The Schwarz Kennels

and the Dire Wolf Project

Outcrossing to the Irish Wolfhound

"Ahwna's Auld Lang Syne" has come to live with us here at the Schwarz Kennels.  This was a major decision and she cost me a lot of money plus a lot more than just money.

   Why an Irish Wolf Hound?

THE POSITIVE:

  1. I need the coat of our last outcross to be harsher.
  2. I need to keep the LARGE feet and large bone.
  3. I need the head to stay wide.
  4. I need shorter coats (dont worry, i wont make them ugly!)

THE NEGATIVE:

  1. I don’t care about giant.
  2. I don’t want a long tail and long tails are DOMINATE. This will take me some time to get back our short tail, so all puppies with long tails will have to be sold.
  3. Prey drive and the total sight hound working dog character which has been constantly bred to beget great hounds.

So, I have my work cut out for me huh?

  How on earth am I going to fix this Wolfhound into our lines and keep our laid back wonderful dogs?

  That is why I'm the breeder and founder. lol...  It's called selectively breeding and I can do it ...

   It will take me 5 generations to really get back into my stuff, unless Zorro can do the job in less time.   

   As far as Irish Wolf Hounds go, 'Ahwna' is not the greatest at this young age. The litter was not the greatest, but the GENES ARE THERE...  That is what i am looking at as a founder and breeder.  Now Ahwna is the best of the litter and she has size (which i could care less about) she has leg, she has an ok body for a pup at this age with substantial length. The worst thing about the mom and dad and litter are the heads In MY OPINION... You have to understand that I am a HARD grader... You are going to love our Ahwna and you will think I am crazy for saying the bad things i am going to say that the heads are too feminine as far as an Irish wolfhound is concerned. Now, the head may turn out to be fantastic on this gal, let's wait and see.

This is a photo of a wolf pup (left).  Our F-1's should resemble this only with black points. The bones themselves should be larger and the girth wider. The next photo (right) is of a mixed Newfoundlander and wolf (so they say).

This next photo is one of our dogs (photo missing).  Look at the structure of the dog, the head carriage, the long body, the walk etc... imagine that dog bred to the Irish Wolfhound and then look at the photo of the wolf pup.  Can you see it?  Can you see what I see?

Now that is a couple of years away, but... it is now 2013 and Ahwna x Rain have been bred. We are totally excited!  This will give us the pup we need to outcross our Am. Alsatian lines into.  Please know that these pups are not Am. Alsatians, but they are being born to be outcrossed into our solid saturated lines.
 
Rainier is a M-Lute or an old fashioned malamute that the show community didnt like, least Eva Seely and her AKC posh friends did not like. The M-lute was not 'pretty' enough to be what the breed founder Eva Seely wanted, plus those folks that bred the M-lute didnt get the pups approved by Eva, and they were Eva's dogs for the most part.
When Eva and her show Malamute friends got down to only 33 pure bred Malamutes in the USA the AKC opened the stud books and the M-Lute was bred to the Malamutes to improve the stock and health or gene pool of the total breed.
Once again the M-Lute is used to improve the stock in our breed.

ABOUT THE IRISH WOLFHOUND AS A BREED

The following is my personal experience and TRUTH of this breed , not candy coated, but real facts on the Irish Wolfhound....
 
Trainability: This is a smart intellegent breed, probably too intellegent for most non doggy people. This breed learns real fast and they are aware of the 'universal language'(TM). They can and will train you!   They will bark for you to 'listen to them' and open the darn door so they can go out. They will physically show you with their body language what it is they want. They will dig, tug, retrieve, kill a toy, rip stuff up or bark and kick up thier feet to let you know that they want and need for you to pay attention to what it is the (KING OR QUEEN WANTS). The trouble is not that they cant be obedience trained but weather THEY want to listen and do what it is you ask of them. If they decide they dont care to do it, (which is usually the case) then you loose cause they are NOT going to do it.

Crate Training: This breed is shy enough to love a crate and the comfort and saftey that it holds for them. They are easily trained to crates. Throw a cookie or toy in the crate and they will follow. I use a crate for all my dogs when we are traveling in the van. It is safer for me and for the dogs to travel this way. If anything should happen, the dog is safe in the crate. I once had an accident on black ice and the truck tipped over and landed on its top. The pup in the crate was still in the crate, shook up a bit, but save and not harmed.  I went to the vet today and put my Irish pup in the crate as always, needless to say, she was very happy to get back into it and almost climbed up on the rear fender to get back into that crate. She is only 3 months old. Once in the crate her body relaxed. The crate was familiar and her pillow easy to lay on.

