General appearance and Characteristics
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 arough 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
The minimum height and weight of dogs should be 32 inches (81 cm)and 120 lb. (54 kg); of bitches 30 inches (76 cm) and 105 lb. (48 kg),
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 32-34 inches (81-86 cm) in dogs, showing the requisite power,activity, courage, and symmetry.
Coat and Colour
Hair rough and hard on body, legs and head; especially wiry and long over eyes and underjaw. The recognized colours are grey, brindle, red,
black, pure white, fawn, or any other colour that appears in the Deerhound.
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.
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.
Back rather long than short. Chest very deep. Breast wide. Loins arched. Belly well drawn up.
Muscular thighs and second thigh long and strong, as in the Greyhound, and hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out. Feet moderately
large and round, neither turned inwards nor outwards. Toes well arched and closed. Nails very strong and curved.
Long and slightly curved, of moderate thickness, and well covered with hair.
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; over bent fetlocks; twisted feet; spreading toes, too curly a tail; weak hindquarters
and a general want of muscle; too short in body. Lips or nose livercoloured or lacking pigmentation.
List of Points in Order of Merit
l. Typical - The Irish Wolfhound is a rough-coated, Greyhound-like breed, the tallest of the coursing hounds and remarkable in combining power and swiftness.
2. Great size and commanding appearance.
3. Movements - easy and active.
4. Head - long and level, carried high.
5. Forelegs - heavily boned, quite straight; elbows well set under.
6. Thighs - long and muscular; second thighs, well muscled, stifles nicely bent.
7. Coat - rough and hard, especially wiry and long over the eyes and under jaw.
8. Body - long, well ribbed up, with ribs well sprung, and great breadth across hips.
9. Loins - arched, belly well drawn up.
10. Ears - small, with Greyhound-like carriage.
11. Feet - moderately large and round; toes, close, well arched.
12. Neck - long, well arched and very strong.
13. Chest - very deep, moderately broad.
14. Shoulders - muscular, set sloping.
15. Tail - long and slightly curved.
16. Eyes - dark.
Note: The above in no way alters the “Standard of Excellence” which
must, in all cases, be rigidly adhered to; they simply give the various
points in order of merit. If, in any case, they appear at variance with
Standard of Excellence, it is the latter which is correct.
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.
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.