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Thinking of buying an Irish Wolfhound Puppy?

It really isn’t difficult to find an Irish Wolfhound puppy. Puppies can be obtained on a multitude of websites, where puppies are often available just ready for the impulse buyer.

Some of these websites are very glossy with impressive advertising, but sadly this does not always signify that they are ethical breeders. There are some reputable breeders with websites, but they will be obvious as they will be more concerned about the suitability of the home you are offering the puppy rather than making a sale.

Irish Wolfhound Puppy 8 weeks

It is more difficult to find a carefully bred puppy from a knowledgeable breeder whose first priority is the wellbeing of their dogs, since they seldom need to advertise and usually have a waiting list.

Irish Wolfhound Puppy 10 weeks

When buying a puppy, one of the most important choices you will have to make is deciding which breeder you will purchase your puppy from, as you will hopefully build a relationship lasting the puppy’s lifetime. If your puppy develops any health or behavioural problems, you need to be confident that the breeder will be there to offer advice and support. 

It is very important that you visit the breeder’s premises to see the puppies with their mother, even if it’s a long distance from home. Don't be tempted to cut corners and rely on photographs.

Do not make an impulsive decision to buy an Irish Wolfhound; visit several litters if possible. No reputable breeder will pressure you to purchase a puppy - indeed you will have to wait until home-checks are completed and the breeder is happy that you can give their precious puppy a good life. Probably only then will they allow you to book one.

In the meanwhile, you must ascertain that all relevant health checks will be carried out by the breeder and the puppy will have had at least its first vaccination. If they are a member of any breed club, they must do this to abide by the Code of Conduct. If they are not members, then they are not obliged to do this and therefore you will have to do the tests yourself and hope all is well.


Breeders who adhere to the Code of Conduct will:

  • Screen all puppies for Portosystemic Shunt and only sell pups who are clear of the condition.

  • Only breed from a bitch that has undergone a three-part heart test (stethoscope, ECG and ultrasound) by a cardiologist prior to breeding.

  • Not breed from a bitch more than three times.

  • Not breed from a bitch who is less than two years of age or over six years old.

  • Not mislead you regarding the health or quality of a dog.

  • Not misrepresent the characteristics of an Irish Wolfhound. 

  • Abide by all aspects of The Animal Welfare Act.

  • Enquire as to your suitability as an owner.

  • Never let a puppy leave until it is at least 8 weeks old.

  • Offer to take back the puppy should your circumstances change.

  • Ensure that all documents are provided to the you when the sale takes place.

  • Give help and advice about diet and exercise.

  • Be willing to help you with any other problems you may encounter.

  • Be working hard to breed the best dogs that they can in terms of health, temperament and breed type.

Make sure that any breeder you are considering buying from has signed up for the Code of Conduct.  If they are not members of one of the breed associations, they will not have signed up.


Breeders who belong to the Irish Wolfhound Society will:

  1. Always allow you to visit and see the pups and their mother.

  2. Give a written receipt for the puppy.

  3. Explain any conditions that are part of the sale.

  4. Have all the registration papers available for you when you pay for the pup.

  5. Provide you with health insurance to cover the first few weeks.

  6. Provide you with a diet sheet and (usually) some food to see your new pup over the next few days.

  7. Provide you with their contact details and offer you support and advice.

  8. Have the relevant paperwork available for you to see.

  9. Provide you with copies of the heart testing certificate for both parents. Provide you with the result of the Portosystemic Shunt test and confirm that the puppy is clear.




Here is a list of questions that might be helpful to ask a breeder you are considering buying a pup from:

  • How long have you been breeding Irish Wolfhounds?
  • Why do you breed?

  • How often do you breed?

  • Have you bred from the mother before? If so, how many times.

  • Do you heart test both parents before mating?

  • Do you liver-shunt test your Irish Wolfhounds pups?

  • Are Irish Wolfhounds affected by any health problems?

  • Have you had any health problems in your own breeding?

  • What after-sale support do you provide?

  • Do you stay in contact with your puppy buyers?

  • Do you provide written information on diet and exercise?

  • Will the puppy be vaccinated when we get it?

  • Do you provide any health insurance for the puppy?

  • Are you keeping any pups for yourself?


Here is a list of questions that a reputable breeder might ask you when you enquire about a puppy:

  • Why do you want an Irish Wolfhound?

  • Have you owned an Irish Wolfhound before?

  • Have you previously owned any other dogs?

  • Do you have any other pets at present?

  • Would you prefer a dog or a bitch?

  • Do you intend to breed from your Irish Wolfhound?

  • If you work, how long will the dog be left alone each day?

  • If you have children, how old are they?

  • What type of property do you live in?

  • Do you have a garden? If so, is it well-fenced?

  • What would you do if your circumstances changed, and you could no longer look after your Irish Wolfhound?

Irish Wolfhound Puppy 4 weeks
Irish Wolfhound Puppies 4 weeks

If you need help finding an ethical breeder contact:

Irish Wolfhound Society                                          

The Irish Wolfhound Club                                        

The Irish Wolfhound Club of Northern Ireland         


The Irish Wolfhound Club of Scotland                

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