The Irish Wolfhound is a tall, large dog that needs an average amount of exercise. Never push a young Irish Wolfhound to run or exercise when she does not want to as you may injure rapidly growing joints. She is generally not a good watch dog or guard dog as she is very sweet tempered and loves everyone. Her size and looks should deter any prowler. She tends to get along with considerate children, other dogs and other pets. As a reminder, never leave a child unsupervised with any puppy or dog.

Approximate Adult Size.

The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the Irish Wolfhound is 28 to 35 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 90 to 150 pounds. The female ranges a bit smaller than the male.

Special Health Considerations.

Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed and the Irish Wolfhound is no exception. Be on the look out for canine hip dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness), heart problems (cardiomyopathy), bone cancer, bloat (Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, the second leading killer of dogs, can kill within the hour, this space is too limited for a complete explanation but you should read up on this). Feeding more then once a day and avoiding exercise right after meals may help guard against bloat, and Von Willebrands disease (a problem with blood clotting). This disease list is an informative guideline only. Other diseases may also be significant threats, please contact your veterinarian for a complete list.

She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.


The Irish Wolfhound has a rough, hard and wiry coat. She should be brushed regularly with a brush and a comb. Brushing will help her maintain a clean and healthy coat, avoid mats and help you keep a closer eye on her health and strengthen your emotional bond with her. She should also have dead hair plucked occasionally, a job possibly better done by a groomer.

Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet. Generally a guillotine type trimmer is the best for this chore and competent instructions to accomplish this can be found on the net.

Life Span.

The Irish Wolfhound can live between 6 and 10 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.


The Irish Wolfhound comes from Ireland where they were used to hunt wolves and help in battles. They were also used for companions and hunting deer. They were first registered by the American Kennel Association in 1897.

  • Courageous, Dignified, Calm
  • AKC Breed Popularity: Ranks 76 of 193
  • Height: 32 inches minimum (male), 30 inches minimum (female)
  • Weight: 120 pounds (male), 105 pounds (female)
  • Life Expectancy: 6-8 years
  • Group: Hound Group

Irish Wolfhound Club of America

We hope our website will help you find the information you need. There are links to dozens of resources, articles and contacts for you to explore. Enjoy your visit and bookmark our site so you can easily return for new information!

Are you considering adding a Wolfhound to your family? Perhaps you have seen an ad for “Irish Wolfhound Puppies for Sale”? Please visit our section on Finding Irish Wolfhound Puppies for important information on selecting a good breeder, what to look for in a healthy puppy and much more. Do you have a question about your Wolfhound’s health or care? Visit the Health section to be directed to articles and resources regarding health conditions in the Irish Wolfhound.

The IWCA serves as the national parent breed club within the American Kennel Club. Our goals include encouraging the highest quality of Irish Wolfhounds as described in our Standard of Excellence and providing education for owners, breeders, judges and the general public. Our annual National Specialty includes conformation, obedience, rally and coursing events. The IWCA also sponsors health research initiatives and rescue efforts on behalf of our hounds.IrishWolfhound-club-flier