The Irish Wolfhound is an adorable giant breed, a little needy maybe with it's affection. So don't even consider this breed if you are out of the house all day. They need you!

You have done your research about the breed, decided you fit the right criteria to become an Irish Wolfhound owner, and now you would like to find your puppy.

It's a jungle out there so where do you begin.

  1. You can begin your search for your Irish Wolfhound puppy with The Kennel Club puppy search and here you will find the Irish Wolfhound breeders who have opted to become Assured Breeders, and they are the ones who are saying, yes we breed, but the standards we adhere to are more exacting, and we have also been inspected by the Kennel Club.

Here is an exert from the Kennel Club website about the Assured Breeder Scheme:

The Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme - Buyers' FAQs

Why did the Kennel Club introduce the Assured Breeder Scheme (KCABS)? The Assured Breeder Scheme was introduced to raise the standard of breeding and to help puppy buyers ensure that they are given the best possible chance of buying a puppy that will lead a happy, healthy life.

The KCABS reinforces the basic concepts of responsible breeding practice, which includes ensuring that breeders take all of the required health tests for their breed. By bringing all responsible breeders - who believe in and subscribe to these values - together as one group the Kennel Club empowers puppy buyers to make the right buying decision and to distinguish between responsible breeders and those who deliberately commit themselves to less.

What makes Assured Breeders better than any other breeders? Assured Breeders have all agreed to follow basic good breeding practice. This includes agreeing to give their dogs the required health tests for their breed; permanently identifying dogs if their progeny are to be registered under the scheme; following guidelines about the maximum age and frequency of litters and providing post-sales advice to their customers. There are also many recommendations that Assured Breeders are advised to follow and vast numbers of those on the scheme often go above and beyond these requirements. Every Assured Breeder is confident of his or her credentials and agrees to allow a Kennel Club Breeder Advisor to check their premises, so that we can ensure that these standards are maintained.

This is not to say that there are not responsible breeders who are outside of the Assured Breeder Scheme – but there are also irresponsible breeders, who deliberately and cynically commit themselves to lower standards and who for those reasons choose not to be a part of it. By buying from a Kennel Club Assured Breeder puppy buyers have the assurance that they are not helping to line the pockets of such breeders or risking the future and health and welfare of their puppy.

Will buying from a Kennel Club Assured Breeder increase my chances of giving my puppy a happy, healthy life?

Absolutely. Kennel Club Assured Breeders have agreed to take the necessary steps that will give your puppy the best possible chance in life. This includes giving their dogs the required health tests for their breed, which enables them to ensure that only the healthiest genes are passed through the gene pool. Other steps, such as ensuring that they have proper whelping facilities and that the dogs are properly socialised also mean that your puppy should be well adjusted and of good temperament. Equally importantly, a Kennel Club Assured breeder will ensure that you are choosing the right breed for you and give you guidance about how to look after your dog throughout its life.

  1. You can contact the Irish Wolfhound Club or the Irish Wolfhound Society, both of which will be very helpful and offer you lots of advice. There is a lot of collective experience here. Each person in office will have their own views and opinions, and it is important for you to gather your own opinions too first hand. Some like the Assured Breeder Scheme and some prefer not to join being old school. However remember those who are in the Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme have elected to be inspected and the new changes are here to stay.

  2. The www.irishwolfhoundpuppies.co.uk website, also very informative and the litters advertised here have complied to their exacting standards. They check that parents and puppies have undergone health checks before they will advertise a litter.

  3. www.champdogs.co.uk are also another good website to try and find Irish Wolfhound breeders and litters.

Other internet sites also advertise puppies, but your next step is to have some puppy savvy.

What should you be asking your Irish Wolfhound breeder ?

Here is what the Kennel Club suggest you should expect:

A Contract of Sale - it is recommended that the breeder provide you with this. Amongst other things this should detail both the breeder(s)’ and your responsibility to the puppy. The contract should also list any official Kennel Club endorsements (restrictions) that the breeder has placed on the puppy’s records, and in particular on what basis the breeder may be prepared to remove the endorsement. Endorsements the breeder may place on your puppy include not for breeding and not for export. Before or at the time of sale, you must give a signed acknowledgement of any endorsement placed. Written advice on training, feeding, exercise, worming and immunisation. A pedigree detailing your dog’s ancestry – this could either be hand-written or a printed pedigree from either the breeder or an official one from the Kennel Club. Copies of any additional health certificates for the sire and dam. Just like humans, some breeds of dogs can be affected by inherited conditions. The Kennel Club and the British Veterinary Association offer three canine health schemes, which aim to detect and monitor certain inherited conditions. It is important that you are aware of these conditions and know the right questions to ask of breeders before buying a puppy. Here is what the Irish Wolfhound Club recommend you should expect from a breeder: (Irish Wolfhound Club Code of Conduct points 10 to 24)

10) Will only sell dogs where there is a reasonable expectation of a happy and healthy life and will help with the re-homing of a dog if the initial circumstances change.

