One of the most searched dog term on the internet, the Irish Wolfhound.
This remarkable dog often claims the award for the biggest dogs in the world!
I wanted to break down some interesting facts and important information about the Irish wolfhound.
- Once fearless big-game hunters capable of dispatching a wolf in single combat
- A male might stand nearly 3 feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 180 pounds(~80kgs).
- Females will run smaller but are still a whole lot of hound.
- The rough, hard coat comes in many colours, including white, grey, brindle, red, and black.
- Irish Wolfhounds are too serene to be fierce guard dogs, but just the sight of them is enough to deter intruders.
The breed is very old; there are suggestions it may have been brought to Ireland as early as 7000 BC.
- These dogs are mentioned, as cú (variously translated as hound, Irish hound, war dog, wolf dog, etc.) in Irish laws and in Irish literature which dates from the 5th century.
- If you are looking for a long-lived breed, the Irish Wolfhound is not for you. He lives roughly 6 to 8 years and his giant size predisposes him to many health problems.
- Young Irish Wolfhounds need enough exercise to keep them lean and healthy, but not so much that their soft growing bones, joints, and ligaments become over-stressed and damaged.
- The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.
- Irish Wolfhounds are usually good with the other pets in their family. But some Irish Wolfhounds are dominant or aggressive toward other dogs of the same sex.
- Some have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures.
- Remember that these were hunting hounds who brought down wolves.
- The speed and power of this breed should never be underestimated.
The following is a great short documentary outlining a lot about this amazing dog the Irish Wolfhound:
Irish Wolfhound puppies:
Well-bred Irish Wolfhounds are very expensive, €1300 and up.
This is a lovely video about raising 9 Irish Wolfhound puppies
Irish Wolfhound health issues:
Irish Wolfhounds are extremely prone to a life-threatening digestive syndrome called bloat. It comes on suddenly and can kill a dog in just a few hours. In addition, Wolfhounds are frequently stricken at an early age by crippling joint and bone disorders, by heart disease, and by cancer.
Some things you might not know about the Irish Wolfhound:
- By 391 AD the Irish Wolfhound had made his way all the way to Rome. In Roman literature seven of them were gifted to the Roman Consul Quintas Aurelius. It was stated that “all Rome viewed with wonder”.
- A wolfhound puppy can way more than 100lbs(45KG’s).
- The Irish Wolfhound’s average size can range from 2 to 3 feet at its shoulder. Compared in size to a small pony, the giant dog is actually a calm family companion
- Irish Wolfhound numbers once dwindled to the brink of extinction. The breed came very close to disappearing forever, but in the 19th century Captain George Graham stepped in and crossbred the remaining Wolfhounds with other breeds, taking 23 years before completely restoring the breed.
- There was a time when this breed was not found in any common homes. Only nobility was allowed to own the coveted dogs.
There is a village in Wales named after an Irish Wolfhound – Legend says that Prince Llewelyn of North Wales returned home from a hunt to be greeted by his “faithful hound” Gelert. Gelert was covered in blood, and the prince’s baby son was not in his crib. Assuming the worst, i.e., that his hound had killed his son, Prince Llewelyn immediately killed Gelert. As the dying dog gave a final cry, a baby’s cry answered it. The prince found his son unharmed, lying near the body of a dead wolf, which Gelert had killed in defense of the prince’s heir. Filled with remorse and guilt, it is said that Prince Llewelyn never smiled again. He buried his beloved dog in the town that is now known as Beddgelert, which means “Gelert’s Grave.”
- The Irish Wolfhound has served as the Regimental Mascot of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards since its formation in 1900.
U.S. Presidents Hoover and Kennedy owned Irish Wolfhounds
- To commemorate the three New York regiments of the Irish Brigade who fought in the Civil War, a Celtic cross was constructed with an Irish Wolfhound lying at its base. The Irish Wolfhound is a symbol of honour and fidelity to the people of Ireland.
Final notes on the Irish Wolfhound:
I hope you have enjoyed learning a little bit more about this incredible creature. It is a truly remarkable dog that has impacted a lot of lives over the years.
Be sure to share this post and thank you for reading.