Please, do your homework before acquiring a wolf dog. I cannot stress this enough. Each year hundreds of these animals are destroyed or sent to rescues because someone at one time wanted them and then for whatever reason abandoned them or gave them up. Most people that do this are people that were not ready for the responsibility of owning a wolfdog. It is often thought that a wolfdog can't be that much different than a dog-dog. This is so untrue. Wolfdogs are nothing like a dog-dog. Speak with other owners, ask questions, be sure you know what you are getting into.
or Wolf Hybrid
What's the difference? It depends on who you ask. The term hybrid according to The American Heritage College Dictionary defines hybrid as "the offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock, esp. that of breeding plants or animals of different varieties, species, or races". The same dictionary also defines wolfdog as "the hybrid offspring of a dog and a wolf". Here on the internet I have come across other definitions one of which that states a hybrid is sterile. For that reason many people will not use the term wolf hybrid. I personally feel that wolf hybrid or wolfdog, either are acceptable.
Wolfdogs don't make good pets. They
can make great companions though. They are intelligent, loving and
loyal. Some of their characteristics can make them a challenging addition
to your family. They love to chew and are escape artists to say the
Basic temperament traits of the wolfdog/wolf hybrid may vary greatly. It will depend largely on the percentage of wolf in your wolfdog. The higher percent of wolf in your wolfdog means that chances are your wolfdog will have more wolf like traits than a lower percent wolfdog. Some people will put great weight in the percentage end of wolfdogs while others do not. Proper socialization will also attribute to your wolfdogs temperament. Socialization should begin as soon as possible after the pup is born. We started socializing our pups immediately after their birth.
Word On Percentages
Low Contents - Easy to socialize. They respond well to obedience training.
Mid Contents - A bit more difficult to socialize than low contents. They may not respond as well to obedience training.
High Contents - You need to have a better understanding of wolves and their behavior. High contents need to be socialized at a very early age.
Wolfdogs of all percentages respond well to kind, gentle training. Lavish your wolfdog with praise and he/she will be all the more eager to please you. When necessary to discipline your wolfdog be sure to use a firm voice, let your wolfdog know that you are the alpha and that his/her behavior will not be tolerated. No matter how gentle and loving your wolfdog is he/she obeys you because he looks at you as you being the alpha, the more dominant member of his pack. Use your position as the alpha not physical strength to teach your wolfdog. Whatever you do, do not strike your wolfdog. I cannot stress that point enough.
The introduction of non-wolf blood also introduces non-wolf characteristics. Many wolfdogs choose to mate and do so for life, as in the wild, but just as many do not. Also, many wolfdogs share the "breed in November, whelp in January" just as many do not. Non-wolf blood = non-wolf characteristics.
Wolfdogs instinctively are pack animals, they are very family oriented. Once they know a person well enough, one they see on a continual basis, that person is usually welcomed to the pack. Once we became a part of Cloud and Percilla's pack it did not take them long to accept us. Where Cloud once was the alpha of his pack, he seemed willing to let Tim and I step in and take over as the alphas of our newly formed pack. If Tim and I are not around, Cloud once again takes over as the alpha. That is when Percilla will let him! In each pack there is an alpha male and an alpha female. (See More Pics of Our Pack for an example of the Alpha-Beta status).
Not at all the Big Bad Wolf
Wolfdogs are non-aggressive. They are not the child killers that many would have you believe. They generally are shy and try to avoid people, hesitant about meeting new people. As with any animal, especially large dogs and the like, you should never leave your dog alone with small children. Any animal may easily mistake a child's playful screams or actions as a threat and react. If your wolfdog feels cornered he may react. Any animal will defend itself in fear. In most states, if your wolfdog does bite, the laws are designed so that animal control can take your wolfdog, put the wolfdog in quarantine for an undisclosed period of time and/or euthanize the animal. Rabies vaccine or not...it does not matter, you own a wolf hybrid. This section was not written to scare you, it is here to inform you. I would love to say that all wolfdogs are gentle and loving animals but I can't say that about any breed of dog. It's just not true. The largest percent of dogs do not ever bite but there is always that chance.
Due to the fact that wolfdogs are timid around stangers it is not a good idea to bring a wolfdog into your home for the purpose of being a guard dog. They might look vicious but looks can be deceiving. Wolfdogs do not make good guard dogs. My wolfdogs will bark when they hear something but that is because they are afraid of things that go bump in the night. They are not barking to alarm or protect.
If responsible ownership is
practiced, there should be no reason for your wolfdog to become
aggressive. However, leaving your animal on a chain, the animal will
become bored and restless. He/she will not get the proper exercise and
will become frustrated. Frustration and boredom can eventually cause your
wolfdog to become aggressive. Chaining your wolfdog is abuse as well as it
is cruel. Don't yell at them, don't ever hit them. Abusing your
wolfdog in any ways may make him/her feel uneasy each time they see you. They will become very nervous and may become a fear
Speak in a firm but gentle tone when you are reprimanding your wolfdog.
Wolfdogs have gold (amber) or brown eyes. You may even come across a wolfdog that has blue eyes. A pups eyes may be blue up till the age of 16 weeks before changing. Their eyes are elliptical in shape. They should have heavily furred ears, erect and slightly rounded at the tops. They will have a heavy ruff of fur around the neck, the hair on the back will be longer over the shoulders and fade into a shorter coat. This is usually much more noticeable when they have their winter coat. They have large webbed feet with long digits. The tail is brush shaped and straight out when moving.
Not all wolfdogs exhibit the same features. It depends on the amount of
wolf/and or number of generations away from a wolf parent.
Wolfdogs need to have meat in their diet. Commercial dog food is not the best for your wolfdog but you might be in a situation where that is all that you can give them. If you must feed your wolfdog commercial dog food make sure there is no soy in the food. A wolf cannot digest soy and this may eventually kill them. We suggest Diamond Hi-Pro. It is high in protein and does not contain soy. Try to feed your wolfdog a meat based, high protein dog food supplemented with bones. You should also offer your wolfdog a variety of meats. Supplementing commercial (meat based) dog food a couple of times a week is ideal. One cup of raw meat with their food is ample enough.
Wolfdogs require a good deal of attention. They are not the type of pet that can be fed, watered and left alone. Wolfdogs bore easily, are highly energetic, and very social within their pack. Our backyard has never looked so awful! Given the opportunity, our pack will shred, chew, tear, rip, break, bust, anything and everything it gets it's paws on! We learned fast that if it is something that can be chewed, it will be chewed! When they aren't chewing they are normally digging. Like I said, they are highly energetic! In addition to be highly energetic they are natural born escape artists. We have a 6' privacy fence which is hot wired. For many wolfdogs this is adequate. Your wolfdogs need to be able to run free in your yard. Make sure there is plenty of water and shade for your wolfdog. Check with your state and local laws to see if there are any requirements that must be met to house your wolfdog.