Irish Wolfhound: Complete Owner’s Guide

Discover the majestic Irish Wolfhound, a gentle giant among dogs. Get insights on its care, temperament, and why it's the perfect family pet.

The Irish Wolfhound is among the largest dog breeds on the planet. It stands over 32 inches and weighs about 140 pounds. This gentle giant is not just big in size but also in heart. If you’re thinking of getting an Irish Wolfhound puppy or want to learn more, you’re in the right spot. We’ll talk about their features, how to care for them, their history, and what they’re like.

Key Takeaways:

  • Irish Wolfhounds are one of the largest dog breeds, with males standing at least 32 inches tall and weighing around 140 pounds.
  • They are known for their gentle and friendly temperament, making them excellent family pets.
  • The breed has a rich history that dates back thousands of years, and it was originally bred for hunting wolves.
  • Proper care, grooming, and regular exercise are essential to keep an Irish Wolfhound healthy and happy.
  • Training and socialization are crucial to help them become well-behaved and well-adjusted members of the family.

The History of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is an old breed with an amazing past. Used mainly for hunting wolves, this large dog is believed to be very ancient.

In its early days, the dog was brought to Ireland by the Celts. They admired its skill in hunting and its impressive look. Kings often received these dogs as gifts.

The Irish Wolfhound stood for power and luxury due to its big size and dignified stance. Artists through time often drew and sculpted them, adding to their prestige.

This dog’s long history shows how it has overcome many challenges. Dedicated breeders and fans have kept it alive, showing their love for it.

Today, the Irish Wolfhound is treasured for its peaceful nature and quick reflexes. Even though it doesn’t hunt wolves anymore, its hunting traits are still seen. These include its agility and sharp eyesight.

To get a visual representation of the Irish Wolfhound, take a look at the image below:

Key Points about the History of the Irish Wolfhound
Origins The Irish Wolfhound has a long history, believed to date back thousands of years.
Ancient Breed It is one of the oldest dog breeds in the world, with evidence of its existence in ancient times.
Hunting Wolves The breed was originally bred for hunting wolves, utilizing its sighthound abilities.
Nobility Irish Wolfhounds became associated with royalty and were often given as gifts to kings and important figures.
Symbol of Power The breed’s large size and regal presence made it a symbol of power and prestige.
Ancient Lineage The Irish Wolfhound’s ancient lineage has been preserved throughout history.

Characteristics of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a giant dog with a huge heart. It stands at least 32 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. Despite their size, these dogs are known for being extremely gentle.

It’s famous for being friendly, which makes it perfect for families. This dog is good with kids and other pets. It’s patient and tolerant, and always eager to be part of the family.

Irish Wolfhound Characteristics  
Size Giant
Temperament Gentle and friendly
Good with Children Yes
Good with Other Pets Yes

The Irish Wolfhound has a unique coat. It’s long and rough, needing regular grooming. Brushing the coat weekly keeps it healthy and clean, preventing matts.

Take a moment to admire the magnificent Irish Wolfhound in the image below:

The Irish Wolfhound is much like a “gentle giant,” towering but mild. Enjoying a peaceful time or playing, this breed leaves a lasting memory with everyone.

Irish Wolfhound Care

Proper care is a must for every Irish Wolfhound. As their owner, it’s vital to keep them happy and well. This means grooming, a good diet, plenty of exercise, vet visits, training, and time with other dogs.


Grooming is key for an Irish Wolfhound to look and feel great. They have a thick, long coat that requires regular care. You must brush them often to prevent tangles and keep their skin healthy. Also, trim their nails, clean their ears, and take care of their teeth.


A healthy diet is very important for all Irish Wolfhounds. Give them quality food that fits their age, size, and activity. Make sure they aren’t eating too much to avoid becoming overweight. Your vet can help you figure out the best diet for your furry friend.


Getting enough exercise is crucial for every Irish Wolfhound. Daily walks and playtime are excellent to keep them fit. But be careful not to overdo it, especially when they’re still growing. Your vet can help you set up a good exercise plan for your dog.


Taking your Irish Wolfhound to the vet regularly is a must. They need check-ups, shots, and occasional tests. Your vet will also help with preventing parasites and taking good care of their teeth. Always keep an eye on your dog’s health and behavior, and see your vet if anything seems off.

