The Bonaforte Kennel

Broadholme House Farm - Broadholme - Derbyshire - DE56 2JG



The Bonaforte Kennel

Broadholme House Farm - Broadholme - Derbyshire - DE56 2JG

Considering a Wolfhound puppy?

Send us an email

Name *
Address *
Have you ever owned an Irish Wolfhound? *
Do you have other dog/s at the moment *
Do you have an enclosed secure lawn area? *
We like to carry out a home visit before placing you on our register. Would you like us to visit your home? *

+ Will you sell a puppy to someone who has not owned a Wolfhound before?

We have quite a few owners who were 'first time owners' and we do not discriminate against any potential puppy owners that don't have previous experience of the breed. That said we do have a huge obligation to make potential new owners fully aware of all the possible of owning a Wolfhound. The breed and they are most certainly not for everyone.

+ Can I own a Wolfhound if I work full time?

We would not recommend anyone owning a Wolfhound who works full time. Wolfhounds are hugely sensitive and they just love company. Being extremely demanding as youngsters, they need you to be there for them. They can be very high energy, but in addition their exercise has to be monitored first 12 months at least. It all comes down to practicalities really and owners that ‘cope’ best with a Wolfhound puppy are those that have everything in place at home.

+ Do I need a large house and garden to own a Wolfhound?

The short answer is, ‘no’, not necessarily. Obviously Wolfhounds do take up a certain amount of space in any home and they do need an appropriate level of exercise (appropriate to their age and stage of development), even when they are at home. You will need a secure fence lawn area. However, if you have access to a public area where a hound can be exercised safely then you don’t need to have acres of land. Any exercise outside of the home environment must be safely away from roads and livestock, a Wolfhound can cover large distances very quickly.

+ Prey Drive

We can never tell or predict if a puppy is going to end up having a high prey drive, they are all individuals and all very different in that respect, however the Irish Wolfhound is a hunting hound.

+ What is the best age to have a Wolfhound puppy?

We find the best age for a puppy go to its new home is around 9 to 10 weeks and definitely before 3 months of age. An older Wolfhound puppy is quite a size. Wolfhound puppies sometimes do not understand their own strength, nor do they have any concept of how big they are.

+ Do Wolfhounds get along well with other dogs and animals?

Wolfhounds are a hugely social breed and generally get along very well with other dogs and also other animals, providing they have been brought up with them. We have owners who have other dogs of all shapes and sizes and also owners who have cats, horses, chickens, goats, rabbits, parrot and a pet turkey. Despite their size they are a hugely tolerant and restrained breed, but as they say “Gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” They are a galloping sighthound, so they will take off across a field after a rabbit, pheasant, squirrels etc. Many Wolfhounds live quite happily in pet homes and adapt themselves to suburban life, but there are practical considerations with Wolfhounds, just like any giant breed or any hound.

+ Do you have a procedure for selecting suitable owners?

Yes we do, at Bonaforte we always have an extensive waiting list as Wolfhounds are now classed as a vulnerable native breed due to their declining numbers. This means that there are never enough puppies available for everyone that wants one. We aim to be very fair and unbiased when considering who will make a suitable owner, but our first priority is always to our own puppies and we make no apologies for refusing some. We try and make decision with the best interest of our puppies in mind.

Firstly we organise a Wolfhound Welcome Visit, when an existing owner with their hound comes to visit you. For practical reasons really, just so you can see how large a Wolfhound is in your home and get the feel of how a Wolfhound would fit into your life and on your sofa! If all goes to plan and you like the idea of living with a Wolfhound, then if you wish you can be placed on our register.

If you are still interested in owning a Wolfhound from Bonaforte then please contact us giving some details of your lifestyle and current situation and any other relevant factors you may consider to be important.

Not everyone wants a puppy, and some prefer to foster a more mature Wolfhound. If this is something that you are looking to do, then please contact me for more details.

Be prepared to a wait for your Bonaforte puppy, and as we constantly remind ourselves, "Man plans, God laughs"


Irish Wolfhound Resources

Irish Wolfhound Resources


Registered with the Charity Commission, the Irish Wolfhound Charitable Trust (IWCT) provides a formal, secure and accountable platform for anyone wishing to donate/bequest monies to a full array of  Wolfhound related causes, including Irish Wolfhound Rescue and the Irish Wolfhound Health Group. 

