the Irish Wolfshound is described as “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”.
Once used to hunt wolves, an Irish wolfhound’s structure should appear as if it is “fast enough to catch a wolf, and strong enough to kill it”.
The colours allowed by the American Kennel Club are “grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, wheaten and steel grey”
the breed is generally introverted, intelligent, and reserved in character. An easygoing animal, Irish Wolfhounds are quiet by nature. Wolfhounds often create a strong bond with their family and can become quite destructive or morose if left alone for long periods of time. An Irish wolfhound is not a guard dog and will protect individuals rather than the house or the owner’s possessions. However independent the wolfhound is, the breed becomes attached to both owners and other dogs they are raised with and is therefore not the most adaptable of breeds. Bred for independence, an Irish wolfhound is not necessarily keen on defending spaces.
The Irish Wolfshound is prone to Dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer are the leading cause of death and like all deep-chested dogs, gastric torsion (bloat) is common; the breed is affected by hereditary intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.