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Irish Wolfhound (Irish wolfhound)


Molting Security qualities Watchdog qualities Liveliness with children Coziness with animals Exercise stress Training Care Maintenance in the apartment Agility
For an apartment:Not recommended
Fits:for experienced owners
FCI (IFF):Group 10, Section 2
Lives:8 to 10 years
Height:71 - 90 cm
Weight:40 - 69 kg

Irish Wolfhound - a large hunting breed of dogs. He is huge, has a strong and graceful physique, long legs thanks to which he can run fast, and is simply indispensable when hunting wolves. A good watchman and companion, however, this brave breed is completely devoid of aggression towards humans. A stranger can scare unless the huge growth of the dog. This giant is considered the mascot of the armed forces of Ireland.

Irish wolfhound is an ancient breed, was born more than 2 thousand years ago. It was bred for hunting the most dangerous predators of Ireland - wolves and boars. Thanks to sharp vision and strong paws, he could easily defeat the enemy. There is a legend that these giants were used to hunt giant Irish moose, but in truth, this is just fiction.

His birth is a mystery to dog handlers. Perhaps the ancient Romans, who brought dogs from Britain to the Metropolis for fighting in the circus arena, brought these busty "bearded" giants. In Ireland, they guarded the settlements and hunted large predators.

Another version, they say that the Irish wolfhound was brought to Ireland by the Celts around 500 BC. In those days, the breed was called "Irish hound", "wolfhound", "ku" - which meant a strong hound.

The Irish Wolfhound possessed tremendous strength and courage. The soldiers set them on the enemies, and the wolfhound easily threw the enemy rider off the horse. They went forward into battle, guarded the fortresses as sentries.

Legend of the Irish Wolfhound

Photo Irish Wolfhound menacing

A lot of legends were made about his valor and exploits. The most popular one tells how the English king John the Landless brought the little wolfhound to Levellin as a gift to the Prince of Wales. The prince named the dog Gelert, he became his favorite and faithful friend. And for his little son, a nanny and protector.

Once the king went hunting, leaving Gelert at home. In those difficult times, there were a lot of wolves in the forests. Sometimes it seemed that there were more of them than people and dogs combined. They posed a threat to both the hunter and those who stayed at home.

Approaching the house, the prince saw a pet, rushing towards him, waving his tail. But the dog's blood-stained muzzle was very worrying for the owner. Breaking his head, he rushed into the house to the cradle of his son, but she was empty. Sorrow and grief swept the prince, he decided that his favorite had bitten the baby. In an instant, the saddened father drew his sword and stabbed the dog. Dying, the faithful dog issued a long mournful howl, from which the baby woke up, sleeping under a crib. The prince knelt down and saw a huge dead wolf, who was bitten by his favorite, saving his master’s son.

Understanding the horror of the deed, the prince did not remember himself from grief. He ordered a monument to the faithful Gelert to be erected, the statue remains to this day, and the place where the pet was buried was named in his honor by Beth-Gellert.

In Europe, wolfhounds were extremely rare, and many noble people dreamed of receiving them as a gift. In 1641, an Irish wolfhound was brought to France, he was presented to Cardinal Richelieu. In 1652, Cromwell, having come to power, forbade the removal of the breed from England under pain of death. After several centuries, having exterminated his gray enemy, he was left without his main mission - hunting for wolves. What entailed the degeneration of the breed. In 1862, the captain of the British Army D. Graham, was engaged in breeding and restoration of the breed. Over time, he managed to improve many qualities besides dexterity.

In the XVIII century, when the Irish wolfhound almost disappeared, the breeders crossed it with a greyhound, Great Danish and Scottish greyhound. The newly minted Irish Wolfhound has regained popularity in Amia.

