Ginara Irish Wolfhounds
 

Raising a puppy

 

Feeding Irish Wolfhound puppies

For every breeder there will be a different feeding regime. This is how I feed my puppies.

Ideally the breeder of your puppy will give you detailed instructions on feeding, do’s and don’ts etc. Sadly, for some backyard breeders or puppy factory producers this is too much to ask.

My puppies are deliberately fed a variety of foods so that they may not develop allergies or other intolerances. At 10-—12 weeks they are on 4 meals a day. It is best to stay with at least 3 meals a day until they are 6 months old. IF YOU FEEL YOU NEED TO CHANGE THEIR DIET DO NOT FEED A PROTEIN LEVEL OVER 28%. Mix the new kibble with the old one when changing over. I recommend changing to adult kibble at 6 months of age.

Breakfast consists of 1 1/2 cup of kibble with 2 tablespoons of yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of honey. Yoghurt is good for regulating their gut flora and helps eliminate gas. Honey has many properties and I advise using honey that has not been overheated during extraction from the wax frames.

Lunch consists of 1 1/2 cup of kibble soaked in 1/2 cup of hot water. You can add 1 1/2 tablespoon of raw meat, canned puppy food, chicken and rice roll.. Do not add too much canned or raw meat as this will unbalance the dry food and lead to growth problems. Use meat etc. as a person would sauce, it adds to the flavour without unbalancing the meal itself.

Dinner is the same as lunch. You can add a couple of sardines instead of chicken or meat. The rule is 1 level tablespoon of raw/canned food to 1 cup of dry food. IE 3 tablespoons when the meal reaches 3 cups.

Ginara puppies do not have a milk based feed after they are 8 weeks old and really don't need milk any more.

The idea is to keep the diet simple so that if there is any stomach upset you don't have to examine too many ingredients. Dogs really only eat to survive they don't judge their meals.

As the puppy grows add kibble to meals in small amounts when the puppy finishes the entire feed. If they leave the kibble and just eat the meat you need to just feed kibble for a few days. The puppy should finish their meal smartly. If they walk away only leave it down for a few minutes. Do not leave food out for them to help themselves. Don't keep left overs for the next meal. Puppies will grow in spurts and some weeks they will seem to eat everything and next week they will not be as hungry. Be flexible in feeding and offer them less for the next meal if they leave food and more if they finish their food and look for more.

Always have fresh water available for them. Stainless steel bowls are the best to use as they clean easily and are chew proof.

Do not over feed thinking you can make them grow bigger. They will grow to what their genetics dictate and overfeeding and supplements will cause growth and development problems. You should always be able to easily feel your dogs ribs. Overweight dogs can develop heart disease just like humans can.

Raw beef bones are fed every third day or so. You can get beef brisket bones from butchers or super­markets. Lamb and pork bones are often too small and can be swallowed whole. Chicken frames are cheap and the dogs love them. NEVER FEED COOKED BONES OF ANY SIZE. Cooked bones can be sharp and splinter and puncture the gut. If flies are not a problem you can leave the bone around for couple of days of continued chewing.

Torsion and Bloat

This is a condition that affects many deep chested breeds. It is when the stomach and/or spleen rotates and cuts off blood flow in the internal organs. It will be fatal if emergency medical attention is not sort. Please read the guide to GDV/Bloat in the health section.

Recent studies show that stress is a big factor in Bloat. I restrict feeding when I know the dogs will be stressed. This consists of not giving breakfast and only half an evening meal when the dogs are going to the vet, dog show or other outing. The next day the meals are just a bit lighter than normal. As a rule of thumb don't feed your dog if it is panting, wait half an hour. Also don't feed right after exercise or outing and be aware of the amount they drink at one time. I feed from elbow height. I have found that children's resin outdoor chairs are just the thing.

 

Housetraining

Your puppy will never want to mess on it's bed.  When they have the correct amount of space they will all chose a place away from their bed to relieve themselves.

Puppies usually want to relieve themselves when they wake up and after they have been fed. When puppy wakes up take them outside to where you want them to toilet and wait with them until they relieve themselves. Don't make it a game. Once they have performed their toilet praise them and take them back inside. Keep an eye on the puppy while they are inside and you will soon pick up on their 'looking for a place to poop,' routine. If there are accidents inside the house just clean it up and use disinfectant to remove the smell. Once they have walked away they will not understand being told off for the wee.  Possibly thinking they are being told off for coming to you.  Puppies cannot hold on for very long so if they are to be left alone in the house put down newspaper near the door or the furthest corner of their room.

If you growl at you puppy you could trigger them to wee on the floor to appease you. It is their natural instinct to show they are just a baby and no threat. Punishing them for this behaviour will only lead to more wetting. If you catch you puppy wetting inside tell them ‘no,’ and take them to the place outside you want them to use. Irish Wolfhounds are usually very clean and will be quickly house trained.

 

Lead Training

With training for any dog it is best to approach it when you are not in a hurry.  You must always remember Irish Wolfhounds have been bred for generations to hunt by sight not to be obedient like the herding breeds.  An Irish Wolfhound is very smart but will not spend hours retrieving or walking at heel.  So people find lead training a chore but you must remember you should start out how you want your dog to behave from the start. Train you puppy with a good comfortable collar and strong lead. Attach the lead to the collar and encourage your puppy to walk with you.  Do not drag, tug or pull the puppy.  Use treats to get their attention and lots of praise.  If they don't want to go in one direction try another.  Training must be fun and not frightening.  Once puppy get the idea to go with the lead, it might take a week of 5 minute lessons, you can venture around the block or up and down the driveway.  If your puppy pulls you must stop and wait for them to come back to you, you can call them back to start with.  The idea is to teach them that pulling gets them nowhere, walking at your side gets them to interesting places.  If something spooks them while out calm them down but don't baby them too much. Wait until they are settled and try to walk past their 'fearful object' again.  I find rubbish bins can cause my puppies to be fearful.  If they still refuse to walk up to the object try from a different direction or wait until puppy is completely relaxed.  I have found the more you avoid a situation with your puppy ie misbehaving on a lead, the more of a chore it becomes.  Remember always be gentle with your puppy, they do want to obey you, sometimes they just don't understand what you want them to do..