Breeds of dogs: Irish Wolfhound

Breeds of dogs: Irish Wolfhound

Origin, classification and history

Origin: Ireland.
F.C.I classification: Group 10 - greyhounds.

There are several theories about the origins of the Irish Wolfhound (Irish Greyhound). Many authors think it is a recent breed, created around the 19th century. Most authors, however, claim that it is a very ancient breed. In fact it seems that already in 391 BC, seven of these Irish dogs were donated to a Roman consul by his brother. These dogs were used in arenas against lions and bears, and also against men. The description of these ancient dogs seems to correspond, almost totally, to today's Irish Greyhound. Its name "Wolfhound" means "wolf dog". It is still little known and bred in Italy. The subjects present in Italy today, however, are of the highest level.

General aspect

And without a doubt, the tallest dog in the world. Dog morphologically classified as Graioid type. It is a greyhound with an elongated and imposing body, with massive musculature and a broad rump and back.


This breed was used for wolf and bear hunting, because of its courage and its power. Very good dog with a strong character, but fearful if provoked. Before attacking, this dog warns by barking. He loves and defends children. It has a great character balance. Pretty rustic and robust dog. Her coat needs care.

Hickory, male of Irish Wolfhound (photo

Irish Wolfhound (website photo)


- males at least 78.5 cm at the withers
- females at least 71 cm at the withers
(the goal is to achieve the maximum size compatible with the harmony of proportions; the ideal one should be around 81-86 cm at the withers).
- males about 54 kg
- females about 40.5 kg.

Trunk: elongated and imposing trunk.
Head and muzzle: long and flat head, with not too wide skull, long and slightly pointed muzzle.
Truffle: black in color.
Teeth: correct and complete teeth. Scissor closure. Strong jaws.
Neck: robust and of the right length. Proportionate.
Eyes: small, dark, with a good look.
Ears: they are small and worn like those of the "Greyhound".
Limbs: long bone rays and strong bone structure. Straight legs with excellent muscle mass.
Musculature: excellent development.
Tail: of right length.
Hair: rough, hard and rather short.
Allowed colors: gray, brindle, red, black, white or fallow deer.
Most common defects: monorchidism, cryptorchidism, incorrect dentition, defective back, truffle depigmentation, clear eyes, badly worn ears, loose limbs, insufficient musculature, short or not flat head, aggressive or shy character, not proportionate neck, badly worn tail, undersized dog , non-standard sizes, coat colors not allowed by the breed standard.

curated by Vinattieri Federico -

Video: Irish Wolfhound Shelby has 9 pups