The Irish Wolfhound. Once used to hunt wolves, an Irish wolfhound’s structure should appear as if it is “fast enough to catch a wolf, and strong enough to kill it”.
Irish wolfhounds have a varied range of personalities and are most often noted for their personal quirks and individualism. An easygoing animal, they are quiet by nature, the breed is generally introverted, intelligent, and reserved in character. Irish Wolfhounds can be an imposing sight due to their formidable size, they are the tallest of all dog breeds.
Although at some points in history they have been used as watchdogs, the Irish Wolfhound is usually unreliable in this role as they are often friendly toward strangers, although their size can be a natural deterrent. That said, when protection is required this dog is never found wanting. When they or their family are in any perceived danger they display a fearless nature.
It is believed the dogs' close affinity with humans makes them acutely aware and sensitive to ill will or malicious intentions leading to their excelling as a guardian rather than guard dog.
An Irish wolfhound is most easily described by its historical motto, “gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked”.