Breed Standards


(The Irish Kennel Club standard for this breed includes an addendum, List of Points in order of merit, included in this section, which may not be included by the F.C.I.)

F.C.I Standard No 160 Origin Ireland 1.2.01



Up to the end of the17th century, Irish Wolfhounds were used for hunting wolves and deer in Ireland. They were also used for hunting the wolves that infested large areas of Europe before the forests were cleared.


Group 10 (sighthounds)

Section 2 (rough-coated sighthounds)

Without working trial



We know the continental Celts kept a greyhound probably descended from the greyhound first depicted in Egyptian paintings. Like their continental cousins, the Irish Celts were interested in breeding large hounds. These large Irish hounds could have had smooth or rough coats, but in later times, the rough coat predominated possibly because of the Irish climate. The first written account of these dogs was by a Roman Consul 391 A.D. but they were already established in Ireland in the first century A.D. when Setanta changed his name to Cu-Chulainn (the hound of Culann). Mention is made of the Uisneach (1st century) taking 150 hounds with them in their flight to Scotland. Irish hounds undoubtedly formed the basis of the Scottish Deerhound. Pairs of Irish hounds were prized as gifts by the Royal houses of Europe, Scandinavia and elsewhere from the Middle ages to the 17th century. They were sent to England,Spain, France, Sweden, Denmark, Persia, India and Poland. In the 15th century each county in Ireland was required to keep 24 wolfdogs to protect farmers’ flocks from the ravages of wolves. The Cromwellian prohibition (1652) on the export of Wolfhounds helped preserve their number for a time but the gradual disappearance of the wolf and continued demand abroad reduced their numbers almost to the point of extinction by the end of the 17th century. The revival of interest in the breed accompanied the growth of Irish nationalism in the late 19th century. The Irish Wolfhound became a living symbol of Irish culture and of the Celtic past. At this time, one determined enthusiast, Capt. G A Graham, set about obtaining some of the few remaining hounds of the Wolfhound type that could still be found in Ireland, and with the use of Deerhound blood and the occasional outcross of Borzoi and Great Dane, he eventually achieved a type of dog that bred true in every generation. The results were ultimately accepted as a legitimate revival of the breed. The Irish Kennel Club scheduled a class for Irish Wolfhounds at their show in April 1879, and a club was formed in 1885. The Irish Wolfhound now enjoys once again something of the reputation that it had in the Middle Ages. Wolfhounds are now owned and bred in fairly large numbers outside of Ireland.


The Irish Wolfhound should not be quite so heavy or massive as the Great Dane, but more so than the Deerhound, which in general type he should otherwise resemble. Of great size and commanding appearance, very muscular, strongly 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. 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 32 inches (81cm) to 34 inches (86cm) in dogs) showing the requisite power, activity, courage and symmetry.


Lambs at home, lions in the chase



Long and level, carried high; 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.

Teeth: Scissor bite ideal, level acceptable

Eyes: Dark

Ears: Small, rose ears

(Greyhound like in carriage)

NECK: Rather long, very strong and muscular, well arched, without dewlap or loose skin about the throat.

BODY: Long, well ribbed up.

Back: Rather long than short.

Loins: Slightly arched

Croup: Great breadth across hips

Chest: Very deep, moderately broad, breast wide.

Ribs well sprung

Belly: Well drawn up.

TAIL: Long and slightly curved, of moderate thickness, and well covered with hair.


Shoulders: Muscular, giving breadth of chest, set sloping.

Elbows: Well under, neither turned inwards nor outwards.

Forearm: Muscular.

Forelegs: Heavily boned, quite straight


Thighs: Long and muscular.

Stifle: Nicely bent.

Second thigh: Well muscled, long and strong.

Hocks: Well let down and turning neither in nor out

FEET: Moderately large and round, neither turned inward nor outwards. Toes, well arched

and closed. Nails, very strong and curved.

