Because of the breeds' rough coat, the Irish Wolfhound does not require lengthy (or elaborate) grooming other than to keep the coat free of matting and burrs from the garden and fields. Going over the dog at least twice a week is highly recommended, not only to keep the coat clean but also to quickly check the skin for any injury which can then be treated promptly.
During summer in many parts of Australia, please watch out for grass-seeds and check the eyes, feet, ears, nose and hindquarters for any which may have attached themselves and remove them. If the seed penetrates the skin, it can cause considerable problems and infections which will require a trip to the vet.
Make sure that your dog has shade provided for him at all times. If he is feeling the heat, try to give him a bath using lukewarm water rather than the cold water from the hose and let him dry off by himself to help cool him down.
If the day is particularly hot, consider leaving him inside with a fan and sufficient water - these dogs will sleep for the majority of the day quite happily!
In areas that are known to have ticks, check the dog daily. There are commercial products available to help protect your dog and your breeder or Vet will recommend one to you.
Although the Wolfhound is generally a good-natured hound, it's size can be daunting to those that meet him or her for the first time (even as a pup!), so being able to control your hound where he is likely to encounter other people or dogs is essential. Remember this is a breed in which males will reach an average adult weight of between 65 - 70 kg and females 50 - 55 kg.
Your pup will have been introduced to a lead and collar from the age of 6 or 7 weeks by the breeder but it is in the best interests of both the new owner and pup that they attend some form of training or obedience classes once the dogs has received all immunisation shots. You’ll notice the amount of attention that will come from having a wolfhound!
Not only does it easier to control your hound in a potentially dangerous situation but it is a wonderful way to socialise him with other dogs and their owners in a pleasant environment.
At the same time, give him the opportunity to rest and don't over tire him. Remember, like any other baby he need lots of rest.
There are a number of options for feeding your Wolfhound which can vary from a completely natural diet, to one which incorporates one of the many good-quality commercial dog biscuits for both growing pup and adult.
Your breeder will be able to advise what your pup has been eating for the first 10-12 weeks of life and can advise of the number of choices available for you to consider in your own feeding routine.
Dr. Billinghurst's site is a useful one for owner's who wish to feed their dogs a balanced diet based on the premise that dogs, as carnivores, require a meat-diet based diet rather than one based on grain products and meat by-products which are the basis of commercial dog foods.
Check with the breeder as to the worming program that your puppy has been on and when the next worming is due. Your own vet will assist with a recommended worming program and this will include Heartworm tablets which can be given from the age of 12 weeks onwards.
Heartworm has become prevalent in many parts of Australia now and it is essential that you check with your vet on whether it is necessary to have your pup on this preventative medication.
Fencing is essential for all breeds of dogs - the instinct to wander is inherent in all of them and the Wolfhound is no exception with its hunting instincts. Fences up to 5 foot or 1.5 metres will be sufficient for most dogs and provided they are not deliberately taught to jump, will generally respect the fence as the boundary of their property and be happy to stay within it.
General Care of the Irish Wolfhound
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