- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


Irish Wolfhound? would love any info...

March 27th, 2007, 08:06 PM
Much to our surprise, our "terrier" puppy, Zola, whom we adopted from the local humane society is, in reality, an Irish Wolfhound. I have no idea how she ended up where she was. They gave us no history at all.

I told them she was going to be big... If I had only realized just how true that was going to be!

Needless to say, we are having to make some adaptions here. One may end up being having to move to a house with a larger yard in the future! She's so adorable and affectionate and intelligent. She's definitely worth it!

I have never been around one of these "giants" before, especially as a puppy. She's very different from any puppy I have ever been around. For one thing, she doesn't bark...

My main concern, at the moment, is diet adaptions. I did post on the feeding board, if anyone has suggestions... but other than that, is there anything that I should know about them?

March 27th, 2007, 09:23 PM
Congratulations on your puppy.

I love Irishwolfhounds, beautiful dogs, but I haven't got a clue as to their needs.

Here's a link to some irishwolfhound sites. Hopefully you'll be able to get some information that'll help you raise your pup into a gentle giant.


March 27th, 2007, 09:38 PM
That is a great links page!

March 28th, 2007, 03:42 AM
That is an amazing links page. I have been reading for hours. I am flabbergasted as how the breed behavior traits fit her personality perfectly. I really did need to read lots of this as I just have not known what to do as far as working with her, because she's such an odd duck in some ways in how she does things. It's hard to explain and I've trained many dogs, even done some agility, but I have never handled a dog anything like my Zola!

I adore her. I just don't have the foggiest what I should do with her sometimes. She just looks at me like I'm being unreasonable when I try to do any standard obedience. One article I read said that, basically, that's how they all are. ROFL:laughing:

March 28th, 2007, 06:08 AM
I remember being at a dog show a few years back, they had obedience trials as well. I watched a huge Irish Wolfhound going around doing the different tasks that were being asked of her. She did them, but you could see she didn't really have much enthusiasm about it. As soon as she was done, she got her reward from her owner for being such a good dog and bounced around like a puppy. Too funny seeing a dog that size bouncing around like that. Not jumping up on anyone or anything, just an excited all 4 feet off the ground excited and happy bouncing.
It's good you have some training experience, an Irish Wolfhound with bad manners would be a really big handfull ;)
Being sighthounds, you may want to look in to lure coursing for her, they love to run.


March 28th, 2007, 07:06 AM
MamaSue,must have been quiet a surprise for you:) I have heard nothing but good things about these beautiful dogs,please post some pics for us:thumbs up

March 28th, 2007, 07:12 AM
There are so few of these beautiful dogs. Possibly because of their size. I think that would scare a lot of potential owners. I never had one myself, the largest dog I had was a Great Dane (female) and a Hovawart (male), he dwarfed the Danes at the kennel where we put him when we went on vacation (great place, big runs, swimming pools for the dogs, walks ...), but the Irish is even taller.

I agree with chico2, PICS :pray:

March 28th, 2007, 10:48 AM
Thanks for the kind words, Sarah and Chico! She really is a love...:lovestruck:

:D What you said about the IW at the dogshow, CLM? Oh that is so true of Zola! From what I was reading last night, Sight Hound motivation and training is a lot different from what I am used to. She hates doing things that do not make sense to her. She is more than willing to please me, but she does this stare when I ask her to do things that don't fit with her dog logic. Like the simple "come." As long as she can see me, she sees no sense in getting any closer unless I offer bribes. She hates moving. Like I said, I worry that maybe she is in some pain from the metabolic syndromes that can go with giant breeds.

I swear she reminds me of my kids when they were teenagers. She thinks she knows best!

