Are Irish Wolfhounds Good Farm Dogs? (Interesting Info)


Tracing their origin from Ireland, Irish wolfhounds are famous for their big size, good heart, gentle nature, and sensitive temperament. In the past, they were used as protective dogs and for wolf hunting; but modern-day Irish wolfhounds are more domesticated through genetics and socialization. Therefore, whether Irish wolfhounds are good farm dogs or not, we understand it is a matter of concern that requires your attention.

So, are Irish wolfhounds good farm dogs? Irish wolfhounds can make good farm dogs, depending on their temperament and training. Most have a gentle temperament and are people-oriented. They will only scare someone not familiar with this breed due to their large size but not aggressiveness. These dogs will also relate to your farm animals, depending on training and whether you raise them together.

If you want to know whether Irish wolfhounds are good farm dogs, this is the ultimate guide for you. We will help you understand whether Irish wolfhounds are good with chickens, whether they chase cats, and if they can kill a wolf. Read through the rest of the sections for more interesting info.

Are Irish Wolfhounds Good With Chickens?

Irish wolfhounds are both predator and hunter dogs. They kill their prey for food. Therefore, keeping an untrained Irish wolfhound dog with your chicken is a great risk, given that chicken flap and squawk.

An Irish wolfhound can stay with your chickens, but this is dependent on the training you give it. Training your dog not to chase your chickens from day one will ensure peaceful coexistence between these creatures.

Even with good training, it is still advisable never to leave your dog with poultry unsupervised for a day as a precaution. Such an environment is tempting to your dog, and it might end up eating your chicken.

Training your dog to coexist with your chicken will take some time and requires patience, given that hunting is an inner instinct in Irish wolfhounds. To do this, start by showing your dog that he is your friend.

You can leash your dog, have it sit beside you, and then have someone else catch the chicken and bring it to you. The person catching the chicken should preferably do this out of your dog’s sight so that it never sees them chasing it. The person should then approach your dog while holding the chicken.

You should ensure your dog remains in its position during this introduction. When close enough, start petting the hen in front of the dog. This way, the dog will also appreciate that the hen is of value in your home.

Once your dog grasps the first stage and becomes familiar with the chickens, you can walk it around your compound with its leash on and observe its reaction. Restraining your dog during this walk is important to prevent the temptation to chase after the chicken. Over time, your dog will get comfortable around your chicken without wanting to chase them. You can even take it inside your chicken’s house for them to have a glance at how it looks.

If you are certain your dog is comfortable around the chicken, you can give it a little freedom under close supervision by taking walks around the chicken. However, this time, you should not restrain your dog but monitor it closely to ensure it does not chase your chicken. If it shows signs of chasing after the chicken, use simple commands to call it back.

Do Irish Wolfhounds Chase Cats?

If you love dogs and cats, you probably have them coexisting in your home already. These creatures do not have problems living together as long as you have the right breed since not all dogs will coexist with cats.

Irish wolfhounds score three of five on a scale of cat-friendly dogs; this implies that they can live with cats without chasing them. The existence of such a relationship is dependent on your dog’s personality and temperament. Also, if these pets have grown together, there is a high chance of peaceful coexistence, though you may still be uncertain whether your dog might attack your cat in the future.

To deal with these uncertainties, you should train your dog since they are prey animals and will see cats as prey that they should kill. Given their intense strength, you may not be able to stop your Irish wolfhound from hurting your cat, which is why training is important.

To train your Irish wolfhound to live with your cat, start by teaching it basic commands such as ‘down’, ‘sit’ or ‘stay’. Gradually, introduce these pets to each other by keeping them in one enclosure but separate them such that they can see each other but cannot have any physical contact.

You can have a door in between and provide food on either side from this spot to make these pets associate their meeting with treats. Initially, your pets may express aggressive behavior towards each other, but you can create meetings to introduce them to each other once this stops.

During the introductory meetings, you should reward your pets for good behavior to encourage them to be nice to each other. You should also limit these interactions to a short duration daily while reading your pet’s mood and release them before either of them becomes aggressive or bitter.

You should allow your cat to walk away if it wants to but watch your Irish wolfhound and prevent it from chasing after the cat. Once they get along, you can let them hang around each other’s space; but, if you notice any unwelcomed behavior, start the whole training process again until the two pets can live together peacefully.

Cats will flee when an Irish wolfhound chases after them, making these dogs chase them further, given their hunting instincts. If your Irish wolfhound is chasing your cat, you can equally stop this behavior through training.

To start with, you should keep your dog on a leash and allow your cat to come in. If your dog remains focused during this introduction, reward it with a treat or toy to disrupt it and prevent it from chasing your cat. For as long as your cat is in the room, continue awarding your dog. You should repeat this procedure until your Irish wolfhound is no longer interested in chasing your cat. Finally, you can remove the leash and allow your pets to interact freely.

Can an Irish Wolfhound Kill a Wolf?

The name of the Irish wolfhound originates from its original purpose, which was wolf hunting. They are large, swift, and have a keen sight that makes them excellent hunters.

It is unlikely for an Irish wolfhound today to kill a wolf because of the evolution that has taken place since they were domesticated. The Irish wolfhound that lives today is a recreation by Captain George Graham and has more Scottish deerhound and Green Dane blood.

They are too soft; hence, more suitable as pets than hunters. Their sweet temper also makes them less interested in fights unless under provocation. They are big enough to kill a wolf, but they lack the drive to do so.

Despite the effects of genetics and domestication, Irish wolfhounds still have the instinct to hunt. They are prey animals and will chase wolves when they see them. If the wolf attacks their owner, Irish wolfhounds will come to their defense and fight the wolf. Therefore, when it comes to hunting, the Irish wolfhound is better at spotting the wolf, and the hunter will come in to try and kill the wolf, making the fight between the wolf and wolfhound less likely to happen.

The Russian wolfhound was used for this purpose, only that hunters would go hunting with many dogs. Once the hunters spotted a wolf, they would release at least three Russian wolfhounds on it, and they would capture it, allowing the hunter time to come and kill it or take it home alive.

Irish Wolfhounds Are Good Farm Dogs

Irish wolfhounds are naturally hunter dogs. However, due to genetics and domestication, the modern-day Irish wolfhound has a calmer and friendly personality and will coexist with its human counterparts as a pet. These dogs also love cuddling; hence, a good option for individuals who love big cuddly animals.

On the farm, your Irish wolfhound will coexist with your chicken if you train them. This is because they view chicken as prey, and without training, they will eat them. Training your dog to coexist with your chicken requires a series of introductions and monitoring behavior to ensure it acknowledges the chicken as a valued animal in your home and not prey for food. Even after your Irish wolfhound becomes familiar with your chicken, it is advisable to limit their interactions under supervision.

Irish wolfhounds can also live with cats without chasing them, especially if you raise them together. If you introduce these pets to each other at a later stage, there is likely to be some aggression, but this is manageable with training and simple commands. Finally, Irish wolfhounds can hunt wolves, but it is unlikely that they will kill them. However, if they see you in danger of an attack from a wolf, they will come to defend you and fight the wolf, making them an ideal hunting companion.

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