Socializing your Wolfhound Puppy

A well socialized puppy starts with a good temperament. Temperament is inherited from both parents, and environmentally, a pup gets all its early training from its mother. Only dogs with great temperaments should be bred.

Choose a breeder by reading the pertinent articles on this website and then go to the Breeder Directory list. 

When you go to visit the breeder, you should see the mother of the litter. If there’s anything you don’t like about her behavior, be cautious about buying a puppy. Play with the pups. Are they outgoing and friendly? A bad temperament is not going to improve, no matter how cute the pup, how far you have driven to see it, or how long you’ve waited to own an Irish Wolfhound. Shyness and aggression are both bad. A shy pup may grow up to act aggressively out of fear. Aggression in a dog the size of a Wolfhound is VERY DANGEROUS.

You should not be allowed to take a pup home before the age of 10 weeks, and many breeders wait until 12 weeks. Until that time, the pup needs to be with its littermates, and have access to its mother to learn proper body language and social skills.

A good breeder will have begun the process of socialization, but you must continue it. New and varied experiences are important for your puppy’s development! Take your pup out for fun adventures and not just when it’s time for shots at the vet. Short car rides every couple of days will teach your hound to be a good traveler.

Let your puppy hear household noises such as the TV, vacuum, doorbell, and dishwasher. Expose your pup to other noises: lawnmowers, traffic and sirens. Your pup should meet as wide a variety of people as possible. Experience with stairs and elevators may be helpful when traveling.

Your pup should walk on different surfaces: grass, paving, gravel, soft carpet, even slippery floors, although you must be careful not to let it get hurt or panicked.

Introduce your pup to as many different animals as you safely can: other dogs, cats, horses, etc. Be careful around animals you don’t know! And in all these adventures, your pup should be on a leash and under your control.

Puppy kindergarten is a great way to socialize your puppy, and it also serves as an introduction to more formal training which makes him a better companion.

Positive experiences are important. Try to do one new thing every day for the first month or so, but remember your pup is a baby! It will get tired and needs to rest often. Short, frequent periods of activity are best. The pup’s welfare ALWAYS comes first.


This page was last updated 01/15/2023.