How Much Does an Irish Wolfhound Cost? (2024 Average Price)

Last Updated on March, 2024

With their towering height and majestic disposition, the Irish Wolfhound is recognized as one of the world’s tallest dog breeds. These large dogs were initially bred to hunt wolves in Ireland during the 15th century, which explains the origin of its name.

Hundreds of years later, this hound is now bred as a loving pet in many countries worldwide. 

However, their large size comes with considerable expenses because it is more challenging to breed them, require more food and space, and they are prone to several health conditions. 

Read on to find out if the cost of an Irish Wolfhound is within your budget and what additional expenses to expect.

Quick Summary

The average cost of an Irish Wolfhound puppy from a reputable breeder ranges from $1,500 to $2,500.

There are various factors that influence the cost of an Irish Wolfhound, including lineage, appearance, age, documentation, geographical location, and current demand.

It is recommended to purchase an Irish Wolfhound from a reputable breeder who conducts genetic and health screenings, provides proper veterinary care, and ensures early socialization for the puppy.

How Much Does an Irish Wolfhound Cost?

Irish wolfhound dog sitting on a grass ground

An Irish Wolfhound puppy costs between $1,500- $2,500 if purchased from a reputable, qualified breeder. 

They are expensive dogs due to their large size and various genetic dispositions. 

What Does the Irish Wolfhound Price Depend on?

Before buying an Irish Wolfhound, you should also consider its lineage, appearance, age, documentation, geographical location, current demand, and where to buy your dog from.

These factors can cause the purchase price to vary by $500 or more. 

Where Should You Get Your Irish Wolfhound From?

For any dog, there are multiple options available with regard to where to buy from. You can choose between a certified breeder, a backyard/local breeder, a rescue organization/animal shelter, or a puppy mill. 

While the prices greatly vary between these sources, there are many things that you should be aware of. 

Reputable Breeder

A reputable breeder is the option we recommend. Reputable breeders are registered under recognized organizations like the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the Irish Wolfhound Club of America (IWCA). This means they are licensed and experienced to breed dogs.

Firstly, a certified breeder adheres to all the ethical standards of breeding set globally to ensure animal welfare.

They ensure the health and well-being of the dogs under their care. Therefore, you are assured that your Irish Wolfhound puppy had a stable and secure upbringing.

Secondly, certified breeders conduct comprehensive genetic and health screenings to ensure your dog has not inherited hereditary health conditions. This will save you the cost of medical bills later on. 

Additionally, licensed breeders ensure that all their dogs get proper veterinary care. So, most of your puppy’s standard vaccinations may have been administered. 

They also provide early socialization for each Irish Wolfhound, ensuring a properly socialized and well-adjusted dog with no risk of behavioral issues.

Certified breeders are the most expensive option. An Irish Wolfhound puppy from a licensed breeder costs between $1,500-$2,500. Most licensed breeders will require a $200 to $600 deposit to reserve a puppy from a litter for you. 

The more significant price tag is justified when considering that a certified breeder provides all these services.

To find a certified breeder around you, use the AKC search tool or the Irish Wolfhound Club’s breeder directory

Rescue Organizations/Shelters

A rescue group or a shelter consists of dedicated individuals committed to animal welfare. Opting for their services is ideal if you’re on a budget and unable to spend extravagantly on a new pet. 

However, the Irish Wolfhound is not popular, so the chances of finding one at a local pet store are low. Breed-specific dog shelters are recommended.

You can also browse the rescue page by the Irish Wolfhound Club of America. 

By adopting from these organizations, you acquire a new furry companion at a more affordable price and provide a stable and secure home for a displaced animal.

Another advantage of shelters is that these dogs might have prior training, including basic obedience or house training. Therefore, you can cut down on training expenses. 

To bring an Irish Wolfhound home from a local animal shelter/rescue group, you must cover adoption fees, typically $100 to $500. 

These fees encompass a significant portion of the initial medical care expenses. Most shelters and rescue organizations ensure that all dogs get routine veterinary check-ups and core vaccinations.

Backyard Breeders

Backyard breeders, lacking official credentials and expertise, breed dogs primarily for profit without adequate knowledge. Although some may treat their dogs well, the lack of experience poses risks of genetic complications and health issues for the Irish Wolfhound puppies.

An Irish Wolfhound from backyard breeders typically costs $500-$1,000, but unforeseen health issues may lead to higher vet bills later. Irish Wolfhounds have a higher disposition for multiple medical problems, so genetic screenings and health guarantees are crucial.

