How Much Does an Irish Wolfhound Cost?

Written by: Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

Irish Wolfhounds are known to be massively large in size and are also appreciated for their excellent loyalty to their owners, making them a perfect fit for the title “gentle giant.”

Molly - June 2008 by Airwolfhound, on Flickr
Molly – June 2008” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by  Airwolfhound

How much does an Irish wolfhound cost?

On average, an Irish wolfhound puppy can cost anywhere from as little as $900 for to more than $2,500 for an AKC registered, purebred dog.  The costs will depend on the breeder, colors, the bloodline, pet quality and the geographical location.  While the color can play a small role in the pricing, the Irish Wolfhound Club of America does say there’s no such thing as a “rare” color and shouldn’t inflate the price.  The only thing, in the end, is that a certain color may pop up less frequently than another.

At, a popular dog classified website, they had close to 100 listings at the time of writing this, with prices ranging from as little as $900 to more than $2,300.

Browsing at the official AKC Marketplace, the breeders who did list their prices were asking for $1,800 to $2,600.  Most of the breeders we did look at offered health tests, vaccinations, a microchip, deworm and a travel crate.

What is going to be included in the adoption fee?

A reputable breeder, when you adopt one, should include up-to-date vaccinations, registration paperwork, a certified health checkup from a vet, a health guarantee and a travel crate if being shipped via an airline or by ground.  AKC registered dog breeders should include the AKC paperwork, genetic health testing, an OFA certification and other related health tests to ensure the dog is free and clear of any genetic disorders.

What are the extra costs?

Recurring costs, as with any dog, need to be factored in.  This will include food, accessories, dog sitting, obedience classes and routine/surprise vet visits.  A healthy dog can easily cost $700 a year, while a surgery can easily increase this number by 300 percent.  For example, bloat, a common occurrence among the Irish wolfhound, can cost $2,000, while a fractured limb can cost closer to $3,000.  Keep in mind that due to their larger size, they will eat more than the average dog.  The Irish Wolfhound Club of America recommends feeding twice a day.

Due to its coat, a regular grooming session is highly recommended to keep its coat in tip-top condition.  Twice a year, the dead hairs will need to be plucked in order to prevent it from matting.  If you choose to take your dog to a professional groomer, the average session, depending on where you live and who you choose, can be around $75.

Due to the rarity of this breed, your dog may need to be shipped either via air or ground.  Regardless of how far you live, plan on budgeting at least $200 to $400.  Do keep in mind that some breeders may ask to meet you in a central location because they don’t feel comfortable shipping their puppies.

These dogs are fast learners, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider obedience classes as a puppy.  At a minimum, highly consider classes to teach your puppy the basics of sit, stay and lay down.

Tips to know:

Both females and males both can measure about 28 to 32 inches tall at the shoulder, with females usually topping at 30 inches and will weigh 90 to 150 pounds.

Medium in length, its coat can look unkempt from a distance, but to the touch, it’s coarse, hard and rather tough.  They have a dual coat – a wiry outercoat and a softer undercoat.  They will shed year round but will not blow out their coat like other breeders.  Common coat colors include gray, red, black, white and brown.

If healthy, the average lifespan is between eight to 10 years.

As for its temperament, owners say the dog does get along very well with other children and household pets and is known to be very calm, gentle and extremely loyal to its owner.

Due to its size, a large yard is required for exercise.  Since they have the tendency to chase things, they should never be left outside a fenced-in area.

Because of their larger bodies, when compared to other breeds, the Irish wolfhound is prone to anesthesia issues due to their large hearts and lungs.  They are also prone to bone cancer and heart disease.  Any responsible breeder should check their dogs for this condition before offering the puppies for adoption.

To find a reputable breeder, consider browsing this Irish Wolfhound Club of America list.

Unfortunately, they won’t make a great watchdog due to their friendly temperament.

How can I save money?

No matter what kind of dog you want to adopt, highly consider checking local rescue groups and shelters first.  While there’s a good chance you won’t find this particular breed, you may be able to find one that closely resembles the look.  Adopting is a great way to help a local cause, a dog in need, and best of all, it can help you save hundreds of dollars.  The last resort should a breeder who’s looking for a profit.

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