Rearing and diet

Rearing and diet

These are the notes we give to our puppy owners and so reflects the way we do things, if you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder they will most likely give their own notes.


Long before you bring your puppy home, set the scene for his/her arrival. Sort out a suitable sleeping area earing in mind that you may need to separate the puppy from any other pets if you are out e.g. with a baby gate. It’s always wise that the puppy can see and hear the household around him. You may need to put newspaper down for the first few nights, make sure there is room enough to do this.

Your puppy may be very unsettled when you first have him. We have found that a radio on low in the puppy’s room, together with a small night light help comfort him into a quiet nights sleep. Also remember to leave with him the things we will provide which smell of home.Judicious use of play toys can also help, see the notes on playing with your puppy below

Sleeping Area

Your hound will require a large sleeping area of his own where he can retire, keep his toys and know it is his own area. However, always ensure that you can move or sit on his bed and remove the toys so that he does not become territorial. A single mattress is recommended when he is an adult but in the meantime you need to ensure the bedding is a good 2 /3″ thick.

An area for newspaper for toilet training will also be needed for a puppy in the early stages. Vetbed fleece is ideal for your puppy to sleep in plus it is washable and lasts a long time. Initially, old blankets may be better until your puppy gets over its chewing stage when many a brand new expensive bed has been shredded.


Wolfhounds are generally great with children, but some common sense needs to prevail to ensure the puppy is not over – exerted or stressed by the attention of children wanting to play.

If the children want to fuss the puppy, ask them to go down to his level and sit on the floor with him rather than try any attempt at picking him up.

Tug of war games or jumping up games are not to be encouraged – you have to imagine the same behaviour when the dog is as big and heavy as you are.

It is common sense but we will say it anyway: Please never leave a child alone with a puppy.

Please ensure that your commitments to children are not going to prevent you giving sufficient time to devote to your puppy. Shutting puppy away because he is a nuisance is no answer and will lead to problems.

Things that affect the growth of your puppy      by Dr Karen Becker


Please read through this carefully. Giant breeds take much longer to fully develop and they take a certain specialist approach to exercise.

In these notes I try and explain how these pups grow; it is the approach that I am taking with the pups retained here.

I would never say there is a guarantee that you won’t experience any growth problems with your puppy, giant breeds can be genetically predisposed to such things, but there is a lot you can do to prevent it happening by accident.

Some of this information might appear to be overkill but if you can look back and say you did everything you could to rear the puppy carefully, that is better than looking back saying “I wish we hadn’t done this, or “I wish we had done that”. I have used some images to help you visualise what I mean.Although you can’t wrap your puppy in cotton wool, exercise and general activity does need to be watched especially up to the age of 6 – 7 months, and then managed carefully up to 12 months.

If accidental damage occurs it us usually in the period up to 6 months old. Most problems in a growing giant breed like the Wolfhound stems from trauma to the growth plates that remain soft until the dog is fully grown, or damage to the cartilage between the bones in the shoulder and stifle. What are Growth Plates? The epiphyseal plate – is a hyaline cartilage plate in the metaphysis at each end of long bones.At the ends of the long bones- particularly in the forelegs is an area that remains soft until the hound is about 12 months old. When a young puppy continually does high impact activities i.e. jumps downwards thus putting undue stress on the growth plates, these can become damaged.

What is Cartiledge? A flexible connective tissue found in many areas in the bodies of humans and other animals, including the joints between bones.

The main conditions we are trying to avoid by being careful with exercise are:

Osteochondritis Dissecans

Otherwise called OCD. This is caused by blood deprivation in the joint of the shoulder or less commonly the stifle. This loss of blood flow causes a part of the bone to die. The bone is then reabsorbed by the body, leaving the cartilage it supported prone to damage. The result is fragmentation of cartilage and bone, these fragments lie within the joint space, causing extreme pain to the dog.

Usually this damage is done early on – around 15 – 16 weeks but it can happen up to 9 months. It is uncertain what the underlying cause of OCD is; whether genetic predisposition; diet or trauma, but what we are trying to do is eliminate the chance of diet and trauma causing it.

Carpal Vulgas

This is a condition, usually involving the radius and ulna in the front limbs. Deformities can occur due to damage (could be a knock or a bang) to the growth plate on one of the long bones, and cause it to close prematurely. Consequently one bone keeps growing but the other does not, and twisted forelimbs results. This is NOT TO BE CONFUSED with a normal ten to two appearance of the feet of a growing puppy. If Carpal Vulgas is apparent you will see it clearly.

