Irish Wolfhound Grooming

Grooming an Irish Wolfhound is not a difficult task to do at home, even for an inexperienced owner. The most difficult aspect of the grooming regimen is the stripping needed a couple times per year. Most owners choose to get their pet hand stripped by a professional groomer-- this involves removing the dead outer coat hairs that don't shed themselves. Aside from that, the required maintenance for this breed includes:

  • Weekly: Brushing, tooth brushing, checking the ears for cleaning
  • Every 4-6 Weeks: Nail trimming, trimming the feet and private areas, bathing (if necessary)
  • Every few months the coat will need to be stripped-- this should be obvious as the dead hairs separate themselves from the coat, giving it a broken appearance.

Irish Wolfhound Coat Care

Irish Wolfhound grooming includes coat care such as:

  • Brushing with a undercoat rake and pin brush a minimum of once a week.
  • Trimming the area between the paw pads, around the anus and genitals every 4-6 weeks.
  • Trimming/thinning the hair of the feet, around the neck, beard and eyebrows can also be done as necessary.
  • Bathing every 6 weeks (or as needed) with a canine shampoo specifically for harsh coats, otherwise, it may make the coat too soft. Conditioner is not recommended.
  • Stripping will be necessary a couple times a year to remove the dead hair from the outer coat since it doesn't really shed itself. If you choose to do this yourself you will need a stripping tool or stripping knife-- unless you plan to hand strip your pet.

Other Care

In addition to its coat, an Irish Wolfhound will need to be maintained in these areas:

  • Teeth: Just like a human's, Irish Wolfhound teeth need regular brushing to minimize the buildup of plaque and tartar, and to avoid that Irish Wolfhound bad breath! Brush the dog's teeth 2-3 times per week using a regular toothbrush--but be sure to use canine toothpaste, as the kind made for humans can make dogs sick if they swallow it.
  • Ears: If your Wolfhound's ears aren't cleaned periodically, they'll collect dirt, grass, and other debris, and even get infected--which could lead to hearing loss. Clean the dog's ears monthly with canine ear cleaning solution (available at pet stores or online). Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, and always use cotton balls (never Q-Tips!) to wipe out any excess solution.
  • Nails: If Irish Wolfhound nails click on hard surfaces, it's time for a trim. Use standard clippers to cut the nails as close to the toes as possible--but take care not to cut them too short! Doing so can cut into the nail's quick (the blood vessel running through it), making the nail bleed and be painful.
  • Toe Hair: The hair between these dogs' toes can get pretty long--and if the hair is too long, it'll get extremely dirty and even cause infections. Use scissors to cut the hair short if needed.
  • Paw Pads: Your Irish Wolfhound's paw pads can get dry, cracked, and tender, in part because they bear the brunt of the dog's considerable weight. The issue is worse if the dog walks or runs a lot on hot asphalt or snow and ice. Apply canine paw pad moisturizer (available at pet stores or online) to the pads weekly to keep them soft, moist, and healthy.

Irish Wolfhound Styling & Haircuts

Irish Wolfhounds don't really need any major cutting or styling to the coat. It is recommended to trim the hair between the footpads, around the anus and around the genital area every 4-6 weeks with a pair of canine trimming scissors. You can also trim the beard and the hair above the eyes, if desired.

You aren't likely to see a shaved Irish Wolfhound as it's not recommended to clip the coat. If you don't keep up with the several times per week brushing regimen, your dog will need to be stripped. You can either buy a stripping tool that will rake out the hair or you can take them to the groomer for professional hand stripping. Hand stripping is a long, arduous process that most owners don't have time for unless they routinely show the dog. Details of hand stripping can be found elsewhere on our site but, basically, you pull out the dead outer coat by hand; this is usually done a couple times per year and you can visibly tell when it's time for the stripping because the outer dead hairs will start to separate themselves and the coat will look "broken".