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Irish Wolfhound

Irish-Wolfhound2

Scraggly Giants

Friendly, Gentle, Sighthound

Irish Wolfhounds are extraordinary pets. While it is interesting to learn about the breeding purpose of Irish Wolfhounds, their genetics actually influence health, outward appearance and behavior. Some behaviors make the Irish Wolfhound and some can be quite irritating!

Understanding their unique needs will help you keep them healthy and will create a stronger bond between the two of you. Explore this page to learn more about where they came, which health conditions are a risk to to the breed and how to keep them feeling their best.

Breed Details

Height:Male: 32"; Female: 30" Weight:Male: 120 lb; Female: 105 lb Lifespan:5-7 years

Size
5

1=small 5=large

Grooming requirements
3

1 = little grooming - 5 = much grooming

Energy level
1

1 = low energy - 5 = high energy

Ease of training
2

1 = difficult - 5 = easy

Affection toward owners
3

1 = independent - 5 = very affectionate

Friendliness toward strangers
3

1 = shy - 5 = very friendly

Routine Care: Irish Wolfhound are a large dog with lots of energy and strong chase instinct, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must. Their beard can get messy while eating and drinking and will need some attention to keep it clean.

Grooming: Brush coat as needed, at least weekly.

Dental: Irish Wolfhounds generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


Irish Wolfhounds are a quiet, easy-going dog that requires close human companionship. Give them soft bedding and ample space to stretch out.

Positive Traits:

Loyal and loving companion

Energetic, active, and athletic

Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over

Even temper and gentle disposition

Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

Good with children

Negative Traits:

Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a puppy

Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

Takes up a lot of room due to her massive size

Needs frequent attention from her family

Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children


Whether you are considering adding a new Irish Wolfhound to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Irish Wolfhound will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Irish Wolfhound you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

Some health issues an Irish Wolfhound could encounter:

Bloat

Liver Problems

Heart Disease

Cancer

Bone Cancer

Neurological Disease

The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed with references in Roman records dating back to 391 AD. The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of dog breeds and the largest of of the sighthounds. They were bred to hunt wolves and elk, but as wolves became extinct in Ireland, the Wolfhound population declined. The breed was restored in the late 19th century and the Wolfhound is often referred to as a “gentle giant.” Because of their loving temperament, they forms strong bonds with their family. The Irish Wolfhound is patient and gentle with children, but their large size makes them prone to accidents with small children and other pets.

Consult with a veterinarian if your Irish Wolfhound shows signs of the following:

Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

Lameness with or without swelling

Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

Cloudiness to eye lens

Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

General reluctance to run or play

Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

Tubular vomit, undigested food

Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

Reddened, bumpy or painful calluses

  • Care

    Routine Care: Irish Wolfhound are a large dog with lots of energy and strong chase instinct, so they need to be leash walked and a fenced yard is a must. Their beard can get messy while eating and drinking and will need some attention to keep it clean.

    Grooming: Brush coat as needed, at least weekly.

    Dental: Irish Wolfhounds generally have good teeth, and you can keep them perfect by brushing them at least twice a week!

    Ear Care: Clean ears weekly, even as a puppy. Don’t worry—your veterinarian can show you how!


  • Characteristics

    Irish Wolfhounds are a quiet, easy-going dog that requires close human companionship. Give them soft bedding and ample space to stretch out.

    Positive Traits:

    Loyal and loving companion

    Energetic, active, and athletic

    Intelligent, friendly, and easily won over

    Even temper and gentle disposition

    Affectionate, easygoing, and lovable

    Good with children

    Negative Traits:

    Can be rambunctious and rowdy, especially as a puppy

    Exhibits signs of separation anxiety if left alone too much

    Sensitive by nature, a bit slow to mature

    Takes up a lot of room due to her massive size

    Needs frequent attention from her family

    Strong prey drive—will chase and grab things that run, including cats and children


  • Health Concerns

    Whether you are considering adding a new Irish Wolfhound to your family or you already have one as a companion, it is important for you to know about the genetically linked diseases known to occur more often in this breed. Of course not every Irish Wolfhound will have these problems, but research shows your pal is more at risk than other breeds. By exploring the health concerns specific to the Irish Wolfhound you will become a knowledgeable and confident pet parent. Be sure to speak with your veterinarian about breed risks every time you visit and educate yourself on the most important signs to watch for at home. They are counting on you to be their health expert.

    Some health issues an Irish Wolfhound could encounter:

    Bloat

    Liver Problems

    Heart Disease

    Cancer

    Bone Cancer

    Neurological Disease

  • History

    The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed with references in Roman records dating back to 391 AD. The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of dog breeds and the largest of of the sighthounds. They were bred to hunt wolves and elk, but as wolves became extinct in Ireland, the Wolfhound population declined. The breed was restored in the late 19th century and the Wolfhound is often referred to as a “gentle giant.” Because of their loving temperament, they forms strong bonds with their family. The Irish Wolfhound is patient and gentle with children, but their large size makes them prone to accidents with small children and other pets.

  • Watch Out For

    Consult with a veterinarian if your Irish Wolfhound shows signs of the following:

    Dry heaving or a large, tight, painful abdomen

    Slow or stunted growth; sometimes seizures after eating

    Fainting, collapse, breathing issues, cough

    Lameness with or without swelling

    Blinking, redness, pain or itchiness around the eyes

    Cloudiness to eye lens

    Increased blinking, extra tears and squinting

    General reluctance to run or play

    Any abnormal shaking, trembling, or excessive involuntary tremors

    Tubular vomit, undigested food

    Dull coat, hair loss, sluggish, weight gain

    Reddened, bumpy or painful calluses

Irish Wolfhound Discussions

Share your thoughts and experiences, ask questions, or just show your love for the Irish Wolfhound breed here!

Select Another Breed

To view the sources for the information listed on this page, see our Dog Breed Guide Reference page.

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