You must caution against your puppy performing “high impact” exercise which can be as simple as:

  • Running freely or rough playing with other dogs
  • Free access to steps or stairs
  • Jumping on and off furniture/beds
  • Tearing around on a hard concrete surface.
  • Walking for over long periods

You won’t be talking your puppy “out for a walk” as we would generally understand that to be – before 6 months of age.Obviously jumping up people should be discouraged anyway.

Anything that puts undue stress on the growth plates needs to be avoided.

You do not need to worry about development of muscles at this age so the back garden of your property will suffice for the puppy to run free in up to 6 months old.


On the contrary, you should be spending this time putting puppy in the car and taking him to socialisation situations like

  • getting used to car travel,
  • going to meet the kids from school,
  • going into town where you can sit with a coffee and let him watch the world go by,

but nothing that involves long periods of exercise, just a short walk to and from your vehicle. You must begin to lead train your puppy as soon as you get him, and take him out to socialise with people and other animals, but not to walk him very far, 5/10 minutes is enough in the street with the intention of meeting traffic and people.

He must have been fully vaccinated before you do any of these things. It has been proven that the first 20 weeks of your puppy’s life are the most important in its development to being a balanced sociable dog so you must put a lot of effort into giving him socialising experiences and making it a fun and pleasurable thing to do. Keep treats in your pocket as these can be used to keep his attention on you, and also good for recall training.Up to 6 months old your garden is enough area for puppy to play in, preferably on grass and not concrete, and always supervised.

We suggest that after 6 months, lead walk the puppy, 20 minutes is enough, and allow only 5 to 10 minutes free off the lead on his own, fully supervised. Build this up in the intervening months to longer periods and after 12 months your hound should be able to exercise freely.

As a grown adult 1 hour per day combined lead walking and free running will keep your hound in good muscular condition. You can always call me and compare notes. A good indication on whether your puppy is continuing to grow is to feel his knuckles on the forelegs, in a growing pup these are quite bumpy on the front of the leg, whereas in the grown hound – this flattens out. The only dietary supplement we give to puppies is Glucosamine/MSM which we get from Health Food Stores like Holland and Barrett. The function of this product is to strengthen and protect cartilage.

Knuckling over

It is rare to see but occasionally puppies can suffer from what is termed knuckling over. It is different to the appearance of a normal pup with huge knuckles and rather straight pasterns where the knuckles look like they are bulging out from the leg and sometimes the pup will shake when they put their weight on the joint. This isn’t generally anything to worry about. However, if the knuckle joint begins to look weak and rubbery and gives way when the pup walks on it, and if when they stand the joint looks unstable and rolls forward, they it could be that the pup has carpal hyperflexion. This is caused by an imbalance between ligament/muscle growth and bone growth, sometimes caused by over nutrition or under nutrition, more often I guess the former. The ligament at the rear of the pastern is too short and causes the knuckling over appearance and the weakness. It is important if this happens to completely rest the puppy, no exercise at all for about two weeks. The diet is best changed to an adult food (good quality but not high fat or protein) and the amount fed reduced to lower the calorie intake for the puppy, whilst keeping an eye on weight as you do not want the pup to go thin. Do not give any additional supplements – the only thing we can suggest is glucosamine/msm and green lipped mussel. As the puppy grows, the problem should correct itself – it is only in extreme cases that any surgical intervention is required.

Other things that can affect growth in your puppy.


Having your puppy too fat can put undue pressure on the joints. Please read through carefully the diet sheet and explanation provided. If you are worried, or have any concerns over the growth of your puppy PLEASE CONTACT ME.

If any problems do occur please let me know because this is important information I need to be aware of that may impact on future breeding.


When you take your puppy you will need to make an appointment at your veterinary surgeon for the inoculations to be carried out. It is advisable to leave it a few days after puppy’s arrival as vaccinations straight after the stress of a home change can often upset a puppy quite badly. If the puppy is collected from me later than 10 weeks it will need to have the first part of its vaccination, we can arrange this for you, and a certificate will be provided which you should show to your vet


Your puppy will have been wormed at 3, 5, 7 and 9 weeks of age (and 11 weeks if still with us) using Panacur. Continue worming monthly until the puppy is 6 months old. Then, twice yearly as an adult, using a veterinary recommended worming product.

