Irish Wolfhound At-a-Glance

Irish Wolfhounds are a giant dog breed that, of course, originated in Ireland. They are known for their immense size and muscular build, standing nearly 3 feet at the shoulder and weighing between 105-120 pounds. Despite their imposing size, Irish Wolfhounds have a calm and easygoing nature, making them an ideal choice for a family dog.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 120-130
Female: 105-115
Height (inches)
Male: 32-34
Female: 30-32
Lifespan (years)
6 – 8

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Drooling
  • Protective Nature
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Low Shedding
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • High Energy Level
  • Tolerates Hot Climate

Lowest Rated

  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Good General Health

General Overview

This breed is extremely friendly and patient with children as well as other dogs. They are somewhat reserved around strangers but are not typically aggressive.

That said, they are protective of their families if they sense a threat. While they are not known to be guard dogs, they have a natural instinct to protect their loved ones and will act accordingly based on the threat.

And given their size and strength, this is not a dog that you want to mess with!

They are also known for their patience and love towards children. As with all large breed dogs, supervision is always recommended when young children are present, as they can accidentally knock over little ones.

While Irish Wolfhounds are generally good around other dogs, they can be protective of their territory if they feel their space is being invaded. They may not do as well with smaller animals such as cats, rabbits, and other small pets due to their inbred high prey drive. Early socialization can help here.

They have a long, shaggy, and rough coat that requires regular bathing and brushing to keep it clean. However, the good news is they are low shedders and low droolers, making them a good option for allergy sufferers or those who prefer a cleaner home.

Although they respond well to training, they can be somewhat stubborn. Combined with their size and strength, this makes them a poor choice for novice dog owners.

Irish Wolfhounds are a social breed. While they can handle being alone for short periods, they do not do well when left alone for long periods.

Their size and need for at least a moderate level of pay and exercise make them not well suited for apartment living or houses with small yards. They love to run and play but they may not need the same level of intensity as other breeds. A daily walk and some playtime in the yard are usually sufficient to meet their exercise needs.

They are intelligent dogs that respond well to training but can be stubborn at times. This means they require an experienced trainer since they are a large breed and can be difficult to handle if not properly trained. It’s important to establish yourself as the pack leader with an Irish Wolfhound!

The Irish Wolfhound is only average when it comes to health. They are prone to some hereditary health issues, including bloat, heart disease, cancer, liver shunt, pneumonia, hip and elbow dysplasia, and eye issues.

This breed has a sadly short life expectancy of only six to eight years.

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