Shepherd, hunter, gladiator, priceless gift and permanent protector of the royal family. And for some lucky ones – the kindest, most devoted and loyal friend.
According to statistics, in 2020, due to restrictions associated with the coronavirus, the demand for purebred dogs has increased sharply. Especially small breeds. (see “Give, Jim, luckily a paw for me”: the pandemic has opened a “gold mine” for dog breeders “) But here, as they say, for an amateur.
Vitaly Bezzubov can declare with full responsibility that he has the greatest friend. Among the dogs. According to the Guinness Book of Records. Meet the Irish wolfhound (wolfhound or wolfdog) Salgrey’s Sullivan, just Sally at home.
Looking at this gray-black giant almost one meter in height (83 cm at the withers), it is hard to believe that the “baby” is only 8 months old. Plus a “stern” look from under the eyebrows and almost point teeth in a “bearded smile.” The question involuntarily arises:
– Vitaly, with such a “rather big” baby, you probably have to walk in a muzzle? How do others react?
– You know, they generally react very well, even moms and small children. He’s an extraordinary kind-hearted man.
In the Guinness Book of Records, the Irish wolfhound is listed as “the tallest dog in the world.” The tallest representative was born in 1926 and was 100.5 cm at the withers. At the same time, the wolfhound is an affectionate and kind giant, which is explained by the peculiarities of selection. After all, dogs of this breed have been brought up since ancient times as members of a large patriarchal family, living side by side with a person.
– And why the Irish wolfhound?
– I have long wanted this particular breed: exterior, personal qualities, and, as I said, a big good-natured fellow. The breed is ancient, surrounded by legends. These dogs were among the Celts and all European “nobles”, among the Vikings … and even in Russia, since the Scandinavians brought them with them. When I learned in more detail what their character and behavior were, I realized that this was what I needed.
The most famous legend of the Irish Wolfhound is the story of a dog named Gelert, who was gifted to Llywelyn, Prince of Wales, by King John Lackland of England in 1210. Once Llywelyn went hunting, leaving his little son in the care of the faithful Gelert. Returning home, he saw that the dog’s muzzle was bloody. The prince, deciding that the dog had tore the child to pieces, drew his sword and hacked him to death. And only after that, he noticed a wolf nearby, which Gelert had killed, and heard the babbling of his son. In bitter remorse, Prince Llywelyn ordered the erection of a monument to Gelert. The English poet W.R. Spencer later wrote a poem about these events, who glorified his faithful dog:
“A beautiful flower of a canine kind,
As faithful as brave
The lamb is at home, the lion is on the hunt … “
As practice shows, you will not find the best security guard, nanny and toy for your child.
– When I decided on the breed, I started looking for where to buy. As it turned out, it is not so easy to find a good wolfhound – there are only a few of them. I came across dubious breeders, where the whole litter, even at the show, will not pass the standard – it will just be a dog of an unknown breed, passing by a wolfhound. They even contacted the president of the breed in the Russian Federation. In general, the whole world was looking for a good puppy. I even considered options: to bring from Italy or the USA, to stand in line for a puppy.
But then they advised a breeder from Belgorod, the pedigree is good, top, all the ancestors are titled, and, most importantly, when I saw him, I immediately thought – I want him. So he took it.
– How did the family react to such a um more than a respectable dog?
– At first, everyone in the family was very surprised, but quickly got used to it. He is very kind, affectionate, he will not offend a fly.
– Fuss with any thoroughbred puppy – and here it is so big – a lot: walks, training, feeding. How often and how intensively do you have to go for a walk?
– Walking is enough 2-3 times a day for half an hour. We also go to a closed polygon, where he is worn ad libitum. Consider half an hour of fussing there and then sleeping half a day like a dead man.
– Oh-oh-oh, I thought that for 2-3 hours I was running after the bike, after all, in the depths of the breed there is a greyhound …
– It is possible and so, but not the fact that it is necessary. Large dogs have a lot of stress on the joints and if you run such marathons, then the dog will not be very good.
– How does he behave with other dogs?
– Sally is very friendly with everyone, loves everyone, wants to play with everyone.
– No fools, you really – big! – lucky! Just a walking “vessel of love” of some kind. How does he like to play, what is your favorite toy?
– Like any puppy: he loves to run, jump, brinechka and a ball. I throw it – it brings and we fight for it. I give the child to win.
– Brinechka ?!
– Here THIS is a brinechka.
– I understand. Diet, any special food, additives, delicacies?
– Monge dry food, plus joint supplements and Omega-3 oil. I give purely dog treats so that there are no allergies or indigestion from unusual foods. In general, he loves everything, if you come to visit and there are plates of animals, not empty, he will lick everything in 5 seconds.