11) Will supply written details of all dietary requirements and give guidance concerning responsible ownership when placing dogs in a new home.

12) Will ensure that all relevant Kennel Club documents are provided to the new owner when selling or transferring a dog, and will agree, in writing, to forward any relevant documents at the earliest opportunity, if not immediately available.

13) Will not sell any dog to a commercial dog wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow dogs to be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind. Will not sell by sale or auction Kennel Club registration certificates as stand alone items (not accompanying a dog)

14) Will not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed nor falsely advertise dogs nor mislead any person regarding the health or quality of a dog.

15) Are strongly recommended to ensure that the registration documents of puppies sold as pets are endorsed 'Progeny not for Registration'. This restriction can be rescinded by the breeder should it be wished at a later stage, but must be explained carefully to the prospective buyer before a sale, and confirmed in writing.

16) Should be prepared to take back any hound whose home may no longer be able to cope with it, if necessary to buy it back on a reasonable basis, or contact the Irish Wolfhound Rescue Trust.

17) Should never breed or keep more hounds than can be looked after personally, with individual attention either by you or a good kennel assistant. The practice of placing bitches out on breeding terms is strongly discouraged.

18) Are strongly recommended to observe the following breeding limits for bitches : Bitches not to produce a litter under two years of age : Bitches not to produce more than three litters in their lifetime : Bitches not to produce more than one litter in a twelve month period : Maximum age for bitches to produce a litter is six years.

19) Are strongly recommended to screen all puppies for Portosystemic Shunt and only stock clear of the condition should be sold. Affected hounds should never be used for breeding.

20) Are strongly recommended that all hounds used for breeding take part annually in a heart testing scheme approved by the Irish Wolfhound Club: the minimum requirement being examination by stethoscope, ECG and Ultrasound scan.

21) Should be prepared to assist the owner of the bitch in finding suitable homes for any puppies sired by your dog.

22) Should not allow puppies to go to their new homes earlier than eight weeks of age.

23) Are reminded that it is the duty of all Wolfhound owners to keep their hounds under control at all times. To keep them well exercised and in good health, and endeavour to further promote the image of the breed and its equable temperament.

24) Are strongly recommended that hounds that have had corrective surgery for pathological conditions such as osteochondrosis dissecans and entropion are never used for breeding.

Breach of these provisions may result in expulsion from Club membership and/or disciplinary action by the Kennel Club and/or reporting to the relevant authorities for legal action, as appropriate.

Additional Suggestions:

  1. Talk to and visit a few breeders at home and ask about their experience.

  2. Visit an Irish Wolfhound Dog Show or a Championship Show

  3. Ask your breeder what health tests they do:

a) Heart testing parents - ask to see copies of the paperwork

b) Shunt testing puppies - ask to see certificates, and expect to have these included in your puppy pack.

c) Vet checks

  1. Ask if they are members of the following:

a) The Kennel Club Assured Breeders Scheme

b) A member of the Irish Wolfhound Club

c) A member of the Irish Wolfhound Society

  1. Ask if they show their dogs, or have an interest in showing.

  2. Ask if any of the dogs they have bred are shown - if a breeder shows or has an interest in showing, it could indicate that they are interested in the breed standard, and betterment of the breed. It is important to be selective about a mating, and breed with the intention of improvement.

  3. Ask the breeder about the level of support they give you once you have taken a puppy home and as an adult dog.

  4. Ask your breeder about exercising their dog/s: how often and where. All Irish Wolfhounds should be able to run free and be fit for purpose.

  5. Ask your breeder if they breed other dogs or are they dedicated to their breed. Some Irish Wolfhound breeders will have another breed, interestingly a small breed !! Get a feel for what they breed and why.

  6. Just use "your savvy", and ensure that the puppies and mum are happy, clean and healthy. If you have any reservations at all, make an excuse and walk away.