So you’ve decided to welcome an Irish Wolfhound into your life? You know you want to bring home the best Irish Wolfhound puppy you can, but you’re not sure where to start. How do you find the right breeder? What do you need to know before you bring your puppy home? What should you expect in the puppy’s first year? IWANE is here to help you navigate through these and other questions!
Let’s start with the first step. Where to start? Well a good place to start in meeting a breeder is to attend a local specialty show. IWANE has key people identified at our specialty shows to answer questions and welcome new people to the event and can easily direct you to an available breeder. Now that you made the connection, knowing what to ask is helpful.
Most breeders will be delighted to talk about their breeding programs and their hounds. You can get a lot of information without even asking a question! Ask them how long they’ve been in the breed and what types of activities they partake. You’ll want to know the longevity of their breeding, and how they care for them from puppy to adult. Discuss socialization of the puppies and when you can take the puppy home. Most breeders will allow people other than the family to visit the puppies and offer them playful and stimulating activities that help in the puppies’ socialization. Liver shunt testing is a must and breeders will test them at 9 weeks of age. Not many breeders will release puppies to new homes before 10 weeks of age, and many will wait as long as 12 weeks. Irish Wolfhound puppies need to mature and socialize a bit longer with their mother and littermates than in other breeds.
You’ll want to ask about AKC documentation, health history, feeding instructions and vaccine schedule that you will need when taking your puppy home. Most breeders will provide all of this along with some puppy food for their first few days in your home. It’s a good start!
Finally, you’ll need to ask about the cost of the puppy. Depending on where you are located the price may vary. However, there are other costs to be considered. It can be costly for veterinary care through their life as Irish Wolfhounds have specific health issues that may need to be addressed. Even basic medicine and vaccinations may be more expensive if they are based upon weight alone. Food costs as they grow, and the need for a large vehicle in which to transport them should all be considered to help make your final decision on an Irish Wolfhound puppy. One thing is for sure, once you have an Irish Wolfhound in your life you learn how special of a creature they truly are, and whose time in your heart will far outnumber its days on Earth.
Growth and Exercise of IW Puppies
There is a balance between necessary and excessive exercise in young giant breed dogs. Too little exercise prevents proper development of their musculoskeletal system, and too much or too forceful can damage these same tissues. Free play is in areas that allow them to gallop at will is all they really need. They should be prevented from running with adult IW’s who are more coordinated except for limited and supervised situations. Jogging, jumping and long leash walks can cause growth issues as injuries can occur quite easily to their growing bones and tendons. They enter a fast growth stage between four and nine months and OCD lesions are more likely to occur at this stage if they experience trauma or other bone injury. Let them grow slowly and safely until their growth plates close and assess their abilities on an individual basis.