Irish Wolfhound breed description and FCI standard

Photo Irish Wolfhound in a field in full growth

  1. Build: graceful, strong, muscular.
  2. Movement: light, energetic.
  3. Head: long, straight, held high, frontal bones of the forehead slightly pronounced, with a weak indentation between the eyes.
  4. Neck: long, strong, muscular, well bent, without suspension or loose skin under the throat.
  5. Muzzle: elongated, moderately narrowed.
  6. Eyes: dark.
  7. Jaws and teeth: scissor bite, upper row of teeth closely overlapping lower.
  8. Ears: Small, rose-shaped.
  9. Case: long, ribs well curved.
  10. Back: long, straight.
  11. Loin: slightly convex.
  12. Croup: wide enough between the creepers (these are two bones in the croup, or in other words, the waist. With their help, you can determine the fatness of the dog. If the waist is difficult to distinguish, the crows are not found, and the ribs are under a dense layer of fat and are not palpable - it’s time to plant on a diet).
  13. Chest: deep, moderately wide.
  14. Ribs: well curved.
  15. Belly: matched.
  16. Tail of the wolfhound: long, slightly curved up closer to the tip, medium thickness, densely covered with wool.
  17. Forelegs: straight, strong, long.
  18. Shoulders: muscular, inclined. The elbows are directed back, not turned neither in nor out.
  19. Hind limbs: muscular, smooth.
  20. Paws: large, rounded, stand straight. The fingers are tightly assembled into a lump. The claws are strong, curved.
  21. Coat: on the body is coarse, stiff. The hair on the legs, head, above the eyes and beard is wire-like.
  22. Males: must have two well-developed testes fully descended into the scrotum.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound - A real giant of the canine world, in which majestic power and gentle faithful love for his master are harmoniously combined. This is a large greyhound shorthair breed. Learn more about the characteristics of the breed Irish Wolfhound, especially the content and health of the dog, what are the prices of puppies.

Photo: Irish Wolfhound


The Irish Wolfhound is the largest breed from the group of greyhounds chasing movable prey, as well as the tallest dog in the world. One of the first references to these animals dates back to the year 391 AD, when the Roman consul Aurelius wrote about the "great surprise and delight" experienced by the inhabitants of Rome and the aristocracy, when they saw the seven wolfhounds brought by the legionnaires from the campaign.

In Ireland, these dogs were highly appreciated for their fighting qualities, fearlessness and tremendous strength. In battle, an Irish wolfhound was used to knock a rider off a horse, moreover, often on the ground this same rider found himself with a horse. They hunted big game, Irish elk, wolf and bear.

Irish law in the Middle Ages allowed the Irish wolfhound to only royalty and noblemen. Moreover, the number of dogs which could be kept depended directly on the height of the occupied title.

Irish legends say that the national hero Finn McCumhill had at least 500 Irish wolfhounds, of which two were favorites - their names were Bran and Schiolan. They occurred, allegedly due to sorcery and magic. But the nobleman of the lower class could have no more than two dogs.

Irish wolfhounds nobles and kings were often used as an expensive gift. Moreover, this gift was often delivered in an expensive collar made of pure gold or silver. One of the most popular and Irish favorite stories, tells the story of a dog named Gellert, who was presented to Prince of Wales by Llewelyn by the English king John in the year 1210.

Once, a dog protected the son of the Prince of Wales from a wolf, killing him while his father was on the hunt. Returning from the hunt and seeing the dog in blood, he thought that the dog had killed his little son, and he killed him with a blow of the sword. However, he subsequently discovered the body of a wolf and an unscathed baby, which was smeared with the blood of a dead predator. In honor of his faithful dog Gellert, the prince erected a memorial grave in Kernarvon, Wales - it can be seen today.

A huge role in reducing the population of Irish wolfhounds was played by hunting for large moose and wolf in Ireland. Since they were practically exterminated, the dogs simply stopped breeding, because of which the breed was even on the verge of extinction for some time.

The breed could have disappeared if Major Richardson had not paid attention to it. In the mid-19th century, he wrote a book where he suggested that the Irish wolfhound and mountain deer were of the same origin (today such an absurd assumption will cause laughter). He began to breed Irish wolfhounds, basing his breeding program on reindeer herders Glengarry, and achieved considerable success. Later, George Augustus Graham, another breeder, added Tibetan mastiffs, greyhounds and German Great Danes to the breeding program.

Brief characteristics of the breed

Maintenance in the apartment
For novice owners
Tolerance of loneliness
Cold tolerance
Heat tolerance
Family relationship
General breed health
Tendency to obesity
Addiction to barking or howling
Need for exercise


Irish Wolfhound - the breed is really huge. These are the tallest dogs in the world, and one of the largest dogs on the planet. The limbs are long, the chest is pronounced, broad, voluminous. Build muscular, powerful. On the head, the transition from the forehead to the eyes is clearly pronounced. Ears hang down on the sides of the head, tail is longer than average.


Despite its huge size and awesome appearance, the Irish wolfhound in the circle of his family is extremely affectionate, loyal and loving dog. It is long away from the family and the owner, he can not. Children will ride it like a pony, you can not doubt it, because your pet simply can not resist children's charm.

He loves children very much, loves to play with them and simply loves to be in the circle of children's attention. However, you cannot let children ride a dog like a pony, as the joints of these animals, including the spine, will be injured. And given that the breed Irish Wolfhound, in principle, has many health problems and skeleton in particular, it is better to preserve their health.