An Important Issue with all dog ownership is Insurance

At the time of purchasing your puppy you need insurance cover. This is usually for Third Party cover, Veterinary Fees and the Value of the puppy. The puppy will leave us with 4 weeks insurance cover but you must sort out your own insurance quickly.

Things to consider when taking out insurance:
Watch out for the companies who exclude illnesses after a 12-month period, avoid these.
Ask if the policy is ‘Time Capped’ which means that if your hound has an ongoing condition, they will not pay out any more vet fees 12 months after the onset of the illness, or is it ‘Finance Capped’ meaning that they pay out a fixed amount per condition over an undetermined period. This latter option is OK as long as it is a substantial amount such as > £7000 per condition.
Watch out for companies who exclude Wolfhounds after the age of 5 years. Make sure that the Insurance Company insures the dog until its eventual death. Some companies will insure the hound for vets’ fees for its lifetime but will not pay out the value after a certain age, often 7 years. Make sure you enquire about this before taking insurance out. Most companies now charge an extra fee for a giant breed.
Check what the excess is. Most companies put £50 excess on the policy, some ask for a proportion of the bill. Some stop the insurance for a dog over a certain age – so be sure to ask what this is.
Watch out for companies who exclude what they see as hereditary or congenital conditions (Asda insurance do this). Select a company who do not exclude specific conditions.
You can pay your dog insurance premium monthly. Most general insurance companies offer pet insurance now. It is worth ringing around for best quotes, bearing in mind the criteria we have suggested above.

House Training

Wolfhounds are generally easy to housetrain and are naturally clean dogs. It is important to remember that the dog is a creature ‘of the moment’ so if you walk into a room and find the puppy actually peeing on the carpet and you shout ‘NO’, it will occur to him that peeing on the carpet displeases you.

If however, you shout ‘NO’ as he is walking away having finished his pee, or just upon finding a puddle on the floor while the puppy is lying on his bed, then he believes that walking away or lying on his bed is what displeases you. It’s quite simple psychology, but something that is invariably neglected because of our tendency to react to situations without thinking first. Mess in the house can be avoided if you follow some basic rules. For the first few nights leaving newspaper down overnight only for the puppy to use is a good idea.

When you are with him, take him outside to where you wish him to perform his toilet IMMEDIATELY after: –

  • He has been fed
  • He wakes up from a sleep
  • He has been playing for a while
  • He starts mooching around as if he is looking for somewhere to ‘go’.

DO NOT LEAVE HIM OUTSIDE THERE TO GET ON WITH IT. Stay with him because it is important that upon performing the required function you are there to praise, praise and praise gleefully telling him how clever and wonderful he was for doing it. Timing is everything, and the puppy will soon learn that he goes outside to the toilet but you must be vigilant to watch for the signs of his wanting to ‘go’, or his beginning to ask to go outside. NEVER, rough handle your puppy for making a mistake indoors. If he has an accident in the house it is not his fault that you were too preoccupied to look at your watch and open the door.

Tip – The scent of urine is very difficult to eradicate completely no matter how much disinfectant you use. This remaining scent can be a signal to a puppy to continue weeing in the same place. Bleach can clear the smell and if you can use a mild solution of bleach to clean areas where ‘accidents’ have occurred it will help.

Playing with your puppy

Not all toys are suitable for a puppy to play with. We would warn you against toys called ‘ragger chews’. They are made up of hundreds of lengths of cotton twisted together and knotted. We know of several hounds that managed to chew through this and ended up with the cotton twisted round the intestines, resulting in major surgery and one hound actually died.

Kongs are great for puppies because they can be filled with interesting food like fruit, peanut butter, biscuits or canned meat and it will keep them occupied for hours while they lick the food out.

They can also be frozen which makes them last longer (fill them/ wrap in cling film & freeze). We suggest that the Kong is kept as a special treat and given when you are going out so that the puppy is occupied and doesn’t miss you too much.

Tug of war games are all well and good but you must remember to ALWAYS win the game. You must end up taking the toy away from the puppy. This prevents possessiveness over toys and the puppy will learn that you are the boss when it comes to games.

Large plastic bottles (minus the cap) are great for puppies to play with, they are crackly and lightweight, they enjoy crunching and throwing them around. Also cereal boxes are good fun.