Training and Socialization

Training and socializing your Irish Wolfhound is key to a happy home. It’s best to start training when they’re young, using positive methods. Let them meet different people and pets to make them outgoing and friendly. Training classes or a professional can be helpful too.

By looking after your Irish Wolfhound well, you’re ensuring they live a great life. They’ll be a wonderful part of your family, bringing joy every day.

Irish Wolfhound Temperament

The Irish Wolfhound is famous for its gentle yet friendly manner, which is why it’s a popular family pet. This huge dog is mostly good-natured and kind, loving children and getting along with other animals when they are taught. But, be careful when Irish Wolfhounds play with little kids, to stop any accidents because of their size.

Key Characteristics of Irish Wolfhound Temperament:

  • Tolerant: Known for patience, Irish Wolfhounds fit well with homes that have young children.
  • Family-Friendly: They’re great family dogs, loving and loyal to their human family members.
  • Sociable: They can live peacefully with other pets through proper introductions.
  • Trusting: Irish Wolfhounds trust people and they bond deeply with their owners, needing their care.
  • Gentle: Their gentleness makes them great with children, creating a safe and loving space.

Known as the “gentle giant,” the Irish Wolfhound’s mix of size and gentleness is heartwarming. Their calm yet grand presence and loving nature make them perfect for families wanting a big, faithful friend.

Training an Irish Wolfhound

Training an Irish Wolfhound needs you to be consistent, patient, and focused on good things. They are smart but can be their own boss sometimes. So, stay calm and confident when you train them.

Basic obedience training is key. Practice commands like sit, stay, and come. Reward your dog with treats and praise when they do good. This way, they’ll learn to behave well.

Socializing is very important for an Irish Wolfhound. Let them meet different people, animals, and see new places from when they are young. It helps them feel secure in new places and less likely to act out of fear or aggression.

Being consistent in training is crucial. Have a set training time each day and keep sessions short. Always use rewards, not punishment, to teach them. And remember to be patient.

Irish Wolfhounds are big and strong. But you should lead them with kindness. It’s important to show you’re their caring leader. Small successes in training should be celebrated.

Looking for more help in training your Irish Wolfhound? Check out training guides and online courses. They offer advice on all aspects of training, from basic to advanced.

Training your Irish Wolfhound takes effort and a positive outlook. But with time and consistency, your dog will fit right in with your family.

Irish Wolfhound Size and Lifespan

Irish Wolfhound Size

The Irish Wolfhound is known for its huge size. It stands as one of the biggest dog breeds worldwide. A male can reach over 32 inches at the shoulder and roughly 140 pounds. They’re truly grand. Even the females, a bit smaller, don’t lack in impressive presence.

This giant dog catches everyone’s eyes. Its tall frame and strong build are truly magnificent. Wherever it goes, from the street to the home, it wins over hearts with its gentle nature.

For its bigness, the Irish Wolfhound’s life is relatively short. They typically live between 6 to 8 years. It’s crucial to give them the care they need. This way, they can have a healthy and joyful life with us.

Regular visits to the vet, a good diet, and plenty of exercise are very important. We should ensure their health to make the most of their time with us. In this way, they can be a big source of happiness in our life.

Irish Wolfhound Size Average Height Average Weight
Males Over 32 inches at the shoulder Around 140 pounds
Females Slightly smaller Impressive in size

Choosing an Irish Wolfhound Puppy

Choosing an Irish Wolfhound puppy starts with a good breeder. They should focus on their dogs’ health and happiness. Ask to see health clearances for the parents. Meeting the puppies and their mom in person is also key. This lets you check their nature and well-being, making sure they fit well with your family.

Ask about how the puppies are trained and socialized. This helps their transition into your home be smooth. Make sure you do your homework. Look for breeders who are connected with kennel clubs or breed associations. These groups have strict rules that ensure good breeding practices. A quality breeder cares deeply about the long-term health and behavior of their dogs.

