First of all, you need to find a responsible breeder.
Prospective Owner Should Know:
Most responsible breeders do not
advertise in newspaper classifieds or on the internet, and
some may have waiting lists. The responsible breeder does
not breed to supply a market, and does not hand over a puppy
simply in exchange for the asking price. Most will have a
contract to be signed by the puppy buyer.
Irish Wolfhounds are sighthounds - they
are fast and strong and have an instinct to chase. They need
a securely fenced area in which to exercise and responsible
breeders will require one. An above-ground fence is called
for. So-called "invisible fences" will not keep them in and
will not protect them from other persons or animals coming
into your yard.
You should expect many questions from the
responsible breeder about your accommodations, lifestyle,
expectations, etc. The responsible breeder will want to make
sure that this breed is a good choice for you and your
more time and effort to obtain a puppy from a responsible
breeder, and it is well worth it! There are breeders
only too happy to take your money in exchange for a puppy
with no questions asked - and once the check clears, you're
on your own.
Wolfhounds are expensive to purchase and to maintain. They
require a goodly amount of exercise and CANNOT be allowed to
roam at large. You should be informed of breed-related
problems such as bone cancer, heart disease, bloat,
anesthesia risk, and liver shunt.
personally visit the breeder. Buying a puppy sight
unseen via the internet is not advised. Often the
information given is either misleading or plain wrong.
"Champion bloodlines" does not mean one titled dog out of
30! Claims of "top bloodlines", perfect health, or
exceptional longevity without
substantiation are just another way to lure buyers. Unless
the breeder shows his or her dogs in conformation or
performance events, is involved in the breed (clubs,
events), is known to other IW breeders and owners, and is
able to substantiate any claims for bloodlines, health,
longevity, etc., it's advisable to look elsewhere.
When you visit, look for a clean, safe
environment. The puppies and adults should be healthy and
happy and well-cared-for. You should be able to see and
spend time with the puppies' mother. You should be
suspicious of her absence and excuses as to why she is not
there or why you are not allowed to see her. Likewise, ask
to see the sire. He may not be owned by the breeder, so in
that case you should expect the breeder to have pictures,
pedigree, and health and testing information on him. Ask
about the background of the litter, including temperament
and health. The breeder should do genetic health testing
(such as OFA, CERF, cardiac testing, etc.) on the sire and
dam before breeding – ask about this. The recommended health
tests for the breed as currently indicated by the parent
club are listed at the Canine Information Health Center at
If the breeder is advertising the
puppies as "show quality" or coursing prospects, ask the
breeder why he/she feels these puppies will perform well in
these endeavors. Does the pedigree reflect show or
performance event success? How much personal experience does
the breeder have in these areas? Often puppies from
irresponsible breeders will be advertised as "champion
lines" if even one dog in a 3 or 4 generation pedigree has a
title, or "show quality" or "show potential" or "coursing
hounds" even though the breeder and his/her dogs have never
participated in shows or field trials. If the breeder makes
various claims about their
class", "rare", "excellent" and so on), ask them to
explain these claims. A claim
that a kennel name is "well-known" does not
necessarily indicate that
it belongs to a responsible breeder.
An active breeder should be exhibiting
his/her dogs. Be cautious of a breeder that does not show
and gives such excuses as “I'm
too busy”, “the people are mean”, "I
don't need to show, I know these are great dogs",
“I’m just breeding pets for people”, and so on.
information, see "Buying
An IW Puppy".
Will ask a prospective IW buyer a LOT of
Will gladly answer your questions, and
will have health records and results of genetic tests done
on sire and dam.
Will have all records in order, and will
provide health information with each puppy - dates of
vaccinations, names of the vaccines used, worming regimen,
dates for the next veterinary visit, and so on.
Will provide a signed AKC registration
slip (or a signed letter stating that such a slip is
forthcoming) and pedigree.
Will provide the buyer with feeding and
care instructions, and will always be a support system for
you and welcome your questions at any time.
Will provide the buyer with information
about the local regional IW club and the breed parent club.
Does not sell puppies with "puppy-back"
requirements or other arrangements that require you to breed
Will take back or help place any IW he or
she sells, anytime in its lifetime, no excuses.