Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound: Character, Health, Feeding, Price, and Care

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Irish Wolfhound: Character, Health, Feeding, Price, and Care

Photograph of an Irish Wolfhound

If you have a big yard and are looking for a gentle giant to join your family, the Irish Wolfhound may be the perfect dog for you. Despite their large size and impressive appearance, these dogs are actually quite gentle and loving. 

They make great companion animals and are good with children, although their size means they may unintentionally knock smaller kids over. The Irish Wolfhound is a member of the hound group and was originally bred to hunt wolves in Ireland. These days, they are more likely to be found as loyal family pets. 

However, they are still quite rare, and their price tag reflects that. If you're thinking of adding an Irish Wolfhound to your home, keep reading to learn more about their character, health, feeding, and care needs.

What Is an Irish Wolfhound?

With their long legs, shaggy coats, and big heads, Irish Wolfhounds look like they could be related to Scottish Deerhounds. In fact, they are two of the tallest dog breeds in the world. The Irish Wolfhound is the taller of the two. However, all Hound Group dogs share certain characteristics, including a keen sense of smell and impressive stamina.

While they may look like they're all muscle, the Irish Wolfhound is actually a surprisingly gentle dog. They are loving and affectionate with their family and make great companion animals. They are also good with children, although their size means they may accidentally knock over smaller kids.

What Is Irish Wolfhound Size?

The Irish Wolfhound is a big dog breed that reaches at least 32 inches in height when measured from the top of its head to the ground. The female version of the Irish Wolfhound is at least 30 inches tall and 105 pounds. Males are generally bigger, with an average size of 34 to 35 inches and 140 to 180 pounds; females are typically smaller, with a range of 32 to 34 inches and 115 to 140 pounds.

Irish Wolfhound: Average Lifespan

The Irish Wolfhound has a relatively short lifespan for such a large dog. They typically live for 6 to 8 years, although some may live up to 10 years. The Irish Wolfhound's size means they are susceptible to a number of health problems, which we'll discuss in more detail later on.

How to Take Care of Your Irish Wolfhound's Health?

The Irish Wolfhound is a large breed of dog, and, as such, they are susceptible to a number of health problems. These include:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Von Willebrand's disease
  • Autoimmune thyroiditis
  • Gastric torsion.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Liver shunt

The best way to ensure your Irish Wolfhound stays healthy is to buy them from a reputable breeder who can provide you with health clearances for their parents. You should also take them for regular checkups with your veterinarian and keep up to date with their vaccinations.

But some care is at your end too. 

  • You should exercise your Irish Wolfhound regularly to help prevent obesity, which can strain their joints and lead to health problems. A daily walk or run is sufficient, although they will also enjoy playing fetch or going for a swim.
  • The lengthy coat of an Irish Wolfhound may cause shedding, so regular grooming is necessary to keep their coat healthy and free of tangles. You should brush them at least once a week, although daily brushing is best during periods of heavy shedding. They will also need to be bathed as needed, although too much bathing can strip the natural oils from their coat.
  • You should check your poodle's eyes, ears, and teeth on a daily basis. If the eyes or ears are dirty, you should clean them using a soft cloth and a dog-safe solution. You should also brush their teeth at least once a week to prevent tartar buildup and keep their gums healthy.

What to Feed Your Irish Wolfhound?

The Irish Wolfhound is a large breed of dog; as such, they need a lot of food to stay healthy. Not every time quantity matters, quality does too. A good diet for an Irish Wolfhound should be high in protein and fat to help them maintain lean muscle mass. It should also contain moderate carbohydrates to give them the energy they need.

You should feed your Irish Wolfhound two to three meals daily, depending on their age and activity level. Puppies under six months old should be fed three times daily, while adults can be fed twice daily.

Feeding your dog too much food, particularly high-calorie meals, can slow its growth and lead to weight issues. If the dogs become overweight before their bones and joints fully develop, they might develop significant diseases or conditions such as elbow or hip dysplasia.

How Much Does an Irish Wolfhound Cost?

A quality Irish Wolfhound from a qualified breeder typically costs between $1,400 and $2,500. Dogs with champion bloodlines or extensive pedigrees will cost more. Cheaper dogs are usually lower quality and may come with health problems.

Final Thoughts on Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is a large and powerful breed of dog with a long history. They are gentle giants who make great family pets. However, they need a lot of exercise and space to run around. They are also susceptible to a number of health problems, so it's important to buy them from a reputable breeder who can provide you with health clearances for their parents.

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