Even simple basics like housebreaking... if she doesn't have any urgency but, say, I want her to go so that she is comfy in the crate because we have to leave the house soon, of course she does not really understand that. If she really doesn't have to go quite yet, she just does this doggie version of an eyeroll at me, :rolleyes: and won't move unless I lead her through the door, and march out into the yard with her, and stand there and point at her usual bathroom spots. She knows what I want her to do, and obviously thinks I am an idiot - but she realizes that she isn't getting back in to the house until she goes, and so, eventually, she will grudgingly get up and go squat, and give me another eyeroll as she saunters back to the door.

Oh I did post piccies on the feed forum, if you would like to see some of her when we got her and now.

I am so shocked... she's almost doubled her weight in the past month!

March 28th, 2007, 11:01 AM
Wow, you've got quite the large lap dog on your hands! :thumbs up

Many times shelters and rescues have to make best guesses on age and breed makeup. Much of the time they are pretty close, some of the times, as evident in your case, they are not.

March 28th, 2007, 11:12 AM
My parents have an Irish Wolfhound Mix, he's a huge coach potato! He has the patient of a Saint, he loves everyone and everything! He's the best dog ever!!! Congratulations on your dog! :dog: :goodvibes:

March 28th, 2007, 09:01 PM
Oh yes I know... you are right, Dogastrophe. They do what they can. She did look like a really BIG border terrier as a pup, and she was a lot smaller when they got her. She looked just like Benjy. I can see making that mistake.

Vets can't do much better usually, either. I once picked up an abandoned puppy, a very tiny little stripey brindle guy with a long long body, about the size of a bratwurst, just caught him as he was disappearing down the culvert near my house... someone had dumped him in January in Ohio with snow on the ground. He was still warm so it had to be just minutes before. The vet said he was about four weeks old and was probably a mini Daschund... although his feet seemed a mite big. Ended up he was half Daschund and half Pit Bull. Had this long huge snout like an alligator. Funniest, most adorable dog I have had until this one, I think.

Thanks for the good word Poodletalk. I'm hearing good things about them, but she is sure different than what I am used to... but just as sweet as any dog I have every had.

March 28th, 2007, 09:18 PM
Oh wow! Lucky you! I would love a gentle giant.

And, I must say, how great of you to not give her up again after finding out she was going to be bigger than expected, :highfive: I'm sure a lot of people would. :sad:

March 28th, 2007, 10:13 PM
We have an IW pup around the corner. I don't think the neighbours had a clue what it was. At about 10 months he's not huge and adorable though :)

March 29th, 2007, 12:59 PM
Thanks for the nice words, Byrd... but frankly, you can't look into those eyes and take her back to the shelter. She also extrudes this air of fragility, of needing to be protected, despite her size.

She's very bonded to us, now, particularly my son. I don't think I mentioned my son has Autism? He is an adult, a large and gentle childish man who flaps his hands when he is happy, and who has no friends and very few words. They adore each other! She lays on the couch with him while he watches movies, and he pets her, and plays with her and she makes him laugh. He likes giving her treats and doing things with her, and changing her water bowl. Our lab was his dog, growing up, and he's missed having a dog around, too. Zola's very gentle and kind with him, just as she is with all children.

You should see how she approaches children. She is utterly enamoured with small children and is very gentle with them. She just lies down and wants my granddaughter, who is 3, just pet her and hug her and she is so patient and gentle when she moves around them. She is wonderful. She will also seek out children when we take her out anywhere. She adores riding in the car btw.

In other words, she seduced us before we had any idea of what we were getting into. We had her almost a month before having someone tell me what she was. It never occurred to me, because IWs are fairly rare, and I could not imagine anyone actually taking an IW pup, even a cross, to a shelter. I knew she was going to be biggish, anyway, no matter what the pound said, because of her feet and her size at her age - but I was thinking 50-60 lbs, not 150!

And she is genuinely a good puppy. She wants to please, for the most part. And she is very easy to get obsessed with. She's different. She's exceptionally gentle and polite. She really does listen, even if she doesn't want to do what you want her to do. I'm going on instinct, here, and have been from the first day.

