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15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Irish Wolfhound

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One of the most searched dog terms on the internet, the Irish Wolfhound.

This remarkable dog often claims the award for the biggest dogs in the world!

Today I am going to share some interesting facts and important information about the Irish wolfhound.

15 things you didn't know about the Irish wolfhound

  1. Once fearless big-game hunters capable of dispatching a wolf in single combat.
  2. A male might stand nearly 3 feet at the shoulder and weigh up to 180 pounds(~80kgs).Size of an Irish Wolfhound compared to a small dog
  3. Females will run smaller but are still a whole lot of hound.
  4. The rough, hard coat comes in many colours, including white, grey, brindle, red, and black.
  5. Irish Wolfhounds are too serene to be fierce guard dogs, but just the sight of them is enough to deter intruders.
  6. The breed is ancient; there are suggestions the Irish wolfhound may have been brought to Ireland as early as 7000 BC.

  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Irish wolfhounds are an ancient breed mentioned in Irish laws and Irish literature dating back to the 5th century with the name (translated as hound, Irish hound, war dog, wolf dog, etc.)
  10. 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.
  11. The proper amount of exercise can be difficult to regulate in giant breeds.
  12. 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.
  13. Some have strong instincts to chase and seize cats and other fleeing creatures.
  14. Remember that these were hunting hounds who brought down wolves.
  15. The speed and power of this breed should never be underestimated.

What is the biggest Irish wolfhound dog?

Great question! The Irish Wolfhound typically will win the prize for the world’s tallest dog but the record. 

But at the moment is with a Great Dane by the name of Gibson, a staggering 42.3 inches tall – a good ten inches taller than the average English Mastiff. 

Irish Wolfhound puppies:

What an Irish wolfhound puppy looks like

Lovely looking Irish wolfhound puppy

Well-bred Irish Wolfhounds are very expensive, €1300 and up.

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, heart disease, and 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. Still, 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.
  • The Irish Wolfhound had served as the Regimental Mascot of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards since its formation in 1900.
  • John F. Kennedy and Wolfie (Mixed Breed) and Shannon (Irish Cocker Spaniel)

    John F. Kennedy and Wolfie (Mixed Breed) and Shannon (Irish Cocker Spaniel)

  • 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:

Facts about the Irish Wolfhound. The biggest dog in the world.


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.

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Sunday 27th of March 2022

Thank you for the info on the Irish Wolfhound. Iโ€™ve always loved the breed. There was a man who had a pair of them and watching him walking with them was very majestic. ๐Ÿ’š I was hoping to see some when I visited Southern Ireland.