The Irish Wolfhound: A Majestic and Loyal Dog Breed


The Irish Wolfhounds had existed in Ireland about 3,000 years ago wherein Irish men named them Cu Faoil which means bravery.

The name itself was acquired by their working ability as wolf hunting and guarding dogs which at that time many boars, elks, deer and wolves were in great number in Ireland.

These dogs were considered to be one of the tallest and largest dogs that had existed. Because of their massive stature, they were usually used as gifts to Romans that battled out in dog or animal fights.

They were also utilized during wartime where they served as a guard and watchdogs among the many military posts.

In the 19th century, it was through the effort of British officer Captain George Graham that made the initiative to breed them as they were found to be in near extinction due to the result of distinction of wolves and boars.

Then later in 1885, the Irish wolfhounds were recognized by the American Kennel Club and were also represented by the Irish Guards as a mascot in the year 1902.

Traits and Behavior

Despite their huge appearance, these Irish wolfhounds are gentle and friendly. They are sensitive, loyal and love attention from their owners. With their charm and well-mannered behavior, they are well used as a family pet especially in playing with young children. Trainable as they are, they also seem to possess higher intelligence as they are quick to respond to certain task and trick.


These dogs take time to mature as it can be noticed when they reach the age of 2. With their large stature, they easily get things broken or destroyed especially when taken indoors.

Pet Care and Diseases

For their care needs, the Irish wolfhounds need regular brushing or combing to take away their dead hairs.

Inasmuch, stripping them twice a year is recommended to maintain its natural quality of coat hairs. Take notice to bathe them only when necessary.

Like many large dogs, they seem to like to stretch much and be active to roam and walk in the premises.


Occasionally, take the dog out for a walk or run for them to exercise as they are used to do something most times.

They are prone to many health problems such as Von Willebrand’s disease, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Cardiomyopathy, bone cancer, bloat, and hip dysplasia. If planning to acquire such a breed, it is a must to always check the certification of health from an assured veterinarian.


Large and tall in size and structure, the Irish wolfhounds are known for their rough look appearance and muscular built. They stand about 71-90 cm in height in withers and weigh about 40-69 kg.

They possess a large head, with a pointed and slightly long muzzle. Their ears are typically small that usually found carried back against their head.

These dogs also have a long neck that arches well. The chest is long and deep; the tail is slightly down and sometimes curved at the back.


While they are distinctive with their wiry, rough-coated feature, this type of texture is covered almost to all parts of their body including its head, body, legs, facial area and even under their chin.

Coat colors can be found in gray, brindle, red, black, white or fawn with gray markings.

General Information

These dogs have a life span of about 5-7 years. They have small litter sizes, varying from 1-12. It is aptly known as the ‘Gentle Giant’.

Breed Club

Visit these dog club websites dedicated to Irish Wolfhounds. Click this link:

Featured Video

Watch this video: “Breed All About It – Irish Wolf Hound”

Back to blog