Mistyglen Irish Wolfhounds
Frequently Asked Questions
Two of the requirements of the breed is to be of great size and commanding appearance. So the first thing people see is a very large dog, but that hides a big heart that has a great love for people and other living creatures. Their gentle nature does not make them a good candidate for guard duty, but with children they are one of the best. Their instinct to be loving and gentle is a born trait, if they are mistreated they tend to just remove themselves, they go away. They can often be found near other animals, especially the small ones, small animals fascinate them. They can be very fierce when they see the need. A nasty cat can bring out the dog in them.
Exercise - Due to their size these dogs need room to move, an off leash park and hiking trails are very nice. Long walks and a good run are enjoyed very much, but extended excersise on hard surfaces must be avoided as it puts unnecessary strain on there joints. Puppies excersise should be kept short, about 20 mins 2 or 3 times a day, and not too rough as joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments can be damaged easily at this age. Damage from wich they may never recover. Wolfhounds tend to adjust their activities to you. So be careful, for an over weight out of shape dog is sad to see. It speeds up their decline into old age, wich comes all too soon to these wonderful dogs.
Age and Health - Wolfhounds are giants, and as such, are prone to a lot of the same things that we see in people who suffer from giantism. Their life span is short. The average seems to be about 7 to 8 years. My rule of thumb is, "The larger the dog the shorter the lifespan". Many things can affect your dog, but the three biggies for this breed are, arthritis, heart problems, and different types of cancer. Any of wich may strike at anytime. So be forwarned they will fill your heart and your home with their special brand of loving kindness and gentle understanding, and leave a void with their passing wich another dog may not fill. Be assured that your life will be the richer for having known them.
Q. How much does a Wolfhound eat?
A. A Wolfhound will eat 2-2&1/2 large bags of dog food per. Month.
Q. How do I keep a Wolfhound looking tidy?
A. You will need to brush a wolfhound daily with a stiff bristled brush and comb the under coat about once a week. You will also have to finger pluck the outer guard hair regularly to keep the coat healthy. You can purchase a stripping comb for the coarse coat to help with this step. You need to check under their tails periodically and trim the hair. This will help to keep odors down. You can wash and comb out their beards often and apply a leave-in conditioner to prevent hair breakage. You will want to keep their nails trimmed regularly, about twice a month for the puppies and once a month for the adult. This is a part of grooming often over looked by people. Overly long nails can damage the dog’s feet and ruin the otherwise sound dog. You can bath a Wolfhound 2-3 times a year. Wolfhounds don’t tend to have a doggy smell so just spot washing is often enough. If you brush their teeth regularly this will help avoid bad breath and the long-term damage poor dental health can cause to their internal organs.
Q. Do Wolfhounds shed?
A. Yes, Wolfhounds have a double coat. The under coat sheds moderately year round. In the spring they “blow” their under coat. When this happens you can comb out great quantities of fine hair for about 7-10 days.
Q. Why do I need a fence?
A. Wolfhounds are “Sight Hounds”. That means that they hunt by sight. Fast or unusual movement can stimulate their instinct to chase. Even the most quiet, dependable Wolfhound can become deaf to your “call back” when their instinct is aroused. When this happens they can cover a lot of ground in a short period of time and be lost to you.
Q. How high should my fence be?
A. Remember a Wolfhound will grow to be 32-37 inches at the shoulder (more or less). So anything less than 5 feet high would not hold them if they wanted to get out. I would also recommend a kennel space outside 6 feet high with a strong gate and adequate housing for emergencies.
Q. Are Wolfhounds hard to house train?
A. No. If you are paying attention to them, they are easy to housetrain. It is more a matter of you learning their signals than training them.
Q. How old should my puppy be before I bring it home?
A. Your puppy should be at least 10 weeks old. By this time they are properly weaned off their mothers and are well on their way to being happy, independent puppies. At this time they are still young enough to bond well with your family.
Q. Do Wolfhounds chew?
A. YES! Wolfhounds love to chew. You can direct this urge by providing them with lots of different toys and chew bones to play with. Do not leave them loose and unattended in your home. If you cannot be watching them put them in their safe place. Please remember even at a year old they are still puppies, very big puppies. If left unattended they can do extensive damage with just a few bites.
Q. Do they dig?
A. Some wolfhounds love to dig and when they do they can dig craters.
Q. Since I brought my puppy home it doesn’t want to eat much. What can I do?
A. It is quite common for a puppy that ate with gusto when competing for food to slow down when there is suddenly no competition for food. If you want to entice your puppy to eat, you can mix about a quarter of a can of dog food and a bit of warm water with his kibble to make gravy. Most dogs love it.
Q. My puppy seems to sleep a lot. Is that normal?
A. Wolfhound puppies can sleep a lot when they are young. They need to sleep to grow so let a sleeping puppy sleep.
Q. How are Wolfhounds with children?
A. Wolfhounds love children and want to be around them. But their large size works against them and they can unknowingly nock a child over or step on them. You should always monitor children when they are with any dog. Wolfhounds trust children and this makes them easy targets when there is an unruly child around. I have put my dogs in the kennel to protect them from abuse from children more often than I have needed to protect a child from them.
Q. What do I need to bring with me when I go to pick up my puppy?
A. You will need a large crate with a blanket, an adjustable collar and a leash. It is not uncommon for a puppy to refuse to drink different water. So it would also be a good idea to bring a 2-3 gallon container for water. You can slowly add your own water at home to change the puppy over. The breeder may offer to send some food with you, enough to tide you over for a few days.
Q. Can a Wolfhound stay outside?
A. Although most Wolfhounds like to spend time outside this should not be their permanent place of residents. Wolfhounds are very social animals and love nothing better than to be with their people. If left alone outside a Wolfhound could suffer mentally and then you could start having problems.
Q. Do Wolfhounds need lots of exercise?
A. Not as much as one would think. I take my adult hounds out for a 1-hour brisk walk morning and evening and they are quite happy. If you can’t go out twice a day then go for a longer walk in the evening. Once they have had a good walk they will settle down quietly for the night.
Q. Do they bark a lot?
A. Wolfhounds, on the whole are quiet dogs. I must caution you at this point, there are always exceptions to the rule. Any dog can become a problem barker/howler if they are rewarded for this behavior. I have found that a squirt from a bottle of water and a sharp Quiet!! Usually stops them.
Q. Do you have to live in the country to own a Wolfhound?
A. No. Wolfhounds do quite well in the city. You should have a well fenced yard with an escape proof gate and you would need a park or green belt close by where you could exercise your dog and an off leash park would be ideal when you Wolfhound is reliable on the recall.