Frequently Asked  Questions and Answers Regarding Irish Wolfhounds

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How do I find a responsible Breeder?

Finding a responsible breeder is the MOST important step in the new puppy process.   Search for Breeders - NOT for available puppies for sale.  Meet Breeders at local dog shows or regional IW specialty shows.   Make contacts via the IWCA website or one one of the many regional IW clubs / websites.    Responsible breeders will never hesitate to provide recommendations on other breeders in your area.

What kind of personality does an Irish Wolfhound have?

Irish Wolfhounds can be described as calm, dignified, and kindly.  They are adored for their loyalty, affection, patience and devotion.  Wolfhounds often create a strong bond with their family.  Most Wolfhounds are very gentle with children are relatively easy to train.  Irish Wolfhounds are not aggressive and have a calm demeanor, love to run and are athletic.   They are NOT suitable for use as a guard dog.

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Why is the Breeder important if I only want a "pet quality" pup?

A responsible Breeder can concisely explain the objective of a specific breeding as it relates to the standard.  They can easily recite in detail the ancestral history of the breeding pair many generations back.  They will provide all health check information on their hounds.  And importantly, they represent a "lifetime" of knowledge and never ending support as you move forward with your new IW puppy.

How big do Irish Wolfhounds get?

Per the breed standard, males should be at least 32 inches tall at the shoulder and at least 120 pounds; bitches should be at least 30 inches and 105 pounds. However, Males usually "average" around 34-36 inches and 140-180 pounds, bitches around 32-34 inches and 115-140 lbs.  It is VERY important to understand bigger is not necessarily better.  A well bred and properly constructed IW will be less likely to have growth issues or be prone to injury as an adult.

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How long do Irish Wolfhounds live?

Very generally speaking, the average lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound is 6-8 years.  Many factors affect longevity including:  keeping your hound in good shape, your home environment, limiting stress, proper nutrition and health care, and of course genetics.   Similar to people - long lived hounds come from long lived hounds.  This picture captures a 4 generation IW "family" of long lived hounds.

Why do Irish Wolfhounds require a fenced yard?

Irish Wolfhounds are sight hounds, powerful and fast, and have an innate "prey drive".  Therefore they do require a sturdy above ground physical fence.  "Invisible fences" are not acceptable or appropriate for an IW. 

Also, an Irish Wolfhound should never be tied or staked out.

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Are Irish Wolfhounds good with children?

IWs are wonderful with children.  However it is important to understand a playful puppy is large enough to accidentally knock down a small child .   Children and IW's should always be properly supervised when together.