I love writing about pets, especially dogs and wolf/dog hybrids.
Would you raise a lion and call it your kitty, then expect it to grow and be the same pet as your house cat? I think most of my readers will answer with a definite "no." It's kind of funny to me how many people think they can take a wolf or hybrid and raise it as a normal dog.
I write this article after doing a lot of research about the dog versus the wolf and the hybrid. I personally had an experience back in Kansas with a hybrid that was turned loose in the small town where my family and I lived. This hybrid ended up being shot by the police in our neighbor's front yard. My wife and I witnessed it firsthand. We later learned that this animal was purposely turned loose in the countryside because the owner could not handle him. He worked his way into town only to be killed. It was a sad and tragic ending to this innocent hybrid's life, all because someone thought they could raise it like a dog.
This article will show you there is a huge difference between the dog and the wolf or hybrid. If anyone reads this article and still thinks a wolf or hybrid can be raised as a dog, you would only be fooling yourself.
Is the Hybrid Wolf the Same as a Dog?
The wolf is the ancestor of all breeds of domesticated dogs. Dogs may look like wolves and are very similar genetically, but the two differ vastly. The genetic structures of these two animals create hormonal changes that, in turn, create completely different behaviors.
Scientists believe that between 20,000 and 100,000 years ago, wolves started to slowly come around human encampments. Since that time, humans began the process of selective breeding, by choosing canines that were less aggressive, less skittish, less territorial, and lack the predatory nature of the wolf. Research has shown that canines (dogs) have the hormonal systems that offer ideal traits suitable for captivity. On the hand, the hormonal traits of wild canids (wolves) are very different. These hormonal differences cause a profound difference in the behavior between the two animals.
When you compare the two, the dog is very similar to the adolescent wolf. During their adolescent years, wolves are playful. They can adapt and are able to form bonds with other species. Most importantly, they will readily take direction and are far less territorial and less predatory in nature. However, as the adolescent wolf reaches maturity at anywhere from 18 months to 3 years of age, a transition occurs. It will begin to show the typical behaviors of an adult wolf and will be next-to-impossible to handle in captivity.
Taxonomists recognize the dog as a subspecies of the wolf, and this is an undisputed fact. The genetic makeup of the two animals are very similar, but it is an extreme misconception to think that similar genetic makeup proves that the wolf and the dog are the same animals. They are not the same!
Those who argue that wolves and dogs are the same include hybrid breeders and enthusiasts. They feel this way because the two animals share common genetic material. Let's apply this same argument to a different species. For example, 98.4% of the genetic material in humans is identical to that found in chimpanzees. However, humans and chimpanzees bear no similarity. Now, would we consider crossbreeding humans with chimpanzees to create a different species? I know this is quite a comparison, but it is necessary to prove a point: we cannot have the best of both worlds by breeding a dog with a wolf.
Determining the Genetics of a Hybrid Wolf
A hybrid is the offspring of a cross between a wolf and a dog, a wolf and a hybrid, a dog and a hybrid, or two hybrids. Hybrids are often called wolf dogs. Genetics are the only way to determine how much wolf and dog is in a hybrid.
Genetics vs. Ancestry
A breeder may tell you that the hybrid they are selling you is 63% wolf and the rest is dog. This, however, is not true. Breeders will say this knowing full well that you will not be able to get a genetic testing. No accurate testing exists that can reveal the genetic makeup of a hybrid puppy, and unfortunately, it is the genetics and not the ancestry that determines the adult personality and behavior of a hybrid.
Most of the time, breeders determine the percentage by looking at ancestry, but ancestry and genetics are not the same thing. You can easily determine the ancestry of the animal if the parent's ancestry is known, but it's impossible to determine the genetic makeup of offspring that result from breeding hybrids. Let me explain.
The offspring receives half of their genes from each parent. If a wolf breeds with a dog, the puppies will genetically be 50% wolf and 50% dog. If one of those pups grows up and mates with another hybrid, then by ancestry, the results would be 50% wolf and 50% dog. However, the genetics of the second-generation hybrids would be difficult to determine. Each parent passes on thousands of genes. The puppies' genetic makeup is unlikely to be one extreme or the other, so the pup may fall anywhere between 100% dog and 100% wolf. Therefore, any time you breed a hybrid with a canine, it could result in a genetic disaster.
Differences Between Wolves, Dogs, and Hybrids
Looks and behaves almost exactly like wolves
Lower percentage ones will act more like dogs
Large feet and long legs
Shorter (depending on breed)
Never have floppy ears
Some breeds have floppy ears
Tail never curls
Tail can curl
Breeds once a year
Breeds twice a year
Only gives birth during spring or early summer
Gives birth at any time of the year
Wolves have a natural drive that makes it extremely, if not impossible, to deal with when they are living in captivity. Training does not eliminate this natural behavior.
Although some dogs may at times display similar behavior to wolves, these behaviors have been markedly altered through selective breeding in most dogs. With wolves and hybrids, however, these behaviors are strongly expressed. Not only is it unrealistic for humans to expect these animals to suppress their natural instinct, but it is also inhumane.
Dominance: Wolf vs. Human and Wolf vs. Dog
Dogs, hybrids, and wolves will all accept the human as the dominant one. In the wild, the wolf learns to survive by its willingness to submit to the dominant pack members.
Wolves sexually mature by the end of their second year of life. This is about the time the wolf starts to challenge the elder wolves for the dominant role. The wolf has a very strong ambition to become dominant because only the strongest female and male members of the pack get to breed. Thus, if a dominant wolf shows any signs of weakness, it may be attacked by a subordinate younger wolf.