Excessive Paw Licking in Dogs – It May Not Be Allergies

For any practicing veterinarian, paw licking and chewing is a very common complaint and often, even with holistic approaches can be difficult to treat. Conventionally, this is considered an allergic response.

Most dogs are taken through a battery of tests, put on hypoallergenic and elimination diets, and repeated and long term antibiotics. Many end up on corticosteroids. Unfortunately, many of these dogs continue licking.  Follow the link to find out what might be the true cause.

Irish Wolfhound Health:  Membership of the database is simple and users are invited to upload a scan of a current heart test certificate for one of their Wolfhounds. Once this data has been verified by the administrators, the owner will be given membership status and can then access all other data on the database.  Publish your heart test results here.

Dogs at Christmas

From your dog's perspective, Christmas is a time of the year when lots of unusual and exciting things are brought into your home, making it a very tempting time for them to get up to all sorts of mischief.  Interesting foods, unusual plants and trees, attractive decorations and Christmas presents will all be of great interest to your dog, but some of these things may be harmful if eaten. 

- See more at: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/dogs-at-christmas

Hilary Jupp's Comprehensive Guide  - This site as comprehensive as possible; covering the attributes and characteristics of the Irish wolfhound; its care, including nutrition, exercise, and training; its health and the major disorders to be found in the breed, and how best to deal with them particularly with regard to alternative therapies.

To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate - Pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the long period of duration for vaccines and are vaccinating every three years, or not vaccinating their adult or senior dogs at all. Although it is becoming increasingly obvious that yearly boosters – or any boosters – are at best unnecessary and at worst harmful, the risks and benefits of puppy vaccination are much less clear. If you choose to vaccinate your puppy, you can limit (but not eliminate) the vaccine damage in your puppy by understanding a few things about vaccines and immunity.

Puppy MouthingMouthing is a normal behaviour in puppies and often disappears by the time the puppy is between four and five months of age. Many puppies continue to bite after that simply because biting is inadvertently rewarded. Many common corrections for biting are seen as rewarding for puppies because they involve interaction which is what he wants. Although I don't condone the tying up on a rope and can't see the aim of this!!!

Kennel Cough - the natural prevention of a canine cold.  If your dog is fed appropriately, and you avoid repeated vaccinations like the plague, stay away from toxic things like flea control spot ons and heartworm monthly pills, odds are he’ll never get this canine “cold” known as kennel cough.

Pneumonia in Irish Wolfhounds - It is becoming apparent that diagnosising  pneumonia in wolfhounds is not easy, and if your hound does have pneumonia it is the speed in which you can get the right treatment which is crucial.  This article written by the Irish Wolfhound Health Group is very informative.  http://www.iwhealthgroup.co.uk/pneumonia.html

Irish Wolfhound Puppy - The Irish Wolfhound Health Group have written a very information guide about caring or your Irish Wolfhound Puppy. It is a free guide and available for you to download from here:  http://www.iwhealthgroup.co.uk/guide.html    There is no charge for this excellent Irish Wolfhound Puppy Guide but they say donations are most welcome.

Irish Wolfhound Rescue Trust - Think carefully before you decide to share your home with an Irish Wolfhound, he is not as other dogs. He is the King amongst dogs and will rule your life completely. Everything will change; your life, your house, your car, will be totally re-arranged around him. Wolfhounds are kindly, tolerant dogs, gentle by nature, but do not be misled by the Gentle Giant image; a young hound can be boisterous with great personality. Great care must be taken, particularly with small children, who can easily be knocked over, albeit unintentionally, and badly hurt. Wolfhounds do not realise just how big they are.   for more information and to continue reading this exert following the link: http://www.wolfhoundrescue.org.uk

DOGS TRUST LIST OF POISONOUS PLANTS,  GARDEN AND HOUSEHOLD SUBSTANCES  Not a complete list of all poisonous plants and is only intended as a guide. Please contact your veterinary surgeon for advice or treatment immediately if you think your pet has eaten any of the following plants and is showing a bad reaction. Your pet may also have a sensitivity or allergy to a plant that is not on the list, so always be vigilant and seek help if you are worried about your pet’s health.