By the way, they also do not live long - only 6-8 years, a maximum of 10 but very rarely, and no more. The breed of dog Irish Wolfhound has an average level of energy, but this does not mean that he can lie at home on the pillow all day. This is completely wrong. They need an active lifestyle to maintain their large body in good shape, as muscles and joints require movement and exercise, but the load is correct. In this regard, let us recall once again that children should not be allowed to ride on the back of an animal with a cry of “horse!”, But they will definitely try.

The Irish Wolfhound treats strangers normally, and if they are family friends, then seeing the owners' location, the dog will treat them with friendliness. Their fighting nature can mainly manifest themselves in a collision with another dog, although they may well be friends with dogs without conflict. Small pets can be perceived as potential prey, due to the rich past of the hunter, so they need to be introduced to cats at an early age, and conduct early socialization.

The breed Irish Wolfhound is not very often used as a watchdog, as it is not very territorial and does not give too much voice. However, they may well be aware of themselves in this capacity, and are quite capable of learning.

In addition, the huge size of the dog and its frightening appearance can make an attacker change their mind. After all, to remain unharmed after a fight with such an animal is simply unrealistic - moreover, an attacker can simply remain a cripple. In any case, this is a faithful companion and reliable defender.


The dog breed Irish Wolfhound normally perceives the learning process and lends itself to education. They need physical activity, and the training process is a necessary food for the mind.

You must necessarily teach your pet basic commands, in addition, great emphasis should be placed on obedience with distractions. This is necessary so that you can stop your dog in any conflict situation, since a fight with any other dog (with rare exceptions) in the park is likely to end very badly, if not fatally, for the enemy.

This is not to say that the Irish Wolfhound is particularly aggressive and bloodthirsty, but you should not discount his deep past as a hunter and fighter.

Rigid curly hair needs to be combed out once or twice a week. During walks in a park or a forest belt, an Irish wolfhound can enthusiastically climb bushes, and therefore, after a walk, be sure to inspect it for ticks.

Ears need to be cleaned 2-3 times a week, eyes - daily. Claws are trimmed three times a month, bathe the animal once a week.

Common diseases

The breed of dogs Irish Wolfhound has many health problems, including:

  • sensitivity to anesthesia
  • hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease,
  • elbow dysplasia is a hereditary disease,
  • liver shunt
  • heart disease - Irish wolfhounds can be susceptible to heart disease, especially heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy,
  • fibrocartilagine embolic myelopathy,
  • osteochondrosis,
  • osteosarcoma
  • progressive retinal atrophy,
  • gastro-dilatational Volvulus, or gastric torsion, or in the people an inversion of the intestines.


Photo: Irish Wolfhound

This is the largest of the greyhounds, wire-haired breed, strong, muscular, but elegant structure. Its height at the withers reaches 86 cm, and weight ranges from 45 to 55 kg.

The head of the wolfhound is long, the muzzle is narrowed, not large ears are pulled back. The chest is wide, the back is long, and the long tail is slightly curled at the end.

The hair of the Irish Wolfhound is hard and coarse, on the head and ears a little softer.

Color can be gray, white, brindle, black, red, deer or fawn. It is allowed with a dark color on the chest a light spot, light paws and the tip of the tail.

Character of an Irish Wolfhound

Photo: Irish Wolfhound

This is a balanced dog, impressive not only with its power, but also with restrained friendliness. Now it is not a service, not a guard, and not a fighting dog. This is a companion and decoration of the life of wealthy people.

She loves children very much and gets along well with other animals of the wolfhound, never attacks the weak and small.

A sensitive dog terribly does not like family quarrels and troubles, takes offense at a rude shout, can even get sick with the owner. The wolfhound does not like to live in an aviary, because it does not tolerate loneliness. Therefore, despite its size, it is a domestic dog. It is best for him to live in a large country house where you can run around a spacious plot, and in the evening at the feet of the owner soak up the fireplace.

Irish wolfhounds are very smart and well brought up. For the normal development of this breed, attention and caress of the owner are vital. Even punishment must be combined with a good attitude. They are taught quite common commands and common skills.When keeping the dog at home as a companion, experts do not recommend training the wolfhound in guard duty, so as not to wake up unsafe instincts in this large animal.

Dog size

Puppies of the breed Irish Wolfhound are born quite small, with an average weight in the range of 380-400 gr. The number of individuals in the litter, as a rule, does not exceed six puppies. At the same time, a rapid set of growth and weight is observed among representatives of the breed every month, until they reach two years of age. For example, the weight of a month and a half puppy is about 5.9-6.1 kg. The highest intensity of growth processes is observed in Irish wolfhounds only until the ninth month of life.