Potty Training: Irish Wolfhound puppies can be somewhat difficult to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have an I.W. puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it.  Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

  The problem i find with my I.W. is that she doesnt care where she goes. When she wants to go, she just squats anywhere. To get my pup to understand a 'go potty' command, i use the words, "go potty" every time she relieves herself, then i over praise her as she needs this to understand that it was a good command and a good thing to do.  it has taken us four weeks for her to understand the words BELONG to the action. She still doesnt know that it is a command, only that she expects to hear the words as she goes. the words do not interupt her from relieveing herself any longer as she is expecting the words.  Soon, the words will come BEFORE the action and she will squat...  kind of like the bell being rung in the experiment of dog siliva. The bell was rung everytime the dogs were fed. soon the ringing of the bell would produce dog siliva in anticipation of food. That is just how animal training works. I will only use the words 'go potty' before the release once i know for sure that she will automatically do it.  I make it work by giving her lots of water and restraining her from relieving herself. Then when i know she HAS to pee, i bring her out, point to the area where i want her to pee, and whalla, she goes and every by stander thinks im a great animal trainer and that she is super smart to know this...
 

Temperament : Irish Wolfhounds are oversized pussycats. They are so mild mannered, polite and easy-going that they are sometimes called “the gentle giant.” It is a calm, patient dog that gets along fine with children and just about anyone who comes to visit. The Wolfhound does quite well with other dogs and is not considered aggressive in nature. The breed is said to be not playful. This is a falsity. My I.W. is very playful and full of energy. I am hoping that she quiets down and mellows out as she gets older.

 This is a loyal family dog. The Wolfhound is not really a watchdog but he can defend himself if necessary. His size and deep throated bark can be intimidating.

Friendly Toward Strangers: Yes, likes most people and usually no problem with strangers. So far she loves everyone. BUT... most of the I.W.'s that i know are TIMID !!!  very shy.  can be biters.

Playfulness: This is what i have read up on this breed, this is what they say in thier books: ("NO. Not playful. Friendly, affectionate, calm and quiet, but not playful. Throw a ball and he might fetch it though".) Dont you believe this. That is a lie...

Affection: Yes, reasonably affectionate for a big guy if they know you. As i said, most of the I.W's that i know are way too shy. They are sensitive.

Good with children?  Yes, the friendly Irish Wolfhound is quite tolerant with children. Small children should be supervised closely, as this big dog could cause serious harm by accident.

Good with Seniors over 65? NO. Too big, heavy and difficult for a senior to handle and get to a vet.

The proud Irish Wolfhound

Living environment: House with a medium size backyard, farm, ranch. Needs room to roam and stretch and maybe fetch balls. Must have a soft bed to sleep on. Can not sleep on hard surfaces.

Energy level: Minimal. Irish Wolfhounds aren't known for excessive energy, Mine will be still, but i trained her to be that way. She has lots and lots of energy and tires out my AA's. The Am. Alsatian can not keep up with them.

Exercise needs, daily: As an older dog a quiet walk on leash once or twice a day.  As a puppy our I.W. needs to be put outside for about 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the evening to be around or near the other dogs as she loves to run and run and run. She loves her toys, lots of toys and balls and chew bones. She does fetch on her terms. My I.W. loves to run and is very fast!

Watch Dog: Yes, deep throated bark and growls. watches, yes.. watches and is very nosey. Wants to know everything about everything. Barks at every little thing. Can see a moving object five miles away and barks at that.

Guard dog: My I.W. is a good watch dog, not a guard dog. A watch dog is watchful and will bark in an alarm or growl. They are not really aggressive as they do not care for any real confrontation and will back down, turn or go away from any confrontation.

Shedding:  Very little.

Grooming: The following is what i read: (Brush twice a week. Some scissoring as needed. Strip dead hair twice yearly.)

  This is my opinion and the truth... The dog has a doggy odor ALL THE TIME. I am a proffessional dog groomer and I know what i am talking about. It is a faint dog odor, not too strong, but it is there and nothing you can do will stop this breed from smelling. Now if you dont have a sensitive nose, you may not realize the dog has this odor.

