The Irish Dane: A Complete Guide

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The Irish Dane has an ancient heritage as a fearsome war dog and a talented hunter. It is the hybrid of the Irish Wolfhound and the Great Dane.

Despite the history of its ancestors, however, this dog can make a wonderful companion for the individual or the entire family.

They are very protective animals develop strong bonds with their human family members. If you have other pets running around your house, then the Irish Dane will also watch over them.

According to old paintings and wood carvings, the Irish Wolfhound dates as far back as 273 B.C.

They are native to Ireland and originally served as companions to farmers and get their name from their ability to hunt wolves.

They are one of the few dogs that are big and fierce enough to take on several wolves at a time and step out victorious.

When the ancient Romans invaded Britain and Ireland, they recorded the fearless Celtic warriors who would run into battle with their trusted Irish Dane by their side at all times.

They would strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. Today, however, they are far more domesticated. They are very friendly dogs that are most often purchased for companionship.

The Great Danes have a history that is almost as old. They are originally a German dog, but they were kept by European nobles as prized hunting dogs.

Their long legs made them ideal for chasing large prey, their powerful noses could track a scent for many miles, and their powerful jaws meant that they could take down large animals such as bears and wild boar.

The Irish Dane is an equally large dog, so they need plenty of outdoor space to run around and play in.

Despite their formidable appearance, however, these dogs are really sweet and affectionate once you get to know them. They are often described by their owners as giant teddy bears.

Irish Dane Puppies – Before You Buy…

Irish Dane jumping
The Irish Dane has a very good sense of smell.

While their looks may impress you when you first meet them, you need to understand that these dogs can be quite a responsibility.

You will need to spend time training them, and they will also need lots of exercise and space.

Let’s take a look at some of the information that you should be aware of before searching out your first Irish Dane puppy.

What Price are Irish Dane Puppies?

The cheapest that you can expect to pay for an Irish Dane puppy is right around $800, but be prepared to pay up to $1,700 for them. This is due to the high price of the parenting breeds.

The Irish Wolfhound usually costs around $1,500, and the Great Dane can cost up to $3,000 if they come from a stock of show dogs.

However, if you find a litter that comes from a cheaper house pet Great Dane, then you can usually get a good deal on these puppies.

How to Find Reputable Irish Dane Breeders?

Due to their Irish Wolfhound ancestry, these dogs are almost impossible to fake. Their long legs, their tall stature, and prominent muzzles are truly unique.

The only trouble that you’re going to have is finding a breeder that sells them.

They are more common in Europe, where both of the dogs are native, but you can often find a breeder who is willing to ship a puppy to the United States.

Just keep in mind that if you go this route, then you will have to pay extra for overseas animal shipping.

3 Little-Known Facts About Irish Dane Puppies

  1. From birth, the Irish Dane is a runner. Even as puppies, they need lots of room to run around and play.
  2. Irish Dane puppies eat a lot of food, especially while they are growing puppies. Make sure you keep your pantry stocked!
  3. These little puppies are trained best with praise. They don’t respond well to harsh words.

Physical Traits of the Irish Dane

tired Irish Dane
The Irish Dane is “gentle when stroked, fiery when provoked.”

These dogs are long, lean, and tall. Both of the parent dogs share similar body types.

This means that they are very fast runners and are well-known for their endurance and their ability to run for hours at a time.

Their haunches are very muscular which allows them to leap far and jump high.

The Irish Dane’s head is its most prominent feature. It has the rounded skull of the Great Dane with the long snout and muzzle of the Irish Wolfhound.

This gives the breed a very good sense of smell, and if they are trained properly, they can make a formidable hunting dog.

Depending on the time of the year that it is, the Irish Dane will either have medium or short length hair. During the cold months, their fur tends to grow longer to keep them warm.

When the warm months come in Spring and Summer, then they will shed most of this off.

If it is a time of the year when their fur is longer, then you will need to make sure that you brush it at least once a week to keep in clean and in good condition.

In general, their fur tends to be thick and rough. Their coat can be a wide variety of colors depending on the parents. The most common colors to see are fawn, cream, and grey.

It is also very common to see tufts of blue hair mixed in from time to time. Both of the parenting breeds also have a wide variety of coat colors.

Sometimes your Irish Dane will even develop a unique spotting pattern.

How Big is a Full-Grown Irish Dane?

Irish Danes can weigh up to 130 pounds when they are fully grown. This classifies them as a large dog.

The lightest that you will ever see an Irish Dane is around 100 pounds, but that’s only if they’re the runt of the litter.

Although these dogs are fairly lean, they get most of their weight from their height. The Irish Dane can grow up to 3 feet tall.

Because of their large frame, you will need to make sure that they have plenty of space.

If you’re not at the house to let them out constantly, then it’s a good idea to hire a puppy sitter to make sure that they get outside and stretch their legs a couple of times during the day.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Irish Dane?

Unfortunately, these dogs have a relatively short lifespan. It’s not common for an Irish Dane to live past 10 years old. Their average lifespan tends to be around 7 or 8 years.

This is important to think about if you are making a considerable investment into them or you don’t handle losing your pet well.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Irish Dane

Irish Dane laying on bed
The Irish Dane is one of the most loyal companions.

The Irish Dane is known for being an incredibly intelligent dog.

They have slightly larger brains than other dog breeds and can be easily trained.

Because of their size, they will need to be trained good manners as puppies or else they can grow up and start taking advantage of the fact they are larger than most other dog breeds.

In general, these dogs tend to have a very laid-back temperament.

However, you do not want to provoke them. There is a saying about these dogs that goes, “gentle when stroked, fiery when provoked.”

They are very loyal to their human companions and would do just about anything to make sure that they are happy and safe.

If somebody is harshly raising their voice or is being rude, then your Irish Dane will not take kindly to it.

These dogs have a very playful personality. They love to be outside rolling around in the grass or running through the woods. They get along great with children and don’t mind roughhousing.

They dutifully roll with the hits that rambunctious children are known for giving out and won’t respond in kind.

The Irish Dane’s Diet

Due to their large size, the Irish Dane will need to eat at least 4 cups of food per day.

If there are days when they spend a lot of extra time running around, then you can up this to around 5 cups a day.

They are happiest when they are fed three times a day, but if you are unavailable to feed them during the afternoon, then they will be fine with a twice-daily feeding.

How Much Exercise Does an Irish Dane Need?

The Irish Dane only needs a moderate amount of exercise.

They are used to expending all of their energy in short bouts and can get all the exercise they need sprinting across open fields or going on a run around the neighborhood with their owners.

Irish Dane Health and Conditions

Heart attack and stroke are some of the most common causes of death and disease in the Irish Dane. Unfortunately, Cancer is also a common occurrence as well.

Cancer has been linked to the early neutering of the breed, so if you do choose to neuter them, make sure that you wait until they are fully grown to reduce the risk of them developing dangerous bone cancers.

Final Thoughts on the Irish DaneIrish Dane guide

The Irish Dane will be one of the most loyal companions that you will ever have.

You will have to be prepared for their early death, however, which means that they aren’t a good dog for people who don’t deal well with loss.

Irish Danes are also very big which means that they will need a lot of extra space and eat a lot of food.

If you can take care of them, though, owning an Irish Dane will be one of the best experiences that you ever have.

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