are to combine health, strength of character and appearance in accordance with the breed standard. When selecting a stud dog we will always focus on the health, longevity of the ancestors and the temperament. A gentle, calm persona in every situation is for us indicative of the breed and this we strive to maintain.
We are not interested in our bitch producing a litter merely in order to sell the puppies. In our opinion, breeding means maintaining and improving the health and inherent characteristics of such a proud and magnificent breed.
No breeding bitch of ours has more than 2 litters in her life and we only plan a litter if we want to keep at least one puppy. Nothing less corresponds to our conception of our responsibilities towards our dog.
Our puppies are born in our house and grow up integrated in family life. From about the 4th week of life the puppies move into their heated puppy house with access to outside space. This is directly attached to our house so the puppies can continue to live together with us. In this way, our puppies have both more space in which to grow, explore and mature, whilst at the same time are safely integrated with all our adult dogs.
All our puppies are dewormed, vaccinated several times and tested for liver shunt. None of our puppies leave before 10 weeks old at the earliest.
The Irish Wolfhound (like almost all other breeds) has to struggle with some frequently occurring diseases. Just to name a few: DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy, Osteosarcoma (bone cancer), various other cancers, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), PSS (Portosystemic Shunt or liver shunt), PCD (Primary ciliary dyskinesia, also known as Wolfhound rhinitis). We are not veterinarians and we don't want to go further into a description of the individual diseases, but there are informative web sites available. However, we don't want to conceal these diseases under any circumstances. As far as we know, to date there are no gene tests available for the Irish Wolfhound. However, it is certain that some diseases are connected to autosomal recessive inheritance (i.e. father AND mother must be carriers of the gene in order for the disease to manifest itself in the puppy). Therefore, the most important motto for us is: transparency of our own dogs (as far as life expectancy and diseases in our own breeding lines are concerned) as well as preventive examinations (especially before a planned mating, including above all a heart examination carried out shortly before mating and an all-round check of the breeding partners).
The Internet is full of beautiful advertisements and cute puppy pictures, of championship awards and show successes. Of course we are as happy as any breeder about successful show dogs which come very close to the breed standard, but for the family dog show ring success is really unimportant. Such successes are a snapshot of a dog, mostly still in its younger years. The only championship award that can be used as a bench mark for long-lived healthy dogs is that of Veteran Champion. For us it is the most important title a dog can achieve. To achieve this Veteran Champion title, a dog MUST be at least 8 years old and have won at least 3 shows in the Veteran Class; this means the dog has been presented in the best show form and health. It is encouraging if some Vet.-Ch. can be found in the pedigree of the new family member.
However one should not ignore also the wonderful veterans who become old as "normal" family dogs without show ambitions. But you can get more detailed information on the page www.iw-special.de. There you can find the category "Seniors", where our older treasures are presented.
We also recommend the Irish Wolfhound Database www.iwdb.org to our new puppy parents. There every Irish Wolfhound officially registered in the FCI is listed. The breeder or owner can indicate the date and cause of death (as appropriate) of the dog. There are already some breeders who disclose their data. We give our complete data to the database, no matter if a dog dies young or lives to be a veteran. This is our understanding of openness and honesty.
from our successful home breeding. We have more than 15 years experience of breeding and have been living with dogs for over 40 years.