Irish Wolfhounds are the largest of the sighthounds (dogs that chase moving prey) and were valued for their huning ablility with keen eye sight and swiftness.
Irish Wolfhounds were originally used in war and hunting. They went to war and fought beside their masters in battle and guarded their castles. They hunted with their masters and also were given as royal gifts. Dispite their large size these dogs are very affectionate with people.
The Irish Wolfhound originally hunted wolves, elk, and other large game. They were such good hunters that their prey dissappeared from Ireland. By the 19th century there were few Irish Wolfhounds left in Ireland due to the lack of prey and also to excessive exportation, which Oliver Cromwell stopped with a mandate banning its export. The breed was allowed to become almost extinct.
During the 19th century, Captain George Augustus Graham took the remaining Irish Wolfhounds and started a selective breeding program to save this breed from extinction. With precise breeding with Borzoi, Great Dane, Deerhound and possibly Mastiffs Captain Graham began rebuilding the Irish Wolfhound breed of dog. Captain Graham founded the Irish Wolfhound Club in 1885. Twenty-three years later a breed standard was set.
Male Wolfhounds from paw to shoulder on average are almost 3 feet (86 cm) tall. Females are shorter than the males by about 1-2 inches (2-5 cm). The dogs can measure 6.6 to 7 feet (2 m - 2.1 m) from the tip of the snout to the tail (when standing on hind legs).
A dog breed with a rather square head and a slim body. The Irish Wolfhound's coat is rough, hard and medium in length. The hair is wiry and long over the eyes and under the jaw. The Irish Wolfhound comes in various colors, from cream to black. The colors included are any colors that appears in a Deerhound, which includes various shades of gray, red, black, white, and brindle (a coat coloring pattern in animals, it is sometimes described as "tiger striped").
Learn all about this breed, from its royal Irish roots to its gentleness with children. You'll also want to find out how to care for the Irish wolfhound. So check out this go-to guide for Irish wolfhound lovers--and learn all about why Irish wolfhounds are the best breed there is!
The Irish Wolfhound is the unofficial dog of Ireland and many organizations and sports clubs use this breed as their mascot. The Irish Wolfhound flourshes today and is found in show rings and many homes around the world with his giant size and a quiet and courteous nature.