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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
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.
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
- 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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