I is for IRISH WOLFHOUND | #AtoZChallenge

73 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
#AtoZChallenge 2016 G is for Golden Retriever
Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZChallenge 2016, I is for IRISH WOLFHOUND, The Doglady's Den
Day 9, April 11


The Irish Wolfhound, tallest of all dog breeds, is a keen-sighted hound used in Ireland for many years to hunt wolves and other game. An ancient breed, first mentioned about the 2nd century ad, it is similar in build to the greyhound but far more powerful. The female, which is smaller than the male, stands a minimum of 30 inches (76 cm) and weighs a minimum of 105 pounds (48 kg); the male wolfhound is at least 32 inches (81 cm) tall and weighs a minimum of 120 pounds (54 kg), though it may greatly exceed this size. The coat is rough and is long on the brows and underjaw; colours include gray, brindle, red-brown, black, and white. Noted for speed, strength, and hunting ability, the Irish wolfhound is also valued as a gentle, even-tempered companion. – Encyclopedia Britannica

#AtoZChallenge 2016, I is for Irish Wolfhound, The Doglady's Den

Although I’ve never had one as a client, there used to be an Irish Wolfhound named Saffron in the neighbourhood. Affectionately know as “Saffy”, she was part of our doggie play group that met daily in the local schoolyard. A good-natured dog, Saffy loved to cavort with the others and wasn’t the least bit intimidating. Truly a gentle giant.


Are you familiar with this breed?
Would you consider having such a large dog?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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73 thoughts on “I is for IRISH WOLFHOUND | #AtoZChallenge

  1. I love the Irish Wolfhound, precisely because it’s so huge! When I was a kid, I used to make up stories in my head about the adventures I had with an Irish Wolfhound, Saluki, and one other dog around my grandparents’ vast yard. Since I’m short, I like the idea of having a big dog for protection, though I also adore toy breeds.

    1. Great story about your Wolfhound friend, Saluki. 🙂 A short person with a tall dog would be well-protected. Thanks for visiting! You’ll find dogs of all sizes here.

  2. What an amazing dog! Irish Wolf hound? I find it amazing and hope to actually see one some day. I wonder if we have any in India?

  3. J here, of the #atozchallenge Arlee Bird’s A to Z Ambassador Team. Thanks for stopping by Arlee’s blog to comment on my Manhattan story.
    How was the first week of the challenge for you? Are you meeting your goals of posting and hopping to other blogs?
    My blog’s giveaways are still going!
    I’m a fan of large breeds. I’ve only seen two of these, living with an old-money family in Massachusets. Quite impressive.

    1. There aren’t too many around here, either. I was happy to meet Saffy. She was a fun-loving girl. 🙂 These dogs would be well-suited to a family with a large estate.

  4. Visiting for A to Z! I’ve never seen an Irish Wolfhound in person but I have always loved them. If I had the room I think I’d have one!! Have fun with A to Z!!

  5. Funny, I just saw one on Friday going into Petsmart with his owner. I thought it was a pony:) I think,any animal including humans, when they are so big or tall, they do have short life spans because they shouldn’t be that big. I wouldn’t have one so big because of the room. They seem to be gentle giants

  6. When I worked at the nursing home, a man came in regularly to visit him mom. He always brought along his Irish Wolfhound. I was crazy about that dog. The other staff member accused the dog (out of his hearing) of being ugly. I said, You don’t know what you’re talking about! Those dogs are great!

    I’d love to have an Irish Wolfhound. Having a dog that big would suit me just fine. For now, though, I’m quite happy with Franklin and Penelope.

    I love your post, Doglady.


    1. How can anyone think this sweet, gentle being is ugly? Obviously not a dog lover! 😛 I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Janie. Thanks for dropping in. 🙂

    1. Yes, this breed is known for being gentle and sweet, despite its size. People should do research before getting a dog. This happens far too often!

  7. This is a breed I’ve always been attracted to. No, I’ve never had one at home, or even—like you—within reach for interaction, but… well, I love big dogs 😀 And Irish hounds strike me as playful and easygoing, not high-strung at all. So cool that they made a comeback after near-extinction!

  8. I LOVE Irish Wolfhounds. I wish my landlady wasn’t afraid of large dogs, but she is, so no biggies for me (and the smaller breeds for the most part drive me kookoo krazy, as they say here. I met one once in Italy; they are truly humongous, because not only are they tall, but they are also long. If one of the larger males stands on its hind legs, they can stand over 6 feet. Have you ever seen the Irish wolfhound in “Keeping Up Appearances”? Smart dog, that one. heeheehee

    1. Hi, Mary; I think they stand over 7 feet tall, at least according to the video. 🙂 I used to watch that show but don’t remember the Irish Wolfhound. I’ll look for some episodes online. Thanks.

  9. I often find that dogs this size are the most even tempered and caring to be around. Have a doberman at home who is thrice the size of the beagle… when it comes to manners, love and affection, both are awesome but the doberman probably gets 11 out of 10

    1. It’s so true! 🙂 Your Doberman sounds lovely. Beagles are nice, too. Thanks for dropping in. Apologies for the late response, but you know how it is. Cheers!

