So you want a wolfhound

by Fran Smith-King

So you want a wolfhound  is a guide to help you make the right choice....

A wolfhound,  if bred and brought up properly, makes a wonderful family member. He/ she will be a gentleman with your guests and a friend to your friends. If you chose the wrong breeder, or do not raise him properly, he may be a pest that you do not wish to have in your home. So think carefully, do you have the time, patience, devotion and most of all love to have such a huge animal in your home?

If you think you are buying a dog, think again. He is a big soft pillow to rest your head on, an eating machine and he will lie around all day sleeping (if you let him). He will have a great time running around with other dogs enjoying life if you socialise him. He will guard and protect your children with his life. He will shower you with kisses when you return home, if you have gone out without him. ( Or he may be in a huff) He loves to play hide and seek games with you and your children. He will climb onto your bed and lie on his back  fall asleep legs in the air and snore. He will pinch your dinner off your plate if you are not looking. He will want walked in wind ,snow rain and sun....well maybe not rain he might not like getting wet!  Most of all he is a loving social friendly giant who will take over your life, wallet and heart forever, because when you have one wolfhound in your heart you will have more, guaranteed! So be prepared!

Will your family members and friends love them too?

First of all research the breed, find out all you can but be careful, some people give their opinion, and it is not always right!

Search through all the websites you can find, and read them. Most are there to help you. Contact your nearest Irish Wolfhound Club they will answer your questions.

Take into consideration your home, car, lifestyle, it is no use trying to take a huge hound out in a small car, then take him home to an apartment building several flights up with no garden to play in, ( stairs are a problem for growing wolfhounds and they should not be allowed to climb up and down them),  then leave him there for the day while you go off to work. No responsible breeder would consider selling you a puppy without checking all of these things out and neither should you consider taking on any dog that would be left all day on its own! I have heard people say their dog is left everyday on its own without a problem while they work, in my opinion it is like leaving a small child on its own and I would never consider doing that to my dogs never mind my children. So if you work full time and the dog has to be left all day then buy a cat or a goldfish.

If you are very house proud then don't buy a dog, they do not care what condition their house is in, as long as they are fed watered, loved and cared for they do not care about muddy paw-prints wet floors or chewed corners. These things have to be ignored while your puppy grows. We have had some that have  never chewed, never have an accident in the house and others who demolished a suite of furniture in five minutes while I took a shower, or took forever to house-train so be warned it is not all fun. 

Now about that holiday if you can't take him with you, who will live in your house or allow him to live in theirs while you are gone. Forget boarding kennels, I do not believe your precious pet should be JAILED while you enjoy yourself, believe me I have in my day worked in the best of kennels and even with the best of care you cannot possibly make a wolfhound( or any dog) feel at home, he will be miserable and unhappy ( yes of course there is an exception to the rule) and it is not fair on him. Consider his short life compared to yours, it is like a year in jail to your two weeks holiday

Finally you decide that the Irish Wolfhound is just perfect for you and your family. What do you do now.

Finding a breeder is easy if you know how. Get in touch with your nearest Irish Wolfhound, or kennel club and ask them to find you a breeder  (In the U.K. no respectable breeder would ever advertise in a newspaper or magazine,  nor would they need too we have a very good club to advertise with.)     Then you must check them out, ask for references and talk to people who have had puppies from them ( THIS IS THE SAME FOR ANY BREED).  Any reputable breeder will happily give you names and addresses of past and present owners. This is very important as there are puppy farmers ( mills) who can talk you into thinking they are wonderful people who care about their dogs, these dogs and puppies are kept in terrible conditions and don't think that by buying one, you are saving it from them, all you are doing is encouraging those people to continue. You might think you are getting a bargain or you are paying lots more for a better dog, you are being conned. Reputable breeders keep puppy prices more or less the same. You should ALWAYS receive a pedigree and registration documents with a puppy, if not then the parents are possibly endorsed. This means that permission has not been given to breed from them and it maybe that those dogs have breeding faults or hereditary problems and should NOT be bred from.  Most breeders endorse the puppies they sell to protect the breed from those who don't care. (This can be lifted if the circumstances are right)

