The Irish Wolfhound is the largest of the sighthounds, he is a galloping hound and can cover a lot of ground in a very short space of time. He will, in his adulthood, weigh as much as a human and even at six months be around 100lb in weight, so remember this when you allow him to sleep on your bed at night, so perhaps don't.
If you are house-proud or garden proud, think again - wet beards and muddy paws are the norm, digging holes is an excavation job, and wooden furniture can be lattice work in minutes. Their nature is friendly and trusting and they are good with children, but common sense must prevail and young children should never be left alone and unsupervised with a dog.
They are good with other family pets such as cats if they are reared with them. Cats not forming part of the family pack can be viewed as fair game as are rabbits and squirrels. Their sigthound instinct to chase is still there so caution must be observed around farm stock, and fencing in the garden must be strong and 5ft minimum height.
Irish Wolfhounds as a giant breed are a Specialist Breed. You need to consider whether you can tailor your life around them, such as size of your car, size of your garden, holidays and whether someone can look after the hound, whether someone is around during the day as ideally you wouldn't leave your hound for longer than four hours at a stretch. Do you have somewhere in the house where he can have his bed, and his toys, with outside access to a secure area for when you are not there.
Puppies need to be reared very carefully for the first twelve months, they eat three to four times a day for a long time, and eat more than the adults do. They need supervised exercise and not be allowed to run up and down steps, or play too hard with adults or other family pets. However, socialization is extremely important so although you won't be exercising your puppy as you would an adult, you should take him into social situations from the day he is through his vaccinations i.e. in the car, to collect the kids, to the pub if you are lucky, and so on. This ensures you will have a well adjusted sensible dog at the end of the day.
Training is important, although they are not known as an obedience breed, you need to teach your pup to walk on the lead and to know the word Wait, and No and to recall to their name. For this they are fairly easily trained and respond to the kind method of positive reinforcements with food, kind words and a cuddle. They have a sensitive nature, so shouting at your Wolfhound will only make him wary of YOU.
If you are lucky enough to own a Wolfhound enjoy every day you have them, they are the best of companions and during their lifetime will reward you a thousand fold with their love and loyalty. When you have been owned by a Wolfhound, life is never quite the same again.