The height of adult four-legged pets of this breed reaches 90 cm, but usually the growth of a male at the withers is 81-86 cm, and bitches - 71-73 cm. The standard minimum indicators for the growth of a dog at the withers and its weight:

  • bitches - 71 cm, weighing 40.5 kg,
  • males - 79 cm, weighing 54.5 kg.

The weight of an adult dog, regardless of gender, should not be lower or higher than the established standard indicators, but may have slight differences from the breed characteristics.

Wool color

Features of living conditions and the mission of representatives of the breed, who spent a significant part of their time on the hunt, were reflected in the appearance of the coat, and also gave it specific properties. A very hard outer hair of medium length is distinguished by zoning changes in the hardness indices, and is supplemented by a rather dense undercoat that can protect the dog from wind and solar heat. A well-developed coat helps the body of the dog to maintain a constant temperature regime, repels water, and also prevents ticks from getting on the skin.

The variation in stiffness is determined by the location of the coat:

  • the area of ​​the eyebrows and beard - hair in terms of hardness is similar to a wire,
  • side and legs - less stiff hair,
  • the abdomen is a fairly elastic and soft coat.

The most common colors of the Irish wolfhound in accordance with the standards are sandy red and fawn red, as well as the tiger color of the coat. More rare options include pure white coat color or color with a light beige shade. The established standard also allows black, golden, dark grayish-blue, gray, sable hair, as well as hair from wheat color to cream shade.

Breed standards

Irish wolfhounds belong to the section of the wire-haired greyhounds without working tests, and purebred representatives of the breed must meet the following standards:

  • a straight and long head is held high, has very slightly pronounced frontal bones of the forehead and the presence of a weak indentation between the eyes,
  • a skull without excessive width,
  • long muzzle with moderate narrowing,
  • perfect scissor or acceptable straight bite,
  • dark eyes
  • small ears like greyhound,
  • a rather long, muscular and very strong, well-curved neck does not have a suspension or loose skin under the throat,
  • long body with well-curved ribs,
  • relatively average back length with a slightly convex lower back,
  • wide enough between cereals
  • very deep, moderate in width with a spacious chest in the chest area,
  • a well-chosen belly
  • slightly curved and long, medium-thick tail.

The limbs should be muscular and inclined, giving the width of the chest area to the shoulder blades, as well as a properly placed elbow. The hind limbs are characterized by muscular and long hips, well-bent knees, long and strong, fairly muscular legs. The paws should be moderately large and rounded, with tight and well-assembled fingers, very strong and curved claws.

Attitude to the owner

Wolfhounds are endowed with infinite devotion to their master and patient character, but such qualities are formed only with the correct upbringing and timely socialization of the dog. Irish wolfhounds have a hard time tolerating a long stay alone, and are also not intended to be kept in a close aviary, so the owner of such a pet should take care of daily walks with sufficient physical exertion. It is important to remember that breed representatives have their own habits that such dogs do not change throughout their lives.

Attitude towards children

Calm and balanced Irish wolfhounds, temperament strongly reminiscent of phlegmatic or melancholic, perfect for keeping in families with children of any age. Such a pet, in spite of its impressive size, is very kind to children and is capable of protecting or entertaining them with a game if necessary. However, keep in mind that large dogs often scare too small children.

Guest attitude

In relation to strangers, Irish wolfhounds are predictable dogs that treat guests with restraint, without manifesting unmotivated aggression. It should be noted that young wolfhound puppies are characterized by excessive curiosity, therefore, in the process of early socialization, it is necessary to teach the four-legged pet to relate to outsiders without undue obsession.

Content Irish Wolfhound

Due to the peculiarities of the structure of the coat, representatives of the breed can well be kept in the apartment and outdoors. Such an animal is not too active, therefore it feels great even in small-sized residential premises, does not require special attention and does not need any specialized, special care. The Irish Wolfhound knows how to be invisible and a little bully even in early puppyhood, but only in conditions of sufficient exercise and proper organization of free time.

Care and hygiene

Representatives of the breed are not demanding in care. The main condition for the maintenance is the periodic cutting of the shaggy coat and its regular combing. They do not bathe a pet too often, with special shampoos for dogs. The ears, teeth and eyes of the wolfhound should be examined weekly, and once a month in the auricle excess hair is sheared. It is also required to regularly trim the dog's regrowing claws with special claws.

Diet, diet

The owner of such a dog should take a very responsible approach to the question of choosing the diet and diet of the Irish Wolfhound, which is due to the frequently encountered health problems that are characteristic of all large breeds. Irish dogs are recommended to be fed after a walk, providing the dog with constant and unhindered access to clean drinking water. Experts recommend giving preference to a ready-made premium diet that provides a pet with a balanced diet.

