Wolves and Wolf-Hybrids

I have very strong feelings about Wolf-Hybrids, I find it absurd that people would think it possible to make a pet out of a cross between a domestic dog and wild wolves.   I thank the people who have sent me information about these animals and I have recently been instructed where to go to learn more about the people who love the hybrids or as they insist "wolfdogs".  I admire your loyalty to your pets and I respect your right to own any breed or cross breed you desire, but I do not recommend these animals as pets and that is my opinion and this is my webpage -- For my reasons why, read on......

For the most part owners are claiming that  their "wolfdogs" are just like dogs, not at all like wolves, so I still don't see what the point is???  There is no consistency of type/temperament or ability.  Each person (so far) trying to make me think Wolfdogs are good pets agreed with me that MANY breeders are irresponsible (just like what exists in purebred dogs) but not just irresponsible with what they are producing but there isn't even a standard to aim for perfection.  It just seems to breed anything to anything and if it looks "wolfy" it is a "Wolfdog".    At least in our purebred dogs we have a standard that describes what a good Rottweiler or GSMD looks and acts like, those animals produced by irresponsible breeders or "high risk" breeders do not come close to resembling what the standards describe.  Educating buyers is our goal so that they don't buy from High Risk breeders or otherwise irresponsibly purchase a poor quality animal with structural defects and/or questionable temperaments. 

When you think about it, most average pet owners find raising, socializing, training and safely confining a pet domestic dog difficult or almost impossible (see statistics for how many are abandoned and euthanized for not "working out").  

For the most part dogs that are called "hybrids" are often sold for thousands and are nothing more than husky or malemute crosses.  They are nice docile MIXED breed dogs that look slightly "wolfish".  Even more laughable is the "certifications" claiming 75% wolf, or 95% wolf etc.  How painfully absurd, but so many believe it, you can find these advertisements in almost every newspaper in the country.   Even if I do linebreedings or inbreedings on my purebred dogs, I can come up with an Inbreeding coeffiecient but I cannot come up with a "PERCENTAGE" of what my dogs are.  Genetics doesn't work that way.

Of the 21 "hybrids" I have been in contact with as a dog trainer (over the last 17 years), my opinion is that maybe 5 or 6 had some wolf ancesters (more recent than a poodle does).  Most of the purported Hybrids or "wolfdogs" were MIXED BREED DOGS that these owners spent usually over $1000 to purchase.  With No health screening on the parents, no guarantees of soundness, nothing other than a mixed breed puppy sold WAY too early (4 weeks) for the reason that it needs to "bond" with people.  (There is a jerk who sells Chesapeake Bay Retrievers locally the same way, most Chessies we see from him have serious temperament defects as well because of the early separation from the litter and dam--but that is another page).   

These same people were often instructed to carry out certain HORRIBLE and abusive "training" techniques on their very young puppies/cubs.  I watched one ignorant owner flip and throttle a 6 month old "wolfdog" in one of my obedience classes because the animal had refused to down immediately upon command.  His animal was urinating and defecating and frightened out of his mind by the ferocity of the attack.   I admonished this owner and tried to tell him how to work with the dog etc, etc, and how that type of handling would only serve to destroy any and all trust, etc.etc.   and he advised me that I wasn't qualified to help him with his Hybrid and that the breeder had told him to do this "flip"/alpha roll,  until the dog urinated for ANY infraction whatsoever.  This owner told me he had flipped that dog more than twice a week, since he got him!!!!!  That was when I started to become interested in these animals and their owners/breeders. 

I found that many people misguidedly purchased these very overpriced mixed breed dogs and some were capable of raising them to be normal pets.  -- all the while bragging they have a "wolf".  The danger doesn't come from those animals, it is when someone actually acquires an animal that IS part wolf/part dog and then he tries to raise it the same way he raised his husky mix.   Tries to confine a hybrid to a yard with a 4 foot fence or lets his kids play with it unsupervised because "the first one was always good with the kids"!!!   (NO INFANTS OR TODDLERS SHOULD BE LEFT UNATTENDED WITH ANY BREED OF DOG). 

MY OPINION -- Most true Wolf-hybrids are not attractive animals, they are scrawny and shifty looking-- they look a lot like real wild WOLVES not like the Malemutes they use in the movies.    Most real wolves weigh about 60-85 lbs tops, many "hybrids" are touted as 130-150lbs animals..  What is the point???   There are wolfdogs that are 55lb animals and wolfdogs who are 135lb animals, how can anyone be supportive of breeding crossbreed dogs (with or without wolf blood), it is like having a cockapoo or a pekapoo (as many people do) and thinking it is somehow a breed.  It is a mixed breed dog with no standard to strive for excellence, no routine health screening (hips/elbows/eyes/heart/thyroid/temperament). These mixed breeds are no healthier than purebred dogs, there just are no organizations gathering data to show it.   (i.e. the OFA has no listing for mixed breed whatevers hip rankings -- Just because they have the numbers of purebred dogs listed, doesn't mean the mixes don't get it, they just DON'T GET TESTED!!!)  I am not against owning Mixed breed dogs, I own one my self and have lived with MANY.  I am against calling them something they are not and selling them to people for big bucks when there is probably a perfectly healthy, docile, husky mix waiting in every town's local shelter to be had for the cost of a neuter!!!

Granted many irresponsible breeders breed purebred whatevers without screenings, but I am not in favor of supporting them either -- which you would know if you read the rest of my page. 

Well, enough of my opinion, connect to some of the links below for the truth about REAL wolves and about what happens to the lucky wolves and hybrids that find their way to these sanctuaries after they have failed miserably as "pets". 

Wolf Park North American Wolf Association -- NAWA  

I will post some links to those sites in support of keeping Wolfdogs as pets, after I have a chance to read some of them for content.  I still do not recommend the keeping of hybrids as pets by inexperienced owners (I don't recommend many other large breeds for novices either--including my own).  And I don't understand why experienced owners would want to purchase an animal without any consistency of type??  If you want to enlighten me, feel free to email me anytime, I have enjoyed many of the well written posts from "wolfdog" pet owners.