Irish Wolfhound Dog & Puppies


" War Dog of Irish Chieftains "

Breed Origins: Ireland dating back to antiquity
Breed usage: Hunting Dog: large game - stags, boars, elk and wolves
Dog Weight: 105 - 125 Pounds
Dog Height: 30 to 35 inches to the shoulder
Cost of Puppies: From $950 US Dollars


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Information, Facts & Origins of the Irish Wolfhound - Wolf Hound
The Irish Wolfhound originates from Ireland as its name indicates and is the tallest dog in the world. It is a dog of massive size with a very large powerful body, greyhound-like shape and gracefully built. The Irish Wolfhound was bred originally to hunt stags, boars, elk and wolves. It's origins can be dated back for thousands of years to antiquity and the Ancient World. It is classified as one of the Hound Dogs Group which we go on to describe in detail in the section at the bottom of this page. Name Facts and Dog Names: This dog is often referred to as the Irish Wolf Hound.

Irish Wolfhound Dog Names

The Irish Wolfhound - A Sighthound
The Irish Wolfhound Hound belongs to the collection of dogs referred to as Sighthounds or Gazehounds, which specialise in hunting its quarry by sight rather than scent. It wasn’t until the mid 1500's that hounds began to be classified according to their purpose, i.e. sight hounds, scent hounds, etc. Sighthounds, such as wolf hounds, have distinctive characteristics, features and traits which are perfect for their purpose. Sighthounds have extremely good vision. They also have a long jaw and lengthy neck which assists them in sighting their quarry. Their lean muscular body, deep chest and long powerful legs essential assets when following any fast and agile prey. Sighthounds, like the wolf hound also have distinctive feet with elongated middle toes that make the foot appear longer and helps with their firm footing. Their long stride, powerful chest and lungs and agile bodies make it possible for sight hounds to chase and kill their quarry. As a pet, although they were bred to kill wolves, this dog is gentle, loyal and very affectionate. It is good around children and will adapt well to family life but special consideration must be given to the practicalities of keeping such a large dog.


History of the Irish Wolf Hounds
The Irish Wolfhound is a very old sight hound dog breed originating in Ireland. The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest dog in the world where it was originally used to hunt large game - stags, boars, elk and wolves. Irish mythology, legends and sagas are full of the exploits of this ancient breed. In Ireland they are called the Cu Faoil - "Cu" is the word given to mean bravery and many warriors would prefix their own names with this word. The word "faoil" was first used in the 13th century "faoilen" meaning "to spoil a trace or scent by running over it." The brave dog was favoured by Irish Chieftains which showed exceptional prowess in hunting wolves. The breed was admired and adopted by the Romans and at one time they were used to fight in the Roman arenas. They were used in great wars and battles to pull men off their horses. The dog was given as a gift to European and Scandinavian royalty and greatly valued in areas where wolves were a problem. At one stage only Royalty were allowed to own such a dog it was valued not only for its hunting prowess but also because the breed made an excellent guardian and companion. The savage famines which hit Ireland and the decrease in the number of wolves together with the usefulness of the Irish Wolfhound led to the near extinction of the wolf hound. This was avoided to some extent as their exceptional traits and characteristics were highly valued in the other countries that had been transported but this led to a considerable amount of cross breeding which altered its original appearance for all time.

Description of the Irish Wolfhound Dog and Puppies - Coat and Colours
The Irish Wolfhound's coat can be grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, or fawn. The coat is harsh, rough and shaggy.

Dog Health information - potential health problems of the Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed
All owners of dogs and puppies are concerned about the health care of their pets and just as with humans dog health issues arise from time to time. Resolving dog health problems, including those of the Irish Wolfhound, can prove to be costly and it would be wise to consider the benefits of obtaining dog health insurance. Diseases in dogs may occur because of trauma, infection, immune system abnormalities, genetic factors, or degenerative conditions. Common health problems and questions occur in relation to the Bones, Joints, Muscles, Nerves, Ears, Eyes, Teeth and the Mouth. Other, more serious, issues can relate to the Digestive System, Heart & Respiratory Systems, Immune & Blood Systems, Reproduction and Urinary Systems. Potential health problems of the Irish Wolfhound may be checked via the Dog Symptoms Sorter, but can include:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia (abnormal development of joints referred to as CHD - Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia)

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems
Please click the following link for additional information which we have provided via our:

Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems


Dog photograph


This describes the most common canine health problems concisely but simply without using medical jargon. A section on Dog and Puppy Vaccinations is also included offering information on each of the diseases, symptoms and effects for which immunization vaccines are available. Not sure of the name of the dog or puppy illness? A Dog Illness Symptoms Sorter is also featured. The Online Encyclopaedia of Common Dog Health Problems should only be used as an informational guide and when and if any dog or puppies health problems occur it is essential to raise any questions you may have with a Dog Health care professional.

