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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

15 Pawfect Facts About The Irish Wolfhound Dog Kids Will Love

One of the important Irish Wolfhound facts is that they usually have gray coats

The Irish Wolfhound that is native to Ireland is known for its hunting behavior. They were used by other countries for hunting bears, wolves, wild boars, cougars, Irish elk, and many other creatures. An Irish Wolfhound is also known as ‘the heartbreak dog’ because of its short lifespan. These giant breeds come with a lot of health problems such as heart diseases, tumors, and gastric problems. So, before owning one consider these facts as they will leave early from your life breaking your heart.

Irish Wolfhound is the tallest dog in the world and can easily surpass an average human height by standing on its hind legs. An Irish Wolfhound does not make a good guard dog because of its gentle behavior. They are ideal as family companions. An Irish Wolfhound is one of the breeds of Ireland that come in a variety of colors such as red, black, white, gray, and brindle. They hold the pride of ancient Ireland in place and a memorial is also present of an ‘extinct’ wolfhound. They are often referred to as 'Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked'.

You may also check out the fact files on Chinese crested dog facts and white shepherd facts from Kidadl.

Irish Wolfhound Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Irish Wolfhound?

Irish Wolfhounds are considered descendants of sighthound dog breed from Ireland.

What class of animal does an Irish Wolfhound belong to?

Irish Wolfhounds belong to the class Mammalia. They come under the kingdom of Animalia.

How many Irish Wolfhounds are there in the world?

The exact number of Irish Wolfhounds present in the world is not known. As these dogs originate from Ireland, they can be found there as well as in some European countries where they were exported.

Where does an Irish Wolfhound live?

An Irish Wolfhound can be found living in private houses. This dog because of its quiet, gentle nature has found its place in private homes.

What is an Irish Wolfhound's habitat?

The dog breed originates from Ireland, Belgium. There are many debates about the origin and habitat of this breed. Some believe it to be a descendant of a Sighthound breed from the Middle East. But it has now made its place in private homes because of its gentle and quiet nature.

Who do Irish Wolfhounds live with?

Irish Wolfhounds live with people. They are not at all apartment dogs and can only live with people who have lots of room for the dog to roam.

How long does an Irish Wolfhound live?

Irish Wolfhounds have a fairly short lifespan and can live for up to 10 years.

How do they reproduce?

Irish Wolfhounds are mammals and reproduce through copulation. The gestation period of the breed is around nine weeks (58-63 days). The mother wolfhound can give birth to five or six puppies.

What is their conservation status?

These dogs from Ireland are Not Evaluated under IUCN Red List. This indicates that the population of Irish Wolfhound is quite stable. The origins of the Irish wolfhounds can be traced back to Ireland. During the 1800s Irish Wolfhound’s was considered to be extinct by many knowledgeable persons of this breed. This dog was mainly found in the royal families for guarding purposes and hunting of wolves, bear, and many other creatures. These dogs were also used for many games of speed and as armies to drag off horses soldiers on the battlefield.

The dog lost its purpose as the Irish wolves were hunted down to extinction and their numbers declined. But Captain George A. Graham came to the Irish Wolfhound rescue from extinction by collecting specimens from older breeds and crossing with other breeds such as the Deerhound, Mastiff, Bourgois, and recreating the breed. The breed was once again recreated but lost its ancient bloodline. Though this breed is available but very rare in numbers. This is an expensive dog and needs lots of space to roam around which many people cannot afford. Regular grooming and brushing along with huge amounts of raw food are necessary for this huge dog.

Irish Wolfhound Fun Facts

What do Irish Wolfhounds look like?

Irish wolfhounds have eyes covered with hair.

Irish Wolfhounds are a massive size dog breed that comes in different coats and colors. They have two types of coat that are double coat and another is straight, hard coat. The double coat comes underneath with a soft coat. The outer coat is wiry and harsh. Shedding of coats of this breed is throughout the year. Regular grooming and brushing are required to keep loose hair and dirt from getting tangled with each other. The breed comes with multiple coat colors. They are white, gray, brindle, red, black, and fawn. Upon standing they can reach a height of 7 ft or more easily.

How cute are they?

Irish Wolfhounds are absolutely cute-looking huge dogs that are native to Ireland. The growth of wolfhound puppy is fast enough and can grow to full size within 10 months. Their wiry coat covers the eyes and jaws but needs regular grooming to keep the dog in shape. The size of the breed is the same as that of Great Dane with the type of coat as the only difference. These dogs are also known as gentle giants because of their quiet, gentle nature. It easily becomes a family companion when trained and socialized from a young age.

How do they communicate?

Irish Wolfhounds just like any other hunting dogs communicate by howling. While hunting they howl to communicate over long distances and to make their position known.

How big is an Irish Wolfhound?

Irish Wolfhounds are dogs that are massive in proportion. The male Irish wolfhound is larger than the female wolfhound. The average length of a male wolfhound range from 34-35 in (86.3-90 cm). The average length of a female wolfhound ranges from 32-34 in (83.8-86.3 cm). The Irish Wolfhound is around twice the size of a Boston terrier.

How fast can an Irish Wolfhound run?

Irish Wolfhound whose origin can be traced back to Ireland, can run at a speed of 40 mph (64.3 kph). It can run at twice the speed of a Beagle. This speed also makes them at least four times faster than a French Bulldog.