Wolf vs. Human
In captivity, a wolf or a hybrid views the human as the "alpha." They constantly look for clues of weakness so they can dominate the alpha. If the "alpha" human were to show signs of fatigue, frustration, or even a mild injury, it could set off a dominance battle. Of course, this could end up being fatal.
Wolf vs. Dog
The same dominance battles will also occur between wolves, hybrids, and canines. In the wild, the subordinate wolf could just leave the battle. But in the confines of an enclosure, leaving the battle is not an option, and captive animals could seriously injure or kill one another.
Normal social manners for wolves and hybrids are to lick each others' faces, bite each others' muzzles, or even straddle each other to show of dominance. These animals weigh in at about 100-pounds when grown, so the battles can look ugly.
Things That Encourage Predatory Responses in the Hybrid Wolf
- A screaming child
- A running child
- A stumbling or crying child
- An injury that shows signs of weakness
- Extreme fatigue and clumsiness
This type of predatory response can occur even if the wolf or the hybrid has been good with children up to this point. Once this type of predatory response has been triggered, the animal will always see the child as prey. This is genetics folks!
- Smaller dogs
- Other domesticated animals
Signs of Territoriality
The wolf pack will drive off or kill wolves that trespass into their territory. This assures that there will not be other wolves competing for prey. This genetically-embedded behavior does not change in captivity. This is why the wolf or hybrid becomes extremely aggressive with strange dogs.
Signs That They Are Marking Their Territory
- Scent marking (can occur anywhere, even inside the home)
- Excessive shyness
You should be aware that wolf and hybrid jaws are powerful enough to crush the femur bone of extremely large animals, such as the buffalo. If they decide that something of yours is for their chewing pleasure, discipline will not help you get the item back. Any attempt to take the item could result in a serious bite.
Note: They need a lot of daily exercise—a minimum 3 to 4 hours each day, preferably at dawn and dusk because these are their most active times. Without this daily stimulation, there will be non-stop pacing, digging, and howling.
Wolf and/or Hybrid Training
They are capable of learning commands, however, don't count on them to obey these commands. If they become bored, frightened, or feel endangered, you can forget about obedience. When they are young, they will obey you because in the wild, they instinctively obey their elder pack members. But, as adults, their independent nature will overpower their urge to obey commands. If you and the wolf try to dominate one another, it could turn into a dangerous game.
Wolves and Hybrids as Pets
There have been many stories circulating over the years about how hybrids make wonderful pets. All this means is that very little wolf genetics were inherited. Furthermore, everyone's idea of a good pet is different. Also, with most of these stories, we never hear about these animals when they are adults. Research proves that most hybrids in captivity are abandoned when they get older. But even if one hybrid makes a good pet, it does not mean they are all good pets. This is called aberrant behavior. It's not normal for a wolf or hybrid to make a good pet, and nor should it be expected.
Maturity in Hybrids
Studies show that the average age of privately owned hybrids was much lower than the average age of privately owned dogs. This is because as hybrids mature, they become more difficult to handle due to their natural predatory nature. The average age at which they mature is about 18 months to 2 years of age. It is at this age that they start to show signs of aggressiveness or even extreme shyness. If the hybrid's genetics are high on the wolf side, you will see a drastic change in behavior at about 2 years of age.
Hybrids or Wolves as Watch Dogs
Wild wolves that are non-dominant in their pack will hang back during intrusions and in threatening situations. The alpha wolves of the pack will decide what needs to be done. In captivity, the human is the alpha of the pack. Because the hybrid or the wolf you have is the non-dominant one, it will hang back and let you handle the situation, and therefore, will not make a good watchdog.
Intelligence Levels of Wolves/Hybrids vs. Dogs
Many think that the wolf or hybrid is more intelligent than the dog. Wolves and hybrids learn better through mimicry, whereas the dog learns better through abstract commands.
Comparing their intelligence levels is difficult because the intelligence displayed in one environment may not be the same in another environment. Wolves, for example, have evolved to solve problems in the wild, while dogs have evolved to solve problems associated with humans. Neither of these two animal species deals very well with problems they encounter outside of their environment.
Normally, crossbreeding dogs does not result in an overwhelming amount of health problems. Some of the few most common health problems are:
- Hip Dysplasia
- More prone to eye infections
I might add, these issues are often the result of ignorant breeding practices. A simple solution is simply not to crossbreed.
Neutering the Hybrid or Wolf
Neutering should certainly be done at a young age, if possible. Neutering may lower the intensity of their attempts to become dominant. You will notice that neutering really only helps with their behavior during the mating season.
A Closing Statement
Ask any longtime breeder of hybrids, and they will tell you that a hybrid is not for everyone. If you take one on as a pet, you must be prepared to handle it much differently than you would a dog.
Don't expect your relationship with the hybrid to be a master-pet relationship like it is with a dog. It cannot be expected to be obedient, and it is not a good family pet. Hybrids are not and should not be considered a dog; they are in essence a wolf.
In closing, I hope this article has been interesting, if not, at least informative. A lot of research and study was put into this article. Many portions were also based on years of professional studies about wolves and hybrids by experts in the field. I would love to see some comments and discussion about this topic. Please let me know if you have any questions.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2009 thepetblog
Judy on August 29, 2020:
I have raised wolfdogs for 12yrs. They are loveable as a lamb. I like them better than a dog. You are wrong you dont know what you are talking about.
Sheryl Becker on August 27, 2020:
Well you have some misinformation in your article. you most definitely can determine the genetic makeup of your wolf dog now via embark DNA testing which will tell you how much wolf markers are present in your dog and what breeds of dog are in your wolf dog how do I know this I own wolf dogs and I ran and bark testing and it has been available for quite a I don't know it's been available a few years now prior to you writing this article for sure so that's one of your facts that are wrong just thought I would let you know
Lisa Guilliams on July 29, 2020:
Thanks ao much, very interesting. My Hybrid is 6 months , tney are defiinately a challenge. I love him so so much.
