Irish Wolfhound

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Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound Overview

Once used to hunt wolves, the Irish Wolfhound has a pretty badass history. In Roman times, they were given as gifts to fight off lions and bears. They remained as status symbols for Celtic chieftains that waxed poetic about their dignified and calm, yet battle-ready strength. No longer used as a war hound, the Irish Wolfhound still maintains the look of a dog that’s fast enough to catch a wolf and strong enough to kill it. Not that you should fear this breed—quite the opposite. They’re extremely loyal to humans and have an introverted, reserved personality. The historic motto to describe an Irish Wolfhound is, “gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.”

Because they’re intelligent and independent dogs, they’re easy to train and good with children. What kid doesn’t want a dog the size of a small horse? With its rough coat, coming in range of colours, and impressive height (averaging three feet at their shoulder), the Irish Wolfhound doesn’t fly under the radar. This is a dog that takes up space in both the dog park and the hearts of their owners. They’re the ultimate guardians and will feel like a true member of your family.

Did you know?

A male Irish Wolfhound stands up to 7 feet tall on his hind legs!

Irish Wolfhound Stats

  • Kid-Friendly Kid-Friendly

  • Good with other animals Good with other animals

Popularity ranking**
30-32 in / 105-120 lbs (L)
Average lifespan
6-8 years
Activity level
Little to none
Barking level
Little to none
Coat length

Caring for your breed

Daily serving

Daily kibble serving

4-8 cups

Daily exercise

Daily exercise

1 hour


Grooming frequency

Brushed Weekly

Dog Food

Feeding your Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest dog in the American Kennel Club and their appetite reflects their size. Feed them four to eight cups of kibble divided into two meals daily, and make sure you’re getting high-quality food. Many breeders suggest going with a low-protein option to help slow down their growth. You should also avoid giving your Irish Wolfhound any additional supplements or too many treats. Keep an eye on their food to activity ratio. This will help your dog maintain a healthy weight and not pack on any extra pounds. An overweight dog that’s this size could cause some serious health problems. 


*Contrary to popular belief, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs. There are breeds, however, that have non-shedding coats and are suited well to allergy sufferers.
**The breed popularity ranking is based on the most current ranking of the American Kennel Club (AKC)

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