Most backyard breeders will not provide the documentation with proof of a clean bill of health, extensive pedigrees, and other necessary information. 

We recommend going for a certified, ethical breeder. If not, talk to fellow Irish Wolfhound owners for reliable breeder contacts, check reviews and breeder reputation, and visit the breeder before finalizing the purchase.

Puppy Mills

While an Irish Wolfhound puppy from a puppy mill will cost $1,000 or less, opting for such a source is considered the least favorable choice. 

Puppy mills are known for housing dogs in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, primarily focusing on overbreeding to maximize profits.

These facilities often neglect to provide proper veterinary care and socialization for the puppies, leading to behavioral issues such as anxiety and aggression.

Furthermore, the lack of screening for inherited conditions may result in health problems later in the dog’s life. 

Given the ethical concerns, animal protection agencies and enthusiasts worldwide are against such commercial practices. Therefore, despite initial cost savings, we strongly advise against purchasing an Irish Wolfhound from a puppy mill.

Lineage

An Irish Wolfhound with champion bloodlines or possessing highly desirable traits typically commands a higher price tag- the more prestigious the pedigree, the more money you will have to spend. 

If you want to win championship titles, prices can be pretty expensive. The price tag can go up to $3,000 or higher for an Irish Wolfhound with a distinguished pedigree. 

However, if you are looking for a furry companion, forgo the detailed pedigree analysis and choose any dog that catches your eye. 

Irish wolfhound standing on a grass field

Documentation

All certified breeders will provide documentation along with your Irish Wolfhound puppy.

An Irish Wolfhound with documentation costs more than those without.

These papers contain detailed information about the dog’s parents, siblings, lineage, and breeder. They also include results from genetic screenings for pre-existing health disorders and outline all the characteristics your puppy will likely inherit as it matures.

Papers are essential to prove breed purity and pedigree when entering dog competitions.

One key reason you should always request documentation is that Irish Wolfhounds have multiple genetic predispositions. All breeders should screen dogs for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, congenital eye disease, and developmental heart disease. 

Appearance

a dog standing on a road

There can be up to 21 Irish Wolfhound coat colors, but the AKC breed standards approve only 13. 

They are:

  • Black.
  • Brindle.
  • Cream.
  • Gray.
  • Gray & Brindle.
  • Red.
  • Red & Brindle.
  • Red Wheaten.
  • Silver.
  • Wheaten.
  • Wheaten & Brindle.
  • Blue.
  • White.

Among these colors, white is considered the rarest and, hence, pretty expensive. More common colors like red, gray, and wheaten cost less.

Age

Like other dog breeds, Irish Wolfhound puppies cost significantly more than adult or senior dogs. The rationale is that pet owners can spend more time training and bonding with a puppy according to their preferences.

Additionally, older dogs might have already undergone training and developed specific behavioral patterns. Therefore, they generally come with lower price tags.

Demand

Irish Wolfhounds belong to giant breeds and require a lot of space. Furthermore, since they are not very popular compared to dog breeds like poodles and terriers, their demand might be lower in most cities and higher in the countryside. 

The demand entirely depends on the popularity of the breed in the areas you live in and the availability of breeders.

Geographic Location

Don’t forget to factor in your geographical region and state, as living costs differ from region to region. 

Naturally, the Irish Wolfhound cost is bound to be greater in places with higher living costs, areas with higher demand, or only a few breeders. 

Initial Costs After Getting an Irish Wolfhound

a dog playing in the snow

A few extra expenditures are necessary to provide your Irish Wolfhound with a new home once you’ve researched, located a licensed breeder or shelter, and taken your dog home.

Supplies

The initial cost of supplies you will need is a one-time purchase and don’t have to be replaced for a long time unless they get damaged or worn out.

Puppy pads and cleaning materials are the only items on this list that you will need to replace frequently, at least until your new dog is fully house-trained. 

ItemAverage Price 
Dog Bed$50-$100
Dog Crate$50-$100
Blanket$20
Food and water bowls$30
Leash & Collar$10-$50
Dog Toys $30
Puppy pads $25
Cleaning supplies$10
Grooming supplies $30-$100
Total $250-$450

Medical Costs

When bringing your new pet home, one of the first things you should do is schedule your first appointment with the vet.

The vet will assure you of your dog’s health, warn you of anything out of the ordinary, and advise you on all the aspects of its health.

Your Irish Wolfhound will need three vet clinic visits, starting at 8 weeks. The vet will administer vaccines at each visit, carry out fecal exams, and do a routine wellness exam. 