Games involving the puppy jumping up must STOP. While the puppy is small it is not so noticeable but when he is 6 months old and 100lb in weight you will not want him jumping at people, stop the behaviour from the beginning while the puppy is small by gently placing his feet back on the ground with a firm NO.

Lead Training your Puppy

This is quite easy to do with patience. None of this is instant, it may take you several days to get your pup used to a lead. Only train for short periods, 5 minutes twice a day is better than 10 minutes in one go. Remember your puppy has a very short attention span. Do not attempt to train your puppy if you are in a hurry.

Firstly, get him used to having a collar on, just put it on him for 5 – 10 minutes per day to begin with until he is happy and starts not to notice it. When he is happy with the collar. Take him in the garden and attach a long lead, at least 4 foot long. Do not hold the lead straight away but let the puppy trail it behind him until he gets used to it being there. When you pick up the lead the puppy may pull away from you, pull backwards or stop dead.

When the puppy is pulling DO NOT pull in the direction YOU want to go it isn’t teaching him anything. Instead, do nothing. When the puppy is pulling, you stop dead and wait, eventually the puppy will stop wondering why he can’t move forward, the lead will slacken and he will turn towards you. AT THIS POINT mark that as good behaviour either with a treat, or enthusiastic praise e.g. Whoopee, Yeees Good boy (or both is good).

As soon as the lead slackens, begin to walk forward. If the pup pulls, stop dead until the lead slackens again, pup looks towards you – mark this with praise or treat. Continue like this, i.e. waiting until the lead slackens and the pup turns to you (wondering why you are not moving, and hence neither can he), mark the slackening of the lead and then begin to walk. Eventually the puppy realises that if he pulls, he gets nowhere. If he walks steadily you both get to lots of interesting places with lots of praise and treats. DO NOT SHOUT AT YOUR PUPPY IN ANNOYANCE. If behaviour is not what you want, the best thing to do is to IGNORE IT


It is natural for your puppy to mouth you (it can be described at biting), to the puppy it is playing and knows no different, it is what it would do with its littermates. However, they have sharp teeth and it can hurt! If the puppy mouths you the best thing to do is to withdraw your hand quickly with a loud “AH AH” so that the puppy knows it has hurt you.

If it persists – hold the puppy’s muzzle gently and say a loud “NO”. Be consistent with this and the pup will quickly learn that it is not to mouth people.

Also, when you stop him mouthing you, give him something he CAN chew on. If he really persists then shout OW loudly so he knows it hurts and then WALK AWAY – ignore this bad behaviour. He will realise that if he bites you won’t play or fuss him.

Now the fact is that all puppies will chew, particularly when they are teething. The main issue is what they chew. If you catch your puppy in the act of chewing something it you do not want it to chew, shout “AH AH” or “NO” and gently stop the puppy from chewing. Have something else to offer the puppy i.e. one of his toys, basically you are saying “Don’t chew that, and chew this”


Wolfhounds are not a difficult breed to care for – coat wise. Ensure that you groom your puppy at least weekly, handling his face ears and feet so that he does not bother about this when he is older. He will grow quite a shaggy coat but by 6 months this longish puppy coat will start to come out and you can gradually groom it out or pull it out gently with finger and thumb leaving just his undercoat, which is quite smooth. Then his adult coarse coat will grow in.

Keep his ears tidy and free from long hair also trim under the tail where faeces can accumulate and in males around the sheath area. Keep nails short but only trim a millimetre or two at a time as the quick is quite near to the edge of the nail and can bleed if nicked. Never touch facial hair, only cheeks and neck ever need to be tidied up on the head

Socializing Your Puppy

You began training the pup the moment you brought it into your life, even if you didn’t realise it. How you reacted and guided the pup through all those “first times” laid the groundwork for all future learning and training. It’s important to allow a curious pup to investigate, but with supervision so it doesn’t get into trouble.


Never punish or verbally chastise after the event. It is too late!!

So if your dog will not come when it is called, it’s no use telling it off when it finally turns up as it will think it’s being told off for coming!

Remember to use titbits, toys and praise to reward good results. It is important that you take advantage of the early stages of your puppy’s life (especially up to 20 weeks) when he is at his most receptive to learning about new situations, experiences during this period will have a lasting impression on the puppy. Although it is important the get the vaccination program over before taking him out in to the wide world properly, there is no reason why you can’t start taking your puppy for short car journeys straight away.

