Wolf Hybrid Dogs (Wolfdog, Wolf-Dog Hybrid)

Physical Description of these dogs

The Wolf Hybrid dog, more commonly called the Wolfdog by breeders and owners, is a cross between the wild wolf and any type of domestic dog. Typically most breeders and rescues consider a Wolfdog or Wolf-Dog Hybrid any crossbreed that has a wolf as one of the parents as far back as five generations. When the dog breed tends to be more wolf-like in appearance such as the Malamute or Siberian Husky or even the German Shepherd Dog the resulting offspring tend to more closely resemble their wolf parent. If the dog breed in the cross is not one of these breeds the Wolfdog or Wolf Hybrid will still have some the characteristics of the wolf including the dense coat, longer narrow head and long legs, but may also have more of the traits of the domestic dog breed.

Typically the Wolf-Dog Hybrid will be a large animal at maturity, measuring up to thirty eight inches at the shoulder and males often maturing close to 120 pounds. This makes this canine hybrid one of the largest hybrids. They can be any range of colors from pure white to gray and fawn colors with white markings on the face, legs and chest through to pure black. The typically Siberian Husky colored coat pattern may also be very prominent when this dog breed is used in the cross.

wolf hybrid dog

wolf hybrid dog (c) posted to Flickr by Katie@!
wolf hybrid dog (c) posted to Flickr by Katie@!

The Wolf-Dog Hybrid is rangy, long and solid with a thick bushy tail and very well developed legs and feet. The feet themselves tend to be much wider and thicker than that of an average dog and the legs are much longer and heavier of bone. The chest and ribcage are well developed, the neck thick and well ruffed and the head very long and narrow. The eyes can vary in color from hazel to blue, parti-colored or light to dark brown. The muzzle and lips may be dark black to lighter brown or even spotted in appearance. Some Wolfdogs will lighten as they mature while others will darken depending on the season and the coat changes.

Dog Temperament


Unlike completely domesticated dogs in hybrid breeds, there is much more variability in the Wolfdog or Wolf Hybrid. He or she can be very loving and an excellent family dog, but they can also be aggressive or very timid. In general the breed is very dominant and requires a well experienced and knowledgeable trainer. They tend to get along very well with other submissive types of dogs but can be highly dog aggressive and have an incredibly high prey instinct. Wolf-dog hybrids should not be considered in homes with non-canine pets or in homes with very small children. While good with older children that give the animal space and don't tease, they can snap and show signs of pack dominance towards those that are pestering or provoking them.


Grooming and General Care

The Wolf Hybrid Dog needs lot of room to roam and run and they are active diggers, climbers and chewers. A fully fenced yard is a must with this hybrid dog and they do need to be kept on a leash when out of the fenced area. As with most hybrid dog types, the Wolfdog is naturally very healthy provided both parents were healthy. They do not do well in apartments and small spaces and tend to prefer being outdoors to indoors for long periods of time.

The Wolfdog will need routine grooming, especially in the spring and fall when the dense inner coat is shed. Naturally able to stay outdoors they do make good pets for colder climates. The Wolf-Dog Hybrid is not suitable for a very hot climate unless appropriate measures are taken to provide a sheltered area for the animal to cool off and stay out of the direct sun.

Clubs and Registries

  • ACHC
  • DRA
  • ICA
  • UABR
  • APRI
  • CKC
  • National Wolfdog Alliance

  • some specific Wolfdog breeds, most notably the Saarlooswolfhond are recognized by the FCI and the Dutch Kennel Club

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Comments 11 comments

Pete Maida profile image

Pete Maida 7 years ago

These animals are fine if people know how to handle them. They can't treated or expect to act like a dog. A person's family may kow how to deal with but they can still be a danger to strangers.


Mongrel 6 years ago

You should have selected a better hybrid photo- that animal appears to be most if not all dog. Northern breeds are very distinguishable from wolves.


morgan 6 years ago

I think it depends on the dog the one i knew when trail riding with the horses and romed around with an unfenced yard and stayed home.


angiep 6 years ago

yea, yea But, they are very dangerous animals.. they need to bekept in the wild thus the name WOLF.. One of these creatures bite my daughter and she was just walking downthe sidewalk minding her own business. Please need to be responsible to have this kind of dog. I grew up with and showed dogs. Never thought i wouldsee my child biten by a DOG. The people that had the PEt did not care.


lauren 6 years ago

i want a a wolf hybrid dog but since there part wolf, they might be difficult to train.


marsea 6 years ago

I have a hybrid wolf hes pure black and is very wonderful with our child, he lays beside him and licks him and keeps a eye on him he plays rough with me and my husband as expected of a puppy but as soon as he is around the baby he lays right close to him and is amazingly gentle. there are some scary stories of having a hybrid but not all are that way it depends on how you treat them is how it determines on how they will be


steve 6 years ago

lauren:

you couldn't be more wrong. i have a wolf hybrid. when she was a puppy i had her in the room with me and a child safety gate at the door. she saw me open it twice...i threw the gate away. she figured out how to open it. not an easy gate either, you had to squeeze the button lift the handle then pull it back to open. she could have easily jumped over the gate, but she chose to open it. (she likes to follow daddy everywhere)

hard to train is not a problem...coming up with new things to teach is the problem. at 6 months she knew how to:

open child safety gate (self taught)

open treat bag (self taught)

knows the difference between a ball and a bone (ask for either one she will bring it to you)

knows the difference between red and blue

lay down

stay

sit

shake

bang (falls over plays dead)

trained me to put the tv on animal planet(will grab the remote and hold it while looking at me, as if to say change it to my channel)

speak (bark)

sing (howl)

talks (actually sounds like "i love you" and "hello" when she greets me with a low growl)

she carries her dish to where the food is when she wants food.