Make sure you see the mother, she should be happy and friendly, (some mother can be understandably a little protective, but most will happily allow you to see their puppies) also ask to see the father if it is possible.  In my opinion, if you want a dog to live in your home, then why buy one kept in a kennel. All our puppies are born and bred in our house and are mostly house-trained before they go. This also makes them used to vacuum cleaners, washing machines, household routines  etc. We also provide a booklet with our puppies filled with advice and growing instructions and we are ALWAYS available throughout the dogs life to help no matter what time of day or night. We also encourage lots of visitors  so they are also less likely to be timid and shy. Wolfhounds should be tested for Liver-shunt at around five weeks. The puppy should have been wormed at some point in his life before you buy him. Ideally around 4 and 6 and 8 weeks of age. We have bought a puppy who, we were told was wormed. She became very ill within days of bringing her home, it was several days before both ourselves and the vet discovered just what the problem was, the breeder had not wormed her and she was very sick. So be careful! 

 CONVAR1431 (Small).jpg (64314 bytes)They look so cute at this age but could you cope with this. this or this

Wolfhounds can reach most work surfaces and can be notorious thieves, they like their comfort and will climb on your bed or couch and they love to share your dinner.

If a wolfhound puppy is left on his own he will quickly become bored and can demolish half your house before you return. Putting him in a cage is NOT the answer and one we would never agree with,  take him with you( but don't leave him locked up in a car all day either) or have someone sit with him if you are going out for a while. If you think that is a bit over the top then don't consider buying one.

Cages are fine to protect the puppy while he sleeps from children or other pets, they are not kennels to be locked up in all day while you go out! 

Training a wolfhound is very easy, they love to please and hate to be chastised. A firm voice is all that is necessary if he makes a mistake. NEVER EVER BEAT HIM If he is about to climb on a bed that is not his, them tell him firmly down if he ignores you or does not understand, take him gently off the bed and tell him down, don't ignore him. In teaching any animal (human included) if you give a command and do not follow through by making sure it is obeyed, then you have lost the authority to be in command! Your wolfhound must always see you as top of the pack, don't EVER lose this place .

So will you have a dog or a bitch?    

It is down to personal preference, both will love you regardless. If you don't want a bitch coming into season, don't have her spayed, buy a dog. A spayed bitch is far more likely to have all sorts of problems and it is in my opinion cruel and unnecessary. 

Harry Potter and Abbie are both loving gentle giants( and all our dogs are intact)

The same goes for a dog, why neuter him if it is not for medical reasons, he will be quiet and well behaved if he is bred, treated and trained properly neutering him will not make him less aggressive.

So now you have him/her. You are responsible for the care and upbringing of this animal. If you chose your breeder well he/she will be available to help you with any questions you have and will gladly give you any advice you need. You will have received at least a pedigree, registration and diet sheet for the puppy, these are normally all given at the time of purchase and there should be no excuse for them not being there, unless the registrations have been held up at the kennel club, this is normally sorted within a week or two, any longer and you are not likely to ever receive them!

Let your puppy settle into his/her new home by showing them around their new house and garden. Do not let young children pester them, they need lots of sleep and growing time. They need to be restricted in exercise so no running with young children, only a very short supervised playtime with them.

Comfort them and reassure them if they are worried, they will soon settle in. Take care when house-training a puppy don't scold him but praise him when he gets it right, it is your fault if he has an accident not his. DO NOT use diapers on puppies they do not work and if you have to use them then you are not a responsible owner! The idea is to TRAIN the puppy not confuse him.

If you have other pets then introduce them carefully and do not tense up, your animals will sense this and can react badly.

Always try to keep calm and relaxed around animals, don't get excited and nervous, when things go wrong try to be aloof and unconcerned no matter how bad things are, animals will react badly to their owners being upset. 

There may come a time when a dog tries to boss you and will growl if given a telling off. DON'T ever let them away with this, he must believe you are bigger than him and so you must get his attention quickly and firmly ...lift his front feet of the floor by gripping both his cheeks and lift, then put your face level with him look him in the eye and shout at him telling him he is BAD, he will think twice next time!

We run obedience training classes for all breeds and have seen dogs trying to be the top of the pack over timid owners, one handler would neither raise her voice nor be firm with her large powerful dog and he was eventually put to sleep because he became aggressive, this was not, I must stress a wolfhound, but it is an example of what can happen to any dog. A dogs natural instinct is to be leader of the pack or have a position within the pack. If given his position he will not try to challenge you again. If unchallenged he may eventually challenge  you the owner.