  10. Saffron is a great name! I see a lot of gentleness in the face of one so powerful and imagine they are wonderful as pets as well as hunting helpers;-)

    1. Isn’t it? 😀 I wonder if her mom watched “Absolutely Fabulous” (Britcom with a character of the same name). These are lovable giants.

  11. I loved the video — never knew this about the Irish wolfhound. Interesting that they don’t need to roam around on an acreage. What a great family dog — gentle giants and lap dogs!

  12. Great looker this one. I am for smaller dogs currently Debbie but who knows this may change. The space needed is bigger for these fellas and the thought of cleaning up after them gives me shudders 😉

    1. Hahaha! You’re the second person who has mentioned the cleaning up. Yes, it would be similar to horse droppings, I’m sure. 🙂

  13. I’ve never seen one of these gentle giants up close. I do remember as a kid in the 1960’s looking in my letter D Childcraft World Book encyclopedia at the section on dog breeds that included working dogs and show dogs. They showed an Irish Wolfhound as the biggest dog and had an illustration of one standing up and leaning on a man’s shoulders to show how long and big they were. Funny how that image is so clear in my mind. I had that particular section in the encyclopedia very “Dog-eared” from looking at it so often. GUFFAW! Couldn’t resist, eh, Debbie? You know me and bad puns.

    Another entertaining post on dogs, Debbie! I am enjoying them.

    1. Haha! Good one, Cathy. 🙂 That Irish Wolfhound image was obviously a memorable sight. I’m glad you’re enjoying the theme. It’s “pantser” time again, as L is the last pre-written post. Time to get out the vodka. 😉 I’m so behind and also with responses. Why do we do this to ourselves?! LOL

  14. All I can say after reading about all the breeds you have written about till now is that you are one lucky lady, Debbie! You are blessed to be able to live your life taking care of these wonderful creatures. They come in various types, but the one thing they have in common is a beautiful heart and a fabulous, intelligent mind. And, moreover, they are such great companions! I have one with me since nearly 12 years now – Chikoo, my Lab. He is my sunshine, my rainbow on a gloomy day, the love of my life!
    Dogs are the best creatures God made, and the best companions man could ever have had!

    1. Yes, this is my dream job, for sure. 🙂 Not to say, there haven’t been some “problem dogs” too. I felt the same way about my Dalmatian as you do about your Lab. I’ll be featuring Labs in the “L” post. Absolutely, dogs are the best! ♥

  15. I think I saw this breed just one… My husband and I were in our car, waiting at a traffic signal… He was at the corner with his owner… we were so amazed by his size that we missed the green signal… and it was only when there a were series of beeps behind us did we realise our folly 😛

    1. Great Danes are interesting too. I’ve only seen a few, from afar. Irish Wolfhounds have sweet dispositions and make great family pets if you have enough space.

  16. Wonderful looking dogs and quite regal – I always imagine them lying around the hearth of country manors and castles in days gone by. Not sure I’d want to keep one in my backyard though! (and imagine cleaning up after them!!)

  17. I love Irish Wolfhounds! I want one!! I love me some big dogs. I had a friend who had two of them, although I never got to meet them. He told me a lot about them though. It’s sad that their lifespans are so short. I would really love to have one. I think he or she would fit in magnificently with the greyhounds… 🙂
    Great video too.

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. They do sort of look like giant, hairier Greyhounds. 🙂 A bit too large for me and the short lifespan would be heartbreaking. Lovely temperaments these dogs have. I often saw another one at the leash-free park. She was playful and friends with everyone, just like Saffy.

  18. I always used to love Irish Wolfhounds when they appeared on TV and in film. I don’t think I could manage such a large dog, but they always seem to be so lovely. I just want to hug them as soon as I see them 🙂
    Tasha’s Thinkings (70) | Wittegen Press (72) | FB3X (AC) (73)

  19. Amazing this dog has been around so long, but has such a short life span. Very interesting article, and I really enjoyed the video. Gosh, I’m learning alot through your blog. 🙂 … And no, this dog is a size too big for me. Gee, that just made me feel thin. lol

    1. Yes, unfortunately, the larger the dog, the shorter the lifespan. This dog would be a little too big for me, as well. We have a small house. 🙂 On the other hand, many a large breed has stayed here temporarily. We’re often stepping over dogs around here.

    1. Saffy was a lovely dog and we enjoyed her company in our play group. 🙂 She was larger than the Baskervilles hound, who was a bloodhound/mastiff mix.

  20. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    I have heard of the Irish Wolfhound but don’t think I was ever around one. Today I spent a few hours at a family gathering at my sis-in-law’s house. They own a St. Bernard. It boggles my mind to think that the Irish Wolfhound is taller than the St. Bernard and that, standing on its hind legs, the Wolfhound could reach a height of 7 feet tall! Even though the Wolfhound is a good companion, a gentle giant and a capable hunter, I can’t imagine owning one because of the high cost of keeping it fed properly. The food bill would be astronomical!

    Thank you for introducing me to the Irish Wolfhound, dear friend Debbie, and have a great week!

    1. Hi, Shady; They are gentle giants these dogs, but not many people here have them either. Good point about the food bill! The other downside to larger dogs is their lifespans are shorter and that would be heartbreaking. Sorry for the late response. This challenge is kicking my ass! 😛 Thanks for your continued support, my friend.

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