Friday, July 23, 2010

Puppy Food for Irish Wolfhounds

My breeder strongly suggested we use Wysong Growth (natural, holistic pet food) for our Irish Wolfhound puppy (it has the lowest rate of calcium), and we have done this. We trust her judgement. After all, it should be the breeder who knows the most about the breed, otherwise, why would you buy your dog from them?

I found the Laloba Hounds five years ago, in my search for a Ballykelly dog, and appreciated their emphasis on longevity and quality of life for their IWs. They have, I believe, nine of their own who share their home. That's love!

Also, you can just tell by talking to a breeder--their love of the hounds should come out loud and clear. In our case, I had no doubt I was dealing with the biggest fan of IWs I'd ever find--a real mother to the breed as a whole. My puppy came home to me with a large three-ring binder she'd compiled herself--pack-full of everything from nutrition to training to history and IW literature.

In all her research and hands-on experience, she found that limiting the calcium intake for growing Irish Wolfhounds is essential. It leads to more managed growth and less long-term joint and bone problems.

I'm impressed with Wysong. It comes in three vacuum sealed packages per box (keeps it fresh), the price was fair, and the list of ingredients is impressive (brown rice, kelp, rosemary, can see some more in the picture of the ingredients above).

It is, however, hard to get in some areas, but easy to order. You can order it on the web at places like or from many local pet food stores, and it seems to arrive quickly.

In Spokane, I use the store Pet Vittles. I LOVE that store. In fact, I want to blog about it in an upcoming post. If you have a special dog like an Irish Wolfhound, you need to find your special store--one where you can get what you want and the owners come to the table with knowledge and experience of their own and are willing to take time with you to share that experience and knowledge. They also have really cool collars and supplies--like the Up Country collection!! You'll get addicted to their pet collars and start a new hobby!! They are such high quality, beautiful, unusual collars. I'll have to blog a special post about them soon, too. The store carries them at cheaper prices than you'll find on the company's site.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

4 Month Old Irish Wolfhound

It seems that the fourth month has seen a major increase in size and a corresponding increase in appetite of my IW.

She's still a baby, but because she's the size of most large dogs (or taller) she appears to be in an adult body. I think people expect more of her even though they know she's four months.

For the most part she's perfect--of course! However, there is one thing she needs to work on that has only recently started--not jumping on people. She gets so excited to see people she knows, she just wants to be right up there near their faces--and those huge paws and sharp claws (which she doesn't know she has) are enough to knock people over. Big no-no.

On the bright side, she hasn't had an accident in the house for weeks and she rarely chews on anything she shouldn't. More and more, she's able to be in the house unsupervised. Although, I'm referring to very short periods here.

She appears to have lost some of her front baby teeth, but not her canines. She still sleeps a lot. She hasn't shown any kind of aggression or protectiveness.

She was born March 16th and today is July 22--so she is just barely into her fourth month.

Friday, July 9, 2010

An Irish Wolfhound Puppy For Us

This blog is dedicated to every Irish Wolfhound who ever loved a family--but more specifically--it's dedicated to Mish--the Irish Wolfhound who loved us.

Because of Mish, I come from a whole family of Irish Wolfhound lovers, and have personally dreamed of one day being able to raise another. This Spring, my wish came true.

After thirty years, I finally have another Wolfhound!

And, OH, does she bring back GREAT memories. There's nothing like the look, the walk, the paws, the sound of the paws, the mind, of an Irish Wolfhound. After being away from the breed for so long--only seeing two others in thirty years--it was like a homecoming, of sorts, for me. Lots and lots of memories of Mish just came flooding back. It's GOOD to have memories like that brought back up to the surface. After all, she did bless our family with her love and protection for ten years--ten of my most formative ones.

We have another wonderful dog, Maggie our Lab, who is helping us raise our new IW puppy we named Riagan. Maggie is a mind-reader--a servant--a natural Omega in the best sense of the word. She has taken Riagan in like she's her own pup.

The one hallmark of this month with Riagan, in the spirit of learning about this breed, is their sensitivity. The breeder, an avid IW lover, really stressed this, but living with a wolfhound is the only sure proof. They are NOT a dog for heavy hands. They are mature beyond their months of life--so little time in the world, but so much instant maturity. Riagan plays, yes, but she also spends a good deal of time sitting at our side watching the road, or the birds, or the sunset.

I've wondered aloud to my husband, as we watch her watching, if their quick maturity has something to do with their short lifespans--as if nature moves them along in everything more rapidly. I don't know if the two are connected, but what is certain is their short lifespans. We were lucky to have ten years with Mish. Some of Riagan's relatives have surpassed ten years, and we have high hopes for her own longevity, but the breed, as a whole, lives far too short.

So, my first month with my new baby has shown me, most of all, that the Irish Wolfhound is a quickly maturing, extremely willing, partner. They WANT to become part of the family. They want to be at your side at all times. They want to know they are home--forever.

Meet our baby, Riagan in her 3rd-4th month of life. (DOB: 3/16/10)

First Night:

3rd day here:

A couple weeks later:

And, a month after arriving (almost 4 months old and an inch higher than Maggie at the back now)