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Meet The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

Meet The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix is truly something different in the dog world. You won’t see a lot of them out there, especially not in the U.S. Coming from one extremely famous dog parent, and the other one with ancient roots, this crossbreed has some powerful genes!

They are a mixed breed, and they are not as popular as some other crossbreed dogs are, but that doesn’t mean they are not a good crossbreed. The reason why they are not as popular as some other dog mixes comes from the fact that one of their dog parent breeds is rather rare — the Irish Wolfhound.

So, what does this crossbreed look like? Is it as tall as the Irish Wolfhound or is it an excellent guard like the German Shepherd? From how they look to how they feel and think, let’s find out more about this amazing crossbreed.

What Is An Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix?

Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix
Photo from: @cedriczeke

This is a so-called hybrid dog that was made by cross-breeding these two purebred dogs — the Irish Wolfhound and the German Shepherd. Both dog breeds are old and well-respected among dog breeders and dog lovers around the world.

So, when you mix together dogs that already have such long and well-established traits, honed over hundreds of years by breeders all around the world, their mix has to be something special.

If you are looking for a Teddy Bear dog or a stunner with unique black dots on its white coat — the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix is not such a dog. This dog has a more raw, down-to-earth look. But, as you will see later, they are loyal, gentle, affectionate, and ready to be your best friend for the rest of their life.

To understand this breed of dog, we have to meet the parents first, just as with all crossbreeds. We have to look at the parent’s traits, both physical and mental, to understand what our hybrid dog will look like.

Meet The Parents

Being a mixed breed, this dog has two purebred dog parents. One of the purebred dog parents is the German Shepherd, and it is undoubtedly more famous. We know the GSD from TV shows and movies, and even the police and military around the world use these dogs to help them in their line of work.

But, the Irish Wolfhound has origins dating back to 300 BC. They are the tallest dog breed in the world, originally bred as scent hounds. They did their job so well that Ireland lost their elks and almost lost its wolf population. Yes, that’s right — the Irish Wolfhound was deliberately made to hunt large game like wild boars and wolves, and they were excellent at it.

Both parent breeds are large dogs and working dogs, but other than that — they don’t have a lot of similarities. So, we’re going to meet the Irish Wolf first, and then move on to the German Shepherd dog.

The Irish Wolfhound

This dog has several names — the Irish Wolf, the Irish Hound, or as accepted by the AKC (American Kennel Club) the Irish Wolfhound.

With their average height being a minimum of 32 inches (81cm), they are the tallest dog breed accepted by the AKC. They are also very large, with a male Irish Wolfhound weighing up to 120 pounds (54 kg).

They were first bred, and later on developed, in Ireland. They were definitely a developed breed of dog in the year 390 BC because ancient Roman Emperors wrote about the Irish Wolfhounds during this time. Some of the dogs of this breed were given to the Romans as a gift, and everyone was amazed by them.

Even though they had a lot to do in the beginning, when the large game they used to hunt went almost extinct, they didn’t have much to do anymore. So, the Irish Wolfhound dog breed was in danger of going extinct as well.

Luckily, Captain George Augustus Graham took the matter into his own hands and developed a breeding program for this amazing Hound, preserving and perfecting the breed.

Today, this dog is still not as popular as other breeds; hence, the rarity of the Irish Wolfhound GSD mix as well. But, they are still among us, and they are still a well-respected dog breed, always happily accepted and seen in dog shows around the world.

The German Shepherd

The other parent dog is the famous German Shepherd. This is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. This dog breed was first bred in Germany in the late 19th century. Their original purpose was to be herding dogs, specifically helping with the sheep.

But, today, this famous breed of dog has more than one job. From being a police dog, a war dog, and a guard dog/watchdog, to being a therapy dog — the German Shepherd can do it all!

They are intelligent and very loyal dogs that go great with young children, and children in general. Their coat color and coat markings are one of the most recognizable in the whole world. They are extremely popular as family dogs and guard dogs in the USA. Everyone loves them, and already knows a thing or two about how wonderful and intelligent they are.

We will talk about this, but let’s just say that the German Shepherd breed can pass on some of these traits to their offspring, too. It doesn’t matter if it’s another purebred German Shepherd Dog or if it is a GSD and Wolfhound cross, or any other German Shepherd mix dog — they can all inherit these traits.

Now that we know the short origin story of the two purebred dog breeds that make the Irish Wolfhound Shepherd mix, we can see more clearly how this amazing mix will look when it grows up.