Take him in the car to meet the children from school.

Ask friends and relatives to visit, ask them to be gentle and positive with the puppy.

If the puppy is not keen to meet them at first, don’t force the issue. Ignore the puppy but give visitors treats that can be used to encourage the pup to come forward in his own time.

Don’t let children chase, poke or pick the puppy up, let them go down to his level and always supervise any contact as any bad frightening experiences are likely to stay in the pups memory and influence how he perceives situations in the future. Your puppy will love to be with you as much as possible but there are times when he will need to be alone and he needs to learn that this is OK.

Begin by leaving him just for a few minutes at a time. It is a good idea to have certain special toys i.e. a filled Kong which he will only have when you leave him alone and which on your return are taken up until the next time he is left. Start examining your puppy’s eyes, ears, feet and mouth. Make this part of your daily routine, so you can spot problems early. This will also make it easier for your vet to examine your puppy in the future.

Introduce your puppy to common household appliances, such as the vacuum cleaner, lawnmower and washing machine. However, NEVER FORCE A PUPPY TO FACE SOMETHING HE IS FRIGHTENED OF. It will only compound the fear. The best method is to ignore behaviour you do not want and reward behaviour you do want. If the puppy sees that you are not afraid of the vacuum, then he will realise its not so bad, if you sit with him saying ‘there there never mind’ when the vacuum is on and he is scared of it, you are basically reassuring him that his fear was justified and it is a bad monster. Just get on with your daily jobs and talk to your puppy in a light jovial positive manner, encourage him to come and take a biscuit from you or sit and be stroked while the washing machine or vacuum or such like is on in the background.

Above all be patient, take time to ensure your puppy has the positive experiences he needs to make him a sociable member of your family.

Two Puppies Together – A Good Idea?

Well actually not necessarily – unless you are experienced with the breed and have a lot of time to devote to giving equal socialization and training to them. We prefer not to sell two pups at the same time to one home.

The reason for this may be selfish on our part but we want our pups to have the best from the word go and that means all of the attention.

When you have two puppies together it is easy to leave them to play and occupy each other but this can lead to their being more dependent on each other and not you. You want to be the centre of your pup’s world, and to ensure this you need to spend time with it. With the best of intentions it soon proves difficult to do everything twice when you have two puppies together.

You can’t take them both in the car to the supermarket and leave one alone while you go and socialise the other, you need to make the whole exercise an individual experience from the word go. If you want two, and most people eventually end up with a second hound, 18 months is an ideal gap to have between youngsters.


On leaving for their new homes, our puppies will be on a Large Breed complete puppy food, but beyond 4 months we switch our puppies to the adult version of this food and this is what they will remain on. We would recommend you do the same.

We require our pups to grow slowly and want a less energy dense food for them, and we find the adult food from this age is perfectly adequate.

You will be given a full diet sheet with recommended food and feeding times. Please try to stick to this, particularly in the early days of having your puppy to minimise the stress of changing homes. At 10 weeks a puppy will eat 4 meals per day. This will continue until 6 months, especially with male pups.

We tend to feed puppies to appetite. If the puppy looks for more food when he has finished his meal, and then increase the amount next meal by a couple of ounces. They will usually only eat what they need, if he leaves food in the bowl then THROW IT AWAY. Do not keep it on one side and feed it next meal – how would you like your breakfast leftovers served up for your dinner.

DO NOT LET YOUR PUPPY GET FAT. Keep him lean and healthy – not thin. Giant breeds can suffer from bone growth disorders and these are commonly connected to overweight. There used to be the idea that high protein was responsible for bone growth disorders but more recently it is believed this is connected to too high a calorie diet – or plain over feeding and over exercise.

Look at your puppy, you should be able to feel his ribs but not see them, he should have plenty of loose skin and appear in healthy condition.

At 6 months, our pups are on two meals per day  BUT if it is a male, we will usually stick to three meals until about 9 months. An adult Wolfhound is fed two meals a day NEVER fed just one meal a day for reasons of the avoidance of bloat.Ideally stick to a food with a protein level not more than 26%, less if possible, It is essential the fresh drinking water be available at all times, a bucket is a suitable receptacle. Always feed your hound at head height, as he grows raise the feeding stand to suit his height.

