Dogs are one of the first animals that were tamed by man. To date, approximately 400 different species of these domestic animals are known. A special place in providing guard and security assistance to people is occupied by wolfhounds.
Wolfhound is a common code name for large, bold and hardy dog breeds. It is difficult to determine the exact period of their origin. In ancient times, going with large herds of cattle to meadows remote from human settlements, shepherds took with them four-legged friends of impressive size, who could repel predators.
In addition to external dimensions, the dogs possessed sufficient strength and courage to withstand and defeat not only one wolf, but an entire pack.
Assessing their skills and significance, people began to take animals for hunting, use them as guards and sled dogs. The need for such assistants arose among people everywhere, and in the course of selection in different parts of the world, various breeds were bred that met these requirements.
Now this group includes more than 10 breeds of dogs.
Wolfhounds are characterized by a peculiar beauty and grace, their every movement is filled with strength and energy, but they look menacing and intimidating. All representatives have similarities in appearance. They are characterized by:
- large dimensions, muscular physique;
- developed physical qualities;
- massive elongated limbs;
- medium sized head;
- long back;
- coarse thick shaggy hair.
Growing up dogs is slow, they are considered puppies up to 2 years. Hunting breeds until this time are not advised to take on the hunt. Animals are adapted to living in various conditions, they perfectly tolerate heat, cold and rain. It is recommended to keep in the courtyard of a private house.
With proper care, life expectancy is 10-15 years.
Wolfhounds are divided into various species, the nature of individuals depends to a large extent on belonging to them, but still, certain features common to all types can be noted:
- devotion and affection to the owners;
- fearlessness, ingenuity and intelligence;
- patience and endurance;
- desire for leadership;
- the need for a large personal space;
- they are relatively easy to train and train;
- do not like violations of their boundaries, warn by barking and growling;
- need a strict upbringing.
Despite the external severity, dogs are very fond of the members of the family in which they live, and show them manifestations of their love. Strangers are wary, because the main task of animals is ensuring the safety and security of households, which they perform well.
People who want to start a wolfhound for personal purposes should understand that each species has its own characteristics.
The breed was bred many centuries ago in Ireland. Belongs to the type of hunting greyhounds. Reach height up to 79 cm, weight gain up to 55 kg. Colors are different: black, brindle, wheaten, fawn. They have a calm and balanced character. They are very loving towards their owners, adore children. Experience the joy of walking with the whole family.
They love to run and play a lot, even as adults.
Smart, obedient, easy to train and educate, and therefore suitable for inexperienced owners. They do not show aggression first, but the attackers will always be given a bold rebuff. Well, without anger and jealousy, they treat other pets. The Irish are not recommended to be kept as a guard dog. because they friendly to those around them.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The breed first appeared more than 2000 years ago in the Caucasus, its ancestors are Tibetan Great Danes. It has good qualities as a shepherd, guard and guard dog. Shepherd dogs grow up to 75 cm, weigh an average of 70 kg, the largest representatives weigh 110 kg. Wool is usually gray, fawn, variegated, red and brown.
Behind the impressive size lies a complex character, a loving heart and a devoted soul. They are distinguished by courage and perseverance. They bond with their owners. Families show sympathy for children, love to play with them. But you can’t leave children with them without the presence of adults, since in games they may not calculate their strength and power and accidentally drop the child. They are extremely distrustful of strangers. They get along with other pets, although they tend to dominate.
It requires strict upbringing and constant training.
It has an ancient origin, but is not widely distributed. Most often, dogs of this breed can be found in Buryatia, Mongolia and the Siberian region. Other names are also known: hotosho, Mongolian shepherd dog, banhar, dog of the Huns. “Khotosho” in the Buryat language means “dog of the yard”, and “banhar” in Mongolian means “big, fat”.
Height ranges from 62 to 78 cm, weight 50–72 kg. Basic colors: brown, gray, black and tan, red. The coat is uneven in color, with patches of white or beige usually present on the chest and legs.
Dogs are devoted to home and family. Smart, quick-witted, quick to learn commands. The territory entrusted to them is guarded responsibly. It is not typical for them to attack first, but when threatened, the owners always defend themselves.
