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The goals and purposes of this breed standard include: to furnish guidelines for breeders who wish to maintain the quality of their breed and to improve it; to advance this breed to a state of similarity throughout the world; and to act as a guide for judges.

Breeders and judges have the responsibility to avoid any conditions or exaggerations that are detrimental to the health, welfare, essence and soundness of this breed, and must take the responsibility to see that these are not perpetuated.

Any departure from the following should be considered a fault, and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.


The various points of the breed are listed in order of merit. No singular point is to be exaggerated or diminished at the expense of the total breed standard.

  1. Breed type. A rough-coated, Greyhound-like breed. The tallest of the coursing hounds, with a remarkable combination of power and swiftness.
  2. Great size and commanding appearance.
  3. Easy and active movement.
  4. Long and level head, carried high.
  5. Heavily boned, straight forelegs.
  6. Elbows well set under.
  7. Long and muscular thighs.
  8. Well-muscled second thighs.
  9. Nicely bent stifles.
  10. Rough, hard coat, especially wiry and long over the eyes and on the underjaw.
  11. Long, well-ribbed-up body.
  12. Well-sprung ribs.
  13. Wide across hips.
  14. Arched loins.
  15. Belly well drawn up.
  16. Small ears, carried thrown back and folded (as a Greyhound).
  17. Moderately large, round feet. Close, well-arched toes.
  18. Long, well-arched, very strong neck.
  19. Very deep, moderately broad chest.
  20. Muscular, sloping shoulders.
  21. Long, slightly curved tail.
  22. Dark eyes.




The Irish Wolfhound is Greyhound-like, but rough coated. It is the largest and tallest of the coursing hounds, remarkable in its combination of power and swiftness. Maintenance of breed type is of prime importance. They are of great size, with a commanding appearance, very muscular and strong, yet gracefully built, with easy and active movement. Any deviation from the standard is to be evaluated in relation to its degree of deviation. The ideal specimen has the great size with a proportionate length of body, and shows the requisite power, activity, courage and symmetry.

# 2 ... HEAD

The long, level head is 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: a complete set of strong, white teeth that meet in a scissors bite. A level bite is acceptable. EARS, small and greyhound-like in carriage. EYES and NOSE: are dark.

Head too light or too heavy. Frontal bone too highly arched. Lips any color other than black.

Nose any color other than black
Large ears. Ears hanging flat to the face.

# 3 ... BODY

NECK: Rather long, very strong and muscular, well arched, without dewlap or loose skin about the throat. CHEST: Very deep. breast, wide. BACK: Rather long than short. Loins arched.

Short neck. Full delaps.


Shoulders, Muscular, sloping, set to provide breadth to the chest. Elbows well under, niether turned inwards or outwards. The forearm is muscular. The entire leg is strong, quite straight, and heavily boned. The elbows are set well under.

Bent forelegs. Over bent pasterns.

# 5 ... BODY

CHEST: very deep, and moderately broad. The rib cage is long, with the ribs well sprung. The back is rather long than short, with arched loins and great width across the hips. The belly is well drawn up. COAT: Rough and hard on body, legs and head; especially wiry and long over eyes and under jaw.

Chest too narrow or too broad. Back too straight. Sunken or hollow back. Short body.


Both the upper and lower thighs are muscular, with the lower thigh being long and strong (as found in the Greyhound). HIND LEGS: hocks well let down and turning niether in or out. Stifles are nicely bent. Feet are moderately large and round, niether turned inwards or outwards. Toes, well arched and closed, Nails, very strong and curved.

Weak and/or lack of muscle in hindquarters.
Twisted feet. Splay feet.


Recognized colors include: gray, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, and any other color that is found in the Deerhound.

Disqualification: Albinism

The desired height for a male dog would be 81cms (32ins) to 86 cms (34 ins) at the shoulder and weigh on average 80 to 100 kgs.  Females will run smaller, with a minimum height requirement of 71cms (28ins) and weigh on average 60 to 80 kgs.

Gait or movement is easy and active

Eliminating Faults

An Eliminating Fault is a Fault serious enough that it eliminates the dog from obtaining any awards in a conformation event.)
Under height or weight minimums after 18 months of age.


A dog with a Disqualification must not be considered for placement in a conformation event, and must be reported.
Unilateral or bilateral cryptorchid.
Viciousness or extreme shyness.


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