Brushing: none needed, but... I always brush my dog as a training ritual and for quiet time or quality time spent with the dog, so... i say daily even twice a day. I use a rubber curry brush or a hand mit. Now that she is trained and is older, i dont bother brushing her. I bath her only because she is a house dog. She gets a bath once every 2 months, or if muddy.

Scissoring: none is needed unless you are a show goer. Dead hair, only a concern if you show your dog otherwise this dead hair, is called normal shedding and it is once a year around the month of May. This shedding or 'loosing coat' is brought on by the moon and the seasonal changes.

Nails:  If you clip the nails short at a young age, they should stay relatively short, but most owners think the dogs nails are way too long. Fact: dogs have nails. nails reach the ground. Since this dogs feet are well high up and arched and thick, the nails will reach down to the ground. Not much you can do about this. do not suffer the dog because you think the dogs nails are too long. How to tell when your dogs nails need to be trimmed: If they cause the dog problems, turn the dogs feet, or interfere with the dogs movement, otherwise, no they are not too long.

Dog Health Issues For The Irish Wolfhound

Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Irish Wolfhound by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

    Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

    Patellar luxation—Limping, Hind Leg Held Up, Can’t straighten back leg. Caused by an unusually shallow spot on the femur, weak ligaments and misalignment of tendons and muscles that align the knee joint and allow the knee cap (patella) to float sideways in and out of position. This can be caused by injury or be present at birth and can affect both rear legs. If your dog has trouble straightening the leg, is limping, or is walking on three legs and holding one hind leg up, look for patellar luxation. Several of my dogs have had the problem and all I’ve done is reach down, massage the knee a little until they drop their leg, and we’re good to go for another 3 or 4 months. Severe cases require surgery for a fully lame leg.

    Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the dog is born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the dog is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your Irish Wolfhound down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

    Cervical Vertebral Instability—”Wobblers syndrome” A narrowing of the cervical vertebrae, also known as Wobblers Syndrome and found in large dogs linked to heredity and possibly nutrition. The Irish Wolfhound will have trouble standing, as the rear legs will be affected first with lack of coordination. Then the front legs will weaken, spread a bit and the dog’s walk will be “wobbly.” The disease is noticed at about 3 to 5 years of age. Treatment comes by medicine and as a last resort for severe cases, specialized surgery.

    Dilated cardiomyopathy—A serious heart disease. The muscle of the heart loses it’s ability to pump blood properly causing a backup of blood, an enlarged heart, and an improperly functioning heart. Prognosis is generally 4 weeks to 2 years, depending on the dog and how advanced the problem is. The vet may try medications to alter the heart function, but this one is a killer.

    Osteochondritis dissecans—A common type of elbow dysplasia except it can occur in any joint. Flaps of cartilage run against tissue causing irritation, pain, lameness and in time, joint degeneration disease. Pieces can break loose and float around limiting movement, or getting lodged or wedged inside the joint itself. Look for lameness, pain and swelling in joints in the Irish Wolfhound. Treatments include Non-steroid anti-inflammatory meds, weight loss, confinement to rest the joints, and dietary supplements for joint health. Surgery is the last option for very severe cases.

    Osteosarcoma—A leg bone cancer in large breed dogs of any age but usually in large, older dogs. Osteosarcoma in the limbs is “appendicular osteosarcoma.” The Irish Wolfhound will be in great pain as the disease destroys the bone from the inside out. The dog’s inability to walk will progress over only about 3 months time as the bone is destroyed by the tumor. Unfortunately, surgery to remove the leg is the only way to give your dog the only total relief needed.

    Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

    Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness, arthritis and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

    von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

    Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the Irish Wolfhound’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

    Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.

    Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision and if not treated will eventually cause total blindness.

    Megaesophagus—Incomplete nerve development of the esophagus in a few Irish Wolfhounds 5 to 12 years old causing regurgitation of food. Since food is collecting in the esophagus and not the stomach, the dog feels hungry and keeps eating. Food collects for up to a day or two and finally vomits back out, having never reached the stomach. A dangerous aide effect of the disease is pneumonia. The only solution is getting the dog to drink and eat in a position where he has to reach his mouth way up high, like on a step ladder with his paws elevated where he can barely reach the food with his whole body elevated nearly vertical. There is no other cure.

    No allergies are reported for this breed so far.


Schwarz dogs are NOT working dogs

Books by Lois E. Schwarz