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Meet the couple who live with 11 Dolly Parton-loving Irish Wolfhounds

Claire Mather with one of her Irish Wolfhounds
(Image credit: @austonley_wolfhounds/TikTok)

If you think one or two dogs is a handful, then living with 11 Irish Wolfhounds must be quite the mission, right? Well, maybe for some of us but definitely not for the wonderful partnership that is Jason and Claire Mather, who can’t think of a life they’d rather be living.

The Irish Wolfhound is one of the tallest of the big dogs, with males standing at least 32 inches tall and weighing a minimum of 120 lbs. Most far exceed this, clocking in at an impressive 34-35 inches in height and 140 - 180 lbs. Females aren’t much smaller, measuring 30 inches tall and weighing in at around 110 lbs. 

Now, multiply all that dog by 11 and you’ll get an idea of what it’s like living in the Mather’s household!

“They’re absolutely immense thieves,” explains Jason “we’ve lost so many Sunday dinners. Even when we’ve took them to the pubs as well, they’ve pinched people’s burgers.”

And it’s not just burgers that these Irish Wolfhounds are keen on. “They will dip their tongue in a pint of Guinness if they’ll get close enough,” Claire says laughing. But what’s a dog to do after all that food and beer? Why, head home to their own TV room and chill out of course!

@austonley_wolfhounds

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“We will leave the telly on with Dolly Parton or something like that and it just seems to settle them down,” Jason explains. Not only do they love Dolly Parton but these pups also adore the sweet sounds of the Mather’s son, Jack, playing his harmonica. 

Jason and Claire adopted their first Irish Wolfhound eight years ago, but they fell so in love with Cilla that they’ve been breeding them ever since. They begin training and socialization with each puppy as soon as they reach 10 weeks of age to ensure the correct behavior is instilled in them. 

While Claire loves all her hounds, it’s Cilla who holds a special place in heart. “The only thing I can compare it to is the love you have for a child. When you have a child and they give you that child and you get that instant connection that’s bigger than the Universe, that is the same connection that I have with Cilla.” 

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.