Ready made stands are available for purchase and advice can be given on this aspect.If you switch to another brand of food then do a test by soaking it to see how much the pellets will expand in hot water. If they do expand rather than collapse, then don’t feed it, food expanding in the stomach is too risky for bloat.

Beyond a year old – tend to give the adult Samlon and Rice or Arden Grange Lamb and Rice. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a Large Breed specific food at this stage.

Adults hounds are often fed on a meat and biscuit diet – this is mainly tripe, minced chicken or minced lamb with 70% meat 30% carbohydrate (good quality mixer) and split it into two meals per day. There are many variations on natural feeding from the half way measure like this to the complete BARF type diet – of which there is a lot of information available on the internet.

It is a more natural way of feeding if you don’t mind handling green tripe.We tend to be flexible with feeding and have also fed solely Arden Grange in past years, and the hounds have done perfectly well on that – although they do love their meat.

Bloat or Torsion

All giant breeds are susceptible to bloat i.e. the twisting of the stomach. This can kill a hound and can be caused by food swelling after eating causing the stomach to twist so the gasses cannot escape. You must never feed your hound at least 1 hour before and 2 hours after exercise. Do not feed food which expands too much on soaking – it is recommended that whatever type of food you give, you always soak it in warm water first so that any swelling takes place before the hound eats it.


These are fluid filled lumps which appear on the joints of young hounds, they are usually caused by a bang, commonly when pups tend to drop heavily onto a concrete surface (hence the need for soft bedding). DO NOTHING ABOUT THESE. DO NOT LET YOUR VET SURGICALLY INTERVENE. In rare circumstances bursas can become hot and inflamed, then get the vet to treat that, but draining it surgically is not the answer.Bursas go in time by themselves within a few months. They may be unsightly but allowing surgical intervention causes untold trouble and is unnecessary. You can help things along by daily massage with oil and there are some homeopathic treatments such as Apis.Mel, which are known to help. Otherwise, let nature take its course.


Vomiting and NO diarrhoea – this can be indicative of the puppy having eaten something that has caused a blockage in the gut. There is no time to waste as this can be fatal and you need to go to the vets quickly

Loose Motions

Stool formation is a good indication of how the puppy is coping with his diet. Loose motions can indication a diet that is too rich; it can indicate a period of stress or an infection. Diarrhoea, particularly if it has a strong smell – is likely an infection and you need to see the vet who will probably give some antibiotics.

A product called Pro-Texin is also excellent for calming an upset stomach; you can get this from the vet. If the puppy has loose or cow pat motions, firstly reduce the amount of food for a day or so to see if this helps. Also, think about whether he is getting titbits that might be upsetting him.

Milk is often the cause of loose motions in an older puppy, if you are still giving milk then try cutting it out and replacing it with Bonio biscuits or Farleys Rusks. Mashed potato (more digestible than rice) with boiled chicken or fish is good for settling stomachs until they can get back onto normal food.


Puppy bitches often get this, sometimes dog puppies can but its less common. If you see the puppy repeatedly trying to pass water but only a few drops, or sometimes nothing comes – then you need to see the vet for antibiotics.


Can we emphasis at this point that this is generic information, your puppy will not follow it exactly but may be more or less than the weights and heights shown, it is a guide only. These are some figures from four puppies whose growth was monitored up to the age of 6 months. They were differently bred and different in appearance.A puppy can gain on average 3 – 5 lbs in weight per week. If you are at all concerned about the weight or growth rate of your puppy, please get in touch with your breeder.

NB – These weights were from puppies from various litters and are fairly typical to use as a guide.

Use this table simply to get an idea of the amount of weight a puppy can put on during a month.

Puppy at 12 weeks
Height at shoulder Weight kilo Adult Height Adult Weight Kilo
Freya 18″ 15 33″ 64
Pepsi 20″ 16 33.25″ 69
Fern 20.5″ 18 32.25″ 61
Holly 17.75″ 13 36″ 77
Morgan 21.5″ 17 37″ 82
Deamus 20.5″ 17
4 months
Freya 24.25″ 25    
Pepsi 24.35″ 26    
Fern 24.75″ 28    
Morgan 26″ 29    
Deamus 25″ 29    
5 months
Freya 27″ 35    
Pepsi 27.5″ 37    
Fern 28″ 36    
Holly 28″ 39    
Morgan 30″ 39    
Deamus 29″ 40    
6 months
Freya 29.25″ 41    
Pepsi 28.75″ 41    
Fern 29.75″ 43    
Morgan 34″ 44    

Statistics courtesy of Caroline Shephard – Goldswift Irish Wolfhounds.