Any changes in the dog’s diet, including the rejection of natural food in favor of ready-made food or the transition to diets manufactured under a different brand, should be carried out gradually.

Diseases and birth defects

All deviations from the standards relate to deficiencies, are punished in proportion to the level of severity and can be represented:

  • too light or heavy head,
  • overexposed frontal bone,
  • curved front legs, weak metacarpals,
  • weak hind limbs and a general lack of muscle,
  • unnecessarily short body
  • sagging, arched or completely straight back,
  • large ears hanging flat along the head
  • inverted or spread paws,
  • short neck or pronounced suspension,
  • too narrow or wide chest
  • excessively twisted tail,
  • other than black with the nose and lips,
  • very bright eyes with pink or brown eyelids.

The most common pedigree diseases of Irish wolfhounds include problems with the heart muscle and atrial fibrillation, abnormal bone fusion and osteogenic sarcoma, eyelid twisting, hypothyroidism and congenital malformations of the hip joints, as well as cataracts. Sometimes representatives of the breed have a dislocation of the patella and brachial osteochondrosis.

Strict adherence to the rules of care and feeding regimen, combined with adequate walks and physical activity, can help keep the dog healthy throughout life.

Parenting and training

Early socialization and competent training are the key to the successful raising of a dog of any breed, including an Irish wolfhound. When studying the necessary obedience commands, it is necessary to strictly adhere to all stages of their development. Recommended for learning teams:

If the four-legged pet has any signs of unwanted or destructive behavior, including excessive cowardice, causeless barking or howling, as well as unmotivated aggression, it is advisable to seek help or advice from professional dog handlers.

Education and training of Irish wolfhounds, as a rule, do not cause any difficulties, which is explained by the innate intelligence of such dogs, as well as their natural tendency to learn.

Street content

Possessing a companionable character and great affection for their owner, dogs are very capable of yearning without communicating with people, therefore, in open-air cages or street conditions, only Irish wolfhounds actively used in hunting are allowed. In any case, such a pet must be provided with sufficient duration of walk outside the enclosure. Particular attention in street maintenance requires strict hygiene. It is necessary to adhere to the standard schedule of preventive vaccinations, as well as to use means of protection against ectoparasites.

Maintenance in the apartment

An ideal option for keeping an Irish wolfhound would be private home ownership with a house area providing the dog with long walks with active games. In the conditions of apartment keeping, representatives of the breed need to walk at least three times a day, on special dog sites. With proper hair care, molting does not negatively affect furniture and interior design. It is very important to take into account the innate hunting instinct of the Irish wolfhound and its inability to get along under the same roof with potential prey.

Breeding, mating Irish Wolfhound

Despite the fact that in ancient times when breeding Irish wolfhounds, the appearance of such dogs was secondary, and only the working qualities of animals were most valued, today representatives of the breed must necessarily correspond to the exterior indicated in the standards. In a good kennel, all regime moments are respected, and the dogs are kept clean and have a neat, well-groomed appearance.

From the day of mating to the time of birth, an average of 56-72 days passes, but it is advisable to mark the day of mating, which will allow you to easily determine the gestational age of the dog. Too early and late births, as a rule, are accompanied by a partial or complete death of the litter, so any deviations involve contacting a veterinarian for help. It should be remembered that the period of pregnancy is often reduced with a small number of offspring carried by the dog.

As practice shows, the total number of litter in Irish wolfhounds increases when the dog reaches the age of three, after which again there is a decrease in the number of puppies that are born.

Buying an Irish Wolfhound

The independent purchase of an Irish wolfhound puppy that fully complies with all the pedigree characteristics specified in the standards is not an easy task. It is necessary to find information and reviews about several nurseries, compare their rating, and then decide on the choice of the best price and quality offer.

How to choose what to look for

The process of choosing a puppy is recommended to start with meeting his parents. It is necessary to verify the full compliance of manufacturers with standards, as well as clarify their age category. It is important to pay attention to the external characteristics and behavior of the puppy. A healthy pet has clean eyes, ears and a coat, and is also able to stand confidently on its feet. Puppies that meet the standards are distinguished by a long body and powerful legs, as well as a tail, which is located below the hock joints.

Experts recommend giving preference to dogs that have an inquisitive, but at the same time balanced character. A potential pet should not clog into a corner, demonstrate during an acquaintance detached behavior, unmotivated aggression or timidity. It is best to acquire puppies between the ages of six and twelve weeks, when the animal already has time to pass tests to detect defects, deworming and routine vaccination. The data of examinations and medical measures must be entered in the veterinary passport.

