What are Irish Wolfhounds bred for?
Irish Wolfhounds belong to the Sighthound dog group – this means they are bred for chasing on sight. Usually they do not follow a scent track, but are VERY interested in moving objects – For owners, it is definitely better to see "possible prey“ before the dogs see it!
What is the personality of an Irish Wolfhound?
Irish Wolfhounds are the most friendly and gentle dogs anybody can imagine. They are also called "the gentle giants“ – and this not without reason. Usually they are very careful and tolerant – never mind if they are interacting with 4 legged or just 2 legged friends. Most impressive is their sensitive for the things that happen around them.
Are Irish Wolfhound easy to train?
Yes, they are. Giving them proper feedback on their actions, they learn very fast. However, they are not bred for working like shepherds or collies, they still are independent. Nonetheless, Irish Wolfhounds bond closely to their family(s), showing great sensitivity and feelings for their surroundings. Probably it is this uncommon combination between independence and loyalty that makes them so special.
How much exercise do Irish Wolfhound need?
Regarding their historical background, the Irish Wolfhound is a true sprinter – meaning relatively short distances with high speed and with much power. Ideally, we suggest this kind of exercise with the dogs – sprinting and playing off-leashed – preferably with other dogs together. On the other hand it is important to work on their endurance to keep them active and in a good shape – a matching walk to the age of dog should be also included to the daily routine
They are so big – do they need lots of space?
Not as much as people usual think. They are very calm dogs, just enjoying being close to their family and the comfort inside the house. It is impressive how fast they can change from the powerful and active dog outside to the most lazy couch potato on the sofa, who we are hardly able to notice.
Because Irish Wolfhound bond so close to their families – they do not belong in a kennel, and we do not place any puppy with someone who prefers it to be an outside-dog!
Are Irish Wolfhound playful?
Once grown-up, irish Wolfhound usual do not see much sense in chasing sticks or balls. But usual they really enjoy playing tag, or enjoy the „tug-war“ with a thick rope.
How tall are they – how much do they weight?
We believe that an Irish Wolfhound should be a strong, but elegant dog, who never should give a heavy impression. Also, a well balanced dog with good angulations, easy and active movement and a beautiful head with a soft expression counts much more for us than having the biggest dog. Commanding Appearance is not a question of size!!! We are trying to breed Irish Wolfhounds with an average height of about 34-36 inches for boys, and 31 to 33 inches for girls and a average weight of 145-165lbs for males, and 115-130lbs for females.
How much does an Irish Wolfhound eat?
Well, while growing you will probably think this dog will eat you out of house and home - once they are grown up, the average is about 1.5 lbs for a female and 1.5 - 2 lbs per day from a high quality kibble for large-breed dogs.
Do Irish Wolfhound shed a lot?
No. Actually our current pack of 8 grown up irish wolfhound probably loose less hair than just one golden retriever. Brushing them at least once a week, checking their teeth, cleaning their ears and eyes and giving them a bath now and then should be a regular habit. But to be honest – the rough coat of the irish wolfhound will bring more dirt and dust into your house than a short-hair-dog..
What to consider while raising my puppy?
Irish Wolfhounds grow extremely fast – which sometimes involves extreme physically strain for bones and joints. During the main period of growing it is very important not to overstrain the puppy. Because very rapid growing the joints and tendons are very soft, so you should try to avoid walking too many stairs, slippery floors, jumping out of the car, etc. Also playing with other puppies or grown up dogs who constantly bump against the puppy is not healthy for soft joints and should be controlled. Remember – sometimes the body of your puppy will be tired, while the mind is still in playing-mood! To avoid long-term damage it is important to control the exercise of the growing puppy.
Will my dog be able to come jogging and swimming with me, for a bike ride or a horse ride?
Once the irish Wolfhound is grown-up and well-trained and in a good shape, he will be able to join all these activities with you and much more. Notice that Irish Wolfhound dearly loves the cool weather, and snow they probably love most. At times they do not feel very comfortable with extreme hot weather (which is common with most dog breeds).
We do not place puppies in homes with invisible fences. Irish wolfhounds still have a strong hunting instinct, and if they see prey they will not stop. In our opinion an invisible fence is not safe for any sighthound. If you want to let your dog alone outside we suggest to have a physical fence, or even better spend the outside time bonding together with your irish wolfhound.
… and Prong Collar, Shock Collar, etc
Should not be necessary to train any dog, and do not belong around the neck from an Irish Wolfhound for sure! Train your puppy with much love, motivation, positive reinforcement and consequence, and you will not have a problem with him!
Walking on the leash is one of the most important things a big dog needs to learn – it is simply impossible and dangerous to walk a dog in this size who is pulling on the leash. Teach your puppy to accept the collar and the leash as a tool of communication and guiding, and not as a rope to pull each other around – or worse, something that hurts.
What are the most common illnesses Irish Wolfhound suffer? What is their average lifespan?
Killer #1 for Irish Wolfhound is probably Bone Cancer. Another disease many Wolfhound suffer is DCM – a heart disease – responsible breeder will check their dogs used for their breeding program before they plan a litter with them.
We know Irish Wolfhounds who lived a healthy life until the age of 12-14 years – and we know Irish Wolfhounds who died in the young age of 4 years and younger. The average age is probably anywhere between 7 -9 years.
Other health suggestions
Because Sighthounds have, relative to their body size, an extremely big heart and lung volume, common anesthesia remains a risk for them. Unfortunately, too many sighthounds die because of oversensitivity to anesthesia, or simply because of wrong dosage by the Vet - who sometimes miscalculates the dosage based on experience with more common dog breeds – when the half amount would have been enough for the Irish Wolfhound.
Pneumonia is another ailment sighthounds are more susceptible to than other types of dogs, and require a very aggressive treatment.
Finally – how much does an Irish Wolfhound puppy cost?
The range for the price for an Irish Wolfhound puppy from a responsible breeder usual is between 1500,. and 2000,- USD