Responsible Irish Wolfhound breeders complete a range of health tests and are willing to share the results of these tests with you. Ensure you see results for heart status in the parents, which should be within twelve months of the litter, and you must be sure each puppy has an individual PSS (liver shunt) test. See the Irish Wolfhound Health Group
website for further details.
Puppy farming in a home near you
Puppy farmers don't always have an industrial sized shed filled with caged dogs in squalid conditions. They may keep their dogs as 'pets' in their homes, may ensure that mother and father are available for you to meet, may grill you about your personal circumstances to demonstrate that they are concerned about the homes their puppies are going to, and generally do a very good job of convincing you that they are a caring, responsible breeder. But they may also be breeding their bitches season after season, with no regard for the health and well-being of those bitches. So never assume that because a breeder appears to be responsible that they are. Make sure you do the following checks:
Checking the pedigree of their dogs
Puppy farmers often claim a great pedigree for their dogs. Perhaps with lots of champions in the line, or related dogs winning lots of shows, or qualifying for Crufts. Every dog has ancestors and a pedigree is just a list of these. All Irish Wolfhounds have documented ancestry going back for hundreds of generations.
Whatever the claims of the breeder it is possible to check the pedigree of the dog. When you are speaking to the breeder ask for detailed information and make notes. Always ask for the registered names of the parents, and ask to see the registration papers to verify their names.
If the breeder is claiming a history of top show dogs in their lines then ask them for those dogs' registered names too, and ask which shows they have done well at and in what year. If they can't answer these questions, are vague, or are reluctant to tell you, alarm bells should be ringing in your head. If they do answer your questions, make a note of the answers given, in particular registered names of the parents of the puppy and you will be in a position to check their pedigree and any claims about related dogs doing well in the show ring.
Using our access to the Kennel Club Breeds Record Supplement (the official list of all KC registrations in the UK) and our Club's archive of show results, we can help you verify the claims made by a breeder - simply contact us.
If a breeder has misrepresented themselves to you or lied in any way you should not buy a dog from that breeder.
Kennel Club Registration Papers and 'Endorsements'
All responsible breeders register their dogs with the Kennel Club. But Kennel Club registration does not guarantee that the breeder is responsible. For £12 anyone can register a puppy with the Kennel Club as long as the parents of the puppy were registered at birth and they meet the registration guidelines. Sadly, the KC registration scheme is abused by some irresponsible breeders and puppy farmers.
The endorsement "progeny not for registration" means the parents are pets/companions only and not for breeding. This is the clause that most responsible breeders put on the KC registration papers, especially when selling a puppy to someone previously unknown to them as even though a home may be carefully vetted we can all be taken in. Endorsements are used to help prevent irresponsible breeding and puppy farming - more information about endorsements can be found in the Kennel Club Endorsements leaflet
We strongly recommend that you do some more detailed research into a breeder if they are:
- Offering to sell a puppy without KC registration papers at one price and with papers at a higher price - we have had reports of puppy farmers charging several hundred pounds to register a puppy with the Kennel Club when the actual cost is £12;
- Offering to sell a puppy with endorsements on the papers at one price and without endorsements at a higher price.