According to professional breeders, bitches older than seven years old belong to the category of old dogs and should not produce offspring, since there is a high probability of the birth of non-viable or weakened puppies.

The price of a thoroughbred puppy

The average cost of puppies of the breed Irish Wolfhound is affected not only by the price policy of the kennel or private breeder, but also by the dog's belonging to a certain class:

  • representatives of the pet class are thoroughbred animals, in which the presence of certain deviations from established standards is distinguished by professional breeders. Such deviations do not affect the temperament and physical characteristics of the dog, but impede its participation in subsequent breeding. The average cost of such a pet starts from 30-35 thousand rubles,
  • representatives of the brid-class - this is an average cost option, allowed to participate in exhibition shows and breeding. Puppies of this class do not become champions too often, but are able to show quite a decent result. The average cost of pets of this most common and proposed by the nursery class, as a rule, varies between 30-60 thousand rubles.

Representatives of the show class are elite. The average cost of such puppies starts from 60-70 thousand rubles and can be very high. The price of pets in this class is largely affected by the level of producers. Subsequently, elite puppies have high chances to get the title of real exhibition champions.

The coat color of the puppy of an Irish wolfhound, as a rule, does not affect its value, so if the breeder adds up the price of the dog, explaining this with a very rare exterior, then most likely we are talking about making money on an inexperienced dog breeder.

Breeders' recommendations

Professional breeders adhere to the linear breeding of Irish wolfhounds with the addition of manufacturers grown in the world's leading nurseries to the main blood line. At the same time, the main emphasis in breeding is on solving the issue of obtaining beautiful and powerful dogs that possess not only good health, but also a stable psyche.

Adult males and bitches do not differ much in character and temperament, but males usually look more impressive, solid and impressive.Males of the breed Irish Wolfhound are quite affectionate, but compared to females they are more independent, active and decisive, which must be taken into account when choosing the gender of a pet.

Despite the innate ingenuity, representatives of the breed need obligatory early socialization, therefore it is not recommended to buy such a pet for dog breeders, who are very limited in their free time. With the Irish it is quite possible to attend the greyhound race, but the dog should be prepared for such activities from early childhood.

Owner reviews

Irish wolfhounds are dogs that differ not only in impressive size, but also in great charm. Such four-legged pets are able to easily adapt to almost any conditions of care and maintenance. Undoubtedly, a large and spacious home ownership, where the dog has the opportunity to run freely throughout the territory, will be the optimal accommodation option for representatives of a large breed, but in apartment conditions the wolfhounds feel quite comfortable.

It will also be interesting and useful:

Due to their very good mental abilities and calm disposition, Irish wolfhounds belong to the category of unobtrusive pets. It is enough to organize such a dog a place for rest and sleep in a zone protected from drafts and remote from heaters, so that the four-legged pet feels calm. Dog litter should be made of wear-resistant and durable, safe and hygienic materials. It must be remembered that Irish wolfhounds can be easily brought up and trained exclusively at an early age, and adult members of the breed rarely change their already formed habits.

Content Features

In the house, this huge animal is almost imperceptible. All he needs is a spacious and comfortable place to sleep, as well as the opportunity to run on a walk without a leash.

Since wolfhounds are very attached to the owner and can even die during his long absence, the puppy must be specially trained to calmly stay with other family members.

The hair of a wolfhound needs a not burdensome care. It needs to be combed periodically and bathed as necessary about once every three months.

For aesthetic purposes, the dog is slightly trimmed with its head, ears and front of the neck.

For a giant, a high-quality balanced diet is very important. At the same time, high-calorie food and overeating are dangerous. An adult dog needs 600-800 g of dry food. Sometimes for dessert it can be pampered with fruit.

It is extremely important to properly feed the puppy by carefully selecting high-quality vitamins and mineral supplements so that there are no health problems associated with the very rapid growth of the dog. And this, of course, requires certain costs and the help of specialists.

Not only overeating, but also too long walks can harm the development of the puppy.

Health Irish Wolfhound

Photo: Irish Wolfhound

Life expectancy of representatives of this breed is not great - about 10 years. There is a tendency to certain diseases. First of all, these are genetic problems with limb joints associated with a lot of weight: hip dysplasia, shoulder osteochondrosis, dislocation of the patella, elbow hygroma, osteosarcoma.

Also, representatives of this breed often have bloating, pyoderma, hypothyroidism, dilated cardiomyopathy, Wobbler’s syndrome, Von Willebrand’s disease, cataract, entropion.

