Wolf Dog Hybrid Breeds: The Definitive Guide (2019)
This guide will introduce everything you need to know about wolf dogs, include origin, the wolf dog mix breeds, the appearance, temperament, feeding, exercising, training and so on.
Without further ado, let’s dive into the subject.
The Original Story of Wolf Dogs
Before looking at the various hybrids and the tips of owning such animals, we should first understand what a wolf dog is.
The term wolf dog refers to any dog with some wolf ancestry and shows some of the physical traits of a wolf.
Although there are numerous wolf varieties, it was the timber wolf that was bred with a German shepherd to come up with this breed.
Today’s wolf dogs are not the result of crossing a wild wolf with a domestic dog. They are as a result of generations of wolf dogs bred with wolf dogs. Decades ago wolf breeders sold pure wolves to the public zoos and exhibitionists.
Although these commercial breeders no longer exist, many of the private owners still carry on the breeding of wolf dogs. Most domestic wolf dogs can trace back their lineage to the 1950’s during the fur trade.
A wolf dog is the offspring of a wolf and wolf dog, two wolf dogs are a wolf and a dog. Many hybrids are part German shepherd, Siberian Husky, or Alaskan Malamute, but Akitas, Chow Chows as well as other breeds are used. Precisely, wolves can interbreed with any type of dog and produce fertile offsprings.
However, it’s almost impossible for hybrids to occur naturally in the wild, due to the territorial nature of wolves to protect their home ranges from any intruding canines like dogs or even other wolves.
Introduction of German Shepherd Wolf Mix
As the name suggests, German shepherd wolf mix is a special breed of wolves and German Shepherds. This breed is not considered purebreed and such dogs are referred to as mutts.
Also known as “Wolfshepherd”, this breed was first bred in Germany by Captain Max Von Stephanitz as a herding dog.
Due to its unrivalled obedience, wit and physical prowess, the German shepherd wolf is widely used by police and military personnel as a guard dog.
While the wolf dog can be trained to be friendly, beautiful and lovable companion, it’s not suitable for an average dog owner.
It does have a reputation of showing aggressiveness towards strangers, as it is highly protective of its family.
However, this can be controlled with early socialization and training.
It is illegal to own the wolfshepherd in various states, hence if you let your dog off the leash and he ended up at a local shelter, chances are you might lose your companion. You need to have complete knowledge of this breed if you plan to adopt a German shepherd wolf mix dog.
Appearance of German Shepherd Wolf Mix
Wolf dogs show amazing hearing abilities and have sensitive dispositions. The breed has wonderful shiny eyes that look sharp and beautiful. It has a taller body and a thick coat.
The coat can be found in many colors ranging from grizzles sable to white or even black. The weight may range from 60 lbs. to 120 lbs., depending with factors such as genetics, age and diet.
Warning of Temperament
As with any given mix breed, it can be difficult to say about temperament of the German shepherd wolf mix.
Before adopting this breed, it is important to inquire more about the breeds that were used in the cross. Overall, the wolfshepherd mix can grow up to be friendly and adapt well to playtime.
It is only after about 18 months that you can begin to judge the signs of their temperaments. This is usually the peak time when hormonal system begins to change.
At this stage, the puppy is undergoing maturity level and this counts in behavioral and temperament changes.
The wolf dog is likely to become attached to the owner and other pets residing in the same household. However, due to their strong prey drive, it is recommended that you keep the dog away from small pets like hamsters and rabbits.
It is strongly advised to never leave your wolfdog alone with your kids.
Younger children may not usually understand how to be gentle and may harm the animal without realizing. This may cause the dog to revert back to wolf-like characteristics to protect himself usually by using teeth.
Socializing and training are very important when you have this mix breed as you can make the pup adapt to any lifestyle along with other family members accordingly. The puppy period is fairly easy but most of the characteristic will be seen after this period.
Pro Feeding Tips You Should Know
Avoid feeding your wolf dog any traditional store-bought food that is rich in carbs and artificial additives.
Instead, look for a diet rich in proteins. Wolf dogs need elks and bison but since it might be difficult to find these ingredients, you can as well do raw chickens, beef and turkey.
