For people who suffer from dog allergies, finding a non-shedding dog breed is really important. Some dogs shed heavily all year round, others just shed during the change of seasons, and then there are dogs that barely shed at all.
While low-shedding dogs do exist, the 100% hypoallergenic dog is a myth!
Dog allergies are caused by a specific protein found in a canine’s skin cells, urine, and saliva. This is why breeds that lose lots of fur and drool heavily are a big no-no for allergy sufferers.
All dogs have dander (dead skin cells), saliva, and urine and this is why no dog can ever be 100% hypoallergenic and allergy-free. However, if a dog is mild shedding and isn’t prone to frequent drooling, they can be a hypoallergenic breed — and live alongside a person with dog allergies.
To learn more about hypoallergenic dogs, read our article – What Is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
Irish Wolfhounds have a double coat that comes in various colors, including black, white, brown, fawn, and red. This coat consists of a:
- Soft undercoat.
- Long, wiry outer coat.
The outercoat can feel more rough than cuddly, but that doesn’t mean your Irish Wolfhound won’t still want lots of snuggles and affection.
Do Irish Wolfhounds shed a lot? No, this breed isn’t a heavy shedder, but they do lose fur all year round. Compared to canines like the Golden Retriever and Husky, Irish Wolfhounds are very moderate shedders.
Although this breed has a double coat, they will not blow their undercoat once or twice a year. Seasonal shedding is very common in double-coated dog breeds, but Irish Wolfhounds are one of the exceptions.
Any fur shed from the undercoat will likely become trapped between the two layers initially, before falling away from the dog completely and settling in your surroundings. While Irish Wolfhounds are mild shedders, they release enough dander to cause a person’s dog allergy symptoms to flare up.
An Irish Wolfhound may not be hypoallergenic, but for a double-coated dog breed, they shed very little.
Shedding is a natural process that cannot be completely prevented. There is no way you can stop an Irish Wolfhound from shedding, but there are things you can do to minimize the amount of fur in your home.
Brush Your Wolfhound Daily
Unlike other double-coated breeds, an Irish Wolfhound only needs to be brushed about once or twice a week to keep his coat in good condition. However, daily brushing can help to release any fur caught between the double coat and reduce shedding.
It’s best to brush your dog outside for around 10 minutes a day. Doing this will stop the dead fur from settling on your soft furnishings and floating in the air around your home.
Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
Nutrition is key for your Wolfhound’s skin and coat. You could groom your dog appropriately, but if they’re eating an unhealthy diet, their fur and skin will suffer the consequences.
An Irish Wolfhound needs a nutritious diet, rich in protein and fats. Feeding your dog a well-balanced and high-quality kibble will help to keep their skin healthy and the roots of their fur strong — thus reducing excessive shedding. Why not try dog food enriched with omega 3 and 6, they’re essential nutrients for coat conditioning.
While it can be tempting to feed your dog leftovers — who can resist those puppy eyes? — giving your dog ‘human food’ can negatively impact your furry friend’s health. Avoid treating your dog to scraps off your plate and instead, give them the best quality dog food you can. Some dog foods can be overly processed and don’t have enough nutrition to meet all of your dog’s needs.
Looking after your pooch’s fur and preventing shedding starts from the inside. If your Wolfhound is getting the nutrition they need, they shouldn’t shed any more than is naturally necessary.
Bathing is a great way to clean your stinky tail-wagger after they’ve rolled in something unsavory. Yet, putting your pooch in the tub too often can be a problem. It causes their skin to lose moisture and dry out, which can result in excessive shedding.
Irish Wolfhounds only need to be bathed once every 4-6 weeks. There is no need to wash your dog more frequently than this. Always remember to use a dog shampoo made from all-natural ingredients — as harsh chemicals can also dry your dog’s skin out even more.
There may not be a hypoallergenic Irish Wolfhound, but there are breeds that would make a pawsome alternative — good with children and a gentle nature, like the Irish. Hence, you don’t need to sacrifice having a large dog if you have allergies, many canine friends won’t have you sneezing and itching.
