Spotlight Breed Irish Wolfhound

Spotlight Breed: Irish Wolfhound

Our Spotlight Breed of the week is the Irish Wolfhound!  This breed was originally used in war to drag men off horses and chariots.  The Irish Wolfhound also hunted large game such as deer, boar, and wolves.  Today this adaptable dog is a family companion who also competes in obedience, tracking and lure coursing!

Fun fact: the Irish Wolfhound is, on average, one of the tallest dog breeds in the world.  This said, they are not ideal to have in small living spaces!  The appearance of the breed is one to note.  They have a noble and commanding appearance, but beneath the shaggy eyebrows twinkle eyes with a sweet, gentle expression.  Despite their distant past as a war dog, they are gentle giants who get along with everyone, including children, other dogs, and sometimes even cats!  The Irish Wolfhound enjoys long walks, but they also enjoy being lazy too.

Unfortunately, the Irish Wolfhound lives to be only 6 to 8 years as his giant size predisposes him to many health problems.  However, if you choose to adopt this breed and give it a great life, be prepared to have a fenced in yard!  Their desire to chase is extremely strong and you will need to be aware of the surroundings.  Early socialization and training would be the best approach for this breed.  Although they are highly intelligent, they can be stubborn as well.

We will leave you with one of our favorite quotes about the Irish Wolfhound. “The greatest problem with Irish Wolfhounds, though, is that they don’t live awfully long: their great hearts give out.  A good deal of this is genetic, of course, but I think it is in part that they worry so for us, care so much.”