I have only once come across a dog who tried to take over as leader of my pack, he was told off and never tried again. I am leader and would not have a dog in my house if he did not comply. This can happen if you allow your dog to have his own way, feeding him before you, allowing him through a door first or letting him sleep on your bed every night can give him all the wrong signals so be careful. Yes of course you can love him and spoil him but he MUST have some discipline and routine in his life.

I also find it strange when people have to keep dogs apart in their homes. If they don't like living together then they should be re-homed as obviously they are not happy living out-with the pack. Our dogs share the same bedroom and we have had as many as six wolfhounds in our home living happily together without any problems, a calm environment makes a calm happy dog!

Socialising your dog is very important, take him out into crowded areas and get him used to traffic noises other dogs, people etc. I am able to take my dogs to firework displays because I use the technique of never panicking and being afraid around them. I find that if I tense up and become worried that something might happen, then I can almost guarantee my dog will react and either become frightened or aggressive toward the source.

To be the perfect dog owner you MUST always clean up behind your dog, there is nothing more annoying than lifting huge wolfhound dumps and watching others with smaller dogs walking past ignoring their own dogs mess!

I have been around dogs all my life and I am still learning, it pays to watch others and listen to their ideas, no matter how much you think you know, you might learn something new. Remember you CAN teach an old dog new tricks

Now do you still want a wolfhound? 

This link will take you to the Irish Wolfhound Club in the U.K.

Tips to keep a house with pets clean

Pets are a much-loved source of fun, excitement and companionship in millions of homes, the world over. If you are a pet lover, it does not mean your house has to look or smell like a veterinary hospital! But the fact remains that pets do create special cleaning situations specially if they are indoor animals. The good news is that pets and a clean, great smelling home are not mutually exclusive.

The truth is, keeping a home clean when pets are around is not difficult or impossible, but it does require good planning, the right products, constant effort and loads of patience. If you prevent the mess and never delay in cleaning up the mess, your house will always remain a pleasant place for you and the family.

Here are some a few things that if done right at the very beginning, will save you a lot of trouble while maintaining everyday routine -

- Try and install flooring surfaces that are easy to clean. Choose tiles or other durable, stain-proof, tough, preferable scratch-resistant flooring. Laminate flooring is a great option too; it looks like hardwood but stands up better to canine (or feline) nails. The sheer resilience of the material makes it a popular choice with many multi-pet households. ( It works well with our five hounds)

- Un-washable surfaces are best kept covered as much as possible with something that is easily washable. Use small rugs to cover high-traffic areas of the wall-to-wall carpet, and furniture throws to protect the upholstery.

- Catch as much dirt as you can before it spreads throughout the house. Use floor mats liberally, both outside your doors and just inside, to catch as much muck as possible from dirty paws. Use the decent-sized, sturdy mats that are available, they do their job well and are longer lasting. Place mats near cat boxes it helps catch any litter that finds it way out accidentally. Better still install a cat door and don't have litter trays. Be sure to place mats under pet food and water dishes.

- Keeping the pets well-groomed pays. Regular brushing and combing the pets, helps contain pet hair that would otherwise end up floating all around the house. Don't delay regular bathing. Your pets will look and smell better.

- Never delay cleaning pet mess, the faster the cleaning up is done, lesser will be the stench. If ignored, the odour can stay on with the risk of inviting repeat business. Also messes are easier to clean when they are fresh, and less likely to leave a permanent stain or attract your pet to revisit the area.

- For cleaning, remember to use products specially designed for pet messes. These products generally have enzymes that breakdown organic wastes and neutralize odours. Avoid ammonia-based cleaners as these smell like urine to pets and might invite a repeat act.

- Provide them their own beds; this is an effective way to contain pet hair. Also train them to stay off the furniture. Wash their bedding frequently, and vacuum the pet beds whenever you vacuum the rest of the furniture.

With a little effort, loveable pets can remain part of your family for a number of years and you can enjoy all the pleasures of a sparkling, clean home.


Finally If you require help or advice then please email us by clicking this link.       Email us  




New born puppies. two weeks old Harry and Darcy six weeks Harry at 12 weeks

100_5300 (Small).JPG (66942 bytes) Harry at 2 years. 

