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When I became interested in this breed and started visiting different kennel’s and breed clubs’ websites, I found that many of them had a section like this one giving advice about the possible complications derived from living with an Irish Wolfhound. I have to say that at that time, I found these advices to be a little bit arrogant, I thought: If I decided to have an Irish Wolfhound, why will these people that don’t even know me persuade me of the contrary?


But now...after living with Irish Wolfhounds for some time, I can say that this kind of advice is very useful to reassess the decision of living and sharing your lives and life style with these sweet and sensitive giants.

If after reading this section, you still think that the Irish Wolfhound is a dog for you, contact us, come and visit; get to know our dogs (or other Wolfhounds), get informed.


The decision of having a dog (any dog) has to be assessed with responsibility because it is a lifetime commitment (for the entire life of the dog); but the decision of living with a giant breed needs double consideration because, although it has many rewards, it is much more complicated and demanding than living with a small breed. There are a number of things in your lifestyle that you must be willing to give up or readapt so that your life with your giant friend is happy and a rewarding experience for the two of you.


There are many breeds of dogs, and not all the breeds are for everybody. An Irish Wolfhound will require that you make a big space for him/her in your life; of course the compensation comes also in large amounts...


What follows is comprehensive information about daily living with an Irish Wolfhound that you may find relevant so as to make an informed decision about whether or not this is a breed for you:

1) SPECIAL CARE DURING THE FIRST YEAR: The Irish Wolfhound is a generally a coarse dog, it doesn’t require great amounts of daily care but due to their giant size and their exponential growth rate, it will require special care during its first year. They cannot run long distances or take long walks, jump or climb stairs because they can seriously injure their joints and bones, which are still fragile due to the quick growth rate. They need a quiet place to sleep without being disturbed; this is because the formidable growth they experiment at this age demands lots of energy, which they need to recover. Also, they need to eat at least three times a day.

2) SOCIALIZING AND COMPANY: This is not a breed that enjoys spending long periods of time alone. If your Wolfhound will have to spend long periods of the day without the company of human beings, he/she may benefit from the company of other canine pals. The Irish Wolfhound is a very sensitive being and needs to relate closely with people; an adequate socialization is vital in order to develop its affectionate personality which is a characteristic of the breed. Although he is warm and loving, he is at the same time independent and absolutely not annoying. 


3) HOUSE BREAKING: Almost all puppies (of any breed) go through a destructive phase in which they tear everything that they find in their way; that period generally ends at one year of age.

Irish Wolfhounds do not destroy more than other breeds do, but they destroy in direct relation to their size. My hounds have pulled out a young tree from the garden and took it around the yard as if it were a little toy!!!


4) SPACE: These are dogs that need big spaces. They need enough space to run and stroll around freely (although during the first year the physical activity will be restricted) and in case the place where they live is not big enough, they will need daily long walks. The Irish Wolfhound is a hound and therefore needs to run and exercise in order to build up and strengthen their muscles so as to have a healthy physical condition. Also, a huge dog in a small space will be a nuisance, you will run into a mass of dog at every step you make; there will have to be enough space so that the dog doesn’t bother you and you don’t bother the dog. They can sleep inside the house or in a properly conditioned place outdoors (they tolerate well low (not extreme) temperatures). 

5) THE CAR: If you plan to go out with your family and the dog, you will probably need to change your car. An adult Irish Wolfhound barely fits from door to door, lying down on the back sit of a medium size car.


6) FOOD:  As any other giant breed, Irish Wolfhounds have an important daily food intake; they will eat around 1 kg a day. Also, due to the exponential growth they experiment during their first year, it is vital that they are fed with the best quality food, especially formulated for giant breeds.  In some cases they may need additional supplementation for bones and joints (please discuss this with your vet)

7) LIFE SPAN:  As any other giant breed, Irish Wolfhounds have a short lifespan; they will live for an average of 8 years. During old age, he/she may need special care, more frequent visits to the vet and possibly some veterinary treatment. Remember that veterinary treatments are usually more expensive the larger the dog. 

8)  BASIC OBEDIENCE TRAINING: Although Irish Wolfhounds are docile and learn fast, they will need basic training from an early age, especially because it is important that they learn to walk on a leash, responds to basic orders and allow you to inspect their whole body, including mouth an teeth, trim nails etc. before they get too big for you to be able to control them. It will take no time before you find yourself with a 60 Kg giant (maybe 9 or 10 months) and then it will be much more difficult to manipulate him/her in order to teach him/her the basic tasks and to inspect its body or go through the basic hygiene and health procedures. This is a dog that learns fast with positive encouragement. He/she will do everything to content its owner. These are very keen and sensitive dogs, but don’t expect the tireless energy of a Labrador.


9) GUARD DOG: The Irish Wolfhound is not a guard dog. Its size may well discourage an intruder but do not expect an aggressive behaviour from them.

10) CHILDREN:  These dogs are very good and extremely patient with children. Adult Wolfhounds are soft and, despite their size they move very carefully around kids; however you must not forget that they are very big and an impetuous puppy may well push a baby and make him fall.


If all the above advice, together with huge paw prints on your floor, on your car and your clothes doesn’t hold you back and, if you are prepared to receive tons of love...


Then, please give us a call or send us an email in order to make arrangements to come and visit. Occasionally we have puppies or adults for adoption.




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