Acquired: Breeder (professional),
Bred dog myself
Training: I haven't learned care / training techniques, Attended conferences / shows, Books, I’ve taught bird care / training techniques
Florida, United States
Posted November 7, 2011
Irish Wolfhounds are one of the most beautiful and majestic dogs I have ever seen. My family currently owns 4 of these great dogs and we enjoy their company every single day. That being said, they are not a breed for everyone. They require things that not every person is prepared to give them.
Our 4 are pretty easy to handle, Abby, our 4 year old female is a wonderful dog with a great temperament and is very well behaved. She is the ideal therapy dog! She was brought to our home when she was 3 months old, which is the average age a Wolfhound should be separated from it's mother, and we started training the day she arrived!
Hambone, who is Abby's son, is an amazing service dog and does his job well. He is a male, an intact male, meaning that there could be some dominance issues one he is fully mature. But so far, he is a great dog, who does his job well.
Sullivan, also Abby's son, is a huge boy at roughly 40 inches tall (at the shoulder), he is also a protector. We didn't train him for this, he picked up on it. He is a gentle boy, but if someone unfamiliar came into his yard and home with the intention to do harm, Sullivan wouldn't have it!
Kong, Abby's son (same litter as Hambone and Sullivan), is a gentle boy, with a sweet temperament, and he is just a goofy dog in general. He loves to go out and about on the town, or just stay home and take a nap. He is a good all-around dog.
Now that is just our dogs, not every Wolfhound is the same, so you have to make sure the puppy you are getting is going to be a good fit for you.
Wolfhounds are expensive to purchase, and expensive to own. They eat about 8-10 cups a day of dog food, they need space to run, good training and a balanced life. They are prone to bloat, most large breeds are, and they are also prone to cancer. They have exercise 'requirements' and shouldn't run at full speed until they are over 1 year old. This is because they grow at a slower rate than small dogs, so until they are about a year old their bones are still soft, meaning if they run too hard it could cause serious and permanent damage to their legs.
They also grow quickly at first, by the time most people get a Wolfhound pup it is already too big to hold! They are goofy puppies, with long legs and have no control over them! They are also 'counter surfers' meaning don't leave anything within their reach, they will snatch it if the opportunity presents itself. Luckily that is only during the puppy stage!
Of course, their lifespan isn't great. Average is about 6-9 years, with some passing away at younger ages and some at older ages.
If you think a Wolfhound is for you, do your research! They are a breed that requires your knowledge and time, and is different than other dog breeds, but, you won't be disappointed in your Hound, they are truly majestic, and easy to live with!