Irish Wolfhound

Hound Group

Two Irish Wolfhounds sitting in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 30+ in, Males 32+ in

Weight

Females ~105 lbs, Males ~120 lbs

Life Expectancy

6-8 yrs

History

The Irish Wolfhound is an extremely old breed, possibly dating back as far as 7000 BCE. They were well established as of the 5th century, as they were mentioned as cú, a loose term translating to hound, Irish hound, war dog, wolf dog, etc. in Irish literature dating back to this time. It is likely that they were developed by crossing indigenous large dogs of Britain to the Middle Eastern coursing hounds. The Irish Wolfhound was use to hunt the massive, now-extinct Irish Elk, wolves, and other large game. Unfortunately, the dogs were so good at their job that by the late 18th century, they hunted all the big game in Ireland to extinction, leaving the breed unemployed. Their unemployment might have lead to their own extinction if it wasn't for British army captain George Augustus Graham who brought the popularity of the breed back.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Irish Wolfhounds will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★☆

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★☆

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★☆☆☆

★★★☆☆

★☆☆☆☆

★★

★☆

Intelligence

★★★★☆


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★★★


Exercise Needs

★★★★☆


Energy Level

★☆☆☆


Sensitivity

★★★☆☆


Noise Level

★☆☆☆☆


Prey Drive

★★


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Gentle, calm, and people-oriented

Alert but are too friendly to be suspicious of strangers- don't make the best watchdogs and are poor guard dogs

Very sensitive and don't respond well to harsh training or punishments

Strong prey drive and will bolt straight through underground electric fences