What is a Wolfdog and Wolf Hybrids?
Suki the Siberian Husky Wolf Cross
Picture of a Wolf
The Wolf/Siberian Husky Mix
The Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky originated just where you would think it would, Siberia. The Siberian Husky is a medium sized, wolf-like in appearance, thick coated breed of dog. This well-known beautiful dog is very energetic, hard working, intelligent, and resilient. Withstanding cold winter months without a complaint and well-known for it's great ability to pull a dogsled.
This breed of dog can make a great pet if you know what you are doing. They love the outdoors and need room to enjoy it. They are also known for being "escape artists" and dog runs must be checked regularly for signs of attempted escape. For this breed of dog is also known for wandering miles from home.
If you are an experienced dog owner, know how to train them, have the room, don't mind being out in the cold, and put up with howling rather than barking. Then is beautiful breed of dog can make a great pet for you.
There are approximately 200, 000 wolves in the world today. And are considered endangered or threatened in some parts of the world. The wolf stands approximately 26-32 inches at the shoulder. Weighing anywhere from 55 to 130 lbs. The male wolf is typically both heavier and taller than the female wolf. And both sexes live to an average of 7-8 years.
The Wolf is a beautiful and very powerful wild animal. Wolves are very social creatures and live in packs with a number of other wolves (usually 5-11 wolves live in each pack). The leaders of these packs are known as the "alpha male" and the "alpha female" followed by the beta and omega members of the pack. How they they got their pack statuses. Well they fought their way to the top.
Wolves are very territorial animals and often kill anything that enters their grounds. Letting intruders know this is their territory by scent marking, howling, and attacking when need be.The average size of a wolf packs territory is around 35 square km. With the largest on record being 6,272 square km.
A wolfdog is the term most commonly used when breeding a domestic dog with a wolf. And is now more commonly known as a wolf hybrid.
The most common of all the wolfdogs is the Husky/Wolf mix. Wolves are also often bred with the Alaskan Malamute as well as the German Shepard. However when doing so you are taking a gamble. As there is no way to determine the wolfdogs physical characteristics as well as the personality characteristics. Compared to breeding two purebred dogs. For example the Border Collie. You know the puppies will either be black and white or brown and white, a white tip on their tails, smart and very energetic.
So You are Interested in Getting a Wolf Dog
Most often when you find someone giving away or selling a wolfdog. The wolfdog is not 50% dog and 50% wolf. There are varying degrees of the percentage of wolf in these dogs. Of course, the higher the percentage of wolf in your dog the more wild animal you are dealing with. So if it's just the physical characteristics of a wolf you are intersted in it's best to find one with a lower percentage of wolf.
However, even with a small percentage of wolf in your dog be warned the wild instincts of the wolf are still there. The drive to roam the country side and hunt wild animals is still very strong. And these dogs often require high quality training.
A wolfdog's independance is a little heartbreaking to it's owner. But remember this isn't the kind of "dog" who will sit on your lap for hours watching tv. Wolves by nature are very independent creatures. And your wolfdog may not give you the affection you are wanting from him/her. The dog is still in there though and you may still be greated with snuggles and kisses.
You must never forget that no matter how beautiful these wolfdogs are they are still part wolf. They take time, dedication, patience and hardwork. And although as puppies they are affectionate, playful and cuddly. Once the wolfdog reaches sexual maturity (around 18 months of age) is when you may see the true wolf come out. Don't get me wrong all your hard work can pay off. It is still possible for you to make a great companion out of a wolfdog.
My Wolfdog Suki
Suki is approximately 2 years old. And is a Siberian Husky/Wolf cross. And we are uncertain exactly how much wolf is in her blood. As we had gotten her from a young girl who realized she couldn't be kept in the city. Her desire to be outside (even in -30 celsius) and the girls fear of her escaping led her to us.
Suki is an outdoor dog by choice. I have noticed her at times puffing because of the "heat" at -10 celsius and is more likely to come inside in the summer to cool off than in the winter to warm up. While outside she spends most of her time monitoring the yard. And it's not uncommon for me to find the remains of what has wandered into her territory on the deck (mice, moles, ducks ect).
I do also have two Jack Russells and was very concerned for their well-being in the beginning. She gets along generally well with my male Jack. The female however, I have had to break up a few dog fights. A dog with wolf in her bloodlines that in the wild hunts and kills small animals. And a dog of the same sex that pushes the limits and shows no fear in doing so. There are bound to be some fights.
If you are planning on getting a wolfdog. I suggest not owning small dogs as well. If you still plan to do so. Make sure the small dog and your wolfdog are of opposite sexes and bring the wolfdog home as a puppy.
I also have a 3 year old. Whom Suki gets along with unbelievably well. However, they aren't best friends and Suki would often rather have nothing to do with him. I have seen more aggression from the small dogs towards my child than I have from her. She simply walks away when my son decides to tackle her. This behaviour is not typical of all wolfdogs. Remember the drive to hunt is still there. And small children may at some point look like prey and bring the predator out in your wolfdog without proper training.
If I hear her barking that usually means there are coyotes in the yard or near by. This is the only time I have ever heard her bark. She, like wolves, howls rather than barks. She howls when someone is in the yard, at a cat in the tree, and to greet us when we get home.
Suki also is not the most affectionate dog. It often takes me by surprise if she approaches me wanting to be petted. It's usually me approaching her trying pet her while she is trying to run off to do something else. This makes things like brushing her a huge challenge.
Like I had mentioned earlier in this article. Wolfdogs are not very everyone and you can't garuntee what kind of personality your wolfdog pup will grow into. But with some experience, knowledge and determination. It is possible to make a great companion out of your wolfdog.
Before going out and finding yourself a wolfdog I suggest getting as much information on wolfdogs as possible. So you have a good idea of what you are getting yourself into. And another wolfdog doesn't end up at the pound.