Raamcharantejaa on July 23, 2020:
Very good article... i wanted to have a hybrid prior reading this, changed my mind now. Thanks a lot
Michaela Miller on May 30, 2020:
People are the problem not the wolve hybrids. Let's face it America has so many ignorant people.According to you all everything that has wolve in it is considered to be dangerous. These creatures are scared of people and I don't blame them. I have had two hybrids and never had any problems. Only idiots would have a problem with these beautiful, scared, timid animals. It's a same nonsense like the BS about pitbulls. People are the problem not the hybrids not the pitbulls not the German Shepard. I call the discrimination against selected breeds.
Ollie on March 17, 2020:
You have a lot of good info here, but your opinion is just that an opinion. You act like an expert, but have never owned one. Lots of people have owned wolfdogs with no problems. The problems come when people who aren't experienced dog owners or knowledgeable try owning one. A counter argument to yours about how wolves can't be tamed like dogs is simple humans 40000 years ago did take wolves, that's how we have dogs in the 1st place. As for the lion thing, cats didn't come from lions, but dogs did come from wolves.
Raymond on January 21, 2020:
I think my dog may be part hybrid. His appearance and actions are what makes me suspect. Narrow chest, long legs, large paws with two protruding toes,long uncured tail, ringed almond eyes. When we walk, he walks as if he were stalking, head and shoulders low, slow attentive movements. His tracks in the snow are in line not side by side. But he has ice blue eyes and his nose was black but has turned pinkish on top. We think he has just turned 2 because he is a rescue and was found in the woods of Tennessee. So far he is the best dog anyone can ask for. I am worried about having him tested, will it be reported? Will my vet report it? What do you think and do you have any advice. Thank you.
Katz henry on June 08, 2019:
Do pure bred arctic grey wolves get feline shots? Are artic grey wolves related to the lion?
Dwayne on May 19, 2019:
I love the information you have but i do disagree with some of your opinions. I am now 36 with a family of my own, but sense i was 14 years old when sheva is what we named her came into our lives she was 45% wolf and rest was pure breed husky, we had her from a pup very beautul and smart as she grew we noticed her behavior change after a couple of years but we had almost an acre of land so we had set up a large kennel and chain link line streched out from the back to our house. It gave her enough room to exercise she never growled or bite anyone in the family although there was wild life in the area and once or twice a year she would find an animal kill it and bring it to my bedroom door at first we taught she was going wild then i was informed by a zoologists that this is her way of paying respect to the pack leader this began to stop after a while cause i would take the dead animal meaning small animals like a rabbit, skunk even turtles and bury them infront of her i guess she learned cause she stopped going hunting but was very territorial too strangers if a friend or cousin came by and they wanted to go in the back yard one of the family had to be with them or else she will start growling at them and her hair would stand up other than that she never attacked anyone and we knew how to deal with her and what too feed her. Yes her behavior changed a little but it was nothing dangerous she was the best animal we ever owned and lived for 12 years may have been more but she got sick and we found out last minute it was a cancerous tumor that killed her unfortunately i wasn't around at that time and it devastated me, she was very attached to me and i was to her always by my side and she protected me always by far smarter than all my other dogs. Pitbull, doberman and our jack russel couldn't compare. I am now looking into getting one for my kids as of my childhood was an amazing experience due to this beautiful dog i called sheva. So as i do agree that they have a wild side but it is nothing dangerous i experienced we had small kids around her playing with them like they where her cubs and howling only happened during a full moon or if the moon was bright at night but we loved her howling it sounded different from the other dogs. We never experienced her biting up stuff or her trying to attack when you took food from her in any case my pitbull would snap at you before her she would let me or any of my family take or give food to her without any negative effect. I hope this comment helps people although she was an amazing pet she still had a wild side so please inform yourself. Before buying and know that you need alot of space or they will find there way out to go where ever they wanted ours was able to get out of her kennel even though it was 15 feet high and 4 feet into the ground we never figured out how she did it due to there was no dig or bite marks anywhere and she was able to get out of her chain link without breaking it, open doors and other stuff very intelligent animal so please have the soace for this animal cause i think if it was a city environment or not good living conditions for her she would have had bad behavioral patterns, but again we never experienced any negativity amazing pet cant wait to get a next one
Mark r on November 14, 2018:
Our high content wolf dog is the best animal we have ever known. Fluffy is 2.5 years old. The runt of the litter, he is now 85 pounds. His girlfriend is our 5 year old Great Pyrinees. She is an alpha and he is an omega. She is exceptionally large, approximately 140lbs. Still when they play fight/wrestle, he dominates but when it comes to food, he knows his place. I, or my wife, can take a bone out of his mouth. He will neither growl nor show his teath.
He is the smartest "dog" we ever had. We have a barrel with all of his toys. We say, "get your ducky" or "get your piggy" and he takes one out of his barrel. His favorite game is playing broom. I try and keep the broom sweeper end from him and he jumps to get it, even doing a backflip at times. When he gets it, we have a tug of war. He is deadly afraid of our mastiff/pit and we keep them separated. My wife still feeds him by hand, half human and half highest quality dog food. He particularly like lamb dog food. He likes Chinese food and Pizza. He never hurt our cat intentionally but he played too rough and the cat never much liked it. First thing in the morning, he greets me and the wife but we are getting old and, when he plays too rough, Myoho (the Pyrinees) gets between us. Everyday he kisses my wife and me on our face (my wife dozens of times) and he has learned to be stroked like Myoho who gets jealous. We love Myoho but literally would take a bullet for Fluffy.
bo on October 16, 2018:
I have a hybrid
She is the most beautiful animal, but my german shephard is "my dog" my wolf dog is my "roommate".....and a bad one. its not a fair breed because they dont know if thwy sould be wolf or malamute. Totally bi polar 100 lb animal. Kills all small animals in yard btw.