You may also feed your dog uncooked bones as they are an excellent source of calcium and other minerals that will keep him looking healthy. Keep in mind that vegetable and fresh grass is vital for proper digestion.
German Shepherd Wolf Mix Needs Enough Exercise
The German shepherd wolf mix is a large energetic breed that requires at least 1 hour of exercise every day to be mentally and physically fit.
Depending with age and genetics of your dog, ensure that you devote an hour or more for walks. You may allow your pet to roam around in a fenced backyard where they are free to explore and play.
Training Your Wolf Dog is Not That Easy
As mentioned earlier, the wolfdog is not for the average dog owners. You need to be familiar with your dog’s psychology and beware of what your dog likes and dislikes.
Most important, wolf breeds are not for the weak-minded as owners must know how to establish the Alpha position and maintain it.
Although the Wolfshepherd mix can be successfully trained, their wolf instincts might kick in any time. Keep the training sessions short and when you notice the signs of being tired, its best you call it a day.
Note that if at any given time the dog goes against the rules, he may try to reassert dominance. This is why pet owners need to have adequate knowledge in dog psychology so that the dog understands that you are the boss.
Health Problems You Need Care About
Generally, wolf dogs are healthy and are not prone to genetic related issues like most dog breeds.
However, without proper care, they may be susceptible to common ailments such as fleas, ticks and heartworms. Ensure that your canine has been vaccinated against ailments such as rabies, and parvovirus at the local clinics.
Another Wolf Dog Breeds: Husky Wolf Mix
The Husky Wolf Mix also referred to as Husky Wolf Hybrid is a cross between a Siberian husky and a wolf. A wolf husky may also be born when an arctic wolf mates with Alaskan husky. These wolf dogs will likely be a challenge for even the experienced canine owners.
Reason being, the dog already tends wariness of strangers, natural shyness, as well as strong pack and prey drive.
For a husky wolf mix, it’s common for the dog to have pointy ears, thick coat and has an agile build. The hybrid is large weighing up to 125 lbs. and may reach a height of 33 inches.
The coat colors may vary as both the husky and wolf come in different shades. The rich pallete include tan, brown, black, white and brown. The color of the eyes may be golden yellow which is a characteristic of the wolf to blue or brown of the husky.
The coat usually sheds moderately year round with heavy shedding more likely during big seasonal changes. You should brush her coat at least once every week to reduce the amount of fur at your home.
This is a major consideration before you decide whether a wolfdog is for you. Keep in mind that though all dogs are descendants of wolves, they have been bred over and over again for many years to achieve submissiveness to humans.
Breeding a dog with a wolf introduces natural predator instincts into the wolf. Therefore, the personality of the husky wolf crossbreed can be a highly unpredictable one.
To begin with, this is an extremely intelligent mix that requires plenty of physical and mental stimulation.
If they do not get enough exercise, they can result in destructive behavior.
To prevent this, the dog requires at least 3 hours of activity every day. Some of the activities to try include long walks, playing with the ball or going for a jog together.
The huskywolf mix can be a sweet and loyal breed but it takes intense training from the puppy stage. The temperament of the wolfdog also depends on that of its owner.
As you already know with wolves, they stay in packs and will try to assert dominance if you show weakness or inferiority. Wolf dog hybrids can be dangerous but this is largely dependent on how the dog is handled by the owner.
Lastly, a husky wolf mix is not recommended for a family with children due to its unpredictable nature. If you decide to have the hybrid with kids present, then you need to be extra cautious.
Never leave the child alone with a wolfdog. Additionally, it may not be safe keeping a wolfdog in the same house with other small pets like hamsters and cats due to the dog’s strong prey drive.
As mentioned earlier, training a wolf dog takes time and requires dedication. So if you live in a tiny apartment and probably works for the most part of your day, try looking for a smaller breeds that requires less work.
Training a wolf husky mix should start when the wolf dog is a puppy, continuing into adulthood. It is recommended that you use diligent socialization, obedience training and constant supervision for success.
You must be passionate about owning wolf mixes and ensure that you have ample space and plenty of time. This is to ensure it receives the mental and physical balancing that it needs to flourish domestically.
Mix breeds tend to have an advantage when it comes to good health. The husky wolf dog mix is rarely be affected by many inherited diseases, thanks to a wider gene pool.
