Dog Breed

Irish Wolfhound

Primary image of Irish Wolfhound dog breed
Full Name
Irish Wolfhound
Your PupScore
Take the best dog breed quiz to get your Pup Scores!
Life Span
6 - 8 years
105 - 180 pounds

Sweet-Tempered, Loyal, Dignified, Patient, Thoughtful, Generous

Bred For
Coursing wolves, elk
Family Considerations
Child Friendly

Is the Irish Wolfhound good with children? Nearly all dogs enjoy playing with small children, but some can play too rough, or be a bit careless. In some cases dogs can get jealous of small children, or try and "herd" them due to their natural instincts.

Stranger Friendly

Is the Irish Wolfhound friendly with strangers? Getting a dog that is friendly with people really depends on what your lifestyle is. Dogs who are more cautious with strangers oftentimes make good guard dogs, which can be a great fit for some owners. If you are social, live in the city, or frequently have guests over, you may want to consider getting a stranger friendly dog.

Dog Friendly

Is the Irish Wolfhound friendly with other dogs? Of course this is particularly important if you already have another dog at home. However, it's an important factor to consider as well if you plan on frequently going to the dog park. Otherwise, even a dog who is not automatically friendly with other dogs can be an excellent fit, as they can still be affectionate with their human family.

Likes to Cuddle

Does the Irish Wolfhound like to cuddle? All dogs want love, but they have different boundaries when it comes to physical affection. If you plan on frequently having a dog on your lap or pushed up against you, then you should consider whether this breed enjoys that.


Does the Irish Wolfhound like to play? All puppies are playful, but as adults certain dogs are more playful. If you have children, or otherwise want to keep your dog active with plenty of play, there are plenty of options of breeds who will be happy to play all day.

Service Dog Ability

Does the Irish Wolfhound make a good service dog? When looking to train a service dog it's important to consider how they were historically bred, and if their personality makes a good fit. A service dog must be smart, patient, and obsessed with pleasing their owner. Working dogs are a good fits since service dog 'work' gives them a feeling of accomplishment from doing a job.

Overall Ease of Breed
Ease for Novice

Is the Irish Wolfhound good for first time owners? Dogs that are good for first time owners are ones who are easy to train, and are eager to please their owner. Very large dogs, or dogs with very high energy may also not be the best for first time owners since it adds a layer of complexity.

Training Potential

How well can the Irish Wolfhound be trained? This rating is about the training potential of the Irish Wolfhound. Dogs with high training potential oftentimes are good service dogs, police dogs, and dog show competition dogs. This does not necessarily mean they are the easiest to train, since many will be very intelligent and demanding.

Amount of Shedding

Does the Irish Wolfhound shed a lot?

Ease of Grooming

Is the Irish Wolfhound easy to groom?

Exercise Need

Does the Irish Wolfhound need a lot of exercise?


How smart is the Irish Wolfhound?

Amount of Barking

How much does the Irish Wolfhound bark? Does the Irish Wolfhound bark too much? It depends on your lifestyle, and where you live. Dogs use barking to communicate, keep guard, and alert. A strong bark can be a good characteristic for guard dogs, or flock guardian dogs who need to be vocal.In apartment living you should consider getting a dog who is less vocal.

Guard Dog Ability

Is the Irish Wolfhound a good guard dog?

Tolerates Being Alone

Is the Irish Wolfhound good at staying alone? Is the Irish Wolfhound independent?

Home and Environment Considerations
Good for Apartment Living

Is the Irish Wolfhound a good apartment dog? Can the Irish Wolfhound live in an apartment without becoming frustrated or destructive? Typically people immediately consider the size of the dog, but energy level and historical habitat are also factors.


How big is the Irish Wolfhound?

Tolerates Heat

How much does the Irish Wolfhound tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Irish Wolfhound?

Tolerates Cold

How much does the Irish Wolfhound tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Irish Wolfhound?

Potential to Run Away

Does the Irish Wolfhound try to run away? Some dogs have natural wanderlust and are escape artists... they will do everything to get out and explore.

Physical Characteristics
General Health

Is the Irish Wolfhound a healthy dog? The general health of a Irish Wolfhound should be measured not just by how many years they live, but how often they have health issues during their lives. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

Energy Level

How energetic is the Irish Wolfhound? Is the Irish Wolfhound too energetic for your lifestyle?

Amount of Drooling

How much does the Irish Wolfhound drool?

Prey Drive

Does the Irish Wolfhound have a large prey drive? Does the Irish Wolfhound like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals? Prey drive can be bothersome at the park, but really an issue at home if you have small animals, since this comes as a natural instinct for dogs with high prey drive, to chase cats, birds, etc.


Is the Irish Wolfhound atheltic? Is the Irish Wolfhound fast and strong?

The Irish Wolfhound is a purebred dog that falls within the larger Hound dog breed group.
Hound group: The hound has traditionally been used alongside hunters to track or chase prey. Unlike retrievers who are bred primarily to retrieve and bring back the prey, hounds were typically bred to have excellent vision, scent, or speed to pursue the prey. Because of the Hound's excellent vision, scent, and focus, they are a common police and secret services dog. Hounds are typically categorized into either "scent hounds" or "sight hounds". Both exercise and mental stimulation is important for hounds because of their history. They want to feel they have a "job" and want to go to bed feeling they have done their day's duty.

Similar Breeds