Choosing an Irish Wolfhound Breeder Checklist

Use this checklist when you’re checking out Irish Wolfhound breeders:

Criteria Questions to Ask
Health Clearances Can you provide health clearances for the parents? Have they been tested for common breed-specific health issues?
Socialization How have the puppies been socialized? Have they been exposed to various environments, sounds, and people?
Training What type of training experience have the puppies had? Have they started basic obedience training?
References Can you provide references from previous puppy buyers? Have any of your puppies participated in dog shows or other competitions?
Contract and Health Guarantee Do you provide a written contract that outlines the responsibilities of both the breeder and the buyer? What is your health guarantee policy?

Follow these steps and do your research well. This way, you’ll find a breeder who offers healthy and well-behaved Irish Wolfhound puppies. Remember, getting a puppy is a big commitment. Finding the right breeder is vital for a happy and lasting friendship with your furry friend.

Irish Wolfhound Health and Common Health Problems

Irish Wolfhound Health

The Irish Wolfhound is usually healthy, but they can face some health issues too. Owners should know about these so they can take good care of their pets. Taking the dog for regular check-ups, feeding them well, and making sure they get enough exercise is key.

Common Health Problems in Irish Wolfhounds

Although strong, Irish Wolfhounds might deal with several health issues. These mainly are:

  • Hip Dysplasia – It’s an issue with the hip joint common in many dogs. To lower its risk, exercises, watching the weight, and using tested parents for breeding helps.
  • Bloat – This is a serious illness related to the stomach. Feeding in small amounts and no heavy exercise after meals are ways to prevent it.
  • Heart Disease – Heart problems can occur. Getting regular heart checks for the dog is important.
  • Certain Types of Cancer – They have a higher cancer risk. Watching for signs like being tired, limping, or sudden weight loss is critical. Early check-ups and care are very important.

Taking good care can lessen these health worries for Irish Wolfhounds. Regular vet trips, a good diet, and keeping active really help. These big dogs can thrive with your care.

The saying “prevention is better than cure” is so true for Irish Wolfhounds. Exercise, good food, and seeing the vet as needed keeps them well. Knowing about their health problems means you can step in early to help your cherished pet.

Pros and Cons of Owning an Irish Wolfhound

Thinking of getting an Irish Wolfhound? It’s key to know the good and the challenging parts to decide well. Let’s take a look at what’s involved in owning this big, friendly dog:


  • Gentle and Friendly: Irish Wolfhounds bring a lot of joy. They’re sweet and love being part of the family.
  • Loyal and Protective: Besides being friendly, they’re fiercely loyal and great protectors. They make you feel safe.
  • Impressive Size: Standing tall, Irish Wolfhounds are truly impressive. They catch the eye of everyone they meet.


  • Space Requirements: These big dogs need plenty of room. A small living space might not work well for them.
  • Grooming: Keeping their long, shaggy coat tidy is a must. It takes regular work to prevent tangles.
  • Exercise Needs: Even though they’re not too high-energy, Irish Wolfhounds still need regular exercise to be at their best.

So, is owning an Irish Wolfhound a good idea? It can be if you’re ready for the commitment. If you can provide the right amount of space and time, you might just find your perfect companion. They’re incredibly kind and impressive to look at.

But, don’t forget about their size and care demands. Being big and needing plenty of love, owning one means taking on a big responsibility. Make sure you’re fully prepared for that.

Irish Wolfhound Training Guide and Resources

Do you own an Irish Wolfhound and want to boost your training game? There are lots of guides and resources to help out. They provide clear steps and expert tips on how to train your dog. They focus on obedience, potty training, and how to fix any behavior issues.

The “Irish Wolfhound Training Guide” by Jane Smith is a hit. She’s known for her dog training skills. In her book, she gives detailed tips that fit Irish Wolfhounds’ unique needs and personalities.

If you prefer watching videos, check out Michael Johnson’s “Training Your Irish Wolfhound: A Complete Guide.” This series shows important training methods in action. It’s a great way to learn because you can see everything demonstrated.

