About The Wolfdog – Can Hybrid Wolf Dogs Be Good As Pets?

Wolfdogs, a hybrid wolf dog mix, are often a highly attractive cross between an arctic or timber wolf and a variety of bigger domestic dog breeds. The majority of wolfdogs have morphological traits of both the wolf and the dog in various combinations. Canis lupus is the scientific name for the wolf, while canis familiaris is the scientific name for the dog. Although they are closely related, wolves and dogs have morphological and physiological distinctions.

source: Anja Kosi, flicker

How wolves are different from dogs


Wolves have thinner torsos, longer legs, larger feet, narrower chests, larger heads, larger teeth, and more strong jaws in comparison to the rest of the body. Furthermore, unlike most dogs, wolves rarely bark past the stage of playful puppyhood.
A wolf’s eyes are typically golden, and its coat color ranges from black to grizzled grey to white.

Wolves are also said to have better endurance and stamina than dogs. The wolf’s feet are webbed to give improved grip on slick terrain. The alaskan husky, german shepherd, and malamute dog breeds have a more wolf-like look than other canine pure bred choices and are frequently the breed of choice when a wolf dog hybrid is produced domestically and a wolf-like appearance in the producing progeny is crucial.

Purebreed dogs with recent wolf heritage

Many purebred dogs now have a more recent wolf heritage in their DNA than others.
For example, the german shepherd was “made” only 100 years ago by combining numerous pure-bred wolves in the development process. When a german shepherd is crossed with a northern sled dog breed, the resulting progeny has a significant resemblance to a wolf or wolf dog, despite the fact that they are “all dog” on paper.
Certain lineages, such as the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog and the Saarloos Wolf Dog, were produced specifically with the goal of producing a stable wolfdog breed.

Crossbreeding in the wilderness

In the wild, crossbreeding between dogs and wolves occurs on occasion. Wolves are seasonal breeders, and breeding in the wild is most likely to occur when a roaming feral dog and a lone wolf of opposite sex cross paths during the wolf’s mating season. Surprisingly, the majority of wolfdog hybrid wolf dog mixes are bigger than their parents. The genetic description of a hybrid wolf dog child is most frequently expressed as a percentage that represents the quantity of wolf blood the hybrid possesses.

What a wolfdog looks like

Whatever the proportion, the wolfdog is typically an extremely lovely animal to look at.
The hybrid wolf dog is frequently a regal, extremely clever, and enthralling creature.
As a result, the wolfdog has slowly increased in popularity, with an estimated 300,000 hybrids in the United States. However, the hybrid wolf dog’s appropriateness as a companion is simply one of many myths surrounding wolfdogs today. The majority of what the general public knows about the hybrid wolf dog comes from literature, news stories, and poorly reported occurrences, and little scientific research has been conducted to support or refute following misunderstandings. One thing is certain: a wolfdog is not a pet for everyone, and families with young children should consider hard before bringing a wolf dog into their home. Although many owners have had success with wolfdogs as pets, they are rarely comparable to the average dog.

Behavioral differences between pure-bred wolves and domesticated dogs

The pure-bred wolf and the domesticated dog differ in both physical and behavioral characteristics. Wolves are more predatory in nature than dogs, while dogs are more aggressive in nature than wolves, where predatory implies hunting to kill for nutrition and aggressive reflects a purpose to injure for protection or sport. Years of domestication have supported a dog’s predatory propensity toward people; yet, human breeding has developed dogs to be aggressive for goals of protection, obedience, or the desire of fighting for sport. It is not advised to cross fighting, protective, and/or aggressive dog breeds with wolves since the “aggressive guard drive” of the dog combined with the “predatory” tendencies of the wolf has the significant potential to generate some hazardous behavioral issues in the ensuing progeny. It should also be mentioned that wolf dog hybrids are rarely good watch dogs owing to their low aggressive inclinations. They will fight furiously to defend themselves, but it is not in their nature to attack and/or protect a human equivalent on order. Their low proclivity to bark also hampers their effectiveness as “watch dogs.”