More Informed on August 09, 2018:
It's easy to say I could tell the difference from the two pictures of which one was the wolf and which one was the hybrid (yes I knew that the one picture was definitely the wolf) if there hadn't been any messages beneath the picture identifying the animal. I truly enjoyed reading this article. It was very informative, thank you
Zoey on June 13, 2018:
I have a puppy that was bred in Arkansas. I recently lost another dog to cancer. All of my family is allergic to wasp and she passed away in the shed. Which is Infested, as my puppy got a little older I guess she went into the shed and got what was left of her body... so we got it and buried it and she dug it up! I’m getting to the part of the story when I explain when it comes to a wolf. Obviously I was worried and I did some research.Turns out where she was bred had wolves, but she looks like a lab. But her sisters look like a pit bull...one has black white and red on them one black and red and mine has black and white...like her mom.Red wolves used to be in the area, so I was thinking and searching and I found out that usually dog-wolf breeds are in the area I figured that may be a pitbull and a red wolf mixed and that dog had puppies with this lab. I was also quite scared because wolves are commonly cannibalistic, I was wondering if maybe that is why my puppy did what she did. Please help me understand. I know this isn’t exactly for this website but I unfortunately cannot find anything else. My dad says that something might be wrong with her and I’m so scared because I love with all my heart...
FAISAL AL_shammari on March 31, 2018:
Hi Mr.I am a fan of wolves and I gather information thank you for this valuable information but there is a question that puzzled me a lot how can I know whene I see a puppy if it is a wolf or wolf hybrid is there any sings just come in the native wolf
Can you send me the answer in my email firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob on March 08, 2018:
Wolf mix kills 8 day old baby... sad
Tracey on November 04, 2017:
I own a wolf hybrid - I would guesstimate he is around a third wolf. He is both incredibly sweet and yet fearless. He adores all women and children. But a few times when he has gotten a bad vibe from a man he gets in between the two of us with a very aggressive stance as if to say "Don't muck with me, buddy." He killed a coyote that was coming at me - in 3 seconds. You cannot believe the fast reflexes that wolfdogs have. My guy can catch and kill a rabbit a squirrel, a possum, etc... in seconds. It is an enormous responsibility to own a wolfdog. I fortified my fence to prevent him from escaping. But he can run free within it. I walk him every day. They need exercise. They also need a huge amount of love. I adopted him when he was 2 years old. Initially he was very nervous and skittish and not very affectionate. He is now very affectionate and devoted to me. I have no doubt that he would kill anybody who tried to hurt me. With NO training. His wolf instincts are all that is needed. I now love the breed, but it is not like owning a dog. You must be far more careful, and never harsh with them. They need a great deal of exercise, attention and love. If you give them all this, you will end up with a devoted companion who would give his life for you.
mary on September 24, 2017:
I got my "shepherd" as a pup at the shelter. I was told she was a terrier mix. Everyone stops me constantly and asks if she's a wolf pup. I have had the hardest time trying to train her and I am so tired. Today a man stopped me and said he used to breed hybrids and looking at her teeth and paws she definitely is. I feel like I got way more than I asked for but I made a commitment when I signed the papers and I don't want to give up but reading this I feel like it will never get better. I love her but she is so destructive and I worry about when she is full grown. Any tips would certainly be helpful.
Canidae-Obsessed on July 20, 2017:
Most dogs are fully capable of behaving exactly like wolves and still exhibit the dangerous traits that wild wolves possess. Most dogs also need about 4 hours of real exercise per day to be happy and not destroy everything. There is no proof for when or if humans modified wolves into dogs and the history of the modification from wolves into dogs is as murky as the history of humanity is. Many dogs and breeds would have no problems competing with wolves in the wild if humans were to all disappear. It would be an interesting show and could have happened many times in our murky historical records. Many dog owners lack the knowledge of how to keep their own dog happy so obviously those same people would fail with a wild canine or hybrid. Besides, wolves had to have been great pets for some humans in the past since we supposedly hung out with them enough to mold them into dogs over eons, so why would that be any different today?
Kin2wolf on May 24, 2017:
Julie, u no meat raw or other for your hybrid....may I ask your reasoning for not feeding buddy meat?
Canguro on June 07, 2016:
I want to say, a lot of people commenting have a lot of research of their own and own feelings and beliefs. I on the other hand have non, except I love wolves and always thought I would want one. Though, I was thinking of a wolf as a dog. I know now there is a big difference and it makes perfect sense. This article was very insitful and a great read for me. Thank you very much
Juie Mikesell on April 23, 2016:
I had an actual wolf, some years ago I had went to visit friends and the neighbors had this little pip tied to the bumper of a truck I fell in love with him, so they let me take him. I took him to the vet that is when I found out it fact he wasn't a German shepherd pup but a wolf but I didn't care . I had 2 little girls and he was hooked on them he went with my oldest to bus stop in the morning and wait for he to get on the bus then come home he knows even if was time in the afternoon for her to be getting off the bus he would go down and wait for the bus and get to get off and they walked home tohether. She would ride her bike he was right by her side all the way, one time get show string got caught in the sprocket and a neighborhood last was going to help her but buddy that's what she named him for in between her and my daughter as to protect my daughter, he was loyal to my kids , and he grew to be one of the most beautiful animals I had ever seen, he would howl at the moon his eyes glowed yellowy/orange. He was the best PET I ever had. I had a sheriff that lives about a half acre away that wanted him to breed him shepherd I always told him no, I didn't want to breed him not yet anyway I wanted him to get a few yrs older. Long story short he was stolen from my front yard one day and I think that cop did it but I couldn't prove it. But I'm sorry you can raise a wolf from a little baby to adult and it will make an awesome pet. No meat cooked or uncooked just the best high dollar dog food you can buy.
kllawren on April 24, 2015:
Kllawren on October 10, 2014:
By default an orphan puppy came into our lives. After genetic testing she had wolf ... About 3rd generation was the guesstimate from professionals from wildlife center n vets...
