Welcome to the home page of the Rocky Mountain Irish Wolfhound Association.
The Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is a sighthound; meaning, it hunts by sight rather than scent. It is the largest and tallest member of the Greyhound family. The minimum height and weight of dogs (males) should be 32 inches and 120 pounds. The minimum height and weight of bitches (females) should be 30 inches and 105 pounds.
The Irish Wolfhound is a rough-coated Greyhound-like breed. The recognized colors are gray, brindle, red, black, white, fawn.
The Irish Wolfhound is an ancient breed. They have been companions of kings and nobility from the earliest Celtic times. In fact, there are historical documents from the 4th century noting Irish Wolfhounds being brought to Rome.
The ancient Irish nobility used the Irish Wolfhound for hunting wolves and Irish elk. When the Irish nobility was eliminated, the Irish Wolfhound almost became extinct. The breed was revived in the late 1800's.
While the Irish Wolfhound should be a strong and swift hound, he must also be gentle, loving and patient with family members and friends.
The life span of an Irish Wolfhound averages between 6 & 7 years. The principal cause of death is cancer (osteosarcoma and lymphoma). The second most common cause of death is cardiac related complications (cardiomyopathy).
Puppies grow from around one pound at birth to 100 lbs and around 30" tall in one year.
For information on how to select a breeder, please contact one of the officers or committee members listed on the Contacts page. For tips on buying a puppy see the Education page and the Responsible IW Ownership page.
Founded in 1973, the RMIWA is dedicated to the promotion of responsible ownership of Irish Wolfhounds through education, rescue and competition. General membership meetings are held six times per year. Meetings are open to the public. Programs of interest to Irish Wolfhound owners are frequently presented.
The RMIWA sponsors several activities throughout the year including:
- Lure Coursing Trials
- Specialty Show and Obedience Trial
- Fun Day, Education Session, Cardiac Testing and Picnic
- St. Patrick's Day Parade - Denver
- Breed Education Booths
RMIWA Mission Statement
- RMIWA is dedicated to education about and rescue of the Irish Wolfhound.
- RMIWA is committed to the protection, welfare, and guardianship of the Irish Wolfhound, and to the preservation of our beloved breed as defined by the standard recognized by the American Kennel Club.
- RMIWA considers education of the public and of our members about Irish wolfhound’s physical and psychological health, training, and medical care throughout the life cycle to be of paramount importance.
- RMIWA encourages sportsmanlike competition at dog shows, obedience trials, field trials, and matches under the rules of the American Kennel Club and/or the American Sighthound Field Association, as appropriate.
- RMIWA encourages participation in American Kennel Club puppy and canine good citizenship (CGC), companion, service and therapy dog activities.
- RMIWA maintains an active rescue, rehabilitation and placement program for abused, neglected, surrendered, or abandoned Irish Wolfhounds.
- RMIWA shall not be conducted or operated for profit and no part of any profits or remainder or residue from dues or donations to the club shall inure to the benefit of any member or individual.
See the Activities page for more details.
See the Calendar for meeting and activities dates and locations.
Irish Wolfhounds in need of homes are placed through the Rescue committee of the RMIWA. See the Rescue page for more information on adopting an Irish Wolfhound.
If you are interested in receiving the "Hound's Pause", the newsletter of the RMIWA, you may subscribe as a non-member. See the Newsletter page for further information.
For information on membership of the RMIWA, see the Membership page.
The Specialty Show page contains information about the RMIWA Specialty Show, Sweepstakes, Obedience Trial and Lure Trial.
Go to the Contact Us page for a listing of contacts in the RMIWA including the current officers.
Standard of Excellence of the Irish Wolfhound
General Appearance -- Of great size and commanding appearance, the Irish Wolfhound is remarkable in combining power and swiftness with keen sight. The largest and tallest of the galloping hounds, in general type he is a rough-coated, Greyhound-like breed; very muscular, strong though gracefully built; movements easy and active; head and neck carried high, the tail carried with an upward sweep with a slight curve towards the extremity. The minimum height and weight of dogs should be 32 inches and 120 pounds; of bitches, 30 inches and 105 pounds, these to apply only to hounds over 18 months. Anything below this should be debarred from competition. Great size, including height at shoulder and proportionate length of body, is the desideratum to be aimed at, and it is desired to firmly establish a race that shall average from 32 to 34 inches in dogs, showing the requisite power, activity, courage and symmetry.
Head -- 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. Ears, small and Greyhound-like in carriage.
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.
Tail -- Long and slightly curved, of moderate thickness, and well covered with hair.
Belly -- Well drawn up.
Forequarters -- Shoulder, muscular, giving breadth of chest, set sloping. Elbows well under, neither turned inwards nor outwards. Leg -- forearm muscular, and the whole leg strong and quite straight.
Hindquarters -- Muscular thighs and second thigh long and strong as in the Greyhound, and hocks well let down and turning neither in nor out.
Feet -- Moderately large and round, neither turned inwards nor outwards. Toes, well arched and closed. Nails, very strong and curved.
Hair -- Rough and hard on body, legs and head; especially wiry and long over eyes and under jaw.
Color and Markings -- The recognized colors are gray, brindle, red, black, pure white, fawn, or any color that appears in the Deerhound.
Faults -- Too light or heavy a head, too highly arched frontal bone; large ears and hanging flat to the face; short neck; full dewlap; too narrow or too broad a chest; sunken or hollow or quite straight back; bent forelegs; overbent fetlocks; twisted feet; spreading toes; too curly a tail; weak hindquarters and a general want of muscle; too short in body; lips or nose liver-colored or lacking pigmentation.
List of Points in Order of Merit
1. Typical. The Irish Wolfhound is a rough-coated Greyhound-like breed, the tallest of the coursing Hounds and remarkable in combining power and swiftness.
2. Great size and commanding appearance.
3. Movements easy and active.
4. Head, long and level, carried high.
5. Forelegs, heavily boned, quite straight; elbows well set under.
6. Thighs, long and muscular; second thighs, well muscled, stifles nicely bent.
7. Coat, rough and hard, specially wiry and long over eyes and under jaw.
8. Body, long, well ribbed up, with ribs well sprung, and great breadth across hips.
9. Loins arched, belly well drawn up.
10. Ears, small, Greyhound- like carriage.
11. Feet, moderately large and round; toes, close, well arched.
12. Neck, long, well arched and very strong.
13. Chest, very deep, moderately broad.
14. Shoulders, muscular, set sloping.
15. Tail, long and slightly curved.
16. Eyes, dark.
Note - The above in no way alters the "Standard of Excellence", which must in all cases be rigidly adhered to; they simply give the various points in order of merit. If in any case they appear at variance with the Standard of Excellence, it is the latter which is correct.
The Irish Wolfhound Standard of Excellence ©IWCA
The RMIWA is a 501(c)3 organization. Donations are tax deductible
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This page updated July 22, 2013