Vet visits with a wellness exam can cost between $50-$120.

A veteranian checking a dog's health

Vaccinations

All puppies need four core vaccinations during their first year, costing between $75 and $100 in total. These vaccinations target canine distemper, adenovirus, parvovirus, parainfluenza, and rabies.

Additionally, your vet may suggest several other vaccines, depending on your location and lifestyle. These may include vaccines for Lyme disease, Leptospira, and Canine Influenza.

Spaying/Neutering

Spaying and neutering can range from $100 to $500 and is optional. The price depends on the age and size of your dog, and you can choose to do this later on as well.

However, this might also be required by local regulations or some breeders. The main objective is to prevent an excessive number of dogs from becoming homeless, entering shelters, or being euthanized.

Spaying/neutering is also advised if there’s any chance your dog has reproductive health problems.

Further, Irish Wolfhounds have a genetic disposition for bloat. Bloat is a condition where your dog’s stomach can twist abnormally and lead to the build-up of gas. This condition is deadly and can result in death. 

There is a preventive surgery for bloat called gastropexy, which costs $200-$400. 

Carrying out a gastropexy simultaneously during the spaying/neutering surgery is recommended because the cost would be lower than doing both procedures separately. 

Microchipping 

The expense for microchipping falls typically within the range of $25 to $50.

Microchips substitute conventional collars and tags by storing your dog’s identification details. Unlike collars, they are inserted beneath your pup’s skin, ensuring they cannot be removed or lost. 

Training

An Irish Wolfhound can grow to a towering 35 inches and weigh 150 pounds. Since this is a large breed, it is vital to start training at a very young age.

Basic obedience, socialization, leash, and house training are essential.

Even though they are large, they are not overly aggressive. Irish Wolfhounds are comparatively calm and laid back.

They do not require intense private training sessions, which cost more money and it can be as high as $1,000.

A dog trainer is training a dog in a dog park

Group sessions are cheaper, less stressful, and allow your dog to socialize. Group packages can cost between $150-$300. 

However, if you have any prior experience or knowledge of dog training, you can do it at home with little or no additional expense required. Online dog training courses, tutorials, and YouTube videos can guide you through the process.

Monthly Costs of Owning an Irish Wolfhound

Since an Irish Wolfhound is a large dog, you must allocate a monthly budget to cover their costs. 

These will be ongoing costs, including food, vet bills, grooming, and pet health insurance. 

Food 

Irish Wolfhounds grow and mature fast, with heights varying between 28-35 inches and weighing 90-150 pounds.

This means they have a big appetite and require a lot of food. You should also include dog treats as a part of your monthly budget. 

A grown Irish Wolfhound eats more than puppies, but puppies have specific requirements, such as the need for joint-supporting ingredients in their food.

Therefore, food costs for an Irish Wolfhound are considerably greater than other dog breeds.

A bowl of dog food on a wooden table

Medical Costs

After the first year, medical costs are considerably lower. 

Your Irish Wolfhound will require a complete annual check-up to check for all the conditions to which this dog breed is genetically predisposed. 

Most medical bills will go towards preventive treatment for heartworm, fleas, and ticks. The vet will also conduct routine check-ups to ensure your dog is healthy. 

However, if your dog develops any of the conditions explained below, there will be more frequent vet visits. 

Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Irish Wolfhounds are particularly susceptible to a severe cardiac condition called dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), characterized by the heart enlarging and weakening. Therefore, it can no longer pump blood efficiently throughout the body. 

As this condition progresses, the dog may exhibit signs of weakness, fatigue, fainting or collapsing, labored breathing, or coughing.

Testing your Irish Wolfhound for DCM and providing treatment procedures can cost between $1,000-$2,000.

Arthritis

Hip dysplasia is an incorrect alignment of the hip bone in an Irish Wolfhound. This causes increased friction in the hip joint and causes the bones to wear off. Elbow dysplasia is similar to hip dysplasia, occurring in the elbow joint.

Both elbow and hip dysplasia lead to arthritis as your dog ages. Since there is no proper cure for arthritis, you must spend $200-$500 monthly on supplements, medications, and other therapies. 

Bloat 

Bloat, as mentioned before, is a fatal condition where the dog’s stomach can twist abnormally and lead to the build-up of gas. The condition is severe and can cause death within a day. Emergency surgeries for bloat can cost between $1,500-$3,000.

Grooming

Frequent grooming is necessary, including coat brushing, dental care, and nail clipping.

You can visit a professional groomer twice or thrice yearly for a thorough grooming session. 

