Everything you need to know to buy or adopt an Irish Wolfhound puppy or adult dog.


BE PREPARED

For Your New

Irish Wolfhound!

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Irish Wolfhound dog breed

Buying or Adopting an Irish Wolfhound

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Is a DOG really the right pet for you?

I've been helping people choose and find dogs for over 35 years now, and I have to say that for many people, dogs are not ideal pets.

Pros AND Cons of Owning a Dog


Should you get a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog?

Don't set your sights on any purebred dog until you read these three eye-opening articles:

The Truth About Purebred Dogs

The Truth About Crossbred Dogs

The Truth About Mixed Breed Dogs


Is an Irish Wolfhound the right breed for you?

Irish Wolfhounds: What's Good About 'Em, What's Bad About 'Em

Irish Wolfhound Health Problems


Are YOU right for an Irish Wolfhound?

Can you provide what this breed needs?

  • Someone home most of the day
  • Fenced yard (6-8 feet high, not an electronic/underground fence)
  • No very small dogs in the household
  • No dogs of the same sex in the household
  • No cats in the household
  • Restricted exercise when young – until maturity (at least 18 months old), exercise restricted to multiple short (20 minute) walks, fetch games, and playing with other dogs – no forced running (beside a jogger or bicyclist), no long-distance treks, minimal jumping
  • Ample exercise after maturity – enough ongoing exercise that your Irish Wolfhound stays slim and is tired enough to sleep contentedly and not get into mischief
  • "Mental exercise" – interesting activities that keep the mind stimulated, such as the sport of lure coursing; challenging dog toys; a homemade obstacle course
  • Trimming/clipping – every few months
  • An indoor lifestyle, except for exercise and bathroom breaks
  • A meat-heavy diet, either homemade or commercial – meat is expensive, so people with less money should opt for a small dog
  • An owner with enough money to treat the health problems Irish Wolfhounds are prone to (pet health insurance can really help here!)
  • Commitment to provide thorough socialization – introducing your Irish Wolfhound to lots of people and other animals, diligently correcting any signs of misbehavior
  • Commitment to establish the right Leader-Follower relationship with your Irish Wolfhound, teaching him to listen to you and do what you say

Should you get a male or female Irish Wolfhound?

Symbols for male and female Male Dogs vs. Female Dogs
Which one makes a better pet?


Should you get a young puppy, an older puppy, or an adult dog?

Girl hugging a dog Puppies vs. Adult Dogs
What age should your new Irish Wolfhound be?


Where can you buy or adopt an Irish Wolfhound?

Irish Wolfhounds are moderately common in the United States. Out of 189 breeds in the American Kennel Club, where 1 is most popular and 189 is least popular, Irish Wolfhounds rank 73rd. Unfortunately, if a Wolfhound is chosen for its height and stately appearance, the result is likely to be a mismatch. Only certain types of homes and lifestyles are well-matched to an Irish Wolfhound.

Adopting From Dog Rescue Organizations
Irish Wolfhounds are available from Dog Rescue groups. Irish Wolfhounds may be turned into Rescue because they take up too much space, or are too clumsy, or cost too much to feed. There might be dominance issues, or aggression toward other animals. You would need to provide these dogs with the exercise, training, and socialization that they are lacking.

Other Irish Wolfhounds are given up simply because of changed family circumstances, and these dogs may have no behavior problems at all.

Adopting From Public Animal Shelters and Humane Societies
Irish Wolfhounds are rarely found here. Irish Wolfhound Rescue groups keep their eyes peeled on shelters and humane societies across the country. On the off chance that an Irish Wolfhound turns up at a shelter, the rescue group typically moves in quickly to take the dog.

Buying From a Dog Breeder
You can buy an Irish Wolfhound from a show breeder, who breeds Irish Wolfhounds to match a detailed standard of appearance for the dog show ring. You can also buy an Irish Wolfhound from people who "just breed pets" or "just had one litter." But should you? Be sure to read the article to learn more about these people.

Here's one difference between a responsible breeder and an irresponsible breeder – BOTH PARENTS of an Irish Wolfhound puppy should have:

  • a certificate from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) – dated within the past year – certifying the dog to be free of eye diseases
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or PennHip certifying the dog to have normal hips
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) certifying the dog to have normal elbows
  • a certificate from the Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA) or a report from a veterinary cardiologist – dated within the past year – certifying that the dog has had an Advanced Cardiac Exam and has a normal heart

Also, each Irish Wolfhound puppy should have:

  • veterinary bloodwork results showing that they do not have a severe liver disease called liver shunt.

If a seller can't show you those certificates, the puppies are higher risk for health problems. You might choose to accept that risk. But then you need to be willing (and able) to pay a couple thousand bucks for future surgeries and lifelong meds if your Irish Wolfhound ends up with cataracts, hip dysplasia, and inoperable liver disease.

Puppy in a pet shop window Pet Shop Puppies: Buying a Puppy From a Pet Store
Irish Wolfhounds are rarely found in pet shops, but it's possible. I have plenty to say about buying a puppy from a pet shop!


Related Articles

Girl holding up a puppy and looking at him How To Choose a Good Irish Wolfhound Puppy
How to test the temperament and personality of Irish Wolfhound puppies and pick the best puppy in a litter.


Pedigree parchment AKC Registered Puppies: Are AKC Papers Important?
Should you consider buying only AKC registered Irish Wolfhound puppies? Do AKC papers and pedigrees really matter?


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.