Table: Exterior of the Irish Wolfhound FCI standard number 160

Key articlesDescription
  • minimum height at the withers of females - 71 cm, males - 79 cm,
  • the minimum weight in females is 40.5 kg, in males - 54.5 kg,
  • the standard does not name the upper limits of height and weight.
  • impressive, powerful, but elegant and proportionate,
  • elongated housing
  • chest and croup are wide,
  • muscles and ribs are well developed.
  • large, elongated, without contrasting bulges,
  • teeth are “scissors”, but a direct bite is acceptable,
  • eyes are as dark as possible
  • ears are small, in the shape of rose petals.
  • tall, strong, parallel,
  • the backbone and muscles are developed, expressive,
  • toes well assembled.
  • moderately thick,
  • long enough
  • can be bent at the end.
  • rough, wire,
  • especially stiff on the beard and above the eyes.
  • Gray,
  • brindle
  • red,
  • the black,
  • white,
  • tan
  • small white spots on the chest and legs are acceptable.

In movement, these dogs show lightness and plasticity, which were completely impossible to suspect in them.

Wolfhund may seem lanky and even awkward - but only until he runs: the movements of this breed are fascinated by energy, productivity, freedom.

Nature and behavior

The psyche of these dogs is very strong, they behave with dignity, balance and will never be worn out. And only the owners know how sensitive and emotional their pets are - the Wolfhounds absolutely do not accept rudeness, harsh treatment and indifference. They are unusually attached to their master and members of his family, carefully and patiently treat children, loyally treat pets.

Feel free to leave the children in the care of Wolfhund: he will approach the matter with all responsibility and caution

However, the hunting instinct can make itself felt at any moment, and then the greyhound will suddenly begin to perceive a cat or a budgie not as members of its flock, but as prey, with all the ensuing consequences.

Dog handlers characterize Wolfhound as follows: “At home - a sheep, and on the hunt - a lion”

Discourages and shortcomings

The breed standard calls the following deviations from the norm serious shortcomings of the Irish Wolfhound:

  • too light or too heavy head
  • too protruding frontal bone
  • twisted forelegs, weak metacarpals,
  • weak hind limbs and general underdevelopment of muscles
  • body too short
  • the back is sagging, with a slit or straight,
  • large, flat-hanging ears
  • size or clubfoot.
  • open fingers
  • short neck suspension
  • too narrow or too wide chest
  • tail too bent
  • the nose of any color other than black,
  • lips of any color other than black,
  • very bright eyes, pink or liver-colored eyelids.

Only full-toothed dogs with the correct bite are allowed for breeding

Puppy selection

When deciding to buy an Irish Wolfhound puppy, weigh your chances: will you have enough strength, money, experience and patience to grow a healthy, well-bred dog from him? Evaluate the heredity of the chosen baby, take an interest in the genetic tests of his parents, living conditions and growing.

The puppy’s heredity is the first question that you should clarify as much as possible

Several Russian nurseries are breeding this breed. It is here, and not by dubious announcements, that you should buy a dog. Depending on the pedigree level, the price of a puppy ranges from 40 to 80 thousand rubles.

Wolfhund puppies - adorable for their clumsiness

Be guided when choosing not only emotions, but also common sense - pay attention to several important points in the exterior of your future pet:

  • on the head - the structure of the skull in this breed is characterized by smooth lines, there are no pronounced cheekbones, foot, etc.,
  • on the paws - with a real wolfhund, the fingertips are tightly assembled together and not loose,
  • on the wool - it is unique both externally and to the touch (even the puppy should resemble a wire, hard, rough and prickly).

And the true Irish can always be identified by his proud disposition - even in the breed standard it is noted that these dogs should bear their neck and head high and with dignity.


“How much does he eat?” - passers-by often ask, reverently staring at one of my black terriers. I hasten to disappoint them: giant dogs do not eat as much as their size might seem. And the giant Wolfhund is no exception.

It is very important to properly build a dog diet at the puppy raising stage. Keep in mind that the Irish grow and form for a long time: bitches are up to two years old, and especially large males - up to three or even up to three and a half. An unbalanced, poor-quality or poor feeding of a rapidly developing dog for its entire life lays down health problems.

A balanced diet is the key to your dog's health and longevity

Breeders and owners of giant dogs, based on their own practice, recommend feeding them not with a natural cow, but with finished foods of the highest level, intended for dogs of large breeds - for example, such:

  • Pro Plan Adult Large Robust,
  • Dog chow adult
  • Bosch Adult Maxi,
  • Hills SP Adult Advanced Fitnes Large Breed Lamb & Rice,
  • Acana Heritage Adult Large Breed.

If you trust the natural diet more, then try to make it saturated and balanced, do not forget about useful supplements with vitamins, minerals, and special means to support the skeleton - without them it is unlikely that such a large dog can be properly raised in modern conditions.