She never, ever has barked. She tries hard to anticipate what we want. She's exceptionally intelligent, (she already "knows" two words, Out and Bedtime, used in general as well as specifically to her, so I think we are going to have to spell things soon).

Getting her to do things is different. She is not motivated quite in the same way and it's hard to describe. Her whole demeanor is subtly unusual, even to someone as obsessed as dogs as I have been in my past. I end up talking to her differently. Indeed, I talk her into doing things that I want her to do... which I have never done before. I can't train her in the same way, at all, either. She's too fragile. I have to be careful with her. I can't just put her on the leash and go by rote for a few minutes several times a day. Heck, everything I have read says that I can't even take her on walks, because that can damage her developing joints and bones, because they can grow an inch a week!

Her personality is different. and I love learning new things, so she is making me learn something new about dogs and about how I interact with them... And we both like big dogs, anyway. We were just looking for a small dog because of the size of our yard and our house. Frankly it's going to be a tight fit and we are going to have to fence or move... but we were talking about doing that, anyway.

I think she's going to be worth it.

March 29th, 2007, 01:12 PM
Aww, what a lucky girl to have you. :) :cloud9: Any pics of your girly?

March 29th, 2007, 01:21 PM
MamaSue,I would not worry too much about a small yard,she is probably on:cloud9: having a wonderful home and people who love her,the most important ingredience in any pets life:thumbs up

March 29th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Prin, I keep meaning to say that your dog's blue eyes are gorgeous! I do admit to having a "thing" about blue eyed dogs. Some of my favorite dogs have blue eyes, and in a black lab face? priceless!

I posted some photos of our fuzzbutt family on intro, after I joined... I didn't know about the photo section yet. :o

Also Zola's photo is not there. I moved the album.

You can see a few photos of her in the Food section where I am asking about diet. I posted some specifically of Zola.

From what I am reading, the large yard is not an issue right now, but will be once she hits about 6 months or so.... We will see. She is so sedate that it may not be an issue. She just has these brief bursts of energy recently, now that her diet is better, but they don't last long and usually a trip down the hall and back after a ball is enough. Not that she actually will retrieve very well. She brings it back and lets it go sometimes so it bounces to me, though - almost like she is throwing it. She is not a retriever instinctively. Just a chaser... I think they call sight hounds Lurchers in the UK? She runs after things but I am lucky that occasionally she thinks to bring it back, and I am trying my best to reinforce that!

March 29th, 2007, 03:42 PM
Mama Sue, My parents Irish Wolfhound is not the most athletic or energetic dog. He would very happy living in an apartment going for short slow walks instead of living in a house with a big backyard. He was this way since a pup!

His sister who lives in the same area as I do, is the exact same way! When I see her at the dogpark, she lies in the sunshine, far away from the other dogs. She doesn't want to be bothered chasing or playing with them.

March 29th, 2007, 04:07 PM
That's very comforting to hear, in case we don't move, Poodletalk....
She's that way now. It's one of the huge differences. She will go out and lie down in the sun in the morning like an old arthritic hound.

Of course, if we did move and got a few acres, we could get more! hehehe...

March 29th, 2007, 07:28 PM
OMG her pics are cute! I love the little one at the end where it looks like she is barking.

March 30th, 2007, 08:11 PM
She is adorable! I agree with poodletalk though... I met a few at the dog show here a couple years ago and they stole my heart because amongst all the commotion, they were all dead asleep. :cloud9:

March 31st, 2007, 12:35 AM
We took her out to the vets today for a checkup.

The waiting room was full of big dogs and cats.

She was the only one that just sat there without pulling and trying to sniff butts. She greeted everyone politely and just was so well behaved even when the assistant stuck the thermometer in! Amazing!

March 31st, 2007, 12:39 AM
Awww, she sounds wonderful :lovestruck: .

March 31st, 2007, 12:46 AM
Aww! She sounds great. :lovestruck: :highfive: