I would say the most difficult thing about raising an Irish Wolfhound is keeping them safe from their own exuberance. This seems a particularly hard message to convey to new owners, that such care should be taken for the first year during the growing process.  You need to perfect the careful balance of nutrition and exercise to protect them.

The Big DO’s and DON’Ts Sheet

Whilst being the proud owner of a Wolfhound puppy is a huge delight it also brings with it a large responsibility, as you are now in charge of rearing the puppy until it fully develops and reaches adulthood. This sheet is designed to guide you through the main pitfalls of bringing up a giant breed puppy and if you follow these simple steps any disasters should be kept to a minimum!

DO:

  •  Do feed your puppy on a healthy balanced diet.  We advise you feed our Salmon & Potato kibble.  As poor nutrition or over feeding can lead to problems.  
  •  Do allow your puppy free exercise in a secure area preferably on grass every day. Although giant breed puppies have fragile bones and joints they do require some exercise to build up muscle tone and stamina and so a run around on the lawn with their owner keeping an eye on them is important.
  • Do provide a safe and secure place for puppy to rest, away from other dogs or children.  
  • Do take your puppy out to meet people and other dogs once it has been fully vaccinated. Socialising your puppy is very important and any dog needs to get used to new places and experiences such as going in the car to visits friends and family or going to the park to meet other dogs

DON’T:

  •  Don’t over exercise your puppy under any circumstances. Usually Wolfhound puppies are not walked until they are 6 months old and then they are built up gradually, initially only walking for 5 minutes. Despite their size, Wolfhound puppies are very delicate and their growing bones and joints need to be treated with great care. Any mistakes in exercise and over exuberance under a year old can affect the puppy for the rest of its life.
  • Don’t let your puppy walk on slippy surfaces such as tiles, laminate flooring, wood flooring or cushion flooring/lino. Slippy floors are responsible for a huge amount of injuries in both puppies and older dogs of all breeds, but giant breed puppies are particularly susceptible to mishaps. They will slide on these slippy surfaces and hurt their legs and other parts of their body. Some of these injuries can have disastrous consequences. 
  • Don’t let your puppy play with other dogs unsupervised, even if they are your dogs and they are playing at home. Generally it is recommended that a Wolfhound puppy does not play with older/larger dogs until it is at least a year old. Again, letting your puppy run riot with other dogs is likely to end up with the puppy being hurt or injured. 
  • Don’t let your puppy walk up and down stairs, and prevent them from jumping out of cars.  Keep impact on all joints to a minimum, even getting on and off sofa's in an exuberant manner may harm. 
  • Don't let puppy run over rough ground and fields.  These areas can be fraught with pot holes and hidden obstacles which may cause puppy to stumble and tumble and hurt those long fragile limbs. 
There are many reasons why you should be careful not to allow the young puppy too much exercise or free running around.
Some are:
1. He will run his food off, too much adrenalin using up energy and food value and may not develop properly
2. He can cause trauma damage to his bones, OCD (Osteochondrosis - a chip off the cartilage, and also known as footballer’s knee) is a danger to large and giant breeds, and one of the causes is too much exercise which can result in accidental damage (trauma).
3. It can also cause the front feet to point east and west instead of straight forward, (incorrect feeding can also contribute to this), although too much running around seems to be the main contributory factor.
4. Do not take him for long walks, or road walking which we call pavement pounding; this will ruin him and his legs. This type of exercise can come later when he is fully grown.”
— The Irish Wolfhound Health Group Guide