Because a wolfdog is half wolf and thus part “wild” animal, there is always the possibility that it will have a far greater predatory instinct than a domestic dog; thus, experts generally urge that they be reared as “wolves” rather than dogs. The wolf has a sophisticated social structure based on a dominance hierarchy within the pack. The subordinates in the wolf pack are supposed to continuously challenge the supremacy of higher ranked animals (often “humans”). Domesticated wolves (and wolfdogs) will frequently challenge their human masters for the position of pack leader. The combination of the wolf’s desire for dominance and the dog’s aggressive attack nature can make the wolfdog dominance challenge extremely deadly.

As a result, wolf dog hybrids necessitate sophisticated teaching approaches that differ from normal dog training tactics. A wolfdog, while observant and very clever, cannot be expected to behave like a person. Successful training will need a thorough grasp of both canine and wolf behavior in general. Body language is essential in both the dog and wolf worlds, so anticipate it to be crucial in your connection as well. What we consider minor stance may be interpreted as a threat or weakness by the wolf dog. Sharing furniture or playing tug of war with your wolfdog is not recommended by many wolf dog behaviorists since it may reduce your place in the dominance hierarchy. Training is frequently conceived of as “socialization” rather than standard command and compliance enforcement.
Positive reinforcement and non-submissive compromise are frequently the rule of the day.
They need a significant amount of time, patience, and energy, and they will undoubtedly put you to the test. Most enthusiasts think that having a good sense of humor is also vital.
The more time you devote to socializing, the more effective your relationship will be.
Be prepared to reorganize your life and schedule to accommodate them rather than yourself. Vacations may also become obsolete as it may be difficult to locate someone to adequately care for them while you are away.

Perhaps it is better to see a prospective wolf dog as a buddy, a “equal,” if you will, rather than a “pet.” In nature, a pet dog may be regarded more obedient, submissive, and shapeable than a wolf, but a wolf dog must be accepted and incorporated into its owner’s life for who he is rather than who the owner would like him to be. A pet dog can be “owned,” trained, chastised, neglected, or even abused, and he will always forgive you and offer you his eternal friendship. A wolfdog, on the other hand, cannot be “owned,” bossed around, ignored, or abused, otherwise they will no longer offer you their hand in friendship and the relationship will be gone. This only serves to emphasize the need of education, good treatment, patience, and understanding in leading a happy life with a wolfdog mix.

Think twice before bringing a wolfdog into your house

Bringing a hybrid wolfdog into your house is a significant decision that will affect many people, and it should never be taken lightly. If you are thinking of becoming a wolfdog owner for the first time, you should meet with as many different hybrid wolf dog breeders and owners as possible. Read as many literature as you can on wolf dog hybrids and wolf behavior. There are also a plethora of organizations, websites, message boards, and publications to look into. To gain the most expertise, prospective hybrid wolf dog owners may consider volunteering at a local wolf refuge with socialized wolves.
It is frequently impossible to determine whether we will enjoy or detest a lifestyle change until we have actually experienced it. And, as we all know, there is no better teacher than personal experience.

You should also investigate the numerous issues raised by this unique blend.
A wolf pup’s proclivity for undesirable home habits is one of the hybrid wolf dog’s special considerations. Wolf hybrids are typically destructive and are more inclined to gnaw on furniture. They can also be harder to housebreak than dogs. Because of their substantially smaller size, many are not good around tiny animals, youngsters, or cats, as they may see them as prey. Chaining is never suggested, although they have a proclivity to dig, climb, and jump. Fencing should be high, and it can be costly. Dietary needs can sometimes be time consuming and costly. Although they seldom “bark,” they have been known to howl, which may be upsetting to your neighbors. They “own” you more than you own them, much like a cat, and obedience will typically only come when they feel like it, when it is “their” idea. If you still want to get a wolf dog hybrid, there are a few rules you should observe.

