ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Game Of Thrones Dire Wolf Dog Breed

Updated on May 30, 2016
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr Mark is a veterinarian in Brazil. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Some dogs look like a wolf, but not a Dire Wolf.
Some dogs look like a wolf, but not a Dire Wolf. | Source

The dog breed present on Game of Thrones is a Northern Inuit, one of the seven dog breeds that look like wolves. Grey, or Timber wolves (Canis lupus), that is! My own “Timber Wolf” is a mixture of Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, and German Shepherd Dog, a combination that acts like a dog but looks like a grey wolf.

If you are looking for a dog that looks more like the extinct Dire Wolf, however, there is a better alternative available in a few places.

The Dire Wolf is now extinct.
The Dire Wolf is now extinct. | Source

10 Interesting Facts About The Dire Wolf

  • Survived for about 1.8 million years.
  • Was about 6 feet long.
  • Weighed more than a ¼ more than the grey wolf.
  • Teeth were even larger than the grey wolf.
  • The bite was more powerful that the grey wolf.
  • May have hunted in packs of 30 wolves, unlike the grey wolf who usually hunts in smaller groups.
  • Hunted mostly bison, horses, giant sloths, and maybe even Mastadon.
  • Ranged from Canada to the middle of South America.
  • Two subspecies existed in America, C. d .dirus east of the Rockies, and C. d. guildaya west of the Rockies
  • Became extinct about 10,000 years ago.


The Dire Wolf (Canis dirus) was the largest species of wolf to ever roam the planet. Up to about 10,000 years ago he wandered over North and South America, taking down the huge prey (megafauna) that roamed the world at that time.

He was definitely big enough to do the job. The Dire Wolf probably weighed between 50 to 80 kilos (about 110 to 175 pounds) and stood as tall as a grey wolf. The scientists who have worked with the skeletons have found that the Dire Wolf was even stockier and heavier than the grey, however.

Built for megafauna!

The Dire Wolf attacked any of the large prey that roamed America at that time and ate a diet of horses, bison, and giant sloth; as the prey died off (maybe because of humans wandering into North America and hunting the large animals), the wolf found it harder to survive.

He was not the ancestor of our dogs, and, although he probably existed in America for about 100,000 years with the grey wolf, he eventually lost out and became extinct.


This is a good reference if you would like to read more about these wolves:

http://library.sandiegozoo.org/factsheets/_extinct/direwolf/direwolf.htm

The American Alsatian

The Dire Wolf is gone now, of course. Even if the animal was not extinct, it is unlikely that he would have made an acceptable pet. Most wolves, even the grey wolves that we have among us today, have behavioral problems when living in a human household and are better off being with their normal pack.

But what about a dog that looks similar to a Dire Wolf? Is there any dog out there that similar to a Dire Wolf?

The American Alsatian is a companion dog developed by Lois Denny Schwarz. The dog is large, developed from Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherd Dogs, and other large dogs like the Great Pyrenees, English Mastiff, and the Anatolian Shepherd.

The first dogs were developed in 1987 but only available to the public since 2000. A lot of work has gone into the breed but it will take more time to achieve exactly what the breeders want.

  • The dogs are already the size that they are looking for, with a male weighing about 40-55 kilos (about 90 to 120 pounds) and a female a little smaller. The dogs are also tall, about 70 cm (28 inches) for a male.
  • They can be gold, solid black, wolf gray, or even silver sable. The pelts are thick like a wolf, and the nose is black.
  • The personality is that of a companion, not a working dog like a Husky or Malamute. They are also making sure to only breed calm dogs that do not bark much and have a low prey drive.
  • So far the breed has been healthy, and since the breeders are concentrating on this aspect of the dog´s development they might stay that way.
  • Lifespan has been an important selection factor, and the American Alsatian is probably going to be one of the few large breeds that lives a long time.

Since these dogs have not been around that long, there is still a lot to be learned. Other great breeds have been developed by one group or person, however, so this might be one of the best dogs to have in the future.

Since the breed is still new, American Alsatians do not all look like this.
Since the breed is still new, American Alsatians do not all look like this. | Source

With the success of the Game of Thrones, the Northern Inuit is increasing in popularity and is probably going to become overbred, like so many popular dog breeds in the past, with many of them ending up in shelters like so many other breeds featured in television shows and movies.

There are a lot of alternatives out there, and many places where you can get a great dog that will look similar to a wolf.


My favorite is the Siberian Husky, since the dog looks a lot like a wolf but has a great personality and is friendly to almost everyone. The Alaskan Malamute is also a healthy and a long-lived large breed that looks similar to a wolf but acts like a dog.


If you want one of the best alternatives, though, search for an American Alsatian.

It is possible to find a large dog with a healthy lifespan.
It is possible to find a large dog with a healthy lifespan. | Source

© 2014 Dr Mark

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Robbie 2 years ago

      when I got my German shepherd my paetnrr and I started training him early on. As soon as we could take him out (after his injections) We started training him to the lead and teaching him basic commands. I found it really helpful to introduce him to as many different situations as early as possible, getting him used to traffic, crowds, children, visitors in the home etc. And try to introduce him to different dogs to help socialise him. also set the boundaries in place early on. I'm

    • gaymuscleandlove profile image

      CB Jones 2 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this hub and all of the information you offered about alternative alternatives. You certainly know your stuff about dogs and then some!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thanks, I just finished my edit.

      I looked up vocalcoachs hubs on Google a few weeks back. Many of them are at the top of the search for the keyword she is using, so she would have even more page views if she had more published in her niche. She should be hitting 10 million!

      At least that is my opinion, right or wrong!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      I hit that number some time back too.

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 2 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      I'm flattered that you do...OK by me. Did you see that vocalcoach has 1 million views? Woo Hoo!!

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      Thanks, I would like to add those exact words? Is that okay with you?

    • Bob Bamberg profile image

      Bob Bamberg 2 years ago from Southeastern Massachusetts

      Very enjoyable read, Doc. I'd add something to, "With the success of the Game of Thrones, the Northern Inuit is increasing in popularity and is probably going to become overbred," and it would be, "with many of them ending up in shelters like so many other breeds featured in television shows and movies."

      The history lesson was very interesting! Voted up, useful and interesting.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 2 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      I am a GOT fanatic, but am surprised to find out the Dire Wolf is a real life breed! Thank you for sharing this useful and unique information - voted useful!

    • srai01 profile image

      ARADHYA 2 years ago

      Thanks Mark, "For Avatar". :)

      I found them (American Alsatians) real interesting.

    • DrMark1961 profile image
      Author

      Dr Mark 2 years ago from The Beach of Brazil

      One of the American Alsatian websites lists the countries they have been sold to, and I noticed two cities in India. There are no breeders in that part of the world, that I know of. The majority are in California, Oregon, and Washington state.

      They are not yet a registered breed, and the developers have no interest in even trying so I do not see them being available in dog shows anytime soon.

      I like your new avatar!

    • srai01 profile image

      ARADHYA 2 years ago

      Very Interesting and useful article!

      Are "American Alsatian" are registered breed and also available in other countries, apart from USA?

      Thanks!

    Click to Rate This Article