But that does not imply that they get off scot-free. One of the most common health problems with this breed is obesity. Ensure that you keep this mix on a feeding schedule to keep the weight under control. Other known ailments include hip dysplasia, and eye infections.
Other Wolf Dog Breeds You Should Know
The Czechoslovakian Wolf Dog
The Czechoslovakian Wolf dog was first developed by the Czech military which is a breed between a German shepherd and a Carpathian wolf.
The Czechoslovakian Wolf dog has amber eyes and looks more like a wolf with erect triangle-shaped ears and a silver-yellow coat.
The Czechoslovakian Wolf dog was deliberately created as part of a scientific study intended to develop a dog that is as intelligent as the German shepherd but with greater strength and stamina like that of a wolf.
Like the German shepherd, they have also been used in tracking and search and rescue missions. The breed is said to be trainable and more social when compared to other wolf dogs.
Saarloos Wolfhond dog
The Saarloos wolf dog is a strong, energetic and intelligent wolf dog with wolf-like expressions. A Dutch breeder Leendert Saarloos developed this breed in 1935 by cross-breeding a male German shepherd with female European wolf.
What he got was a Wolf dog with more wolf personality instead of more dog traits as he had expected. The breed gained recognition by the Dutch kennel club in 1975.
The Saarloos wolf dog is not recommended for the family as it has strong wolf roaming instincts and will often need a large space to do so.
Its long legs, broad head, and a powerful neck give the dog a lot of stamina and therefore requires daily exercise. The Saarloos wolf dog lifespan is 10-12 years.
Utonagan/Northern Inuit Dog
The Utonogans which are also known as the Northern Inuit dogs were created in England in the early 1980s to create a dog that looked like a wolf.
The Utonogan is a mix of the Alaskan malamute, the Siberian husky, and the German shepherd. They got the name Utonagan which is Native American that translates to ‘spirit of the wolf.’
They are fairly trainable, friendly, energetic and very playful and tend to get along with almost everyone. They are however not recommended for apartment dwellers as their wolf roaming instincts are very much alive and will require regular exercise.
They also suffer from separation anxiety and therefore should not be left alone for extended periods.
The dogs have a lifespan of 15 years with minimal health problems.
The Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan malamute is a large, brown-eyed and very fluffy breed weighing around 35-40kilos. It is said to be a mix of the Siberian husky, German shepherd and the malamute and which originated in the arctic developed for sled pulling purposes and hunting bears.
They have a double coat with a fluffy upward tail. They may often have eye problems like cataracts and the retinal atrophy which is common to all sled–pulling breeds. This large dog lives for about 11 years and is also prone to hip dysplasia.
Their high energy levels and the ability to resist training require early obedience classes to help them socialize and get an energy output task. They are great at high energy output activities such as skijoring and weight pulling.
Wolf Dog Behavior
While a lot of people are bringing home wolf dogs as their pets, only a handful know the intricacies and have the wrong expectations on this feral friend.
Let’s dive a little on the social behavior of a wolf;
Wolves are highly social animals and thrive well in a defined social hierarchical environment. An alpha male and female occupies the top level and are the leaders and the decision makers of the park, while all the other members of the pack are their offsprings.
The second level of the hierarchy is occupied by the beta also called the subdominant. They support the positions of the alpha wolves and that other park members maintain their subordinate positions.
The mega occupies the bottom part of the hierarchy. The wolf serves as an outlet where other park members can take out their aggression and have also been known to challenge the positions of the alphas.
The Behavior of Wolf Dogs with Human
In a social context, where a human is raising a wolf dog, the wolf dogs may challenge the hierarchical positions in the form of aggression which sometimes may harm the humans.
The pack mentality in wolves is often displayed in wolf dogs where they mark their territories by urinating and defecating around the boundary areas.
When this happens within the household, the human may interpret this for disobedience. Most people end up abandoning or caging them when such behaviors escalate.
Pro Tips for Having Wolf Dogs as Pets
Wolf dogs are a cross breed between a dog and a wolf. Due to the mixing out of genes over time, wolf dogs often have more of the dog character than the wolf although some might possess more of the wolf characters.