GAIT / MOVEMENT Movements easy and active


Rough and hard on body, legs and head; especially wiry over eyes and under jaw.


The recognised colours are grey, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn or any colour that appears in the Deerhound

SIZE: (Height and Weight)

Desired height: averaging 32 inches (81cm) to 34 inches (86cm) in dogs.

Minimum height . Dogs 31 inches (79cm)

Minimum weight: Dogs 120 pounds (54.5kg);

Minimum height: Bitches 28 inches (71cm)

Minimum weight: Bitches 90 pounds (40.5 kg)


Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

  • Too light or too heavy a head.
  • Too highly arched frontal bone.
  • Crooked forelegs, weak pasterns
  • Weak hindquarters and a general want of muscle
  • Too short in body.
  • Back sunken or hollow or quite straight.
  • Large ears and hanging flat to the face
  • Twisted feet.
  • Spreading toes.
  • Short neck; full dewlap
  • Chest too narrow or too broad.
  • Tail excessively curled
  • Nose of any colour other than black.
  • Lips of any colour other than black.
  • Very light eyes. Pink or liver coloured eyelids.

NOTE: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum


  1. TYPICAL: The Irish Wolfhound should not be quite so heavy or massive as the Great Dane, but more so than the Deerhound, which in general type he should otherwise resemble.
  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, specially wiry and long over 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 (rosed)
  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.


As Gaelige: Wolfhound na h Eireann

(Áirítear leis Kennel Club na hÉireann caighdeánach do seo pór aguisín, Liosta de na Pointí in ord fiúntais, san áireamh san alt seo, ní fhéadfar a áireamh ar an FTF)

F.C.I Standard Uimh Origin 160 – Éire 1.2.01

Suas go dtí deireadh an chéid the17th, baineadh úsáid as Wolfhounds Gaeilge do mac tíre fiaigh agus fianna in Éirinn. Bhí siad ag úsáid freisin chun fiaigh an mac tíre go réimsí móra infested na hEorpa sula raibh Glanadh na foraoisí.

Ranguithe FTF
Grúpa 10 (sighthounds)
Alt 2 (sighthounds garbh-brataithe)
Gan oibre triail