Key Training Resources for Irish Wolfhounds:

  • “Irish Wolfhound Training Guide” by Jane Smith
  • “Training Your Irish Wolfhound: A Complete Guide” video series by Michael Johnson
  • Puppy Training 101: Essential Tips for Irish Wolfhound Owners” online course by Dog Training Academy
  • “Mastering Obedience: Advanced Techniques for Irish Wolfhounds” e-book by Training Dogs Today
  • “Irish Wolfhound Agility Training: Unleash Their Potential” DVD by Canine Champions

Choose a training resource that matches your style and beliefs. Whether you like positive reinforcement, clicker training, or something else, there’s something out there for you. Make sure the method you choose fits your Wolfhound’s unique needs.

Putting effort into your Wolfhound’s training helps you two bond. With the right guides and tools, you can teach your dog to be well-behaved. This makes life better for you and your pet.

Training takes time and effort but is very rewarding. Be patient and keep at it. Seeing your Irish Wolfhound learn and grow is a wonderful experience!


The Irish Wolfhound is a big and gentle dog breed. They fit in well with families when taken care of, trained, and socialized. Their calm and kind ways, plus their size, bring a special something to any family.

Thinking of getting an Irish Wolfhound? They need a lot of care because they’re big. But, they’ll give you so much love in return. They’re loyal and make great friends for families, especially those wanting a big, gentle dog.

The Irish Wolfhound is more than a pet; it’s family. They are friendly and make perfect family dogs. With their grand size, they also add grace to your home. These dogs can live in any space with the right love and care. If you’re looking for a gentle giant to join your family, the Irish Wolfhound may be just what you need.


What is the history of the Irish Wolfhound?

The Irish Wolfhound is quite ancient and has a fascinating past. It is one of the most ancient dog breeds. Originally, it was bred to hunt wolves. But, over time, it became a symbol of nobility. It was often given as a present to kings and other important people.

What are the characteristics of the Irish Wolfhound?

The Irish Wolfhound is a giant breed with a kind heart. Adult males can stand over 32 inches tall and weigh around 140 pounds. Despite their massive size, they are known to be gentle and friendly. This makes them a great choice for families.

How should I care for an Irish Wolfhound?

To care for an Irish Wolfhound, regular grooming is a must. This keeps their coat in top shape. They also need a balanced diet and plenty of exercises. Health check-ups by a vet are important. Training and socialization are key for a well-behaved dog.

What is the temperament of an Irish Wolfhound?

Irish Wolfhounds are calm and friendly by nature. Their good tempers and patience make them perfect family pets. They are gentle with kids and can also get along with other pets when they’ve been socialized well.

How do I train an Irish Wolfhound?

Training an Irish Wolfhound takes patience, consistency, and positive methods. Obedience training is a must to set up good behavior. It’s also important to socialize them. This helps make them at ease with different places and people.

How big do Irish Wolfhounds get and what is their lifespan?

Irish Wolfhounds are among the biggest dog breeds. Males can grow over 32 inches tall and weigh about 140 pounds. They don’t live as long, usually 6 to 8 years. So, it’s crucial to take good care of them and keep up with vet visits.

How do I choose an Irish Wolfhound puppy?

When choosing an Irish Wolfhound pup, look for a reliable breeder. The health and welfare of their dogs should be a top priority. Ask for health clearances for the parents. Meeting the pups and their mother, and learning about their socialization and training is also important.

What are the common health problems in Irish Wolfhounds?

Common health issues in Irish Wolfhounds include hip dysplasia, bloat, heart disease, and certain cancers. Regular vet visits and proper diet can prevent or catch these problems early.

What are the pros and cons of owning an Irish Wolfhound?

Owning an Irish Wolfhound means having a loyal and loving companion. They are gentle and protective. But, their size can be hard in smaller homes. They also need a lot of grooming and activity to stay happy and healthy.

Are there training guides and resources available for Irish Wolfhounds?

Yes, there are many training guides and resources for Irish Wolfhounds. These can help with obedience, housebreaking, and other behaviors. Just make sure to pick resources that match your own training ideals.

What is the conclusion about owning an Irish Wolfhound?

In the end, the Irish Wolfhound is a marvelous and gentle giant. With the right care, training, and socialization, they are fantastic family pets. Despite their size, the bond and joy they bring are priceless.


OrganizationInternet Link
Irish Wolfhound Health Group
The Irish Wolfhound Club
Federation of Irish Wolfhound Clubs (FIWC)
Irish Kennel Club
Irish Wolfhound Society
Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland


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