Standing very nearly a yard high at the shoulder, the Wolfhound is not only the tallest of all the hounds, but also the biggest breed of them all. In addition, he is well built in all departments, any tendency to lightness of head, limbs or body being frowned on by his devotees.
In spite of his size, he is one of the gentlest of dogs, with an expression that combines pride and calm, but that can occasionally light up with genial mischief as his dark eyes flash. Everything about the Wolfhound is large, but one of his greatest attributes is his perfection of balance, his rough, harsh coat fitting his image perfectly.
Originally, the Wolfhound could be found with either a smooth or a rough coat, though in early years there was probably great variance of type. After the last wolf was killed in Ireland, before 1800, the breed almost died out and was further affected by the Great Famine of the late 1840s. There followed a restoration of the breed by 1870 and a breed club was in existence by 1885.
The Wolfhound never appears to hurry, but he can cover a lot of ground and obviously is a dog that needs space and reasonable exercise. He also needs food in fair quantity, especially in his growing years, when his rapid increase in size requires attention to a high-calibre diet if his huge frame is to be properly developed.
He is a delightful dog, but not a breed to be taken on lightly.