Irish Wolfhound - Breed and Grooming Tips

An Irish Wolfhound must be "of great size and commanding appearance." He has a large, muscular greyhound-like shape, and he is the tallest of dogs, but not the heaviest. A superb athlete and an endurance runner, an old Irish proverb describes him perfectly: "Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked." The breed’s recognized colors are gray, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn and others.

A Look Back

One of the earliest recorded references to Irish Wolfhounds is in Roman records dating to 391 A.D. Often used as royal gifts, they hunted with their masters, fought beside them in battle, guarded their castles, played with their children, and lay quietly by the fire as family friends. They were fierce hunters of wolves and the oversized Irish elk, so good that their prey disappeared from Ireland and the hounds fell upon hard times. By the 19th Century there were few IWs left in Ireland.

Right Breed for You?

Although now primarily a family companion, the Irish Wolfhound will still instinctively give chase to fleeing prey. His large size commands more room, more exercise, and a bigger car. The breed’s harsh coat requires regular brushing.

Source:  American Kennel Club -


General: The Irish Wolfhound is a very large rough coated and wirey breed with a coat that is kept pretty much with very little grooming, just a little hand stripping or plucking is required. Nails need to be clipped and ears cleaned every 4 – 8 weeks.

Ears: Use Ear Care to remove dirt and debris from the ear canal. Do not clean further than you can see. Be sure to check ears for foreign objects after each luring coarse or chasing animals in a field.

Eyes: Optisoothe Eye Wash can be used daily to help flush foreign matter.

Bathing: Wolfhounds love the outdoors and love to run and chase things in the field. Wolfhounds require 2 baths, The first bath should be a general bath to get off the dirt and grime. The second bath should target your dogs needs. If your Wolfhound has allergies or sensitive skin we would suggest a Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo and follow it with a Medicated shampoo like Tea Tree & Aloe Shampoo or Luxury Tar and Sulfa Itch Relief Shampoo. Do not use a heavy conditioner, but choose a light conditioner to keep the coats hard texture, Plum Perfect Cream Rinse or Rainforest Conditioner light and will leave a clean fresh scent.

Common Problems: Wolfhounds love the outdoors and are prone to minor scrapes and irritations keep 3 in 1 Healing Cream on hand to treat to avoid a vet visit.

Coat Care: Extreme Odor Eliminator or one of our wonderful smelling colognes can be used between baths to help with keeping your Airedale smelling fresh and clean after an outdoor adventure.

Paws: Paw Balm should be used weekly to keep paw pads soft and pliable. This makes the pads less likely to dry and crack.

Tools: A brush and a comb should be used daily to weekly to keep the coat in good shape and sticker free. If your dog is hand stripped a stripping knife or stone will be used. Use stripping powder to help the stripping process.

Show Dog Tips: Use Freeze! Styling Gel while fluffing for that extra volume on the leg furnishings. Spray Quick Finish Styling Spray to keep the hard texture for the ring.

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