What must be present on your pet's menu:

  • fresh or frozen meat - not pork,
  • offal - beef tripe required,
  • boneless poultry meat,
  • boneless and boiled saltwater fish,
  • skim milk products
  • quail raw eggs
  • vegetables, fruits, fresh leafy greens,
  • cereals - only well-boiled and in a small volume.

It is strictly forbidden to treat dogs at any age with such “snacks”:

  • what you eat yourself
  • smoked meats, salty, pepper, fried or fatty foods,
  • yeast baking
  • any sweets, especially chocolate,
  • legumes and citrus fruits.


The Irish Greyhound has a short and stiff coat, it doesn’t bother, it is easily cleaned of dirt - it’s easy to take care of the dog’s coat. However, there are several important nuances to consider:

  • for combing you will need a frequent metal comb, massage brush or silicone mitten,
  • frequent bathing is contraindicated - two or even one per season is enough,
  • show dogs are trimmed to improve the quality of the coat - they pluck out a rough awn as it matures,
  • for convenience in everyday life, you can cut some parts of the dog’s body with the machine — the neck, ears and the area under the tail.

In the bath, these dogs bathe once or twice a year, and in the river - at least every day

The usual hygienic procedures are also mandatory: trimming excessively claws, regular cleansing of the eyes, ears and teeth. By the way, the appearance of plaque in most cases indicates that the usual diet is not suitable for the dog.


All greyhounds have to walk a lot - long and far. Everything, but not the Irish Wolfhound - this giant is enough for two half-hour walks a day. Of course, he will not refuse to run for pleasure, but for this you need to select closed areas, away from cars and any provoking moments - a keen wolfhound can run away, for example, behind a cat, and you will have to look for him for a long time.

Despite the huge growth, the Irish Wolfhound does not need longer walks than other dogs


It makes no sense to be too zealous in training an Irish wolfhound - efforts will not go in vain for him. Of course, already at an early puppy age the dog should be well socialized and firmly learn the basic commands. “Sit!”, “Lie!” And “Give me a paw!” - this is not at all what your pet will need in life. It is much more important that he knows and unquestioningly executes the commands: “Come to me!” And “Near!”, As well as the prohibitive ones: “Fu!” Or “It is impossible!”, “Drop it!”, “Spit it!” - well, and more something like that.

Wolfhounds get along perfectly with children

For this, it is not even necessary to take a general training course - with patience and at least minimal experience, the owner is able to raise his dog on his own. Moreover, Wolfhund is much more likely to engage in private with the owner than to listen to some stranger uncle on the playground.

Please note: forceful teaching methods in this case will bring only the opposite effect. At the slightest pressure, dogs of this breed “turn on” disobedience and refuse to learn - you need to be able to negotiate with them.

As for the course of protective and guard duty, experts recommend not even starting to try it. It is unlikely that it will be possible to raise a watchman and a guard from an Irishman, but it is definitely not worth waking up a beast in this huge body.

Characteristic diseases

Unfortunately, the Irish Wolfhound cannot be called an absolutely healthy breed. Like all giants of the canine world, it is susceptible to many diseases directly or indirectly associated with its large growth. The reason for most of these pathologies lies not even in bad genetics, but in the puppy's incorrect breeding. And above all, it concerns such a disaster as hip dysplasia.

Radiography clearly demonstrates the condition of the joints: on the left is a picture of healthy joints, on the right is pronounced dysplasia

At least until the age of one year old, it is important to protect the puppy from injuries and excessive load on the joints:

  • do not allow yourself to go down the stairs and steep slopes,
  • exclude walking on slippery floors,
  • prohibit jumping and too active games.

At the slightest sign of lameness, discomfort or joint pain, the dog needs to be shown to the doctor: a disease diagnosed at an early stage is easier to cure. However, even if there are no external signs of pathology, after ten months of age, the pet should do a radiographic examination to understand how things are with the joints - perhaps the doctor will recommend supporting or preventive medications.

With special attention to the condition of the joints should be treated not only in puppy dogs, but also in old dogs.

In most cases, dysplasia can be dealt with with medical methods, but sometimes surgical intervention remains the only solution. Among the other health problems most characteristic of Wolfhund are the following diseases:

  • bloating
  • dislocation of the patella
  • hyoderma or malassesial dermatitis,
  • hypothyroidism
  • shoulder osteochondrosis,
  • dilated cardiomyopathy,
  • hygroma of the elbow,
  • von Willebrand disease
  • wobbler syndrome
  • entropion
  • osteosarcoma
  • cataract.

Unfortunately, the Wolfhund, like most very large breeds, do not live very long - only a few of them survive the tenth anniversary.