Tá a fhios againn go gcoimeádfar na Ceiltigh ilchríochach descended con dócha ón gcéad con léirítear i phictiúir hÉigipte. Cosúil lena Cousins ilchríochach, bhí spéis na Ceiltigh Gaeilge i póraithe hounds mór. D’fhéadfadh na hounds móra na hÉireann a bhí acu cótaí mín nó garbh, ach le tamall ina dhiaidh sin, predominated an cóta garbh b’fhéidir mar gheall ar an aeráid na hÉireann. An chéad chuntas scríofa de na madraí a bhí ag Chonsal na Rómhánach 391 AD, ach go raibh siad bunaithe cheana féin in Éirinn sa chéad céad AD Setanta nuair a d’athraigh sé a ainm go Cu-Chulainn (an cú de Chulainn). Luaigh Déantar an Uisneach (1ú haois) ag cur 150 hounds leo ina n-eitilt go hAlbain. hounds na hÉireann le chéile gan amhras bhonn na Deerhound na hAlban. Bhí reach Péirí na hounds Gaeilge mar bronntanas na tithe Ríoga na hEorpa, Lochlann agus in áiteanna eile ó Mheán aois ar an 17ú haois. Cuireadh siad go Sasana, an Spáinn, an Fhrainc, an tSualainn, an Danmhairg, Persia, an India agus an Pholainn. Sa 15ú haois bhí ar gach contae in Éirinn a choinneáil ar 24 wolfdogs a chosaint feirmeoirí dtréada ó ravages wolves. Feidhm ag an toirmeasc Chromail (1652) ar onnmhairiú Wolfhounds Chuidigh chaomhnú a líon féin ar feadh tamaill ach an cealú de réir a chéile ar an mac tíre agus thar lear éileamh leanúnach ar a n-uimhreacha laghdú beagnach go dtí an pointe extinction faoi dheireadh an 17ú haois. An athbheochan spéise san cine ag gabháil leis an bhfás náisiúnachas na hÉireann sa 19ú haois. Tháinig an wolfhound hÉireann siombail beo de chultúr na hÉireann agus ar an am atá caite Cheiltigh. Ag an am seo, ceann enthusiast chinneadh, Capt EN Graham, leagtar faoi a fháil ar chuid de na conairte beag atá fágtha den chineál wolfhound d’fhéadfaí iad a fháil fós in Éirinn, agus le húsáid na fola Deerhound agus an outcross ócáideacha de Borzoi agus Great Dane , a bhaint amach i ndeireadh na dála sé cineál madra ar a tógadh fíor i ngach glúin. Na torthaí a glacadh sa deireadh mar athbheochan dlisteanacha an cine. Club na hÉireann Kennel sceidealta d’aicme ar Wolfhounds Gaeilge ag a thaispeáint i mí Aibreáin 1879, agus bunaíodh an club i 1885. An wolfhound taitneamh na hÉireann anois arís rud éigin, chun clú a bhí air sna Meánaoiseanna. Wolfhounds faoi úinéireacht anois agus tógadh i go leor líon mór taobh amuigh d’Éirinn.
Níor chóir an Ghaeilge a bheith sách trom wolfhound amhlaidh nó ollmhór mar Great Dane, ach tá níos mó ná an Deerhound, atá i gcló go ginearálta ba chóir dó cosúil mhalairt. De mhéid agus cuma iontach láidir, an-mhatánach, cé gur tógadh go láidir gracefully, gluaiseachtaí éasca agus gníomhaí; rinneadh ceann agus muineál ard; an t-eireaball rinneadh le sweep aníos le cuar beag i dtreo is faide. Tá Great méid, lena n-áirítear airde ar ghualainn agus fad comhréireach de chuid an chomhlachta, an desideratum a bheidh dírithe ar, agus tá sé inmhianaithe go daingean a bhunú rás (go ndéanfar meán 32 orlach (81cm) le 34 n-orlach (86cm) i madraí) a léiríonn anchumhacht is gá, le gníomhaíocht, le misneach agus siméadrachta.

IOMPAR AGUS temperament
“Uain sa bhaile, Lions sa tóir”.

Long agus leibhéal, rinneadh ard; na cnámha tosaigh ar an mhullach an-beagán a tarraingíodh anuas agus is beag eangú idir na súile.

Cranial RÉIGIÚN:
Skull: Nach bhfuil ró-leathan

Muzzle: Long agus léirigh measartha.
idéalach greim Scissor, leibhéal inghlactha: Fiacla
Súile: Dark
chluasa: Beaga, cluasa ardaigh
(Con mhaith i iompair)

Muineál: Ina ionad sin ar fad, an-láidir agus matáin, go maith droimneach, gan dewlap nó craicinn scaoilte mar gheall ar an scornach.

COMHLACHT: Long, iomaireach maith suas.
Ar ais: fada áit a bheith gearr.
Loins: droimneach Beagán
Croup: leithead Great fud na cromáin
Cliabh: An-dhomhain, measartha leathan, chíche leathan.
Ribs sprung maith
Bolg: Well tharraingt suas.

EIREABAILL: Long agus cuartha beagán, ar tiús measartha, agus maith clúdaithe le gruaig.

Shoulders: Mhatánach, rud a thugann fairsinge na cófra, a leagtar fána.
Uillinn: Bhuel faoi, ná inwards bliain d’aois ná amach.
Forearm: Mhatánach.
Forelegs: boned go mór, go leor díreach

Pluide: Long agus matáin.
Stifle: Nicely lúbtha.
Dara ceathar: muscled Bhuel, fada agus láidir.
Hocks: Well ligean síos agus ag casadh ná in ná amach

Cosa: Measartha móra agus cruinn, ní iompú isteach ná amach. Bharraicíní, droimneach maith
agus dúnta. Tairní, an-láidir agus cuartha.