Description of the Irish Wolfhound Dog and Puppies - Comparative Sizing Pictures
The pictures above allow for a useful sizing perspective between an average man (Five feet ten inches) or an average sized woman (Five feet six inches) in comparison to the average sized Irish Wolfhound dog which we have detailed above. These pictures are extremely important as they provide an immediate and accurate visual representation of the height of an average Irish Wolfhound compared to the height of a male or female - essential information, especially in relation to this massive dog, but nevertheless info which is unique to this site. Use the pictures to help to estimate the size of the Irish Wolfhound dog to each the various growing stages of children. Use the pictures to provide a guideline to the adult size of Irish Wolf hound Puppies. The pictures will also prove to be invaluable when comparing the sizes and heights of other dog breeds. The dimensions will vary according to the sex of the dog or puppy. Girl dogs, or bitches, are on average, 2 inches smaller than boy dogs. Another useful piece of information when considering puppies.

Grooming and Care of the Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed
Irish Wolfhound's coat needs to be brushed once or twice weekly, plus the occasional slight scissoring to neaten straggly hairs. All dog breeds require a certain amount of grooming and care is necessary to keep dogs and puppies looking at their best. Grooming consists of not only brushing out the coat and bathing but also giving attention to the eyes, teeth, ears, feet and nails. A regular routine also ensures that any potential health problems are identified as quickly as possible, especially important in puppies and older dogs.

Temperament and Character of the Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed
The Irish Wolf hound is a very sociable breed of dog, enjoying the company of other dogs and humans, they are courageous, sensitive, patient, easygoing, intelligent, affectionate, gentle, and good with children and will adapt well to family life but special consideration must be given to the practicalities of keeping such a large dog. It needs ample room to stretch out on a soft surface and should not be required to live in cramped quarters.

Living conditions and Exercise Requirements of the Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed
The Irish Wolf hound dogs and puppies are best suited to living in the country because they require a substantial amount of exercise.

The Pictures reflect the Size of Adults - not Children and Puppies!
The pictures above allow for a useful comparison of sizes providing an accurate portrait of the size of an average Irish Wolfhound - essential information but unique to this site. It should also be noted that the pictures feature adults. The size of puppies are naturally considerably smaller and the full grown size of the animal can easily be forgotten when confronted with cute puppies! The slogan " A dog isn't just for Christmas - it's for life!" was necessitated by well meaning people buying puppies at the Christmas, unaware of the puppies growth rate. The pictures provided make it extremely clear exactly how small puppies will develop and whether it will suit the life and living conditions of the family.

Irish Wolfhound Puppies
The following considerations should be taken into account when choosing Irish wolf hound puppies:

  • Budget - Purchasing, training, equipment, medication and feeding costs of the breed
  • Convenience and Grooming time e.g. long or short hair
  • Personal situation - time available and medical conditions such as allergies, asthma or back pain
  • Exercising requirements for the Irish Wolfhound breed
  • Living Conditions for the wolf hound dog breed - suitability for puppies
  • Family - child suitability

Age comparison between the Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed and a Human
Age comparisons between dogs and humans are always a matter of debate - we hope that the following information clarifies the situation. After the first year of life, a dog is equivalent to sixteen human years. After two years, they are equivalent to a 24 year old, at three years a 30 year old, and each year after, add 5 human years to determine a dog's age.

Life Expectancy of the Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed
The life expectancy for this particular breed is 7 – 10 years.


Hound Dog Breed Information
As implied by its name the Hound has been bred to chase a quarry by sight or smell, or a combination of both senses. Sighthounds have exceptional eyesight, combined with the speed and stamina necessary to catch the intended prey once seen, typical examples being the Greyhound and the Whippet. Hounds which rely strongly on the sense of smell to follow the trail of a prey, such as the Bloodhound, quite literally follow their noses, speed and eyesight is of less importance.
Characteristics and features have been introduced and strengthened by breeding from animals who already demonstrated the desired traits. Breeding for appearance was only introduced in the 19th Century. Before this time dogs and puppies were bred to increase useful abilities and traits helpful for the duties they were intended for. Thus, the various hound breeds were initially introduced to help man according to specific requirements such as::

  • Hunting and running down small quarry
  • Flushing out and Driving game
  • Vermin Hunting
  • Guard duties
  • Tracking

In this day and age only a few hounds still undertake these tasks, but nevertheless, they still harbour the skills and characteristics that made the original Irish Wolfhound dog breeding program successful.
The Hound Breed Group of dogs differ in that some hunt by scent and others by sight. Many hounds are kept in packs, in outdoor kennels. Any dogs and puppies belonging to the Hound breeds require a significant amount of exercise as they have high stamina levels suitable for hunting quarry. There are some breeds in this group who make a distinctive ' baying ' sound - invaluable information should be considering puppies. The pictures above allow for a useful size comparison providing an accurate portrait of the size of an average Irish Wolfhound dog - essential information but unique to this site. 


Irish Wolfhound Dog Breed

Examples of other Breeds within the Hound Dog Group 
The Hound group of dogs includes the Irish Wolfhound and all of the following breeds:
Afghans, Foxhounds, Basenjis, Bassets, Beagles, Black and Tan Coonhounds, Bloodhounds, Borzoi, Dachshunds, English Foxhounds, Greyhounds, Harriers, Irish Wolfhounds, Norwegian Elkhounds, Otterhounds, Petit Basset Griffon Vendeens, American Fox hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Salukis, Scottish Deerhounds and Whippets. This dog is often referred to as the Irish Wolf Hound. Pictures and information about all of the above Hound Dog breeds, together with all other dog groups, may be found on this website via the following links:


Dog Breeds - ABC List

Dog Names & Breeds Site Index

Hound Dog Breeds   

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