of dog is sensitive to anesthesia, so it is important to discuss it with the veterinarian.

Hypoallergenic breed


Litter size

Between 3 and 4 puppies

Major concerns
Hip dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia
Gastric torsion
Minor concerns
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
Hypertrophic osteodystrophy
Portosystemic shunt
Suggested tests

To protect you from these risks and insure your companion in the event of health problems, Woopets recommends an Irish Wolfhound dog insurance .

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Life expectancy

Minimum: 6 years

Maximum: 10 years

The life expectancy of an Irish Wolfhound is, on average, between 6 years and 10 years.

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Maintenance and hygiene

Ease of maintenance
Cost of maintenance
Hair loss
Drool level
Ease of grooming

The Irish Wolfhound is a dog requiring regular maintenance , between hygiene measures and food adapted to its activity.

The dog is to be brushed once a week . During the moult , brushing becomes more frequent (every other day ) in order to remove the dead hairs. The inside of his ears , the condition of his pads and his coat should be examined after each outing.

His teeth need to be brushed regularly to prevent tartar build-up and the proliferation of bacteria. If they do not wear out naturally, its claws need to be cut. If you are new to this, it is recommended that you seek advice from a veterinarian or groomer.

Price and budget

Purchase price

€ 1,100
1300 €

The purchase price of an Irish Wolfhound is between € 1,100 and € 1,300.

Annual maintenance cost

800 €
1000 €

The annual maintenance cost of an Irish Wolfhound is between € 800 and € 1000.

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The Irish Wolfhound needs a high quality diet suitable for their activity level, size and age. Its food is to be divided into 2 meals per day . As it is prone to bloating, intense physical exercise is not recommended before and after meals.

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Physical activity

Energy level
Potential to play

The Irish Wolfhound needs a lot of daily activity to burn. However, be careful not to put too much strain on your joints to preserve them. One to 2 long trips per day are recommended.


Classifications & Standards
(AKC) American Kennel Club
(ANKC) Australian National Council Kennel
(CKC) Canadian Kennel Club
(FCI) Fédération Cynologique Internationale
(KC) The Kennel Club
(NZKC) New Zealand Kennel Club


Master character <span class="btnTooltip qTip2" title="- Calm: the master must be gentle and know how to show patience.
– Active: the owner must be energetic and dynamic to live in harmony with his dog.
– Hyperactive: the owner must be stimulating and very restless to suit the temperament of his dog.”>

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FCI Information



FCI Group

Group 10: Greyhounds

Recognized by FCI

Since 1955


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