Example Diet Sheet-

Based on a puppy aged 10 – 12 weeks. Obviously these amounts will increase over the forthcoming weeks and months. This diet is based on a complete feed of Arden Grange Puppy. NO ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION OF CALCIUM BASED PRODUCTS.

For the first 12 months we give our growing puppies

Try to find an adult food that is less than 26% – there are many changing thoughts as to the cause of growth disorders in giant breeds.

Protein used to be blamed as the cuprit but today, the thinking has changed to include a general over feeding of energy dense foods, however – Wolfhounds do not need high protein feeds in order to grow steadily. We change our puppies on to the adult version of the food from around 16 weeks, and this has worked well for us producing well grown balanced hounds over the years.

That water is available at all times.

Soak the feed in hot water for 5 – 10 minutes before adding any meat (which should be room temperature).

The Tinned Butchers Tripe or Fresh Tripe is a TASTER only and not a main part of the meal. Don’t overdo adding this.

Increase your puppy’s food every three or four days by an ounce or two, use your eyes to judge how he is looking weight wise and how good his motions are. If the puppy still seems hungry after eating his meal, increase by an ounce or two at the next meal.

You can always call me and compare what amounts we are feeding here with what you are giving your puppy.

Starter Diet for 12 week old puppy – the complete food amounts increased weekly as required.
8 a.m. 1 p.m. 6 p.m. 11 p.m.
6 – 8 oz Puppy Food

2 Tablespoons of
Butchers Tinned Tripe mashed into food.

1 Vitamin C tablet
1 Glucosamine /MSM tablet

6 – 8 oz Puppy Food

2 Tablespoons of
Butchers Tinned Tripe Mashed into

Same as 1 p.m.
Same as 1 p.m.
meal.Small Tub of Natural Yoghurt.or alternatively1/2 pint goats milk instead.

Do not be surprised by the amount of food your puppy can consume as he is growing up to the age of 12 months. A growing hound will eat around twice the amount as a grown adult hound.


Puppy won’t eat / Diet advice

If the puppy does not eat straight away DO NOT WORRY, after a few minutes remove the left over food and throw it away.

Carry on with the feeding schedule as usual, your puppy will not starve itself and should begin eating normally within a few days of arrival. Increase the amount of food by a couple of ounces per day assuming that the puppy is clearing its dish and looking for more. A good rule to follow is that you should be able to feel the ribs but not see them.

Also, stool formation should be firm. Milk is allowed in limited amounts perhaps 1/2 to 3/4 pint per day of full fat milk or Goats milk (if this is given then do it in replacement of the betime feed) – but if this causes loose motions then cease to give it. In a good quality complete food your puppy will have ALL the nutrients its requires DO NOT be tempted to supplement with calcium tablets etc.

Remember that if you are offering your puppy scraps and titbits between meals you may spoil its appetite for its proper meal and may be providing an imbalanced diet. However, you can add some of your left over meats and vegetables to its normal meals.

Treats are allowed and Wolfhound do love fruit i.e. apples, bananas, etc in moderation.

This together with dog biscuits can be used as an amusement when stuffed inside a toy like a Kong and the puppy will spent happy hours licking the food out of the toy.
The basic rules of rearing a Wolfhound are to do it slowly but surely.
Remember to keep your puppy lean but not thin.
Remember you do not have to stuff him with food to make him grow – it is in his genes that he will be the size and weight he is destined to be. Overdoing on diet can hamper this growth process – always check with us if you are not sure of how he is doing.
Watch the exercise until he is 9 – 10 months old – with particular care taken upto the age of 6 months.

Do not let him go up and down stairs. Be careful with garden steps, go with him rather than let him run up and down himself.

Do not let him jump on and off furniture – or play roughly with other dogs in the household.



Interests & Wolfhound Related Stuff


  • Mary McBryde – The Magnificent Irish Wolfhound. (Essential Reading)
    Available through
  • Elizabeth Murphy – The Irish Wolfhound. Irish Wolfhound Picture History by Elizabeth Murphy


By joining one of the Clubs you will get to know what events are happening through the year such as the Rally and Wolfhound Shows.

Irish Wolfhound Club
Website –

Irish Wolfhound Society
Website –


Weekly Dog Papers

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