Breed Characteristics

Children and Wolfhounds

The typical Irish Wolfhound is completely trustworthy with children. Their kindness and patience is renowned.


Biting is not characteristic of, nor at all common in Irish Wolfhounds, however any dog may bite if severely mistreated or sufficiently provoked.


Irish Wolfhounds are quiet by nature, but their very size combined with some barking will discourage potential intruders. While they will endeavour to protect their owners from a physical threat, anyone seeking a vicious guard dog to snarl at strangers should look for another breed.


When given comfortable travelling quarters and consideration to their needs, Irish Wolfhounds are usually excellent travelling companions. It is advisable to introduce young hounds, gradually, to a variety of experiences including visiting and travelling.


There is tremendous variation in the interest individual Irish Wolfhounds show in hunting, some have little or no interest whatsoever. In some Irish Wolfhounds the keen sight, tremendous speed and power and natural coursing ability combine to produce a uniquely proficient hunter. The Irish Wolfhound is not a "gun dog" in the field trial sense. Every Irish Wolfhound owner should be aware of this hunting potential and be prepared for unexpected hunting behaviour. No dog should be allowed to roam at will; damaged property and/or livestock do not encourage neighbourly feelings.


An Irish Wolfhound usually reaches full height between 18 and 24 months of age, but may not reach full maturity until 3 years or later.

Life Span

The Irish Wolfhound, like most large breeds, tends to have a shorter life span than smaller breeds. Naturally, there are some exceptions.


Their great size, together with then space and exercise requirements obviously prohibit the Irish Wolfhound from being in the "popular" category.

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