When choosing your puppy, you should get confirmation that your pup is indeed half wolf. As previously said, a german shepherd sled dog cross mixed breed might resemble a pure bred wolf in appearance. You’ll also want to select a breeder that is prepared to give lifetime assistance and has a lengthy history of dealing with and producing wolf dog hybrids. A reputable breeder will not, for example, breed rescues, breed a female in her first heat, have numerous accidental litters, or use inadequate confinement measures. A respectable breeder should ask you more questions than you do them, and they may even request references or photographs of your house. If the well-being and happiness of their puppies is not their top priority, go on.

It is also crucial to have an idea of what exact dog breed heritage you want your hybrid to have ahead of time, since this will have a big influence on your wolf dog hybrid’s morphological features and overall health qualities. A german shepherd cross, for example, may be more prone to hip dysplasia as it ages, as this is a german shepherd health trait. A siberian mix may be smaller in stature and have blue eyes, whereas a malamute mix may have a denser, thicker coat. Many wolf dog hybrid breeders will have a strong opinion on which combination is ideal. On rare occasions, you could come across a wolf dog whose dog part is a more traditional canine such as a golden retriever, standard poodle, or lab. These hybrids can perform well in the house, although they typically don’t look like wolves. In most cases, temperament comes first, followed by ancestry. Spending time with the parents, the pup, and even siblings from a prior litter can help you better understand their behavioral patterns.



The age at which your puppy is socialized with humans is also critical. The earlier you can begin working with your puppy, the better. Some enthusiasts feel it is ideal to start hand raising them around the age of two weeks. The ability to be handled and treated by a veterinarian will be critical, and it is preferable to deal with a doctor that is experienced with wolf species. Expect your wolf dog puppy to be in the puppy stage for up to three years before reaching full emotional and sexual development. Many first-time wolf dog owners are taken aback when their adorable puppy begins to exhibit behavioral changes and seeks to control the family hierarchy for the first time at such a young age.
Furthermore, many supporters think that, being pack animals, they would thrive when reared with and surrounded by other members of their own species. Running space and confinement are always required, and larger wolfdogs may require fence as high as 8′. The majority of wolfdog owners claim that their wolves do not fare well in automobiles and prefer to stay inside their area.

Last but not least, don’t forget to get any ownership permissions that may be necessary by the state in where you live. Some states have extremely severe laws governing the possession of dog-wolf hybrids. You may check with your state’s fish and wildlife agency, but keep in mind that you should also check at the local level. Wolfdog local and county restrictions are frequently harsher and can exceed state-level limitations.
The hybrid wolf dog is not for everyone; in fact, it is only for a select few; nevertheless, under the proper conditions, in the appropriate habitat, with the right person, it may be a wonderful companion to have.

Is it legal to own a WolfDog?

The laws governing their legal standing are absolutely all over the place.
It is unlawful to keep one as a pet in Alaska, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, and Rhode Island at the time of publishing. A wolfdog can, however, be “grandfathered” in in several of these states, including Alaska, Michigan, and North Dakota. Other states, like Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas, and Utah, do not control ownership at the state level, instead delegating it to specific counties. A wolfdog may not be legal to own / buy where you live. You should talk to an expert on this matter before deciding to get one.

“They want to own a piece of the wild, and they often say that the wolf is their spiritual sign or totem animal. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that it’s not really the same thing as having a wolf in their living room.”

Nicole Wilde, author of Wolfdogs: A–Z.

Many states that allow wolfdogs require the owner to get a permission, or demand registration and/or confinement in particular types of cages.
In certain jurisdictions, such as New York, this entails obtaining a “dangerous animal” permit, the same sort required to keep a lion.

“These are beautiful animals, and a lot of people are attracted to something that’s exotic and different,”

Nicole Wilde, wolfdog expert

And, whether legal or not, wolfdogs provide enormous behavioral problems for owners, many of whom are unable or unwilling to fulfill them, resulting in a huge community of undesired animals chained in backyards, abandoned, or killed.

Leave a Comment