The Afghan Hound is a large hypoallergenic dog — this breed can grow to around 25 to 27 inches tall and weighs up to 50 to 60 pounds. These hounds have a regal appearance, and although they look slightly aloof, they have a friendly and playful nature.
When an Afghan Hound puppy is brought up around children, they can make wonderful family dogs. However, introducing an older Afghan Hound into a family with children should be done with caution and patience. Older dogs can take a little longer to adapt to family life, and the Afghan’s sensitive nature can cause them to feel on edge around loud and boisterous children.
Afghans are one of the lowest-shedding dogs. Their long coat is their stand-out feature, but they’re minimal shedders and make a smart choice for people with dog allergies.
Another big dog breed originating from Ireland, but this one is hypoallergenic! The Irish Water Spaniel is smaller than the Wolfhound but is still classed as a large dog, standing at around 24 inches tall and weighing up to 68 pounds. Irish Water Spaniels have a double coat but are very mild shedders. The tight curls on their outer coat will catch any shed hairs and will need to be brushed weekly.
Irish Water Spaniels are laid back and friendly like the Irish Wolfhound and easily adapt to new people and settings. Early socialization is essential for these dogs to be happy within the family home and with strangers.
However, an Irish Water Spaniel is a bundle of energy that won’t let you forget their daily walkies. They are far more active than the Wolfhound, which can be quite lazy, enjoying cuddles on the couch way too much.
The Giant Schnauzer is a large hypoallergenic dog that’s highly intelligent, easy to train, and possesses excellent guard dog skills. At 27 inches tall and weighing approximately 85 pounds, the Giant Schnauzer isn’t as big as the Irish Wolfhound but it’s still a huge pooch.
This big bow-wow is gentle and patient — a wonderful family dog. Yet, like the Irish Wolfhound, the Giant Schnauzers’ size and playful energy can sometimes lead to small children being knocked over.
Giants are an exceptional choice for people with allergies. These king-sized canines have a dense double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and a weather-resistant upper coat, covered in wiry hair. The Giant Schnauzer will shed mildly throughout the year, and their coat will need grooming regularly.
If you want a really big dog, you can’t go wrong with the Irish Wolfhound, unless you happen to have dog allergies. However, shedding can be reduced by brushing them daily and feeding them a nutritious, skin and fur-friendly diet.
So, in this guide, we’ve answered the question — are Irish Wolfhounds hypoallergenic? While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, this breed sheds a little too much to be classed allergy-free. We’ve shared three Wolfhound alternatives to help your search, but if they don’t tick your doggy boxes, check out our full list of Large Hypoallergenic Dogs.
Do Irish Wolfhounds Shed a Lot?
Irish Wolfhounds are not hypoallergenic, but they don’t shed much, especially when compared to other double-coated dog breeds. This breed sheds mildly throughout the year and doesn’t blow their undercoat twice a year.
Do Irish Wolfhounds Like To Cuddle?
Yes, Irish Wolfhounds love to cuddle. These dogs are gentle giants, and their large size can make snuggles a bit uncomfortable, but Irish Wolfhounds are very affectionate and loving.
Are Irish Wolfhounds Lazy?
Despite needing a moderate amount of daily exercise, Irish Wolfhounds adore lounging around. They may even need a little encouragement to get out of the door for a run around.
What Does an Irish Wolfhound Coat Feel Like?
Irish Wolfhounds have a double coat. The top layer can feel wiry and harsh to the touch. Their coat isn’t soft and fluffy, it has more of a rough texture.
Which Is Bigger Great Dane or Irish Wolfhound?
The Irish Wolfhound is bigger than a Great Dane in terms of height but not weight:
- Minimum height of an Irish Wolfhound is 32 inches, which is the maximum for a male Great Dane.
- Great Danes can weigh up to 175 pounds, and Irish Wolfhounds have an average weight of 120 pounds.
Are Irish Wolfhounds Good Family Dogs?
As long as your Wolfhound has had plenty of early socialization they can make amazing family dogs as they have a calm and relaxed nature.