The German Shepherd Irish Wolfhound Mix is a mixed Dog Breed between the German Shepherd and the Irish Wolfhound. These are two very unique breeds. Both are very strong and powerful in their own right. The Irish Wolfhound being named for hunting wolves and not necessarily looking like them. The Shepherd well known for it’s working and protection abilities.
While we really recommend that you acquire one through a rescue, we understand that some people might go through a breeder to get their German Shepherd mixed with Irish Wolfhound puppy. That is, if they have any for sale. Always screen your breeders as much as possible to ensure that you are getting as high a quality dog as is possible.
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Here is a brief history of both the Shepherd and the Irish Wolfhound. Being that this is a mixed breed dog, there isn’t a lot of history to it. However, we go more in depth to the history of all of the breeds.
As his name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany, where he was created in the nineteenth century primarily by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop a dog that could be used for military and police work. The result was a dog that encompassed striking good looks, intelligence and versatility. World War I put a dent in the breed’s burgeoning popularity because the dogs were associated with the enemy. German Shepherds braved artillery fire, land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers in the trenches with deliveries of food and other necessities. After the war, movies featuring Rin Tin Tin and fellow German Shepherd Strongheart brought the breed back into favor. American audiences loved them. For a time, the German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the United States.
The name Irish wolfhound is quite a recent one but the hound itself goes back far into the mists of time. They are documented as far back as 273 BC! Only kings and the nobility were allowed to own the great Irish hound, the numbers permitted depending on position. For example, the Filid (the professional class of composers of sagas and other tales, who were of the lesser nobility) were entitled to two hounds. There were plenty of kings and nobles, as ancient Ireland was divided into fifths, each with a king, and each fifth comprised numerous kingdoms (there were 150 kingdoms in Ireland) each of which had a lesser king subject to the kings of the fifths.
The hounds were used as war dogs and as guards of property and herds. They were also used to hunt deer, boar, and wolves and were held in such high esteem that battles were fought over them. The Second Century AD saw the rise of the Fianna, whose domination lasted to AD 300, by which time they had been overthrown and destroyed in three great battles. The greatest of their chiefs was Fionn mac Cumhall. Each Fian had “two hounds and two keen beagles”, while Fionn himself had three hundred full-grown hounds and “puppy hounds two hundred”. His favourite hound was Bran, who “always killed more men or beasts than Fionn.” References to the Irish wolfhound in the 18th century tell of its great size, strength and greyhound shape as well as its scarcity. Writing in 1790, Bewick described it as the largest and most beautiful of the dog kind; about 36 inches high, generally of a white or cinnamon colour, somewhat like the Greyhound but more robust. He said that their aspect was mild, disposition peaceful, and strength so great that in combat the Mastiff or Bulldog was far from being an equal to them.
Height: 30-32 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 105-120 lb.
Lifespan: 6-8 years
Height: 22 - 26 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 75 - 95 lb.
Lifespan: 10 - 14 years
Both of these parent breeds can have strong prey drives and be rather aggressive. The Irish Wolfhound is known as a gentle giant that is sometimes calm and dignified, sometimes playful and silly, always easygoing and reliable. The shepherd is known for being stoic and loyal.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
The Irish Wolfhound mixed with German Shepherd might be prone to the following: von Willebrand's Disease (vWD), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), and megaesophagus, Joint dysplasia and allergies.
Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A careful breeder and one who truly cares about the breed itself, screens their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens. One of the most common health problems with dogs is obesity. Keeping this under control is your responsibility.
There is a good chance they are going to shed a lot and are going to need lots of exercise. This won’t be a good dog for a couch potato as it is going to want to be active and engaged in activities. So make sure that you can fit long walks and hikes into your daily routine. Be prepared to brush them a couple of times a week and have a good vacuum at your disposal to clean up the floors. Give them baths as needed, but not so much that you dry out their skin.
A lot of times diet is done on a per-dog basis. Each one is unique and has different dietary requirements. Most dogs in the U.S. are overweight. A mix like this one that is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should really be on fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible. Overfeeding any dog is not a good idea as that can really exacerbate health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia.
A good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet.
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