They get along with other pets. They have a cheerful disposition, love to spend time with children. Hotosho do not have aesthetic features, and therefore they are not suitable for people who want to participate in exhibitions. But dogs are reliable watchmen, good friends and companions.
Other names are also common: Turkmen wolfhound and Central Asian shepherd dog. The breed appeared as a result of natural selection and selection in Central Asia. Her progenitors are the large Asian and Tibetan mastiffs.
Height at the withers varies between 62-65 cm, weight – 40-75 kg. The coat color can be white, gray, brown, black, red, brindle, fawn, piebald or speckled. Alabai are very strong and courageous, they can attack and defeat any predatory beast.
In ancient times, they were used not only to hunt wolves, but even bears.
They are distinguished by independence, unpretentiousness, calm disposition and the ability to adapt to various situations. Friendly with owners especially with their children. Get along with other pets but if you get another dog in the house, then they show aggression, thereby denoting their main role. Behavior must also be controlled on walks in order to prevent possible aggressive attacks in time when the pet of other tribesmen comes into view.
They need early education, it is desirable to carry out the first training under the guidance of an experienced trainer. Dogs need frequent exercise and long walks. They have watchdog skills, suitable for security functions.
The pedigree of the breed dates back to 1121 BC. e. Dogs were widespread from Eastern Europe to the Far East. The main purpose is to protect the home and protect pastures. It has another name: Kazakh Shepherd Dog. Tobet in translation means “a dog sitting on a mountain.” Today, this species of wolfhound is considered rare. In 2014, the National Bank of Kazakhstan issued a 500 tenge coin with the image of a tobet.
Outwardly similar to Alabai. Height is 66-76 cm, weight – 55 kg. According to the standard, they have a piebald or spotted color, often with large spots on the body. Behind the menacing view hides a calm, intelligent and noble nature.
These dogs are born and fearless leaders, they need training from childhood with the involvement of a professional trainer. With properly organized upbringing and training, problems with animals do not arise. They recognize the authority of the owner and do not show aggression without a reason.
Dogs are characterized by mobility and energy, frequent walks and physical activity are required.
Gampr (Armenian wolfhound)
In 2011, the International Canine Union granted this type the status of the national breed of Armenia. Today, as in ancient times, these dogs are in the service of people: they guard housing and other objects, guard herds, and accompany them on hunting trips. Reach height up to 67 cm, and weight can be about 60 kg.
Colors are different, brown is considered undesirable for the breed.
Character combines independence and gentleness. Dogs are calm, feel unity with the family in which they live and faithfully protect. Gampras need confirmation of their importance, often they experience greater affection in the family for women, who are often more open emotionally, and show affection and care for them. They love children, make friends with other animals living in the house. Guests of the family are met calmly, without barking and growling.
They have developed self-control, aggression is shown only in cases of really extreme necessity.
Dogs of this breed are recognized as the national treasure of Turkey. They are forbidden to be exported from the country in order to avoid mixing with other breeds. But nevertheless, in some way, in the 80s of the last century, representatives were able to leave the borders of their homeland and began to spread around the world, appeared in America and Europe.
Grow up to 65–78 cm, weigh 40–70 kg. Wool brown, beige, gray-yellow, gray-brown tones. White color is considered unacceptable for the breed. On the muzzle, there is most often a kind of black mask.
Dogs have excellent watchdog skills, diligently guarding the territories entrusted to them. Kangals love their owner and try to be near at every opportunity. When a stranger appears in the presence of the owner, his reaction is closely monitored. If they see goodwill, they behave calmly and allow to stroke. They are condescending towards children, they can withstand their squeezing and other pranks. BUTshow aggression only in cases of danger.
Education should be tactful, strictness should be in moderation, but at the same time, the primacy of the owner should be clearly indicated. Should not be trained as a service dog.
The breed was bred in the 19th century in Russia. The height of adults is 75–85 cm, weight is 37–47 kg. Colors are different: white, gray, chubary, murugy, sexual, burmat, golden, black. Dogs have a sophisticated aristocratic appearance. Narrow build, long wavy hair, elongated muzzle and kind look give a special charm.
Well developed hunting skills. The character is calm, but in hunting conditions, at the sight of prey, they become aggressive. Thanks to graceful long paws, they are capable of very fast running, reach speeds of up to 90 km / h. Hunting from ambush can perform a 3-meter jump from a place.