The price of professional grooming will vary depending on the groomer’s expertise, the size of your Irish Wolfhound, the services requested, and the products used.

A dog is being groomed by a groomer

Pet insurance

As the dog ages, Irish Wolfhounds are susceptible to multiple medical conditions. Therefore, we recommend signing up for pet insurance.

However, before choosing a pet insurance company, research their coverage, limitations, waiting period, deductibles, and reimbursement rates.

Most pet insurance companies require a monthly installment, and they will reimburse between 70%-90% of your dog’s medical bills. This is substantial when considering the cost of diagnosis, surgeries, and treatment plans for most health conditions.

Summary of Monthly Costs

Item Average Price
Dog food$50-100
Vet Visits (Preventive treatments and Check-ups)$50-$200
Pet Insurance$50-$100
Treats$20
Grooming $75-$100 
Total$200-$500

Annual Costs of Owning an Irish Wolfhound

The first-year costs of owning an Irish Wolfhound are higher because of the initial vet bills, training, and supplies. The first-year cost could be as high as $5,000. However, after the first year, the annual cost of owning an Irish Wolfhound is much lower.

On average, the annual cost of owning an Irish Wolfhound would be approximately $2,400-$6,000. 

Extra Costs to Consider

Owning an Irish Wolfhound comes with many unexpected and unprecedented expenses for which you should be prepared. A few of them are listed below.

However, these expenses do not apply to all Irish Wolfhounds. 

FacilityCost
Pet Sitting$10-$20 per session
Dog Walking Services$20 per session
Pet Day Care$20-$50 per day
Pet Boarding $30-$50 per night

Lifetime Cost of Owning an Irish Wolfhound

A dog with long hair running on a beach shore

An Irish Wolfhound has a life expectancy of 6-10 years. Therefore, the lifetime cost of owning an Irish Wolfhound will be around $42,000-$60,000.

Summary of All the Costs Involved in Owning an Irish Wolfhound

Average Irish Wolfhound Cost$1,500- $2,500
First-Year Initial Cost (Supplies, Medical costs, Training)$500-$1000
Monthly Cost$200-$500
Annual Cost$2,400-$6,000
Lifetime Cost$42,000-$60,000

Owning an Irish Wolfhound: Some Tips to Save Money

  • Create a detailed expense sheet for each month. Consider all the monthly expenses and research the costs around your city to keep the expense sheet as realistic as possible.
  • Allocate a monthly budget exclusively for your dog’s expenses. Each month, try to cover all the costs using only this amount. Be as frugal as necessary.
  • Create an emergency fund. Add a small amount, like $25 monthly, to your pet fund. Each time you have an unplanned expense for your pet, you can use money from this fund. This is especially important if you haven’t signed up for pet insurance.
  • When purchasing food, buy in bulk as it is significantly cheaper. Stick to a dog food brand that is both nutritious for your Irish Wolfhound and affordable at the same time.
  • When purchasing supplies, compare prices online and in local stores. Opt for the most affordable option to save money. 
  • Buy a grooming kit and do basic grooming at home, which is significantly cheaper than professional grooming. This way, you can space out visits to a professional groomer.
  • Use online tutorials and YouTube videos to teach your Irish Wolfhound puppy basic training instead of hiring a professional trainer.

Other Dog Breeds Pricing Guides:

FAQs

Irish Wolfhounds are expensive due to their large size, specialized veterinary care needs, limited breeding options, high demand, maintenance costs, and challenges in responsible breeding.

Yes, Irish Wolfhounds are high maintenance due to their need for consistent daily exercise, mental stimulation, and their larger appetites, typical of giant breeds.

The average lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound is 6-10 years, influenced by factors like genetics, overall health, and the quality of veterinary care.

Yes, Irish Wolfhounds are excellent pets known for their calm and affectionate temperament, making them gentle giants that socialize well with humans and other dogs, despite their original use in hunting.

Final Thoughts 

You should consider more than the upfront purchase cost when buying an Irish Wolfhound. Do a detailed cost analysis to understand whether you can afford all the costs of owning an Irish Wolfhound.

Find a suitable breeder/shelter and ensure that your dog has no predisposition to inherit any of the health conditions that Irish Wolfhounds are prone to.

Also, ensure that your home has plenty of space for this tall dog to feel comfortable and free.

All in all, Irish Wolfhounds make majestic and loyal pets, so their expenses are entirely justified.

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Laura Vinzy
Laura Vinzy is one of our contributors. She is also a certified professional dog trainer & currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and her two rescue dogs.

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