– Well done, not shy. If it’s not a secret, does a lot of feed go away?
— Previously, about 1 kg per day, now 300-600 grams, because growth is not so active, well, summer, heat …
– How about “eating” something on the street or rushing to meet someone? It is difficult to keep such a colossus …
– It used to be, but now no longer, with age, such puppy habits go away. Again, we studied at the Belousovs’ dog training school. He studied everything that is called rally, he is very smart, grasps quickly. In 1 month I completely learned how to go to the toilet on the street, well, he masters everything well. Now he is stricter, so if he does not follow the command, say, “near”, it easily gets better and over time he no longer makes such a mistake. Although, like any puppy, it can play too much, but it goes away with age.
– How do you manage everything: walking, feeding, training? Moreover, as I read, Irish wolfhounds, despite all their brutality, are non-aggressive, delicate and very sensitive breed and they – especially puppies – require the constant presence of the owner.
– I am at home most of the day.
– But still go to work. I know firsthand: you can come home from work and just don’t recognize your apartment …
– No, no, he does not smash or break anything. There was a period when he chewed his bed, but it quickly passed.
– Does such a large dog require a lot of space in the apartment? Bothersome, requires constant attention, or is the guy self-sufficient?
– No, rather self-sufficient. He doesn’t climb onto the bed because he’s not accustomed to it. He jumps onto the sofa next to the folder. Previously, it was stricter – only by invitation or an approving gesture. But over time, the folder softened, how to refuse such a child? But he knows when to stop, does not bother and does not require a lot of personal space. It does not flicker, like small rocks, underfoot, it lies more. Or worth it.
Despite its huge growth, the wolfhound is surprisingly “compact”, unobtrusive, there is no unnecessary activity, fuss; the living space in the house takes up less than a miniature schnauzer.
– On the diva-a-an. But what about wool and other “pleasures”?
– There is not a lot of wool from him, we wash every week: special shampoo, towel, conditioner …
– And how do you lure him into the bath?
– No way! Swimming is our everything, he loves very much.
– Doesn’t howl in the absence of the owner? How is it that he loves to “vote”?
– I never heard him bark. Unless it can growl when we play. Although sometimes I really want to “take revenge” on the neighbors with their endless repairs. True, on Instagram I saw kadavs (wolfhounds) who “sang” to the music. Well, there really is who in what is much.
– How does it treat guests: does it guard or all its own? Not afraid, like many dogs, of thunderstorms, firecrackers, and some other loud sounds?
– Who comes with dad – all his own. If someone else is just standing in the doorway, it is enough for him to look and already be afraid.
As I understand them!
– Reacts calmly to all noises. Although a friend’s kadav – not in Omsk – at the sound of fireworks or thunderstorms immediately runs to her and covers her from above – protects her.
– Well, and something from your own, home?
“I was wondering how Sally would react if she turned on the sound of a dog barking or whining on her phone. Sally was lying on the floor next to him, heard these sounds and immediately blew up, began shaking his head, listening, looking: who was crying there? It is interesting that it is precisely the barking that does not cause any reaction in him, but the mournful whine of this kind of reaction. Then I myself decided to whine like a puppy and he flew in from another room with a rocket, jumped on me, pressed on top – as if he began to console me.
What can you say here: smart, kind, loyal, compact, despite its height and not noisy – an ideal dog. Even for the royal family.
The Irish Wolfhound is the national breed of Ireland, its image has become one of the symbols of the country. It can be found on porcelain products, it adorns the Tullamore Dew whiskey label, a silver sixpence coin, postage stamps.
Since 1908, Irish wolfhounds have been serving in the Cloverleaf Irish Guard in London. They take part in social performances of the unit, in parades, recruitment calls, children’s parties and other celebrations. One of these dogs is traditionally assigned to Queen Elizabeth.
Her Majesty knows “her” wolfhound and, naturally, takes part in the development of his career.
Every year, March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, ladies from the royal family participate in the ceremony of presenting the trefoil – Irish clover to the regiment’s guardsmen. A shamrock bouquet is also awarded to the Irish Wolfhound.
This tradition is more than 100 years old, and now this honorary responsibility has passed to the wife of Prince William, Catherine.
– You took a puppy of a rare breed with an excellent pedigree. Are you planning to “go out”, participate in exhibitions?
– Perhaps later, I will have a desire, while “exhibiting” only on Instagram. I was looking for a good puppy, show class, so that everything would be fine in terms of genetics, without sores, pathology, and so that by all criteria it would be a wolfhound, and not a dog similar to him. I just wanted to appreciate the breed, to join.
We were introduced to the unique breed by the lucky owner of the “hot Irish guy” Salgrey’s Sallivan, director of the “Rights Defense Center” Vitaly Bezzubov.