Vision and hearing are excellent: they notice hares moving in the field from a distance of 800 m.
Attachment to the owner is noted, are somewhat jealous of children, see them as competitors in getting attention, but at the same time they will never offend them. It is difficult to bear loneliness. New people are treated neutrally, without showing aggression. Russian greyhounds are smart and easy to train. Unlike other wolfhounds This breed is suitable for keeping not only in a private house, but also in an apartment.
Walks should be about 3 hours a day and be accompanied by training.
Taigan (Kyrgyz Greyhound)
The breed belongs to the class of Central Asian Greyhounds. Place of origin – Kyrgyzstan. Height at the withers – 60-75 cm, weight – 25-33 kg. The wool is long and soft. There are colors gray, white, reddish, sexual, black with white markings, chubar.
The main feature is the ability to hunt in mountainous conditions. They are attracted to hunt fox, badger. In a group form of hunting in a team of 2-3 dogs, they are able to overwhelm a wolf, argali (mountain sheep) and a mountain goat.
Often used in joint hunting with golden eagles.
Dogs are characterized by courage, vigilance, agility and speed. In addition to hunting skills, guard skills are also well developed. Loyal to their owners, love children. They are very independent and balanced, easily tolerate separation, dogs can be safely left at home. They love long joint walks with the owner.
For the full development and manifestation of their best qualities, wolfhounds need space. They are not suitable for apartment living conditions (with the exception of the Russian greyhound). It is necessary to keep in private households, it is better in aviaries, and not on a chain. Freedom of movement is necessary, without it they can become destructive and bark for no reason.
But even with a large aviary, walks are needed for physical activity. Dogs love to run fast, but you should only allow them to do so in a safe and free area.
During city walks, be sure to keep on a leash.
Coarse wool does not require complex care. It is enough to comb 1-2 times a week. It is necessary to accustom to this procedure from childhood, so that in adulthood wolfhounds do not resist it. It is enough to bathe once every 2 months, but if the dog gets very dirty, you can do it more often. The nails of dogs living in private homes with a yard or plot are most often ground off on their own, but their length must be monitored and, if necessary, shortened.
There is a common misconception among owners that wolfhounds have strong immunity and do not need vaccinations. But during the period of active growth of puppies and the change of teeth, it decreases significantly, and the risk of catching an infection increases. Therefore, it is better to protect pets and carry out routine vaccinations from 4–8 weeks of age and further in accordance with the vaccination schedule.
Nutrition must be balanced. You need to make sure that the calorie intake corresponds to their consumption. Overfeeding is undesirable, as this is not the best way for the health of animals. Puppies are given food 4 times a day, while adult dogs should only have 2 meals. The daily diet should include meat, preferably beef or veal.
If preference is given to ready-made feeds, then it is important to correctly calculate their volume in accordance with the weight of the four-legged friend.
With natural nutrition be sure to use special vitamins, since the lack of trace elements negatively affects the condition of the coat and the functioning of internal organs. Due to their large size, wolfhounds experience stress on the joints, so special attention should be paid to sufficient intake of calcium in their body.
The maturation of wolfhounds is delayed for 2 years, during which time their character and relationships with family members are formed. During this period, efforts should be made to educate and socialize them.
Training can help with this, which should begin as early as possible.
It is necessary to demand submission from puppies so that they realize that it is impossible to disobey the owner. The execution of commands should be brought to automatism, although this may take a lot of time. It will not be superfluous to contact professional trainers during the first training. With the severity of the owners, puppies learn quickly. But if disobedience is allowed several times, smart animals will understand that the requirement can not be met, and maximum efforts will have to be made to restore obedience.
Puppies should be socialized with other breeds when walking. In the absence of aggression from other dogs, small wolfhounds should be given the opportunity to communicate with them. The manifestation of unreasonable aggression, especially in relation to small dogs, must be stopped with a loud, authoritative voice. Growing wolfhounds must learn that You can’t attack your brothers. With proper upbringing, wolfhounds become disciplined by the end of the first year of life, and communication with them will be a pleasure for the owners.
On the features of wolfhounds, see below.