The Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog is a hybrid dog breed that combines the genetics of two iconic purebred dog breeds.
Both the Irish Wolfhound and the Old English Sheepdog both share some genetic heritage from Britain and Europe in common. However, there are some important differences in size, temperament, and overall care that need to keep in mind.
In this article, find out what to expect if you decide to add an Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix puppy or rescue dog to your family.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix
The Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog is still a relatively young hybrid dog breed.
A hybrid dog breed, sometimes given the fancier name of “designer” dog breed, is really just a new breed of domestic dog that is still under development. Hybrid breeding is how nearly all of today’s established purebred dog breeds came to exist.
Such breeding programs aim to combine together desirable traits from each purebred dog breed line to create an entirely new dog breed. But until the new breed is established, the breed will be called by the combined names of each purebred parent dog.
See an Irish Wolfhound and Old English Sheepdog Playing
This owner-made YouTube video gives you a great visual idea of the difference in size between an adult Irish Wolfhound and an adult Old English Sheepdog.
As the owner mentions in the video description, the Irish Wolfhound you see is not yet even fully grown.
This also gives you a good idea of some of the size surprises you may be in for depending on which parent dog your Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix puppy most takes after.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix: Dog Breeds History
Despite the Old English Sheepdog’s breed name, this is actually a relatively new dog breed.
The same cannot be said for the Irish Wolfhound, however. This is a truly ancient dog breed!
Irish Wolfhound history
According to the Irish Wolfhound Club of America, the Irish Wolfhound dog breed dates all the way back to the year 273 B.C.
These dogs have always been kept and bred for their extraordinary hunting prowess bringing down the largest, fiercest prey animals.
Old English Sheepdog history
The Old English Sheepdog breed arose more recently.
PetMD relates that the breed is known to be at least 150 years old, which puts the start at around the early 19th century.
These dogs were first developed to assist with herding cattle and livestock. Breeders got into the habit of docking (bobbing) their tails, which is why they are nicknamed “bobtails” to this day.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix Personality & Temperament
Because both the Irish Wolfhound and the Old English Sheepdog are working dogs, you can expect both to be people-centric and at least moderately active.
Let’s find out what other personality traits you might see in your Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix.
Irish Wolfhound personality and temperament
The American Kennel Club (AKC) breed profile describes the Irish Wolfhound as calm, brave, and dignified.
Old English Sheepdog personality and temperament
The American Kennel Club (AKC) breed profile describes the Old English Sheepdog as gentle, smart, and adaptable.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix personality and temperament
From a side-by-side comparison of these traits, you can expect your Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix to have a family-friendly personality and temperament and also great watchdog abilities.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix: Size, Height and Weight
Size is where you will see the most difference from one hybrid Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix puppy to another.
In the earliest breeding programs (F1, F1b), you may see quite a bit of size variation even between hybrid puppies in the same litter.
If you need to make sure your hybrid puppy does not grow larger than a certain size (such as to conform to pet size requirements where you live) then working with a later-stage hybrid breeder (F2, F2b, or later) can help you predict your dog’s adult size.
Irish Wolfhound size, height, and weight
The Irish Wolfhound can easily weigh 120+ pounds and stand a full three feet tall.
Old English Sheepdog size, height, and weight
The Old English Sheepdog typically weighs between 60 and 100 pounds and stands up to 22 inches tall.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog size, height, and weight
This tells you that your Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix may weigh anywhere from 60 to 120+ pounds and stand between two and three feet tall.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix: Training and Exercise Needs
How much training and exercise will your hybrid puppy require? Let’s take a look at each parent breed’s requirements to learn more.
Irish Wolfhound training and exercise needs
The Irish Wolfhound may have a calm disposition, but they are very active and athletic dogs that love to run and jump and exercise.
Because of these dogs’ love of running and their hunting background, you will always need to walk your Irish Wolfhound on a leash.
Old English Sheepdog training and exercise needs
The Old English Sheepdog comes from a herding lineage and will remain active and alert when “on the job.” However, these dogs are less energetic overall when off duty and tend to be calm when indoors.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog training and exercise needs
Since both parent breeds come from working dog backgrounds (hunting, herding) that require independent decision-making, your Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix puppy may have a stubborn streak during training.
But overall, your hybrid puppy will have a natural love for people and likely a moderate energy level in terms of their daily exercise needs.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix: Coat Care, Shedding & Grooming
This is another area where you will see quite a bit of difference in the amount of coat care needed between the two parent breeds.
Irish Wolfhound coat care, shedding, and grooming
The Irish Wolfhound has what you might call a “wash and wear” coat. A weekly brushing and occasional bath are typically all that is needed.
However, they do have a working dog double coat that sheds year-round and profusely when the seasons change.
Old English Sheepdog coat care, shedding, and grooming
At first glance, the Old English Sheepdog may seem to be all hair. And all that hair means a lot of brushing and grooming and maintenance (think “Poodle” coat and you have the right idea).
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix coat care, shedding, and grooming
You can count on your Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix puppy shedding year-round and seasonally.
But you may find yourself with virtually no coat maintenance or daily maintenance depending on what coat type your puppy inherits.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix: Longevity & Health Issues
Health and longevity is always a concern when making a commitment to a puppy of any breed.
Irish Wolfhound longevity and health issues
According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the Irish Wolfhound has certain known genetic health issues:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Eye issues.
- Cardiac issues.
- Liver shunts.
The Irish Wolfhound has a typical life expectancy of just six to eight years.
Old English Sheepdog longevity and health issues
According to the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) database, the Old English Sheepdog breed has certain known genetic health issues:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia.
- Eye and heart issues.
- Autoimmune thyroiditis.
- Congenital deafness.
- Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia.
- Exercise-Induced collapse.
- Cerebellar degeneration.The Old English Sheepdog has a typical life span of 10 to 12 years.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix: longevity and health issues
Here, you can see that there are several concerning genetic health issues you want to be sure the breeder has pre-screened parent dogs for before permitting breeding to take place.
However, this hybrid pairing may also improve the life expectancy of your puppy.
Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog Mix: Is This the Right Dog For You
Overall, you can expect to bring home a delightful puppy when you choose an Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog mix.
These dogs are predisposed to be sweet-natured and gentle, good with kids, and eager for the company of their people.
However, there are some variables to keep in mind when choosing your specific Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog puppy – namely coat care, life expectancy, health, and exercise needs.
To make sure your Irish Wolfhound Old English Sheepdog puppy is the best match for your lifestyle and family, it can be a great idea to work with a later-stage hybrid breeder and make sure to meet both parent dogs before picking out your puppy.