Irish Wolfhound

GTs

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25 March 2005
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I have always wanted a big dog - however renting has prevented me from getting a dog much larger than 50lbs. Well it seems as of next month my wife and I will be moving into our own place - therefore it is BIG dog time.

I have always wanted to an Irish Wolfound. I knew they die young, but what other experiences have people had with them.
 

g16

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29 August 2011
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my parents are on their second. unfortunately the first one died of bloat and this one has had it as well but survived it. with regards to that do your research and feed a good quality diet. it does have a slight genetic link (ours were both same blood lines and im pretty sure that played a part.) also insist at spaying or castrating that the vet does a gastropexy (where they attach the stomach to the body wall) as this won't stop bloat but will stop torsion.
temperament wise she is good but make sure you do lots of socialisation as a puppy. she is fantastic with the cat and is fine with chickens (did go through a period of chasing them but thankfully has out grown that!)
generally they don't need a lot of exercise and are quite happy to spend all day asleep. Our girl doesn't like being too warm, especially in summer but aslong as there is somewhere cool its fine and she doesnt like being in with the fire.
she is fine with other dogs but does like to play so need to watch as shes a big girl and not all dogs like that!
any qs feel free to ask!
 

paisley

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9 August 2005
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Lovely, lovely dogs. You don't necessarily need tons of space, I taught one that we could share the 2-seater sofa quite well!
You might have to re-adjust what you think is 'out of reach' including tea and coffee cups
You do have to watch for bloat, and they tend to need really good comfy beds as joints need plenty of padding
If you plan on getting one from a puppy, house training isnt usually a problem, but if there is a accident, its usually a pretty big puddle!
And theres nothing quite like a a puppy Wolfhound having the mad five minutes all puppies have, just giant sized!
 

Aru

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Temperament wise I have yet to meet a bad one :) Lovely natured dogs.

However health wise you are talking about a Giant breed dog.With size comes great health issues unfortunately.

Become familiar with your local vet you are likely to become a very good customer at some stage during your dogs lifetime. Also checking that they have the facilities to house a giant breed,normal kennels may not be ideal/comfortable for a Giant breed,is important to know in case you have an emergency that requires inhouse stays.

Heart problems are a hugh issue with the breed due to their extreme size and certain lines have more trouble than others apparently and sadly in wolfhounds even young dogs can be diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy(DCM)...youngest I have met so far was a very sweet year and a half old with this issue.

Costs for all medications due to sheer size can be an serious issue... so seriously consider lifelong insurance in spite of the cost.

Bloat is also a major issue so if you own one you should learn the signs and be able to spot an early case(youtube has some very educational videos)...
Joint and lameness problems are also an issue...well padded beds and watching pups for lameness/discomfort are they go by the adolescence phases is a good idea...diet needs to be well balanced as well for bone development.

Research your lines and find out as much as you can about parents/grandparents/ earlier litter and their health status ages and causes of death as you can.A good breeder should be happy to share this information and be looking to improve the breed.
There are some lines out there that can get to 10-12 years regularly in the breed(one of my collage lecturers was on the hunt for a pup and claims that it is possible)so try and hunt that type of pup down...

Beautiful noble dogs if you do get a pup please post pictures... can never see enough of wolfie babies! :)
 

haycroft

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15 March 2008
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My friend has a young wolf hound n still growing ,her husband is over 6"4 so he needs a big dog
This is their second as their other one died age about 8
They went to the same breeder ( I could ask who if u like )
Lovely big dogs always getting comments like " oh u could put a saddle on that "
Good luck
 

lazybee

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8 February 2011
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I was looking for a wolfhound a few years back. I did all the internet research (as you do)It's hard to get unbiased opinions because most of the authors are one breed fanatics.
We contacted the IWH rescue society and said we were interested in the breed. They offered to bring a couple round to get to know them properly. We arranged a visit and they brought two. They are lovely dogs without doubt with a great temperament. BUT they are sooo big nothing can be left on the table or kitchen worktop. They take up the whole sofa. I made a donation the rescue and thanked them. Then decided against it. I think it's best to remove rose tinted specks when looking at BIG breeds. I ended up getting a Lurcher, who looked like a mini version of a Wolfhound.

I've now ended up with a bigger dog though, a Bouvier des Flandres.
 

2Greys

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28 November 2009
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My friends are looking at getting a IW so found this thread interesting, we've been thinking about things that are different with a giant to just a large breed. Taking dogs to visit adopters sounds a good idea, I expect a few decide they are too big in reality.
 

CorvusCorax

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I think GTs is in the USA?

As with all WOW! Look at me! dogs, I'd have a good think about what the dog was originally intended for and if it will fit into your lifestyle, or whether you can fit your lifestyle around the dog!!
 

stormox

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make sure the parents have been tested for liver-shunt. this is a problem in some strains.
otherwise, absolutely FANTASTIC dogs - although they dont mature till 2, and are old at 7-8 sothey do have rather a short time 'in their prime'
 

Venevidivici

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My sister had one years ago-lovely placid dog but things to consider...'accidents' in the house are huuugge (think niagara falls or traffic islands),turning circle is big (hope your house hasn't got small rooms;)),any vet treatment is more expensive due to larger quantities of wormer/antibiotic/anti-inflammatories/anesthesia/whatever required to treat,difficulty getting in and out of cars(estate car best& 4x4 boot lip levels are too high,especially when dog gets older),possible limitations on routes for walks(they don't really 'do' stiles...try lifting a wolfhound over one without a)putting your back out b) nearly breaking poor dog's legs) or squeezing one thru those low gaps in walls that are for sheep/dogs...) and kissing gates can be interesting too..;),don't ever leave the loo lid up,food on the side,or just cooked things on top of the oven,be prepared for wet 'beard smears' over the kitchen tops after investigatory 'sweeps' when you're out of the room,they will find steep staircases difficult (going up and down) and forget walking in icy conditions...Bambi pretty much covers it..:D
He was a lovely,lovely,kind dog but impractical in so many ways and sis did not get another.
 
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