Irish Wolfhounds are one of the tallest breeds in the world that can reach 7 feet, if they stand on hind legs. They are gentle, patient, thoughtful and very intelligent.

Irish Wolfhound

Breed Type: Hounds
Weight: 120 lbs for Males, 105 lbs for Females
Height: 32 inches for Males, 30 inches for Females
Coat type: Rough, coarse, hard and shaggy coat

Often referred to as 'Gentle Giants', Wolfhounds are the tallest dogs of the world. One of the most treasured and sought after hunting dog of the earlier century, the canine made an outstanding guardian as well. However, do not get disillusioned by the large body and the muscular build as the canine is very soft and gentle. The dog is extremely patient, generous, thoughtful, sweet tempered and intelligent. Irish Wolfhound makes great pals with children and other pets alike. They mostly work with the historic motto "Gentle when stroked. Fierce when provoked." To know more about the history, appearance and personality of Irish Wolfhound, browse through the following lines.

Though there is no specific information available about the origin of Irish Wolfhounds, it is believed that they were either developed alongside the Irish wolf in 8000 B.C. or arrived in Ireland around 3500 B.C. during the arrival of early settlers. The breed was initially used as a war dog by the ancient people, who named it Cú Faoil. The dogs also acted as a watch guard, securing the home and protecting the stocks. Their size, speed, and intelligence gave them an advantage over others and hence, they were used for boar hunting as well as wolf hunting. The animal was first exhibited in the ancient Rome.

In the yesteryears, the dogs were used, to take men off horseback, at the time when there was a conflict with England. However, in the early 19th century, with the dog being tagged as a gift of royalty and that no one other than the royalty can have the breed, lead to it being almost extinct. The constant efforts of Captain Graham to revive the breed though saved Irish Wolfhound from extinction, but in the process, it changed the appearance, making the dog available in alternative colors such as brindle. The dog was primarily bred with Deerhound, Great Dane, Borzoi, English Mastiff, Tibetan Mastiff among other breeds.

The extremely large size is the most distinguishable feature of the Irish Wolfhound, making it the tallest dog in the world. Standing on its hind legs, the dog is sure to reach the massive height of 7 feet. The canines of this breed have a rough and shaggy coat, mostly available in colors such as gray, brindle, red, black or white. Irish Wolfhounds mostly have large and round paws, with markedly arched toes and strong, curved nails. Characterized by a long head, Irish Wolfhound has a moderately pointed muzzle, a muscular arched neck, deep chest, wiry bushy eyebrows and well retracted abdomen. Though the dog is massive and muscular, it emits strength, elegance as well as grace. The tail of the canine hangs down with a slight curve at the end.

Huge yet peaceful, Irish Wolfhounds are sight hounds with a quiet personality. They are affectionate, social, friendly, loyal, calm and gentle, much in contrast to their appearance. It is their welcoming nature that makes them not a good choice when it comes to performing the job of a watch dog. The canines in this breed love children, pets and other dogs and are generally quiet indoors after their puppy years. However, they weigh up to 100 pounds is just six months and need a lot of food, exercise and space and thus, are suitable for mostly country living. Early socialization is good for them and they are fairly easy to train. Gentle and sympathetic training works, positive reinforcements and encouraging attitude work the best for them.

Irish Wolfhounds are sweet-tempered, patient, generous, thoughtful and very intelligent. Excellent, and can be trusted with, children. Dignified and willing, they are unconditionally loyal to their owner and family. Not a guard dog by nature, but may be a deterrent simply due to his size. They tend to greet everyone as a friend, so do not count on them being a watch dog. This giant breed can be clumsy. Slow to mature, it takes two whole years before they are full grown. However, they grow rapidly and high-quality food is essential. While it is important to take a growing pup for daily walks for their mental well being, hard exercise should not be forced and may be too taxing for this dog's body when it is young. Teach it not to pull on its leash before it gets too strong. The Irish Wolfhound is relatively easy to train. He responds well to firm, but gentle, consistent, leadership. This approach with plenty of canine understanding will go a long way because this dog quickly grasps what you intend. Make sure the young dog is given as much self-confidence as possible and that you are always consistent with it, so that it grows into an equable, confident dog. This calm dog gets along well with other dogs. This is also true with other animals if the dog has gotten to know them when it was still young. However, it might "course" a smaller dog in an open yard.