Origin Of The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

The exact year and place of this crossbreed origin are unknown. Both of the dog’s parent breeds are very old, and the mix could have happened at any time during the last couple of hundred years.

But, chances are that the first official litter happened in the 20th century, and in Europe. The reasons for that are the standardization of the GSD breed and the availability of the Irish Wolfhound in Europe. The Irish Wolfhound dog breed is not very popular in other parts of the world, so the chances that the first mix happened in Europe are higher than the chances that it happened in other parts of the world.

But, wherever and whenever it happened — we are happy and grateful it did! The breeders must have seen the quality traits of both dog breeds and realized the potential behind mixing them. Their offspring is a quality dog crossbreed called the German Wolfhound, and we are hoping it will gain popularity because it is simply amazing!

Appearance Of The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

When we think about the appearance or physical traits of the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix dog, we are actually thinking about all the physical variations that can come from mixing two purebred dogs, which are the parent breeds.

Their physical characteristics will determine the physical characteristics of the German Wolfhound we are talking about today. And, because the physical traits are so different between the GSD and the Irish Wolfhound — their offspring can look very different from litter to litter, and even puppies from the same litter can look very different.

In hopes of understanding the possible outcome of mixing the Irish Wolfhound with the German Shepherd, we have a chart that easily differentiates and compares these two parent dog breeds.

German Shepherd
Weight: 90 pounds
Height: up to 26 inches
Coat type: double, straight
Coat length: medium
Color: black and tan, black and cream,
Ears: erect
Body: with a sloped back
Tail: bushy, long
Irish Wolfhound
120 pounds
minimum 32 inches
Coat type:
double, wiry
Coat length:
Color: gray, brindle, black, etc
long, muscular

We can see from the chart that the Irish Wolfhound is much larger and taller than the German Shepherd dog. There is a difference between the tail, ears, and body.

The only thing they have in common is the length of the tail and the fact that they have a double coat with a soft undercoat. But, even these traits are easily distinguished. The German Shepherd has a denser-looking double coat that is straight, with just occasional wiry features.

On the other hand, the Irish Wolfhound has a shaggy-looking coat. It is a double-coat type, but it is much thinner looking and prominently more wiry.

The walk and the general appearance are quite different, too. The German Shepherd has a trotting gait, while the Irish Wolfhound has a typical hound gait with long, thin legs.

What Will The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix Look Like?

Simply put, this means the German Wolfhound can have various looks. The only certain physical trait it will inherit is the double coat and the medium length of the coat.

As for other physical characteristics, we can only guess. But, we can highlight the most common physical traits of this mix:

  • Height: between 23 and 32 inches
  • Weight: between 82 and 110 pounds
  • Coat length: medium
  • Coat type: wiry and double (soft undercoat)
  • Coat color: various coat colors – anything from the common GSD colors to common Irish Wolfhound coat color variations
  • Ears: floppy (can be cropped)
  • Tail: bushy and long
  • Body: longer than wider, back minimally sloped
  • Muzzle: long, black nose
  • Eyes: round, black to shades of brown

So, if you have a German Shepherd dog and an Irish Wolfhound, and you want to make a hybrid dog — their mix — you can expect all kinds of traits in your new mixed puppies. Some dogs in a litter can inherit an outer coat that will be denser and with straight hair, just like a German Shepherd dog. But, other puppies can have a shaggy-looking coat type like their Irish Wolfhound parent.

Even though the height and weight can vary, it is still going to be a large breed of dog… or, more precisely, a large crossbreed dog. Most of the puppies won’t inherit the full height of an Irish Wolfhound, but will grow to be up to 30 inches or so.

The weight is the same. There is a possibility that their mix will be 120 pounds, just like the size of the Irish Wolfhound, but such a situation is rare. They will mostly be around 90 pounds or up to 100 pounds.

Of course, these are just the most common physical traits of this mixed dog breed. Any variations are possible, even among puppies in the same litter.

Temperament Of The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

We’ve come to the temperament traits of the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix, and just as with the physical traits, these traits are not easily predicted either.

But, because the parent dog breeds have more similarities in temperament than they have in their physical characteristics, we have a better picture of what we can expect from our mixed puppy.

Of course, once again, it has to be noted that these are not facts. Any crossbreed dog is a unique dog that can be very different from not only its parent dogs, but from its littermates, too.