Gait / GLUAISEACHT Gluaiseachtaí éasca agus gníomhach

cruath agus crua ar an gcomhlacht, cosa agus ceann; háirithe wiry thar súile agus faoi fhód.

DATH agus marcálacha:
Is iad na dathanna a aithnítear liath, brindle, dearg, dubh, bán íon, láidir ar dhath nó aon dath gur dealraitheach sna
an Deerhound

MÉID: (Airde & Meáchan)
Inmhianaithe airde: meánú 32 orlach (81cm) le 34 n-orlach (86cm) i madraí.
airde íosta. Madraí 31 orlach (79cm)
Minimum meáchan: Madraí £ 120 (54.5kg);
Minimum airde: Bitches 28 orlach (71cm)
Minimum meáchan: Bitches £ 90 (40.5 kg)

Ba cheart aon imeacht ó na pointí sin roimhe seo, measfar gur locht agus a thromchúisí is a ba cheart a mheas an locht a chur i gcomhréir cruinn ar a mhéid.
• Ró-éadrom nó ró-throm ar cheann.
• Ró-ard droimneach cnámh tosaigh.
• forelegs Crooked, pasterns lag
Ba mhaith • hindquarters lag agus a ginearálta muscle
• Too gearr sa chomhlacht.
• bháite Ar ais nó chuasacha nó díreach go leor.
• chluasa Móra agus crochadh cothrom leis an duine
• troigh Twisted.
• Leathadh toes.
• muineál gairid; dewlap iomlán
• Chest ró-chúng nó ró-leathan.
• Tail curled iomarcacha
• Srón ar aon dath eile seachas dubh.
Liopaí • dhath ar bith eile seachas dubh.
• An-solas súile. bándearg nó ae reiteach daite.

TABHAIR FAOI DEARA: Ba chóir go mbeadh dhá magairlí ainmhithe fireanna cosúil gnáth shliocht go hiomlán i scrotum

LIOSTA NA POINTÍ in ord fiúntais
1. Tipiciúil: Níor chóir an Ghaeilge a bheith sách trom wolfhound amhlaidh nó ollmhór mar Great Dane, ach
níos mó ná an Deerhound, atá i gcló go ginearálta ba chóir dó cosúil mhalairt.
2. méid BREATAINE agus cuma láidir.
3. Gluaiseachtaí éasca agus gníomhach.
4. Ceann, fada agus leibhéal, rinneadh ard.
5. Forelegs, boned go mór, go leor díreach; uillinn a leagtar maith faoi.
6. Pluide fada agus matáin; dara pluide stifles, go maith muscled, nicely lúbtha.
7. Cóta, garbh agus crua, go speisialta wiry agus fada os cionn súile agus faoi fhód.
8. Comhlacht, fada, iomaireach maith suas, le easnacha maith sprung, agus ar raon mór ar fud na cromáin.
9. Loins droimneach, bolg tharraingt suas go maith.
10. Cluasa, beag, le con cosúil le hiompar (rosed)
11. Cosa, measartha mór agus an babhta; bharraicíní dhúnadh, go maith droimneach.
12. Muineál, fada, droimneach go maith agus an-láidir.
13. Cliabh,-dhomhain, measartha leathan.
14. ghualainnai, matáin, a leagtar fána.
15. Eireaball, chomh fada agus beagán cuartha.
16. Súile, dorcha.
athraíonn an méid sin thuas ar dhóigh ar bith ar an “Caighdeán sármhaitheasa” nach mór i ngach cás go docht: Tabhair faoi deara
gcloítear leis; iad a thabhairt ach na pointí éagsúla in ord fiúntais. Más rud é, in aon chás a láithreoidh siad ag
neamhréir le Caighdeán Feabhais is é an dara ceann is ceart.