She displays both dog n wolf behaviors.
She's been raised with fulltime attention, exercise, plenty of chews( via the vet) , much love n socialized well... It is a great expense for proper food, yearly vet house calls...takes special care in all aspects. We love her! So far so good.... going in 4 years!
Diana Paschall on March 22, 2014:
I have a friend with two male Alaskan White Wolf and Malamute hybrids. They have the same parents but are from different litters.They have very different personalities. The younger one lo0ks completely wolf. He tears up everything in the house but is manageable if you let him know you are the boss. The other one has a broader body and a tan nose on top. He is actually much more unpredictable. He cannot be around other dogs because he is alpha and will attack out of the blue if the another dog does something he doesn't like when they are playing. These two boys are separated at all times. I won't let my alpha female around him because contrary to what people think two alphas will fight regardless of the gender. The first time he was around my daughter who is 18 he just reached out and bit her wrist out of nowhere. He wasn't acting vicious and he didn't try to kill her or anything. They have since become friends. He is very quiet though and not destructive at all. The other one is a lot friendlier. He is great friends with my chow/aussie mix. She is an alpha dog though and put him in his place early on. They love to play but he won't mess with her. We dog sit for him sometimes so we had to learn how to deal with him. You definitely MUST make sure they know you are dominant. Also they don't make good watchdogs really. They don't care about people in their space at all. They don't feel threatened by people at all. You could break into her house and clean her out and as long as you aren't bothering them they don't care. If you broke into my house my dog would kill you. She really would. They definitely aren't for everyone and need specialized treatment or they could be dangerous.
Wyatt on March 10, 2014:
You keep going on about genetics. I'd just like to point out that we share 50% of our DNA with bananas. Doesn't mean shit. Sure sneaking up on a wolf might be a bad idea, but ask yourself, would you sneak up on a German shepherd? No, a hybrid or a wolf is not for everyone, but is a Chihuahua for everyone either? Also, I'm not sure what you were trying to say about cross breeding. If you aren't trying to cross breed a dog with a squirrel, I think you'll be fine. Besides, a lot of genetic deseases occur when you don't cross breed enough.
paula on March 06, 2014:
Fabia I was about to mention the Lupo Italiano. I have one.... Pure accident, some pups were stolen, abandoned, found by the shelter and about half of them were neutered and adopted out before the guardia forestale tracked them down. I have one of them - they let me keep her because she is neutered. Great pet, smart, trainable, sweet but very high energy, territorial and protective. Even if these dogs were generally available to the public I would not however recommend to a first time dog owner. This kind of dog is hard work.
Mel on January 19, 2014:
I owned a wolf hybrid for 12 years with a wolf content of two thirds . Not without its challenges but not without its rewards either. You're right. Wolves and dogs are not the same but in the right setting the right hands a wolf hybrid can be kept safely and obediently. My wolf hybrid was mixed with the Belgian malinois and came to me a very nervous and fearfully aggressive animal. It took me two years to bring him out of the shell completely. At first he destroyed things he tried to bite he got into the garbage he went to the bathroom on the floor and couldn't be handled for any grooming procedure. Hard work when into Loki for those two years. Intense behavior training and obedience work as well as confidence training. In the end this wolf hybrid became the best disability assistance dog I've ever known in my life with an uncanny ability to tell his owner's moods and keep others away from his owner without resorting to aggression when it would have been a danger for others to be near his owner(ie when that owner was having a seizure ) a wolf hybrid is not for everyone but there are some who make very excellent owners for those hybrids that are out there. Just as I wouldn't recommend everyone own a tiger or a lion do I suggest everyone own a wolf hybrid there are those out there that can care for one properly.
Angel on January 18, 2014:
Sorry to disagree with you but in my situation all of your research is wrong. I have a dog/wolf hybrid and several of my friends do as well and they are all the sweetest and friendliest pets one could hope for.
Mine is best friends with my 2 year old son and our 6 month old kitten. He plays very gently with both the baby and the kitty and is very careful not to hurt either one of them. When he plays with me or my husband he is a little more playful and aggressive but his tail is always wagging and if he accidently hurts one of us he will immediately come over and lick us.
When someone comes to the door he will not allow us to open the door without standing between us and the visitor and will only allow the visitor to pass after smelling him or her and/or one of us pulls him back and okays the visitor. My neighbors and their kids all love him and he is very friendly and lovable with everyone he knows and our visitors once he decides they are no threat.
The only time he paces is when he needs to be taken out of when he wants attention and when that happens he doesn't only pace but he will snuggle his muzzle into your arm or your neck or wherever he can reach as if he's begging. It's rather funny and if I turn my head to look at him I am rewarded with a kiss.
The only time he shows any sign of aggressiveness is if we get too close to his food bowl while he is eating but that is any dog. One other time was when a stranger bent down and got too close to the baby, there was a low growl and she backed off. He is very protective of us and especially the baby.
