Everything You Need to Know About the Irish Wolfhound


There is mention of the breed in Irish literature from the 5th century!

Irish Wolfhounds are sighthounds that are extremely tall. In fact, they are the tallest breed in the AKC registry, sometimes reaching seven feet on their hind legs!

These dignified dogs were originally brought to Ireland to hunt wolves, with mention in texts from as early as 7000 BC. The Irish word "cu" (meaning "hound") was used to describe warriors and kings. There was even a period, when the British ruled, when only royalty could own an Irish Wolfhound.

The Irish Wolfhound is a big dog. Full-grown males can stand as tall as 34 inches at the shoulder and weigh 120 pounds. The breed is part of the galloping hound grouping, as are Great Danes and Greyhounds. Wolfhounds have wiry hair, different than fur, and can be white, gray, brindle, red, black, and fawn. Their height made it easy for them to sight prey, like wolves and the Irish elk, over long distances.

Irish Wolfhounds are easygoing dogs, often wary of strangers and quite reserved. They bond strongly with their owners and are great with kids, although their size could be an issue with small children. They are often described as inquisitive and with the ancient adage:

"Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked."

Due to their size, Irish Greyhounds live between six and 10 years.

Do you have an Irish Wolfhound? Show us in the comments below!

This article was originally published April 19, 2017.

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