However, owning a wolf dog as a pet requires special training and care to help deal with wolf-like characters that might prove a challenge to the owner.
Below are tips that will help you handle and care for your wolf dog with much ease.
Wolf dogs require a relatively larger roaming space
Generally, caring for a wolf dog is not an easy task.
The wolf gene gives them the capacity to growl and can get quite aggressive. They are therefore not recommendable for small families especially those with young children. Putting them in a small restricted area might cause them to be stressed and anxious.
Keeping a wolf in a limited space has been observed to have negative behaviors such as over pacing and some to the extent of self-mutilation. Additionally, wolf dogs require to roam to get the much-needed exercise.
Food and Water
Unlike typical dogs, wolf dogs are unable to process dog foods such as grains. They are carnivores and heavily depend on raw meat diet to thrive. They acquire calcium from the whole raw bones which also help to strengthen their teeth and jaws. Raw chicken, beef and turkey are a perfect meal for your canine friend.
Most owners also forget that Wolf dogs tend to enjoy eating fruits like the watermelon which helps to boosts their immune systems.
Wolf dogs also require a constant source of clean water. During hot seasons, they enjoy swimming and wading in water to cool off their bodies. Building them some water deeps and ponds will greatly help mimic these.
Wolf dogs differ from one another in terms of behavior. Some wolf dogs have more dog than the wolf in them and are often lovely pets. Others have more wolf than the dog in the making them a little more aggressive and difficult to handle in a typical home setting.
The fact that wolves are not domesticated animals makes it necessary to train them to enhance a social sense that will help them integrate into the modern world.
Like most large dogs, Wolf dogs are also prone to common health problems. Your wolf dog is prone to issues like ticks fleas and mites, parvovirus, injuries and tumors just like any other typical dog.
Your wolf dog will require periodic vaccinations as a puppy and more medications during its life. It is therefore important that you have a reliable local vet who can constantly monitor the health of your wolf dog.
Wolf Hybrid Training
Now that you have made the decision and gotten a wolf puppy as a pet, the next crucial thing will be training. If you follow the tips below, you have high chances of success and your canine friend might be an important addition to your family.
You will need plenty of toys, a leash, a collar, a reward for good behavior and finally an isolation room such as a crate or unused room
Socializing your wolf hybrid puppy
Wolf hybrid puppies require a lot of contact with family at an early age. This should start at home with family members and other family pets. You can also take the puppy out to the public regularly but ensure the leash and the collar is on to avoid any form of attack to the public.
Ask for help
Asking for help especially if this is your first pet is vital. You can get online help or from a local animal trainer. Training classes will help you to learn how to train your wolf hybrid puppy while still socializing them with other pets.
Develop a bond with your hybrid wolf
This should start immediately you bring your puppy home. Take time to play games with them, teaching them how to play with the new toys. This will help create a boundary in their mind of what to do what not to.
Don’t compare them to dog puppies
A very common mistake that wolf hybrid owners often make is to compare their dog pets with the hybrid wolf puppies. They expect them to easily pick up commands and stay loyal to them like their dog pets.
This is usually not the case because the wolves have a much bigger brain and therefore more intelligent than the dogs. The hybrid wolf’s brain will, therefore require daily stimulation which may require more intense training than that of dogs.
Wolves love chewing and crushing things
A hybrid wolf will technically bite and chew on anything. Consider introducing chew toys to your wolf hybrid dog because if left idle, they may destroy valuable stuff like the coach. You might wake up to find all your shoes tattered.
Potty training your wolf hybrid puppy
The easiest and most efficient way to potty train your puppy is by example. If you already have another pet that has been potty trained, allow them to watch as they do it. Reward them if they make the effort to do so and with time, they might not need any supervision.
Punishing your wolf hybrid dog
Do not let any bad behavior go unpunished. You can try isolation through crate training to punish your wolf hybrid. This involves putting them in the basement or in an unused bedroom for some time and let them know why you’ve put them so they can avoid repeating the same behavior.
Reinforcing good behavior.
A good deed deserves some recognition and reward. Try using the same treat to reward them after every good behavior such as a successful potty training behavior to reinforce the same behavior the next time.
Now you know all about the wolf dog hybrid breeds, if there are any questions about this topic, never hesitate to leave a message below.