For us, the Irish Wolfhound is the best breed ever. Based on the almost daily inquiries we receive for a puppy, one would think that many people agree with this statement. We read about wolfhounds being “my childhood dream,” “my favorite breed ,” and “the love of my life” (all direct quotes from completed puppy questionnaires). Interestingly enough, when responding to these inquiries, offering a phone call to connect and to discuss the breed, more than half of them become unresponsive and we never hear from them again. And that’s mostly those whose experiences with dogs are minimal to begin with. While we try our outmost to do our hounds justice, even the most basic effort to learn about the breed seems to be too much for the majority of people who contact us, claiming “all that’s missing for happiness“ is an Irish Wolfhound.

The few people who do write back are a mixture between folks who have never seen a real wolfhound, those who have no space whatsoever (not even mentioning the lack of safe fencing), and the ones with several school aged children where you would think a day has to have 48 hours to meet all their needs. Every now and then there is someone  who actually has owned a giant breed, has acreage with fencing, and – if we are really lucky – there is the one person who does know wolfhounds, how to raise them, and how to care for them. This person has had their realty check – a wolfhound is NOT what you may think it is if all you have ever seen is “a cool picture.”

There is a question on our questionnaire inquiring about how the interested party has researched our breed. Some people give answers pertaining to the number of years they have been interested, others write “I searched the internet.” Only 5 prospective owners ever mentioned having been at a show, attended an Irish Festival, a parade, or anything along these lines which informed us that they went out of their way to actually look at this breed and learn about it. Nobody (really nobody) ever mentioned having read a book!

As a result, people seem to have completely unrealistic thoughts and expectations about the Irish Wolfhound. It is supposed to be this “gargantuan beast with the shaggy hair,” a “super family dog” –  without having rights, it seems. It should not cost much and should just fit in. It is supposed to raise itself in a crate, endure hours of being left alone by being looked at twice a day, and cause no trouble. Especially not to pee or poop in the house, destroy furniture, chase the house cat, and/or kill the chickens. The double layer coat is to take care of itself and there is no need to purchase grooming tools and/or to learn how to strip and groom. After all, the dog is supposed to look shaggy. The wolfhound is supposed to be squeezed in the cargo area of the vehicle without a pillow as the kids take up all the space  – if the hound is taken with at all. A puppy is wanted when the youngest of 4 children is just 6 months old so “she can grow up with the puppy.” Seriously? A wolfhound puppy is, like one of of our puppy buyers stated so perfectly, “a newborn without the diaper change.”

The fact that many are not interested in learning about this breed is scary enough as no breed can survive if there is nobody to take over in a respectful and knowledgeable manner. There are excellent books out on the breed, real classics, which provide an excellent introduction. Many of them are available used and at a low price. If measured by acquired knowledge after reading, the return of investment is better than the stock market! There are plenty of shows, especially Specialties for wolfhounds, where one can go and see large numbers of hounds and talk to owners and breeders. St. Patrick’s Day happens ever year. There are clubs to to contact across North America. Those who really want to learn will find a way and hopefully become ambassadors of this breed one day.

For those who want to learn – here are some reading tips! And we do take our responsibility to educate others seriously. If you truly want to learn and understand this breed, you came to the right place and we are looking forward to hearing from you.