Fact Sheet for Irish Wolfhounds

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The Irish Wolfhound is the tallest of all dogs.

The Irish Wolfhound is a remarkable combination of power, swiftness, and keen sight.

The Irish Wolfhound is a large sensitive dog who requires lots of space to accommodate his great size, and an owner who can give him companionship.

Irish Wolfhounds should never be allowed to run loose.

Breed Standard

General Appearance
Of great size and commanding appearance, the Irish Wolfhound is remarkable in combining power and swiftness with keen sight. The largest and tallest of the galloping hounds, in general type he is a rough-coated, Greyhound-like breed; very muscular, strong though gracefully built; movements easy and active; head and neck carried high, the tail carried with an upward sweep with a slight curve towards the extremity. The minimum height and weight of dogs should be 32 inches and 120 pounds; of bitches, 30 inches and 105 pounds; these to apply only to hounds over 18 months of age. Anything below this should be debarred from competition. Great size, including height at shoulder and proportionate length of body, is the desideratum to be aimed at, and it is desired to firmly establish a race that shall average from 32 to 34 inches in dogs, showing the requisite power, activity, courage and symmetry.

Long, the frontal bones of the forehead very slightly raised and very little indentation between the eyes. Skull, not too broad. Muzzle, long and moderately pointed. Ears, small and Greyhound-like in carriage.

Rather long, very strong and muscular, well arched, without dewlap or loose skin about the throat.

Very deep. Breast, wide.

Rather long than short. Loins arched.

Long and slightly curved, of moderate thickness, and well covered with hair.

Well drawn up.

Shoulders, muscular, giving breadth of chest, set sloping. Elbows well under, neither turned inwards nor outwards.

Forearm muscular, and the whole leg strong and quite straight.

Muscular thighs and second thigh long and strong as in the Greyhound, and hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out.

Moderately large and round, neither turned inwards nor outwards. Toes, well arched and closed. Nails, very strong and curved.

Rough and hard on body, legs and head; especially wiry and long over eyes and underjaw.

Color and Markings
The recognized colors are gray, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn or any other color that appears in the Deerhound.

Too light or heavy a head, too highly arched frontal bone; large ears and hanging flat to the face; short neck; full dewlap; too narrow or too broad a chest; sunken or hollow or quite straight back; bent forelegs; overbent fetlocks; twisted feet; spreading toes; too curly a tail; weak hindquarters and a general want of muscle; too short in body. Lips or nose liver-colored or lacking pigmentation.

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Breeder Resources
  • AKC

  • IWCA

  • IWPedigrees.com

  • CTCA

  • ABKA