The baby is 2 and throws tantrums and fits. When he is screaming or crying my hybrid will go into the corner on his bed and just lay there. He does not even respond. When the baby falls down, he doesn't pay any attention and just continues doing his own thing. Occasionally he has gone over to the baby and licked him to see if he was alright. Several times he has come to get me by pacing between me and whatever he's trying to tell me (think Lassie)and vocalizing only to find out the baby is doing something he shouldn't be or the baby needs assistance in some way.
When he has "claimed" one of the baby's toys, a shoe, a sock, a pair of underwear, a paper towel or whatever else, he will not stop me from taking it from him. I actually force his mouth open and take the item out if it's too small for me to grab outside of his mouth and all he will do is lick his chops after I let him go.
His ears are shaped like a wolf as well as his tail (which yes sometimes curls up) and he is more puffy and scruffy around the shoulders. He looks pure German Sheppard but just looking at him you can see the wolf clearly. He also had double canine teeth when he was a pup. His jaws are strong and he destroys nearly everything he chews on if I don't get it from him. Even the most durable toys. But he's not aggressive at all and I would trust him completely with my son's life.
Oh yeah, and he will be three years old in May. Going by your research I guess I can safely say his personality and attitude will not change. So please don't say those who have a hybrid are fooling themselves to think they can raise it to be a dog. Because I have done it and so has several of my friends.
Perhaps it is because we are Native American and show living creatures the respect and give them the treatment they deserve. Not one of my Native friends have had any problems with their hybrids.
Jenna on December 30, 2013:
Meh. I know people that own hybrids of high content and no issues arose in disobedience or was anyone put in any danger
The breeder we got our wolf hybrid has nothing but happy owners who wouldn't trade their hybrid in for the world
You wasted your time writing this bogus article
Bruce Gelman from Seattle, Washington on December 25, 2013:
Everyone who commented on how successful their hybrid was has probably never done a real genetic test of their pet.The author makes this point.When I lived in Oregon in the early nineties I would spend my weekends reporting wolf hybrid breeders to the state wildlife dept.and would do it again in a New York minute.By the way if you"need" a macho dog get a Rottweiler.I rescued one from the shelter and he is all the dog I can handle.Very sweet and very stubborn when he feels like it.Leave the wolves alone for Christmas sake.
Sankofa on December 23, 2013:
I found this article hoping to learn more about my hybrid. With all your research, I assume my hybrid is high percentage dog than wolf, which is ok with me. I've seen pictures of the parents and the dad looks to be 100% wolf but maybe he was a hybrid. My point is that I believe you've missed an opportunity to be informative by being overly opinionated. I didn't choose this pet... I chose the owner.
We had him fixed at about 2.5 years old because he started jumping the fence. He’s now approaching 5 years old and we keep him in the house most of the time because people have tried to take him. He is a great watch dog and has bitten strangers who enter the house. In fact, he can be difficult to control around strangers on our property but could care less when meeting strangers off of our property. Yet he has the narrow chest and furry ears you describe. His tail curls most of the time. When protecting our property against intruding people or animals his fur stands on end like a cat (very ominous when you see him straight on because his head appears to double in size).
I know my pet may not be typical hybrid results and others can be the exact opposite. I wish there were more unbiased information available. I’d like to know more about his unique nutritional needs, health concerns, even life expectancy. Anyway, I just wanted to give a little hope to anyone considering euthanizing a hybrid without cause.
Nick on September 27, 2013:
You say that you spent a lot of time working on this in your opening statement, but there is a typo in the title...
andy on September 16, 2013:
I like turtles.....
kathy on May 31, 2013:
Hi i have a six month old huzky slash grey wolf sweet kind potty trained goes to dog park very loving male im praying he stays this way i have a cat other dogs they all get along hes the runt seventh generation my breeder said nueter at 9 months im doing it at 6 also starting training classes he already knows paw sit no and is potty trained leash trained and carrys mail from box to house i know hes still young i pray he stays this way i love this dog sbould i get a crate.
monica on May 24, 2013:
i agree with everything you said. i have a wolf malamute her dad was 100% wolf and her mom was half wolf half malamute. Fury my wolf is 10 years old now. everything you said was very true. thank you
T.J. on February 25, 2013:
I did find some of the information helpful but also some of it a little vague. The part about wolf hybrids chasing chickens, cats, sheep etc could be easily applied to many dogs so it really doesn't do much to differentiate wolf hybrids from domestic dogs. I am also aware there are a few domestic dog breeds i.e. Utonagans, Tamaskans, etc. that have been bred to have a wolfish appearance i.e. the tail that hangs etc. rather than curls so some of these distinctions aren't necessarily applicable. Still it has good information. Cesar Milan has some videos on youtube in which he employed the help of a wolf and wolf hybrid expert which also had some useful information.
Melinda Shawn Pemberton on February 20, 2013:
I have two 5yr old wolf hybrids, they are brothers. Their mother is Timber and the father is a Belgian Shephard. Micco is protective of the house, family, and pack. Ezra runs for a hiding place if someone knocks on the door. Although they both look intimadating, they are sweet natured and loyal to us. They are very obedient, both of them follow word commands AND hand commands. Each hybrid is different, having different amounts of genetic traits from their parents. Ezra has more wolf traits, so he is shy to strangers, will hide behind me if an intruder were to come in, and does not bark. Micco is more like his father, would protect me against anyone or anything, barks ferociously at a knock on the door, but if I let someone in and he deems them to be good natured, will crawl right in their laps. Although they were quite destructive until they were about 1 yr old when they were left unsupervised, they are the BEST animals I have ever had, SUPER intelligent, fairly easy to train and love me endlessly. I agree that hybrids are not for everyone and they differ vastly in character and traits, but your "research" missed its mark. If I were to give any advice about raising a hybrid, the number one rule in my book would be about dicipline. NEVER hit a wolf or hybrid. You want them to be able to trust you and know you are THEIR protector. If you MUST, the most dicipline they would need is a pop up under the chin. I did this ONCE to each of my hybrids, and it hurt their feelings considerably but got their attention right away.
