Go to content
Irish Wolfhound Club Standard of Excellence
(amended 1981)

General Appearance
The Irish Wolfhound is the largest and tallest of the galloping hounds, it combines power and swiftness with keen sight and in general appearance is a rough coated greyhound-like breed. Of great size and commanding appearance, very muscular, strongly though gracefully built, movements easy and active, head and neck carried high, the tail carried low with a slight upward sweep towards the extremity.

Head and Skull
Long, 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.


Small Greyhound like in appearance.

Scissor. Level is, however permitted.

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

Shoulders muscular, giving breadth of chest, set sloping, Elbows well under, turned neither inwards nor outwards. Leg, forearm muscular and the whole leg strong and quite straight.

Chest, very deep. Breast wide. Back, rather long than short. Loins arched. Belly well drawn up.

Muscular thighs and second thighs long and strong as in the greyhound, hocks well let down and turning neither inwards nor outwards.

Moderately large and round, turned neither inwards nor outwards. Toes well arched and closed. Nails very strong and curved.

Easy and active.

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

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

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

Weight and size
The minimum height and weight of dogs should be 31 inches and 120lbs, of bitches 28 inches and 90lbs. Anything below this should be debarred from competition. Great size including height at the shoulder and proportionate length of body is the desideratum to be aimed at, and it is desired to firmly establish a breed that shall average 32 to 34 inches in dogs, showing the requisite power activity and symmetry.

Too light or heavy a head, too highly arched frontal bone, large ears, ears hanging flat to the face, short neck, full dewlap, too narrow or too broad a chest, sunken, hollow or quite straight back, bent forelegs, over-bent fetlocks, twisted feet, spreading toes, too curly a tail, weak hindquarters and a general want of muscle, too short in body, pink or liver coloured eyelids, lips and nose any colour other than black, very light eyes, coat soft or wooly.

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

Download  standard
The oldest Irish Wolfhound club in the world.
Established in 1885 by Capt George Augustus Graham.
Back to content