|Barked: Thu Aug 21, '08 1:47am PST |
|We worked, too. Long commutes. We had two wolfie and a mix... so even if one was in the vets, the other had company at home.
Originally they were locked out during the day... with a very plush dog house (two full sheets of plywood wide w/ padding better than my first couch). Later, we let them have house access all the time with the "understanding" that if anyone messed up the inside, they'd all have to earn house access during the day. It took a bit of training, but was well worth it.
They got walks most evenings. (No one hassles you walking 3 dogs at 10PM, 2 of them wolfhounds.) They got a lot of weekend quality time. They loved going to special events in the park... anyplace they could be the center of attention.... so sometimes we'd all barrel into the car just so they could be adored at a park
So, as long as they have company... no worries.
However, the biggest consideration about getting an Irish Wolfhound.... and something incredibly important... Ask yourself and answer honestly, and consider your spouse. Have you ever dreamed of having a house that looks good enough to be in a magazine??? Ever??? If you even twing, maybe? Nope... visit a friends wolfhound... house sit, but don't get one.
House modification... this breed is tall and has a tail that not only can clear a coffee table in one Welcome-Home! swipe, but can also clear a glass off the front half of a kitchen counter... and that's w/o standing. And don't forget, they will drool!
This means you don't have anything breakable, or even anything you don't mind having knocked off. on tables.... or slobbered on. Lamps need to be sturdy. TV's high. Stereo equipment behind plastic doors. Things like china cabinets or smaller bookcases need to be earthquake secured for when they're playing or running and their 4-paw breaks don't work... or they slide straight into it at 100+pounds. (Just because they're big doesn't mean they won't play like puppies.) Also, their claws are just heavy and will scratch up hardwood floors.
Their grooming isn't fussy... but you'd be surprised how much dust their coats bring in. There's extra cleaning from the dust and just doggie drooling.
This can be a serious live change... and keeping a wolfhound outside doesn't work really well. They're very sociable animals and want to be your footwarmer.
Next issue... when you adopt them... plan out time to do a lot of training right away. That first 9 months is soooooooooo crucial with a wolfhound. You start training at home and then get them into an obedience class ASAP. (Most places will wave the age requirement if you can show them that your dog listens to you and walks on a leash and you explain why you're starting early. Talk them into letting you in the class on probation if nothing else.)
Also, immediately train on food issues and NEVER EVER let them jump even the day you bring them home... play low games, not high.
So... are you willing to change your home???
Are you willing to devote a lot of time up front? and keep on giving???
Are you willing to drive farther to a vet that can handle LARGE dogs? Especially one where you can pick your dog up late?
Are you willing to search for a groomer than can handle a large dog? (We used our vet... and when we moved, drove 30 miles since they were still the best option.)
If you're comfortable about all of that??? Try to find a friend who will let you dogsit, or even handle them at a park for a few hours.... with their parents not within eyesight.
If you're good with all that, then they're something to consider. Nothing better than their dark dollar sized eyes looking up at you or snuggling together you with a book, them with a chew toy.
Oh, and sadly one more consideration... can you handle loosing a pet quickly... you have 5-7 years with most.... and that doesn't mean you don't loose them earlier. (It's why a lot of wolfhound owners have a smaller (lab sized) dog as well.)
(Who used to help do PR for rescue trust at faires. Our goal... talk everyone out of a wolfie. The ones stubborn enough to keep coming back.... hopefully had enough stamina to survive a wolfhound puppy.)
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