To understand the possibilities of the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix traits, we are going to look at the traits chart box of the two parent dog breeds.

German Shepherd
Family: very affectionate
Children: very good with children
Other dogs: socialization needed
Other animals: socialization needed
Strangers: not very open
Adaptability: very adaptable
Protectiveness: very protective
Playfulness: playful
Trainability: very trainable
Mental stimulation: high
Barking: vocal
Energy level: very high energy levels
Irish Wolfhound
very affectionate
socialization needed
Other Dogs: good with other dogs
Other animals:
socialization needed
not very open
not very adaptable
very protective
Playfulness: not very playful
Mental Stimulation: moderate
rarely barks
Energy Level:

Let us summarize this chart box, and we will get the answer to the most possible temperamental and social traits of the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix dog.

First of all, both dog parents are very affectionate and loyal to their family. You can be sure that your puppy will inherit this trait. Not only are you going to get a loyal and affectionate dog, but a mighty watchdog as well.

Both the German Shepherd and the Irish Wolfhound are very alert dogs that will make great watchdogs. This comes from their high loyalty and deep need to protect their family — you. Although the Irish Wolf is not as good of a guard dog as a GSD is, their loyalty will even it out, and your new mixed dog will do a great job protecting you.

You won’t have problems training your mixed dog either. This is because the German Shepherd is considered to be one of the most intelligent dogs in the world, and the Irish Wolfhound is not bad either.

It doesn’t matter if you want to teach your dog several things or just potty train him, or even how to take a simple walk in the park — your Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix will be easy to train.

The Most Common Temperament Traits Of The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

Once again, to sum it up, these are the most common temperament traits of a German Wolfhound:

  • Family: very affectionate
  • Children: excellent with children
  • Other dogs: socialization needed
  • Other animals: socialization needed
  • Strangers: reserved
  • Adaptability: adaptable
  • Protectiveness: highly protective
  • Playfulness: moderately playful
  • Trainability: highly trainable
  • Mental stimulation: moderate
  • Barking: moderate
  • Energy level: high

Our crossbreed dog is very good with children no matter the age. Actually, both dog parent breeds are very patient with young children, and are calm no matter the possibility of unintentional rough play.

As for long walks and mental stimulation, this is something that is recommended when you have a German Wolfhound. They don’t need as much mental stimulation as a GSD would need, but keeping them occupied is a must. How often you should walk your dog depends on many things, but in general, a long walk every day will do.

If you don’t have a lot of time on your hands, you can use some of the interactive toys while you are at work to keep your dog entertained.

Early Socialization Needed

When it comes to other dogs and other animals, we have to be careful. The Irish Wolfhound is a scenthound bred for hunting, so it is only natural that this dog breed has a high prey drive. We can expect the Irish Wolfhound mix to have a high prey drive, too.

This means they will need more socialization from an early age to teach them that other (especially smaller) animals are not prey to chase and hunt. This means they will need socialization in order for them to be friendly with other dogs as well.

The German Wolfhound needs to be properly socialized during puppyhood. That is the best way we can ensure they will be sociable and friendly toward other dogs as well.

Another fact — the Irish Wolf GSD mix will inherit a high protective instinct from its parents. They are loyal, and they will protect anyone or anything they consider to be a part of their family.

Socializing them from an early age to be more open towards strangers is also a good thing to do in order to make sure that no one gets hurt.

Health Of The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix stands with tongue out
Photo from: @thedogstead

This dog is a crossbreed that can have some health issues depending on the genes it inherits from the parent dogs.

If the Irish Wolfhound genes are more dominant, then the lifespan of our mixed breed can be shorter than we would want. Irish Wolfhounds are sadly one of the dog breeds with the shortest lifespan — they only live up to eight years.

The German Shepherd dog has a longer lifespan than the Irish Wolfhound — it is around 10 years. But, as you can see, that is not much longer. Unfortunately, this means that the German Wolfhound will inherit a short lifespan as well.

So, in general, the German Wolfhound can have a lifespan of up to 10 years, with six to nine years being the average lifespan of this crossbreed.

Why Such A Short Lifespan?

Simply said — because it can inherit a lot of health issues from its parents.

Common health issues are:

All large dog breeds can develop a serious, life-threatening condition called bloat or GDV (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus). This condition happens when the stomach gets filled with liquid, food, or air. The stomach expands and twists, and starts pressing the surrounding organs.

