Wolves are stunning animals which has been represented through our history, art, and culture for centuries.
And now you can bring a piece of the legendary wolf into your home.
These are not wolves though (well, not completely), but dogs that have prominent wolf features passed on from their ascendants. However, adopting these breeds comes unique challenges you need to be aware of.
Here we look at what makes a wolf dog, and the best breed of wolf dog for your home.
What is a Wolf Dog ?
Wolf Dogs & Wolf Content
Wolf dogs are any breed that has “wolf content” in their genetic makeup. This means that any cross breed with a dog and wolf is considered a wolf dog.
Wolf dogs can be described as High, Mid, or Low wolf-content, depending on how much wolf is passed on to them.
However, these types of breeds (whether low or high content) present many challenges that even an expert dog owner would find difficult to overcome. Wolf dogs have a much higher set of daily needs, and you need to be prepared for the extra responsibilities with owning one (which we cover below).
Dogs with Wolf Content
Through careful selection – some breeders have successfully created new dog breeds that look similar to wolves, but have the temperament of a domestic dog.
Some breeds have zero wolf content, such as huskies, which have some similarities in markings but have no relation at all. In which case, you may just want a husky or a dog that looks like one.
Then there are very low wolf content dogs. This generally means your dog is at least 4 generations removed? from their wolf ascendants, while being mixed with other breeds.
If you’re considering adopting a wolf-like breed, then this is the way to go. Very low content breeds still have a beautiful wolf-like appearance, but are domesticated and generally family friendly.
Many dogs are mislabeled as wolfdogs because they share similar markings. Often this is just a case of mistaken identity and they may just be a breed mix of Husky, German shepherd, or Alaskan Malamute.
Illegal in some areas
Be aware that it’s illegal to own a wolfdog in many States and Countries, unless you have acquired a license or work with a wolf sanctuary. If you’ve acquired a dog that is part-wolf, or you have incorrectly labeled your dog as one, you may receive a visit from animal control.
Quick facts about all of these breeds :
– They shed A LOT, and will blow their coat twice a year. In which case you’ll need a good brush.
– They experience extreme separation anxiety, and are destructive when left alone.
– They all have very high energy, and require high intensity exercise every day or they’ll become bored and destructive.
– They require early socialization to avoid aggressiveness as they mature.
– They can be serious noise makers, with lots of barking and howling.
– They are best suited for large open areas, or owners who can stick to a regimen of daily exercise and constant supervision.
– And, some of these breeds are more difficult to own than others.