Wolfhound is a generic name for strong, large breeds of dogs. It is understood that such a dog is strong enough to survive in a fight against a wolf (or even several). The importance of such animals for the life of many nationalities is difficult to overestimate. They could be used as hunters, watchmen, shepherds, draft animals. Not surprisingly, the need for dogs of this purpose took place in various parts of the world. Thus, in the process of breeding, united by one goal, several dog breeds were formed in completely different countries at once, meeting the above requirements, but having completely different origins. Today in the world there are more than 10 breeds belonging to the group of wolfhounds.
The following are the most famous representatives of wolfhounds and a brief description of some of them:
• Russian canine greyhound;
• Irish Wolfhound;
• Gamper (also called the Armenian wolfhound);
• Buryat-Mongol wolfhound;
• South Russian Shepherd;
• Kazakh greyhound (or Tazy);
• Pyrenees mountain dog;
• Caucasian Wolfhound (or Caucasian Shepherd).
Irish Wolfhound is one of the largest dogs in the world. The growth of an adult male can reach 90 cm at the withers! These animals are distinguished by a muscular, strong physique, but at the same time they are very energetic and graceful. The coat is tough, medium length. “Irish” differ in complaisant disposition, are easy to train, get along well with children. Pets (cats, rabbits) are not very friendly, therefore, to teach Irish wolfhounds to tolerance is necessary at a puppy’s age. Of the features of care, I would like to note the obligatory combing once every 1-2 days, otherwise the coat will look unpresentable.
The Caucasian Shepherd is rightly called the Caucasian Wolfhound, because its calling is to protect the flock of sheep from wolves. These are massive, strong dogs with well-developed muscles. Male growth reaches 70 cm at the withers, and weight can reach up to 100 kg or more. Coat – from short to long, has a thick undercoat, thanks to which the animal seems even larger. “Caucasians” are distinguished by pronounced protective qualities. Due to their wayward character, they are not always well suited to training – it is better to entrust the training of these giants to a dog handler. Caring for the “Caucasians” is simple, including compulsory long walks (at least 1.5–2 hours a day), regular combing of wool and periodic bathing.
The Buryat-Mongol wolfhound, or hotosho (Bur. Hotosho Nokhoi) is the owner of excellent protective qualities. These dogs are large, but not too massive: with a height of up to 70 cm, their weight rarely exceeds 55 kg. The length of the coat varies from short to long. The contrasting black-brown coat color gives their exterior a special expressiveness. They have a good disposition, flexible character and are distinguished by calm and endurance. They get along well with children and fit well into urban life as a companion dog. They do not require special care.
Gamper – Armenian wolfhound. The breed originates from ancient wild dogs living on the territory of the Armenian Highlands. Natural selection and minimal impact of artificial breeding have made the dogs of this breed hardy and strong. The male dog grows up to 70 cm tall and weighs up to 45–90 kg. The dog looks powerful, strong, harmonious. Despite the impressive size, the wolfhound moves naturally and smoothly. The color and length of the coat varies greatly. It has good watchdog qualities, but the hunt is in his blood. With gamper go to large animals, including a bear. By nature, this is a calm and balanced dog, but it is difficult to train. Often in stressful situations, wild habits prevail over the train. The content is unpretentious.
Feeding wolfhounds should be given special attention. It is necessary to monitor the correspondence of calorie content and exercise of these animals – they should never be overfed. Errors in nutrition can lead to a set of excess fat mass, but the musculoskeletal system of these giants is already undergoing tremendous loads. Therefore, it is very important to determine the type of physique to which the dog belongs – according to the type of physique, one should choose the food. A great choice is the Pro Plan Large Robust line of dry full-feed fodder, for large and giant dogs, tailored to the needs of the pet.