Irish Wolfhound

Other names for this breed:Irish Greyhound

Country of origin:



Weight:120 pounds (male), 105 pounds (female)

Height:32 inches or higher for males, 30 inches and higher for female

Coat:Wiry, medium

Color:Black, blue, brindle, cream, gray, red, wheaten, silver, white, and combinations

Litter size:4-10

Life span:5-8 years


AKC - American Kennel Club:

UKC - United Kennel Club:

TKC - The Kennel Club:

NZKC - New Zealand Kennel Club:

FCI - International: ,

Irish Wolfhound - 01

The name “wolfhound” evokes images of sandy cemeteries, werewolves and vampires. But the fact is that these dogs are actually a type of hunting dog native to Scotland. The wolfhound is listed as a separate breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and has its own registry under the United Kennel Club (UKC). However, this doesn’t make them any less common or any more rare than other dogs .

Your chances of finding a wolfhound in your local area may be low, but if you do find one, you’ll have the opportunity to own one of the friendliest dogs around. Let’s take a look at what life is like as a Wolfhound dog owner!


The Irish Wolfhound is a breed of dog that has a long and fascinating history. They are one of the oldest dog breeds in the world and have a rich cultural heritage. The Irish Wolfhound is believed to have originated in Ireland over 2,000 years ago. They were bred for hunting wolves and other large game animals.

By the 17th century, the Irish Wolfhound had become rare due to hunting and deforestation. They were close to extinction, but were later revived by breeding them with other large breeds such as the Great Dane and the Scottish Deerhound.

In the 19th century, the Irish Wolfhound became popular in England and was recognized as a breed by the Kennel Club. Today, the Irish Wolfhound is a beloved companion and show dog, known for their gentle and affectionate nature.

The Irish Wolfhound is a breed that holds a special place in the history and culture of Ireland. Despite their long and fascinating history, they remain a loyal and loving companion for those who are lucky enough to own one.

Breed Characteristics

  • Height: 24 – 29 inches – The wolfhound is a big dog, and one of the largest of its kind in the world.
  • Weight: 100 – 130 pounds – Don’t be fooled by their stature. They’ll easily weigh twice as much as you.
  • Coat type: Short and smooth – Short, smooth coat that sheds heavily twice a year.
  • Life Expectancy: 10 – 15 years – While the wolfhound is a healthy breed, they do have a relatively low life expectancy.
  • Energy Level: Medium – Medium-energy dog means you’ll have to be an active and engaged owner.
  • Exercise Needs: Medium – You’ll have to be disciplined if you want to train them.
  • Special Needs: Low – The wolfhound is a low-special-needs dog.


  • Average Cost: $1,000 – $5,000 – The wolfhound is a rare breed with a limited gene pool, so you can expect to pay higher prices for puppies.
  • Potential Insurance Cost: $100 – $300 – If you want to own a wolfhound, you’ll likely need to get both dog insurance and a homeowners policy.
  • Potential Medical Expense: $500 – $2,000 – This breed can be prone to several diseases, including hip dysplasia, bloat and epilepsy. Make sure you get comprehensive health insurance.
  • Cost to Feed: $300 – $800 per year – These are very active dogs that require a large amount of food.
  • Cost to Grooming: $150 – $300 – Very high-maintenance breed, so you’ll need to regularly groom your dog.


  • Daily brush: Short, firm brush strokes – Short, smooth coat that requires frequent brushing to keep it shiny and clean.
  • Monthly bath: Dawn, dish and brush – The wolfhound sheds heavily twice a year, so you’ll need to bath your dog at least once a month.
  • Annual trim: Low – Wolfhound has a low-maintenance coat that requires very little grooming.

Health risks

  • Canine Hip Dysplasia – The wolfhound has a high risk of developing hip dysplasia, which is a painful and sometimes debilitating disease of the hip.
  • Epilepsy – Prone to epilepsy, and you should be ready for any potential health issues that come with it.
  • Bloat – Prone to bloat, a potentially fatal condition that causes stomach distress.
  • Cardiac Disease – High risk of heart disease, so be sure to get them a health check.

Care and temperament

  • Gentle Giant – Gentle dog that craves human affection.
  • Devoted – Loyal dog that loves and trusts you.
  • Serious – Very serious dog, with a strong need for socialization.
  • Loyal – Loyal dog that will always protect you.
  • Demanding – Very demanding dog that needs constant attention.
  • Active – Very active dog that needs room to run.
  • High-maintenance – High-maintenance dog that requires frequent grooming.

Training tips

Irish Wolfhounds are a gentle and docile breed, but they still require proper training to maintain good behavior. Here are some tips for training an Irish Wolfhound:

  1. Socialization: Start socializing your pup from an early age to help them get used to new people, places, and experiences.
  2. Positive Reinforcement: Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats and praise to encourage good behavior.
  3. Gentle Approach: As a large breed, Irish Wolfhounds need a gentle approach to training. Avoid harsh training methods, as they can cause fear and aggression.
  4. Leash Training: Start leash training early and be consistent. Irish Wolfhounds are known for their strong pulling tendency, so leash training is important.
  5. Basic Commands: Teach your dog basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and down.
  6. Exercise: Irish Wolfhounds are a highly active breed, so it’s important to provide them with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
  7. Consistency: Consistency is key when training an Irish Wolfhound. It’s important to be patient, firm, and consistent in your training methods.

Remember to always be patient, kind, and consistent when training your Irish Wolfhound. This breed is highly intelligent and responds well to positive reinforcement.