Randy Snow on February 01, 2013:
I had two hybrids, brother and sister. I had both for 7 years and lost the sister and then I had the male for 13 years. He did end up with the hip problems mentioned but hands down the best dogs/wolves/whatever I ever had. So my personal experience is this article is completely off the mark.
sw on January 28, 2013:
This article was a big waste of time filled with what seems like all negative information about hybrids. I myself have 3 hybrids who I love dearly and have made wonderful additions to my family.
Stephanie on January 20, 2013:
Claiming wolf hybrids are not good watch dogs, is a lie. As said is true, not every dog, wolf, or hybrid is the same, nor is every experience is the same. My hybrid had saved my life multiple times, as well as friends lives, because he is an awesome watch dog. When I'm home alone (which is quite often) my hybrid will walk around the house looking at the doors every few hours, as well as intensively watching anyone walking by that expresses any form of danger. Hybrids can NEVER be dominated, and the human own will NEVER be the alpha, hence why hybrids can actually be great watch dogs. Their home is their territory, and they will protect it if threatened. Also the human owner is the hybrids "mate" in a sense and they will protect the mate if a threat occurs. My hybrid and I have a connection like no other, we communicate without any need for words, he understands what I'm trying to tell him by the look in my eyes. Although I had many dominance wars with him when he was a pup, he is a wonderful addition to my family, and I would never trade the past aggression for any other animal.
Jules on January 20, 2013:
Thanks but no thanks. I encourage people to continue the fight against hybrids, but the facts are not 100% accurate. I had a Sheltie that sexually matured at 2, and had 1 heat a year. She was nowhere near related to a wolf. And being a dog breeder for many years, I can tell you there are many more bitches out there that come into season annually. Any dog will take advantage of a humans submissiveness or weakness. Just watch Dog Whisperer. It is in their genes, too. And, genetically you can not breed an ape and a human together. But you can breed a wolf and a dog that will produce viable, breedable offspring. They are genetically closer.
yellow eyes on November 26, 2012:
It is really sad to me how many ignorant people there are out there. its people like you that give wolf dogs, wolves, pit bulls, rotties, and all those dogs that have bad reputations, the bad name they have. People don't do their research fully, they also have a bios opinion and that is not right if you are going to put it out there for everyone to read.
I have a bison ranch and we have had some problems in the past with wolves coming down from yellowstone attacking our newborns. one night we heard something so my husband and i went out to see what was going on. He ended up having to kill a wolf that almost killed one of our newborns "the newborn died 3 days later from injuries due to the wolf attack". this said we try to keep from having to harm them but this is our living we are talking about so i don't want to hear it from any of the animal rights people. A few weeks later we noticed one of the herds being very uneasy, so we checked on them and the pasture they are in. We found 3 pups, wolf pups to my surprise. This is not what i wanted to find. I felt bad about killing a wolf but this made my heart drop. We tried to run them off our property in the direction the pack usually runs but they kept coming back day after day. one of our senior cows had enough and took things in to her own horns. she almost killed them, but i shot off the shotgun in the air to distract her. my husband went and picked them up in the truck.
now that they had real human contact, i felt it was my duty to get some milk in to their tummies, and some hard food if they would take it. they eat and passed out. this is when i called around to all the wild life sanctuaries, no one would take them due to being to full. I called 32 states and no one would help. I couldn't bring my self to kill them, they needed a chance in life. So i sat down with my husband and had a long talk with him. we put them up for adoption but we would do a long screening to find them good homes with people that were very dog and animal savvy. this said they are still with us. now the 3 of them are 4 years old. they get along great with our pit/border collie mix and red heeler, play with the chickens but don't try to kill them, sleep with the barn cat and protect the herds of bison from the wild pack of wolves we have on the outskirts of the pastures. We have not had one instance of the wild wolves coming on our/their property for 3 1/2 years now. they do talk with each other, we do not keep our wolves confined they are free to go back to the wild if they want. the only thing they kill are rats, and come running to either me or my husband after their exciting hunt and drop the dead rats body at our feet. we have to get excited or they will pout for a day before they are back to their normal selfs.
Wolves are one of ranchers #1 enemies but i do have a new found respect and understanding for them. I have learned so much about the way they interact and work, I am very blessed to have this opportunity to be part of their pack. they are much more sensitive than a domestic dog, I found it much easier to set boundaries with them. i don't even have to say anything to them all i have to do is look at hem and they know what im thinking. My husband says i now do the same thing to him lol. hey we don't argue now, he knows if im happy or unhappy about something just by my eyes. they are very respectful animals.
this said, I don't think they are a good animal for everyone, but I would die for my guys and it makes me so mad to see people bad mouth them when they haven't even given them a chance to show their amazing spirit. I know know why the native Americans respected the bison and the wolves so much.
