Videos and Individual Topics of Importance on the Irish Wolfhound
As I stated, we welcome and receive a number of inquiries regarding the Irish Wolfhound breed, and I have very simple words of advice. You must find the right breed of dog for your lifestyle as this is paramount both to yours and the dog's well-being. Naturally, many people fall in love at first sight with Irish Wolfhounds and decide, there and then, they must have one! I empathize with these powerful emotions as I too fell in love with the breed, thirty-two years past. Having said this, I have a responsibility, and commitment to impart at every opportunity necessary factors all potential owners must consider before obtaining this breed.
For a "special needs", high-maintenance breed, such as the Irish Wolfhound, ask yourself these very necessary questions.
Are you financially prepared for and do you have disposable income to support a giant hound that may require very expensive medical care, in addition to their annual wellness and heart checks? Please read Typical Expenses and also Health Concerns below for more information.
Do you have securely fenced acreage that can comfortably accommodate a giant, galloping, sighthound and his exercise requirements, plus protect him from harm? Please see Breed Required Fencing below for more information.
If you have the land, but not the correct fencing, are you willing to spend money on the appropriate fencing, as often this can be very expensive? Please see Breed Required Fencing below for more information.
Yes, Wolfhounds bark at strangers and visitors BUT they are NOT guard dogs. Even more they can and will howl. Yup, they howl like a wolf which can happen if they are alone or in groups. If you are in a noise sensitive neighborhood then you may have a problem in the future.
Wolfhounds LOVE to dig. This instinct is alive and well and no matter what; it is going to happen to you. I can assure you that if given a preference an IW will dig; happily doing so until you catch him/her in the act. Please spare me the declarations that you will accompany your hound outside at all times to prevent digging in your landscaped acreage. If that is the case, then get another breed because IWs require freedom of exercise off lead in their home’s secure fenced acreage so they can roam, gallop, twist, turn and investigate every nook and cranny. All of which takes time!
Are you ready to live with a giant breed that can shed quite a bit and who has a very long tail usually sweeping any and all objects from low-lying tables, such as coffee tables? By the way, yes, we vacuum daily and, yes, frequently Wolfhound's have messy mouths, especially around water bowls in which a great amount lands on the floor. Please read Breed Character below for more information on these points.
Are you ready for a counter-surfer? You'll have to make some lifestyle changes keeping your loaves of bread up and well out of reach, perhaps on top or in the refrigerator. This is just the beginning...!
Although wolfhounds adore children, if you have one or more young, rambunctious children in a busy household, this most likely is not the ideal breed for your lifestyle. Wolfhounds are sensitive, soft temperament giants who can be quickly stressed by loud, boisterous environments. Please read my Breed Character page below for more information.
Is your lifestyle favorable to a giant hound that is devoted to your company? Meaning, if you work long hours then this breed is not ideal for you. A Wolfhound is not a "couch potato" who can sit idle for long, lonely stretches. These hounds are athletes who love to run and stretch and adore your company. They are not built for constant confinement such as in a crate or apartment living. Please read Breed Character and Acreage & Fencing Requirements below for more information.
Are you braced, emotionally, to live with a giant breed that has a statistically shorter lifespan than many other breeds, as the heartbreak that follows is awful? Please read my Health Concerns as well as my Typical & Unexpected Expenses page below.
On this point, do you have access to Board Certified Veterinary care for your Wolfhound? Excellent medical care often can be a life-saver for your hound. In truth, many small community veterinary hospitals with broad based clinical practices do not have 'state-of-the-art' diagnosis equipment to include digital radiography and high resolution, harmonic Doppler imaging ultrasounds. These are, at the very least, vital tools for complicated diagnoses. Read more on my Health page below.
Allow me to add two other important factors: a prospective owners physical fitness and age. Even though the Irish Wolfhound is a gentle hound who cherishes his or her humans; this giant breed can unintentionally and accidentally injure someone who is physically unfit, one who has a frail structure, or who is elderly. Wolfhounds frequently and fondly hip-check people, particularly when they are excited, and if you are in an unstable stance or do not possess overall good balance, then you will fall or go flying -- no matter your age. Injury may befall the person, and the severity of the physical hurt will vary. Wolfhounds are also 'leaners' -- they usually lean on you pushing with their weight while you pet them and you can easily topple over. Please read much more on their habits and personality on my Breed Character page which contains an excerpt from a marvelous 1966 Sports Illustrated interview on this very topic. Suffice to say that there are very few veteran wolfhound fanciers who do not walk around with sores and bruises, scrapes and scratches from their wonderful hounds.
The above are just a sampling of considerations that you should review carefully. Bear in mind, obtaining an Irish Wolfhound is a serious decision and should not be weighed lightly. However, the joy and love a wolfhound brings is immeasurable and unforgettable. So too will be your responsibilities, your likely expenses and potential, premature heartbreak. Below are several truths and traits that prospective owners must deliberate on before obtaining an Irish Wolfhound. Please read on and visit each section I have taken the time to produce for educating and instructing new owners on the realities and responsibilities of living with such a magnificent breed. After you have carefully considered all of these factors and remain interested, please contact me.