Irish Wolfhound vs Wolf: What’s the Difference?

Cute Irish Wolfhound

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There are several distinctions between a wolf and an Irish Wolfhound, even though the names seem similar. 

In this post, we’ll look at the differences between wolves and Irish Wolfhounds, including the apparent distinctions in size and appearance, so that you can have a well-rounded grasp of each of these dog species.

Let’s begin right away!

Differences Between Irish Wolfhound and Wolf?

Wolf Wolves Nature Savage Animals Fur Mammals

1. Appearance

An Irish Wolfhound and a wolf differ from one another by their outward appearances. 

Even though both canines are enormous, the Irish Wolfhound’s physique is longer than the wolf’s muscular body. 

Furthermore, wolf fur is thick and fluffy, whereas the Irish Wolfhound’s hair is long, coarse, and nearly wiry in appearance.

Both of these species come in a range of hues. However, the wolf’s coat frequently resembles its natural surroundings, unlike the Irish Wolfhound, whose hair does not. 

The wolf’s ears are also upright, but the Irish Wolfhound’s ears are floppy. A wolf and an Irish Wolfhound should be easily distinguishable at first look!

2. Breeding and Ancestry

Wolf Canis Lupus European Wolf Predator Pack

Significant variations in their genealogy and breeding set the Irish Wolfhound apart from the wolf beyond the obvious fact that the former is a domesticated species and the latter is a wild one. 

The Irish Wolfhound is said to have been developed about 700 BC, whereas the wolf is thought to be almost 300,000 years old.

The fundamental difference between these two dog species is that the Irish Wolfhound was raised to hunt wolves, and wolves are wild creatures that like to be left alone. 

In light of this, it shouldn’t be surprising that wolves occasionally encounter danger, especially while chasing after animals. The Irish Wolfhound was created mainly to stop wolves from devouring cattle.

3. Lifespan

Even though wolves in the wild lead risky lives, on average, they live longer than Irish Wolfhounds. 

For instance, despite having to survive in the wilderness, wolves may live anywhere between 10 and 12 years longer than Irish Wolfhounds, who have an average lifespan of 6 to 10 years.

4. Size

Sunset Irish Wolfhound Evening Atmosphere

You might be surprised to learn that the Irish wolfhound is larger than the typical wolf, irrespective of gender. 

But when you realize that Irish Wolfhounds have always been bred for hunting wolves, their bigger size makes perfect sense. They probably required the size advantage to defeat an apex predator like the wolf!

More specifically, the typical Irish Wolfhound is between 30 and 36 inches tall, whereas the average wolf is between 24 and 32 inches tall overall. 

Additionally, wolves typically weigh between 80 and 150 pounds, but Irish Wolfhounds weigh between 130 and 160 on average. Although wolves have excellent hunting and combat skills, Irish Wolfhounds regularly defeated them in the past.

5. Behavior

The Irish Wolfhound and the wolf exhibit distinct behavioral distinctions. Irish Wolfhounds like the company of people, including young children, unlike wolves, which benefit from elaborate social systems in their wolf packs. 

They are comfortable and laid-back dogs compared to wild and elusive wolves.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will an Irish Wolfhound protect you?

Irish Wolfhounds are still quite large, intimidating dogs with a lot of strength, and they make excellent guard dogs since they are prepared to protect you from danger.

Are Irish Wolfhounds lazy?

Irish wolfhounds require a moderate level of activity. If you give them the opportunity, they will become quite lazy, but they will be happiest when they get a little exercise daily. 

Do something fun with them outside, like taking a stroll or playing a game. When you take them for walks, you should always keep them on a leash since they have a strong instinct to hunt.

Are wolves friendly to humans?

Wolves will often only stay away from people if they have developed a tolerance for their presence in the wild. Ensure you do what you can to ensure that wolves remain in the wild where they belong. Do not give the wolves any food. 

Are Wolfhounds intelligent?

Yes. The Irish Wolfhound is a breed of dog known for its high level of intelligence and the ease with which you can train it. These enormous dogs need a lot of room to run, but they don’t need much more exercise than dogs of smaller sizes; all they want is a walk every day.

Are wolves afraid of dogs?

Yes. Wolves will show a high level of hostility toward domestic dogs. When one wolf meets a trained dog, it may engage in playful behavior, but when multiple wolves meet a dog, they will likely attack.


From this article, you can see the differences between a wolf and an Irish Wolfhound. Both differ in size, behavior, lifespan, and many more.

You will realize that wolves are excellent hunters compared to Irish Wolfhounds. The wolves also live longer compared to the Irish Wolfhound.

Magnus Sierra

Magnus Sierra

Hi, my name is Magnus Sierra, and I love Irish Wolfhounds!
I’ve been raising these magnificent dogs for a couple of years now and have learned a lot about them. My first Irish named Drake; I was 19 when I decided to adopt him. My vet told me that Irish Wolfhounds are affectionate, loyal, and quite gentle. So when I first adopted Drake, he certainly lived up to this description!

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