release (she has something you want her to drop)

seek (show her an ice cube, put it behind you then put it in either hand, hold your hands out in front of her, she will sniff them, then place her paw on the hand hiding the ice cube.

tap your cheek (you get kisses)

banking (took her to the bank, she saw me hand paper to the teller, second time we went she took the paper stood up on the counter and released it to the teller)

yes (if i ask her a question she will shake her head yes)

yuckies (she will help clean-up, especially the piles of hair after i brush her)

sleepytime (she will go lay down to sleep)

she knows a ton more, she learns fast, by far the smartest dog i have ever had.

so yea a wolf-hybrid makes a terrible pet, they are stubborn, hard to teach, and aggressive. anyone who believes that BS should stay away from rabbits...they have sharp nails and rabbits hate people if they get the chance they will attack and kill you and feed on your body parts.

you will never know until you own one, or i should say until one owns you. if you never had, don't repeat the BS others are spewing about the dangers ...oh a wolf dog killed someone, a wolf dog ate our cat. find someone in your area that owns one, go visit, see for yourself, don't believe everything you read. research, before you even think of buying one. if you can...pet sit for someone that has one.

angiep:

i'm sure it was not your daughters fault the dog bit her. it sounds like irresponsible owners. if you get one from a puppy and raise it properly, it could even protect your daughter. my mom had came over to my house to visit, she had never met my dog before so i had her in the room with me. my mom went to give me a hug before she left, my puppy wanted to tear her apart...she thought my mom was attacking me (a member of the pack)she is very protective of the family. she was attacked by 2 pitbulls running loose, while she was on leash, she handles her self well...she did not attack or bite the owner as she was trying to get her dogs back. she held her ground and only suffered a minor scrape/bite. i do not know the extent of damage she caused the pitbulls, as they should have been on leash and therefore that owners fault. she did not kill them, she could have easily from my vantage point, from what i saw. the pitbulls were her size then, she is now much taller and heavier then they are.


Tanya 5 years ago

I just bought a 5week old half grey wolf half german shepard. He is already paper trained. He listens well.


Tom 5 years ago

I have a 19-pound rat terrier bitch (Schnauzer/Jack Russell) named Molly. We were walking around the condos earlier tonight when we came upon what looked like a shepard with a wolf's eyes and snout,., and according to her owner, that's what she was -- a shepard/wolf hybrid. So I was delighted when my Molly dominated the wolf hybrid: when they first went nose-to-nose, Molly held her short tail straight up in the air and the wolf hybrid actually *lay down* and whimpered. Molly continued with rear legs spread, tail up, and growling... the wolf-dog got up and kind of "curtsied/danced" around (hard to explain -- she squirmed around, either telling molly that molly was boss, or wanting to play, or both. The wolf's owner and I were chatting about the wolf-dog. She had the narrow, squinty eyes and long tapered muzzle -- unmistakably canis lupus -- and all the while, my little rat terrier pissed all over the damn place and stared down the wolf-dog. At first I was thinking, "Molly, don't be aggressive"... but that is how Molly is: she is a sweet girl, constantly cocking her ears/head when we talk to her, getting treats out of closed milk boxes, etc... but she is really a bada$$ when she is around other female dogs. Well here she was interacting within biting range of a wolf hybrid --bitch no less -- four times her size... and Molly established her dominance. After a while, Molly just stood next to me and stared at the wolf-dog... as the wolf-dog continued to run back and forth. So when I read on Yahoo answers how wolf-dogs are supposedly so tough... that is now and henceforth a laughing matter because my 19-pound bitch mix terrier Molly absolutely and incontrovertibly dominated her bitch wolf-dog counterpart. Terriers maybe are the pound-for-pound champs of all canines. Molly has never backed down from any other dog, and she has never been injured...


Sapper0725 profile image

Sapper0725 4 years ago

I own a wolfdog myself and raising them is almost the same as raising a child. They have the intelligence of at least a 5 year old and if trained right will be everyones friend!


pcoles 3 years ago

We own a wolf shepherd. He is beautiful. He is not like a regular dog, but we have a lab mix and he follows her lead. He lives in the house and ruined our back yard. He chews up a lot of stuff and very sneaky. He is cautious with new people, so we are careful with introductions. Once he gets that we like you, he likes you. I would guess varying percentages and training have a lot to do with behavioral issues. All dogs have different temperaments. We had a shepherd pup who was alpha to our WH and he ran the show. He was the one I worried about biting people. It's a lot of work, but all the bs about dangerous depends on you and your dog's temperament. You have to do the work.

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