How much does an Irish Wolfhound weigh?

Irish Wolfhounds because of their great size weigh a lot. The average weight of a male wolfhound range from 140-180 lb (63.5-82 kg). A female wolfhound will weigh around 115-140 lb (52.1-63.5 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male wolfhound is simply called Irish Wolfhound and the female wolfhound is called a bitch or a dam.

What would you call a baby Irish Wolfhound?

A baby Irish Wolfhound is called an Irish Wolfhound puppy.

What do they eat?

The diet of an Irish Wolfhound consists mainly of dog food. Feeding them raw bones is good for their health as it helps them with calcium. Fish and eggs should also be a part of their diet as it provides with omega 3, fats and protein. Fruits and vegetables should also be included in their diet but they should be finely crushed along with some yogurt to help them with digestion. They should occasionally be provided with potatoes, rice, sweet potatoes, and dry bread for carbohydrates.

Large dogs require very high protein-rich foods and natural fats that can only be provided through raw foods. Raw foods improve gut health, immunity, and overall well-being. It also maintains the proper weight of the breed. Certain supplements are also required in Irish Wolfhound’s diet to take the nutrition to another level. It is very much essential to provide natural supplements and avoid synthetic, chemical supplements. Natural supplements will be absorbed more effectively and will improve metabolism and minimize breed-related health problems.

Are they slobbery?

No, Irish Wolfhounds are not slobbery dogs but when less attention is provided they become shaggy and lazy, sleeping all day long.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, Irish Wolfhounds do make a good pet and are therefore also called gentle giants. This dog is known for its quiet and gentle nature which makes it perfect for families. Irish Wolfhounds are loving companions and their non-aggressive nature makes them perfect for kids and other pets too. But because of its large size, this breed is not perfect for apartment dwellers as they need lots of space to roam around. It also needs daily exercise because of its high energy level which needs to be spent to remain healthy.

They are gentle and therefore not suited as a guard dog but ideal as a family companion. They are not destructive at home when exercised daily and will stay calm and gentle all day. Generally, this dog does not react to seeing strangers but needs socializing at a young age to be friendly to outsiders. This dog breed makes great pets but is not for everyone because of its strength and size.

Did you know...

Irish Wolfhounds are not at all aggressive and are known as gentle giants because of their gentle and quiet nature. They are ideal family companions and are safe for kids and other pets when raised from a young age with good training and socialization. But they are sometimes termed as aggressive because of their commanding appearance over other dogs of the same sex.

This dog because of cross-breeding lost its ancient bloodline and faces lots of health problems with a short lifespan. The major health problems include Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Megaesophagus, and Von Willebrand’s Disease. Some minor problems include hip dysplasia, osteochondritis, cardiomyopathy, and osteosarcoma. It also faces injuries to the tail tip and is intolerant to anesthesia.

Irish Wolfhound is one of the oldest breeds and dates back to before Christ. Some believe that they can be found in Ireland in 400 BC where they were sent as gifts to ancient Rome. They were sent to fight large animals like bears, lions, and wolves. The Roman statesman noted that 'all Rome viewed them in wonder' as the gift arrived.

In Ireland, some High Kings had armies of around 300 wolfhound dogs who were trained to drag enemies off the chariots and horses. They were the war heroes of Ireland at that time.

History of the Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound because of its great size and presence has inspired mythology, poetry, and literature. This wolfhound was doing during the war to drag enemies off the horses on battlefields. It was also used for games of speed. The dog was mainly found in the royal families because of its fame as a hunting dog. It was also used for hunting Irish elk and wolves. The breed almost faced extinction because the Irish wolves were hunted down to extinction by the ending of the eighteenth century.

The dog lost its purpose and the numbers slowly declined. Many persons having knowledge of this breed suggest that the breed faced extinction but by the end of the 19th it was recreated for those who loved this breed by Captain George Augustus Graham. The dog was created by collecting specimens from old breeds that were left. He crossed those specimens with other breeds like the Scottish Deerhound, Borzois, Great Dane, and Mastiffs.

This gene pool recreated the dog but the ancient bloodline could never be achieved in the breed. He created the Irish Wolfhound Club which was recognized by the Kennel Club in 1925. This dog has now found its way into private homes because of its gentle behavior but still possesses some of its hunting instinct.

The Irish wolfhound can even kill a bear as these animals were used to hunt wolves, cougars, bears, and wild boars.

Getting your own Irish Wolfhound

The cost to own an Irish Wolfhound is very expensive and costs anywhere between $1,500 to $2,000 depending on the quality of the breed. It can also be adopted from Irish Wolfhound rescuers that deal at a cost of $300. This dog is good for families who have lots of space for the dog to roam around and stretch out its large size. It is very gentle in nature that makes them ideal family companions. It is safe for kids and other pets but one should take note of its extraordinary size and strength.

These large-sized dogs require huge amounts of food preferably raw food to remain healthy. Lots of exercises are also needed otherwise the dog will become shaggy and lazy. Regular grooming and brushing are a must to keep dirt away and a tangle-free coat. One of the fun facts about the Irish Wolfhound is that these dogs can easily surpass an average human height just by standing on their hind legs. So, before owning Irish Wolfhounds one must make sure that this dog is perfect for their family because a large dog comes with more responsibility.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these Akita Inu facts and dorkie facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Irish Wolfhound Dog coloring pages.

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