IW World Is the official publication of the Federation of European Irish Wolfhound Clubs, E.I.W.C.. As such, its mission is to share information between member nations, and by extension, provide information of interest to IW breeders and owners worldwide.

Physiotherapy for dogs, still an unknown factor - this article is well worth reading and gives you some interesting insights to irish Wolfhound ailments.

Portosystemic shunt – persistent ductus venosus – in the Irish Wolfhound - a more in depth article about PSS: causes, signs, symptoms and treatments.

Back in the early 1990s Australian veterinarians Drs Tom Lonsdale, Breck Muir and Alan Bennett introduced a simple idea with profound global implications: Raw meaty bones promote pet health , more information and books on the subject visit raw meatybones.com

Dr Jean Dodd, considered to be one of the leading experts on pet healthcare.  This is a very interesting blog about especially about pet gut health.

Talking Allergies:  itchy skin, red and watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose. Allergies are a pain, and not just for us humans.
Accupressure points for bloat:  This procedure is not recommended instead of veterinary treatment, but begun early, or on the way for veterinary treatment, can save your hound’s life

Antibiotics for the Irish Wolfhounds - an interesting read explaining about different antibiotics and uses. 

The AHT has been investigating seasonal canine illness (SCI) since September 2010.

Cases of this mystery illness are generally seen between August and November. SCI can affect dogs of any size, shape or sex and it causes dogs to become very ill, very quickly after being walked in woodland.

Kuranda Dog beds we have found these beds to be not only large enough but durable, clean and light.  Our hounds not only love them but have been unable to destroy them!

Unilateral Hip Dysplasia:  

Over the years, our observations of the kennel populations of giant breeds and their siblings living in private homes have led to the conclusion that there is no such thing as congenitalunilateral hip dysplasia, but only acquired unilateral hip dysplasia. The kennel dogs, whose exercise opportunities are maximized, with several dogs of a similar age free to run and play all day and night in large paddocks, show us some interesting things.

  • They grow much more slowly, because much of their food intake goes into play and running.
  • They rarely (almost never) suffer an injury.
  • They always have symmetrical hip sockets, even if they are very shallow.

Their litter mates in private homes, where exercise is confined to an hour or two of intense play or jogging when their owners return from work, provide us with a different set of observations.

  • They grow very large, very fast.
  • They often suffer injury.
  • They frequently have hip sockets of different depths.

The implications of these observations are enormous, but very simple to understand. These large breeds grow much too quickly for their biology to keep up. They frequently show some degree of clinical rickets with some bowing of the forelegs, and have large soft joints due to the inability of the body to deposit calcium in the bone at a rate equal to the rate of growth. They often show uneven growth, with the rear end growing over a few weeks, then the front end trying to catch up. As the rear leg assembly grows disproportionately, and the puppy is 'high in the rear', the mechanical leverage that the muscles are able to exert across these straighter angles is much reduced. The result of this is a decreased ability of muscle to protect joints from injury.

The owners of giant breed pets tend to overfeed their puppies, having with the best of intention, the inner desire to see a 'big dog' and to do nothing which might risk the dog not attaining the greatest possible size. Try as they may, some owners are just unable to restrict their puppy's diet. Owners are cautioned that their puppy needs a good deal of exercise, but their work schedules often conflict with their desire to do this. The result is a period of intense exercise. A 3 mile run, or a half hour of Frisbee. When a single puppy who lies around all day welcomes his owners in the evening, he is ill prepared for either intense exercise, or the uncertainty of footing on slippery floors and his always changing joint angulation. His muscle tone is a small fraction of that of a puppy which plays with other active dogs all day long. The result is an injury.

For more information follow this link:  

Coconut Oil - For some of us, coconuts conjure up images of palm trees and tropical locales. For others, they take us back to mouth-watering memories of our mother’s home-baked coconut cream pie – or even the sweet, gooey center of our favorite childhood candy bar! But did you know that besides tasting delicious, the oil pressed from the meat of the coconut contains numerous health benefits, for people and companion animals? Let’s take a closer look at coconut oil and why you should consider adding some to your pet’s diet.

True professionals are motivated only by a sincere love of the breed; their work is not fundamentally a commercial business.  Because careful and consistent quality breeding is costly and time intensive, it is not uncommon for professionals to fail to make a profit.


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