So, you wanted to know about mischief personified and the canine equivalent of a perennial teenager? No? Oh, it was the Irish Wolfhound you were interested in. The Irish Wolfhound can be a wonderful pet but there are several things you need to keep in mind before making the commitment to own one. Firstly, they are huge animals; the tallest dogs in the world as a matter of fact. This dictates a certain type of place in which a Wolfhound can be accommodated. They are not suitable for apartment dwellers or people who live in small houses with no back yard or garden.
Wolfhounds are traditionally good with children but they are an excitable breed and they can have a somewhat nervous temperament and need to be socialized and trained early on not to jump. If a Wolfhound jumps on someone they will know about it and if it jumps on a child, the child will certainly be knocked over. No malice intended but just the laws of physics!
Wolfhounds are also sight hounds and will hunt smaller animals. They can be brought up with cats and pocket pets and they may be fine but they can be unpredictable and it is impossible to say for sure how they would react. Yes, this is similar to all breeds of dogs but with all sight hounds, sometimes instinct just takes over.
Wolfhounds come in various colors from cream to black and have a wiry, double coat. Their undercoat sheds moderately all year round and weekly/bi-weekly brushing should keep their coat in good order. The average lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound is 6-8 years, a short lifespan but a fact of life with big dogs. They can be expensive to maintain as all regular medications need to be given times three in comparison to smaller breeds. It is also important that they eat a good quality diet as if fed inferior quality food, they tend to become unwell.
Irish Wolfhounds are also notorious for escaping their yards as they are fast and strong. Many of the dogs in the RSPCA shelters are Wolfhounds/Wolfhound crosses. You need to have a secure and high fenced yard in which to keep them. They should not be enforced to undergo long walks until they are one year old at least. As adults they can be lazy if their owners are that way inclined. This can impact on their health and they need to be walked daily.
The Wolfhound loves to be inside with its people and does not adapt well to being kept outside at night. They can also be destructive and intransigent chewers-keep shoes well and truly closeted. We don’t possess shoes in our household that don’t have the soles ripped out or attractive and strategically placed bite marks in the leather. Having said all of this though, the Irish Wolfhound is an impressive looking and loyal, loving pet to own.
Did I mention mischief?