Dogs that have a deep chest and are generally large dog breeds have a higher risk of developing bloat. One of the reasons for this is fast eating, overeating, and having one large meal a day.

How To Prevent Bloat

Being an owner of a large dog breed has a lot of perks, but it can leave us worrying about the possible health problems we’ve all heard about at least once. One of those things is the infamous bloat, So, to help you prevent it as much as possible, here are the tips on how to feed your large Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix:

  • Give them two meals per day — no free feeding!
  • Avoid dog activities one hour after and one hour before feeding
  • Avoid feeding your dog one hour after a car ride and one hour before a car ride
  • Elevate the food bowl
  • Soften the kibble

Read more about feeding large dogs in our Irish Wolfhound feeding chart!

The Price Of The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix

Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix in the arms of a woman
Photo from: @htimsahsatal

Before we mention the price of this breed, we have to mention that this is still a rare crossbreed. There are not a lot of breeders of this hybrid dog, and this fact alone can make the price higher.

In general, the average price of the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix puppy can be anywhere between $1000 and $4000. This range is possible because of the availability and popularity of the German Shepherd, and the unavailability of the Irish Wolfhound.

There are a lot of breeders who breed and sell German Shepherd dogs. But, that doesn’t mean they are all reputable breeders. So, if you have a mixed puppy that comes from a German Shepherd of unknown health, and from an Irish Wolfhound of an unknown lineage, the price will be much lower.

But, there is the fact that both breeds are large dog breeds that require a lot of food and a lot of space to keep them healthy. So, if you are buying their mixed offspring from someone who genuinely takes care of their dogs, you can expect the price to go even higher than $4000.

Buying a puppy from a reputable breeder has a lot of benefits, but if this is too much, and you prefer to adopt, you can visit local animal shelters or some of the websites that offer adoption for a small fee.

Here are some of the websites:

Is The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd Mix A Good Family Dog?

This is one of the questions that people ask quite often when they talk about the mix of these two dogs. A lot of people are asking whether this crossbreed is suitable for a family. Why is that?

When we stop and think about the dog’s parent breeds, it can be understandable. Both dog breeds are working dogs, and they can look intimidating, especially the German Shepherd dog.

But, don’t worry! This crossbreed is more than just a good family dog — it is an excellent family dog.

We already mentioned that it can inherit loyal and affectionate traits from both dog parents. So, that’s double the affection time with your dog and you. The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix will be a gentle, careful, and affectionate furry family member. It goes well with children of any age, as well as members of the family who need special care.

After all, one of the many jobs of the German Shepherd dog is to be a therapy or support dog. This is something that your German Wolfhound will inherit as well.

All of this means that the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix is a great family dog, and you don’t have to worry about adding him to your family.

Before You Get This Mix…

Even though we talked about the positive traits of this mix when it comes to being a family dog, there are a few things we’d like to mention in order to make sure you know exactly what to expect from this crossbreed.

The biggest issues are the size of the dog and its lifespan.

These are the things you have to consider before you go and get yourself the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix. It is not easy to comprehend that there is a big possibility that your dog will only live up to six years.

And, yes… we know that no matter how long they live, it’s never enough. So, think about this lifespan issue, especially if you have young children. This dog can develop some serious health issues, and it will take time and money to get them taken care of.

Another thing is the exercise requirements and the living space. No matter whether it inherits either the height of the German Shepherd or of the Irish Wolfhound — this is still going to be a large dog, weighing around 90 pounds (40 kg)!

The dog will need a lot of food, and physical and mental stimulation to keep him healthy. This dog needs space to run and to have proper daily exercise. If you have a yard — that would be ideal. They are not meant for small apartments.

The Conclusion

Hopefully, at the end of this story about the Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd mix, you realized (just like we did) what an amazing crossbreed this dog is.

The dog can have health issues, some more serious than others, and it has a short lifespan. But, its affection, loyalty, and love that will shine every day in its round, dark puppy eyes will make you forget about the problems.

This crossbreed has brilliant purebred dog parents, and the traits it will inherit can only be brilliant as well. So, if you are ready for full commitment, if you have enough space for this large dog breed, and if you have time to make and keep it happy and healthy — don’t hesitate. The Irish Wolfhound German Shepherd is one of the oddest and rarest dog crossbreeds.

They might be plain-looking, but they have nothing but an extraordinary heart and wits.

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