 100_0901 (Small).JPG (92550 bytes) Harry at 6 years                                                                      


 Harry Potter Puppy asks everyone to help make his  wish come true. STOP PUPPY MILLS AND PUPPY FARMING NOW. Please do not buy puppies from these people, it is up to you to do all you can to make sure you have researched the breed and have contacted their club for names of bona-fide breeders. Do not ever buy a puppy on impulse, nor feel that you have bought him to take him away from a terrible place, you only encourage them to breed more puppies. Do not buy puppies  without checking out the breeder very carefully. Ask for previous owners names and contact them for a reference. Ask for their vets details and contact them too

If you feel that someone is being cruel and ill-treating an animal report them to the nearest animal welfare and the breed rescue, they will help. If you have a dog you no longer want, contact your breeder or the rescue, both will help out without question. 

We no longer promote people or websites without asking lots of questions.

Thanks to Lesley Hope at

for letting us use the following article

As thoughts turn to spring and warmer weather you might also be considering the patter of tiny puppy feet. We would like to try and point you in the right direction, and save you from what might become heartache and misery - to one of joy and happiness.

First and foremost research the breed you are looking to buy. Do not just go and buy the first puppy you see. This is not good advice even if buying from a reputable breeder.

Please do not resort to going through the block ads in local papers. Yes, it might seem like the easiest solution - but be warned you could be buying into a whole lot of misery, both financially and upsetting.

Stay away from any breeder who offers you a multiple choice of breeds. This is not how puppies should be kept or sold.

You are looking for a small breeder who really only has 1 perhaps 2 different breeds, and will let you come and see the puppies with their Mum and will answer all of your questions. Never ever let anyone bring the puppy out to you - you need to see the puppy and Mum together. If the person selling you the puppy tells you that this is not possible walk away.

Never be tempted to purchase your puppy from a pet shop. We cannot stress enough that the pet shop trade is a life of misery for the breeding bitches, stud dogs and puppies. The wastage from this inhumane trade is sickening. You might think that you are saving any puppy that you purchase from these shops - but all you are doing is condemning even more puppies and older dogs to a life of more suffering. These poor puppies are bred on Puppy Farms. Puppy Farms are breeding facilities that produce purebred puppies in large numbers. The puppies are sold either directly to the public via the Internet, newspaper ads, pet shops at the Farm itself, or are sold to agents and dealers. Please stay away from them.

So you have finally located your breeder and you have made arrangements to go and see them. They sound really nice; they also run a boarding kennels and tell you that dogs are their life. When you get there they tell you that the mother of the litter of puppies is not well - and it is best if they bring you out a puppy to see. Be very careful... This could mean that these people have a pet shop license and buy puppies in, to sell. If this is the case they are still bred on puppy farms. Start asking questions; ask to see all of the puppies. Take a look at the conditions they are living in, look at the condition of all the puppies (if you are allowed to see them). Are you able to tell what age the puppies might be? Do they seem happy and socialised or do they cower away. Do they look clean? Ask who their Vet is? The breeder (always assuming that they are the breeders) might be telling the truth, the bitch might be ill... then again there might not be a bitch at all.

It is not easy is it? But if you do all of your home work before you go and see the puppies, you should be better armed and able to spot anything that is not right. If in doubt ask for time to go away and think about it! A good breeder will not put any pressure on you.

To go back over some of the points:

1. Be careful if using the papers to locate your breeder.

2. Never buy from a pet shop or persons who buy puppies in to sell (this can be from a boarding kennels even a private dwelling address).

3. Research the breed you are interested in. Many dog magazines have contacts for breed advice, ring and ask what you should and should not be looking for. Do you know of anyone who has the breed you are interested in - if so then ask them where they bought their puppy? A good recommendation has a lot going for it.

4. Check that the person you are about to contact does not have multiple listings for several breeds. These days they use different mobile telephone numbers. Ring a few if in any doubt and see if it is the same person that is answering.

At the end of the day the choice of where and who you buy your puppy from is down to you. All we at hope-UK can say is this...

Puppies purchased from pet shops and people who buy into sell are not any cheaper then buying from a good reputable breeder. The puppy you buy is hopefully going to be a long term member of your family. The newspapers, the internet is full of people who have done just that - and they have lived to regret it. In many cases it has cost them dearly in Veterinary expenses. Many have lost their dog at a very early age due to inherited defects and poor rearing as a puppy.

The choice at the end of the day is obviously yours - but please make the right choice. Only by refusing to buy these sad little puppies will this trade ever cease.


Lesley Hope


Copyright 1997 [BRIBIBA Irish Wolfhounds]. All rights reserved.
Revised: May 28, 2012