Menu

Breeds » IRISH WOLFHOUND

Membership ID
Password

Irish Wolfhound


General Information - Irish Wolfhound


Group:
Hound

Size:
extra large

Lifespan:
5-7 years

Exercise:
medium

Grooming:
very low

Trainability:
low

Watchdog ability:
medium

Protection ability:
low

Area of Origin:
Ireland

Date of Origin:
ancient times

Other Names:
none

Original Function:
Coursing wolves and elk



History

The Irish Wolfhound, the largest of the sighthounds, traces its roots to antiquity in Ireland, where it was known as "Cu" (meaning hound or greyhound). These gentle giants were great hunters of elk, wild boar and wolves. They were considered royal dogs and were owned by the nobility; certainly the average peasant could not afford to feed such a large dog. Their numbers dwindled during the 1800's, but a Scottish officer, Captain Graham, undertook the restoration of the breed; he sought out the best specimens he could find and with judicious outcrossings to Deerhounds and Great Danes, he was able to save the breed from extinction. By the end of the 19th century, size and type were breeding true.

Temperament

The Irish Wolfhound is a sweet gentle breed that is truly loyal to their owners. They require firm training and are friendly by nature therefore not making good watchdogs. Irish Wolfhounds are friendly with other dogs and can be left alone with children. This breed requires two years before it reaches full maturity. Irish Wolfhounds have also been known to be somewhat clumsy.

Upkeep

The Irish Wolfhound enjoys a long walk and a chance to stretch its legs, so it needs daily exercise. At home it needs ample room to stretch out on a soft surface and should not be required to live in cramped quarters. It can develop calluses if allowed to lie on hard surfaces too often. Its coat needs to be brushed or combed once or twice weekly, plus occasional slight scissoring to neaten up straggly hairs. Dead hairs should be stripped twice a year.