Wolf-Dog Mix

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Is the Wolf-Dog Mix right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Wolfdog

The basics:
RightPet does not advocate the intentional cross-breeding of purebred dogs. But the reality is that most dogs available for adoption at shelters and rescues are mixed breeds. We think it might be helpful to hear from owners of these mixes to see what traits can be found in these dogs who are desperately needing homes.

The Wolfdog is a hybrid between one of several wild species of wolf and any purebreed or mixed-breed domestic dog-- with larger breeds like the German Shepherd or the Siberian Husky being popular choices. The problem should be obvious. A wolf is a wide-ranging predator meant to live in a hunting pack. A dog is meant to be a cooperative companion. When you mix the two, the result can be anybody's guess.

Because of the significant legal and ethical issues surrounding this animal, many American states ban ownership of the Wolfdog altogether. As a result, there are a number of dishonest breeders selling "Wolfdogs" that are really just good-sized mixed-breed mutts. Many people who think they own a Wolfdog have simply been scammed. Their Wolfdog is so smart and cooperative and well-behaved because it's an actual domestic dog... but don't tell them that. I once informed someone that his Wolfdog looked exactly like any other German Shepherd to me. He was not pleased.

But let's suppose you have a real Wolfdog. Are you really prepared to manage a powerful animal designed to bring down, kill, and eat large prey? This is not an option for the average person. Don't subsidize the breeding of these animals, and don't consider taking one home unless you're a highly experienced expert.

Appearance / health:
Wolf-dog mixes are bred for a close resemblance to wolves. They may have narrow chests, long-standing ears, and larger feet and teeth than dogs. The eyes are almond-shaped. Their tails do not curl generally. However, the reality is that many Wolfdog mixes have very little (if any) wolf remaining in their ancestry, so their appearance can vary greatly-- a fact that the scammers use to their own advantage.

Wolf-dog mixes shed a lot. Extensive grooming may be required to keep the coat in good condition.

Many people repeat the "hybrid vigor" theory that wolf-dog mixes are generally healthier than other dog breeds. However, this theory isn't proven. A regular mixed-breed domestic dog could be just as healthy or even more so, since it's more likely to be able to receive regular treatment from a vet.

Behavior / temperament:
In general, the behavior of Wolf-dog mixes cannot be easily predicted, even in third-generation pups. Wolves and dogs are both pack animals. However, while dogs readily accept human as leaders of the pack, some adult Wolf-dog mixes may not do so. Wolf-dog mixes with a higher percentage of wolf genes radically change in behavior after attaining adulthood. It may also result in the mix challenging the dominance of the owner.

Physical domination without an intention to injure is common among wolves, and may be seen in some Wolf-dogs. Wolf-dogs retain their predatory instincts and cannot be left off-leash in the open at any time. Some have a strong tendency to mark their territories by urinating or defecating. They may be very destructive, and chew pieces of furniture in the house. They also love to dig.

Training and housebreaking are extremely difficult, and wolf-dog mixes may not always obey them. Around the age of 16 months, Wolf-dog mixes may try to assert their dominance by not obeying commands, and actually challenge the owner's authority. Because of this unpredictability, the Wolfdog may represent a danger to others. And even if it doesn't, it may be banned by law in your area, and owning the animal may result in legal sanctions as well as the loss of your homeowner's or liability insurance.


great companions, awesome guardians, hybrid vigor, beautiful creatures


high prey drive, territorial protective instincts, first-time dog owner, food aggression, indoor life


raw fed dogs, deep warning bark, dog DNA tests, pack family, amazing escape artists

Helpful Wolf-Dog Mix Review

Wolf-Dog Mix

From debhalasz Mar 6 2015 1:51AM


Wolf-Dog Mix Training Tip

Wolf-Dog Mix

From SaraBarnard Aug 17 2015 5:28PM


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