Irish Wolfhound


An ancient breed, the Irish Wolfhound can be found in records dating back to AD 391, when royal gifts of the giant hunters were made to Rome. Irish Wolfhounds fought with their masters, guarded castles, and hunted wolves and elk, nearly to the point that the dogs’ own existence was at risk. Breeders restored the Irish Wolfhound in the 1800s. Potential owners must consider the amount of space and attention required to keep the Irish Wolfhound happy and healthy.


Large; females 30-plus inches, 105 pounds; males 32-plus inches, 120 pounds.


Gray, brindle, red, black, white, and fawn.


Gentle, easygoing, patient, sweet. Good with children and pets; friendly with strangers. Can be stubborn and may be sensitive to harsh training methods.

Energy level:

Low, unless in pursuit of game.

Best owner:

Owner with a spacious home.


Daily exercise, fenced yard, ample room indoors, soft bedding, attention and companionship, weekly brushing and occasional scissoring.

Life expectancy:

5 to 7 years.