Why The Irish Wolfhound is Not a Practical Dog for Most Families

irish wolfhound

The Irish wolfhound is a beautiful dog that matures quickly and is very large in stature. Many people see this lovely, large breed and fall in love with it and want one at home. The only issue with this, however, is that the Irish wolfhound for the first year, at least, does not make a wonderful pet. These are very excited, exuberant dogs that come with serious health considerations. They grow very quickly, but they still behave like puppies for a long time. They’re not mature enough to avoid simple injuries

The Irish wolfhound has very long legs that are very prone to injury. This dog has bones that are so fragile they can break with a simple slip on a slick floor. Most people and dogs are a lot sturdier and more secure than this, but the Irish wolfhound is not. This is a very needy dog in terms of protection, and owning one means making a lot of sacrifice for the first year.

The deal with these dogs is that they are very friendly, loyal and affectionate. They are also the largest breed of this type and some of the tallest dogs in the world. They have a lot of health problems, and they don’t live very long. Whereas most dogs live 13+ years, this one has a lifespan closer to 6-8 years. It’s not ideal for children because of its large size and its fragility, and it’s not for very active owners.

Its health problems take precedence in the life of its owner for at least the first year of its life. This is a dog that isn’t meant for normal dog living for a year, at least. What it boils down to is that if you’re looking for a healthy, sturdy dog you can take on long walks, play fetch with in the park and enjoy wrestling around with the children, this is not the dog for you. In fact, this dog is not one recommended in homes with small children, in small homes or for owners who are not home the majority of the time.

While we’d never want to turn anyone away from owning such a loyal and wonderful breed of dog, it’s in your best interest and your dog’s best interest to know that there is a long list of “Don’ts” associated with owning an Irish wolfhound, and just this list alone can make you realize just how impractical this dog is for traditional reasons.

Don’t Take Puppies on Walks

It never fails to surprise people who have a new Irish wolfhound that they’re not permitted to take their dogs on a walk for the first six months of its life. These are dogs that are very fragile, and over-exercising them or over-walking them can result in a great deal of injury. Did you know that taking an Irish wolfhound for even a five-minute walk can seriously injure to dog to the point that it has many health issues for the rest of its life? This dog is one that’s difficult to own for the first year because of its fragility. Even after the dog turns six months of age, it’s best to take the dog only for short walks that are less than five minutes. Otherwise, the dog could become too excited and injure itself.

Don’t Socialize This Dog

You don’t want to have an Irish wolfhound around other dogs for at least one year. If you cannot avoid this because you have another animal in the home or because you have a houseguest with an animal that’s coming to visit, at least make sure that the dogs are not left together alone at all – ever. You will need to supervise all their interaction to ensure that your dog remains calm and does not attempt to play with the other dogs. This could injure your dog in a way that will affect it forever, and not allow your dog to have a healthy life or even an enjoyable one once it’s old enough to stop worrying about the potential fragility of the dog’s bones and size.

Don’t Let Your Puppy Go Anywhere Alone

This is perhaps one of the biggest downfalls of having this type of dog at home. The Irish wolfhound, as you already know from reading this information, is very fragile and has very long, very fragile legs that are very much prone to injury. This is a dog that simply cannot be left to travel alone around the house. It cannot spend time on slippery surfaces such as wood floors, tile floors, marble floors or freshly mopped floors. Laminate flooring is also dangerous for these dogs. If they slip even just a little – and think how often it happens to you – they could damage those very thin, frail bones and end up with a broken leg that could have negative effects on the dog’s life forever.

Your dog cannot be around stairs. If you have stairs in your home, you’ll want to block them off and keep them from seeing the stairs and attempting the climb the stairs. One missed step can result in an injury impossible to fix. It is absolutely imperative that you keep any sort of impact to the joints of this type of dog to a complete minimum at all times to ensure that the dog is able to avoid injury.

Finally, do not allow your dog to go near uneven or rough ground. This includes a yard that might have holes, driveways that might have potholes or hidden dangers and anything in between. If your dog were to step in a hole, it could cause serious damage to the dog’s limbs.

The best way to ensure that your Irish wolfhound does not end up with a severe injury is to keep the dog in a home that has no flooring other than carpet and block off all areas that have flooring that could cause harm to the dog. It’s also a good idea to keep the dog confined to a very small play area that does not leave enough room for running or playing in a way that might be dangerous to the dog’s fragile nature.

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  1. Shanna Morandi November 24, 2014
  2. LaceyLou November 25, 2014
  3. Mandy Addington November 25, 2014
  4. Shanna Morandi November 25, 2014
    • Ginger McDevitt February 5, 2016
  5. Jean Timmins November 26, 2014
  6. Eva July 7, 2015
  7. JohnM February 5, 2016
  8. Liz McHale February 5, 2016
  9. Jennifer Hamacher February 5, 2016
  10. Jennifer Hamacher February 5, 2016
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