Lisa on November 10, 2012:
I'm the founder of a dog rescue who specializes in rehabilitation. I take in the not so easy to adopt dogs. The ones deemed dangerous or have euthanasia appointments for behavior. I have never had to euth a dog for behavior before ever. This work led me to be a last resort place for many, many wolf dogs and wolves. Most raised by humans but some taken from the wild as adults. Right now I have a Timber wolf and arctic wolf with me. The one thing they have in common with each other is this, most people cannot provide for them properly so they end up dead. After taking in so many, I firmly believe it is wrong to breed Wolves with dogs for pets or to raise a pure wolf as a pet. Out of about 0 applications per wolfdog that i get, maybe one person will have what it takes. Maybe. Most of them require 9ft fences to keep them at home. But, if their needs are met daily, they can be very good pets, protective, obedient and submissive. I have not seen much aggression in them towards humans or other dogs for the most part. You need to actually trigger it like give a bone then take it away. Each one's personality totally depends on how much wolf it has, you are correct there. You are also correct in saying that a big change in behavior happens when maturing from pup to adult. The one very important difference you didn't mention was that the Wolf is far more sensitive then a dog. You might need a firm voice with some dogs but rarely do with wolfdogs or wolves. their systems are more sensitive then dogs are. Medications react differently in them and generally they need less even though their weight is more. A vet cannot go by the lb or kg. Most vets wont work with a Wolfdog and laws make them illegal to own in many places. Most of the ones i have taken in were given up for similar reasons. Destruction of property, getting loose and wandering or needing more exercise then the owner can accommodate. None of them were given up for aggression. One suggestion to you, proof read your article before publishing. And have someone else read it and proof it as well. Maybe re title it to, reasons why Wolves or wolf dogs don't make good pets. And be upfront about how much of the info is your opinion. There are so many more things to add regarding how wolves and dogs are different but you must live with one to really learn all of them. I think this was a great attempt and you will learn from it and do better if you can take the critical comments and use them as a tool to improve your next writing.
Rudy on October 20, 2012:
Very informative article. I enjoyed it a great deal. Thank you.
Vince on August 22, 2012:
I own a wolf he's beautiful and sleeps in my bed. And is fine around the 2 year old. It's just not being a pussy and making sure he knows where he's at. Humans first! He's not an idiot like all wolves. Don't be scared by propagander there not what movies make them
Annastasia on August 13, 2012:
Hey all! My name is Anna and I own a wolf hybrid. Most people post negative comments or articles on wolfdogs from lack of knowledge. If you own a wolf hybrid, or are looking for first-hand knowledge on owning one, I would love to hear from you!
Chelsea on August 12, 2012:
I was hoping this would would be less biased and cite statistics. I'm guessing you didn't have very many proper statistics to cite, though. For instance you mentioned all these hybrid related fatalities... But there is only one recorded instance in the past 25 years of a wolf-dog hybrid fatally wounding a person. The same amount of dachshunds have killed people-and thats hardly a"dangerous breed"! That being said, my parents had wolf dogs when I was growing up, and they protected my brother and me like we were pups, they were never even remotely aggressive, and while they quite enjoyed eating the occasional opossum or turtle that wandered into the yard, they viewed our cat as part of the "pack". That cat lived 18 years in the company of wolves, even sharing water and food sometimes. But thats aberrant behavior...right. I wouldn't recommend a wolf or wolfdog to everyone,we had 100 acres to play on, and the means to feed them properly. But if a person is capable of proper care,i see no real reason to prevent someone from having one. someone in a tiny apartment with a very busy schedule shouldn't have a wolfdog, but they probably shouldn't have any other large, active dog either. If I had the space I would get a wolfdog without delay. I currently have a border collie and a lab mix that I love, but it's a lot more like a parent-child relationship than a friend-relationship. I do miss the friendship-bond with wolfdogs.
Br.Phil on August 10, 2012:
I personally agree with the reasoning of keeping wolves --wolves, and dogs --dogs !!! If you disagree, I hope you don't get aroused at the Ape
area of the local Zoo !!!
carla on July 15, 2012:
I read the article to try to confirm the possibility my husky mix has some wolf in there.For my own peace of mind.He was a shelter dog with little known about him,but that he was approximately 2years old. That turned out to be incorrect.He is NOW about 2 years old and his behavior has become increasingly territorial and aggressive in the past few months.I was hoping for a little more insight into methods for dealin with him,other than strong arming him.Not only were there no real descriptions of physical characteristics to look for,but no suggestions on how to handle these sudden shows of aggression.All I found was fairly extreme bias against an existing practice.Right or wrong the animals exist. Through no falt of their own. Punish irresponsible breeders not the animals. and that goes for every irresponsible breeder,not just those of hybrids.
lynn on July 08, 2012:
Kudos to disappointed reader. He or she pretty much summed it up right there. Its very sad that people who were ignorant about training wolfdogs were bitten or killed by them, but that doesn't mean you have to villainize all wolves and wolfdogs. Truly, they are beautiful animals BECAUSE they have dignity. Its not impossible to find a better friend in them than you would with a dog, if you know how to work with their instincts. In short, bias does not equal research no matter how many times you say it does, and don't hate wolves - respect them for what they are!
Quez on June 27, 2012:
Sounds like you're writing this because you're against them in which you wasted your time with this 'research' I got my hybrid when he was 3 and a half weeks old from the day I brought him home he has considered me his alpha. These animals are not for everyone but neither are pitbulls, mastiffs, shepherds breeds or rottweilers it really comes down to the owner if you can't handle them right don't get them thinking you're a badass.
Kelly on June 26, 2012:
I beg to differ when you say wolves and hybrids cannot be good pets, and if they are they are more dog. I have a hybrid that has been genetically proven to be 98% grey wolf and she is an excellent pet. She just turned 6 and while she was difficult to train she has never done anything worse than ripping up a pillow or using the bathroom in the house. I do agree that wolves and hybrids are not for just anybody, and are certainly not for inexperienced owners as they are technically wild animals, but it is possible to have a hybrid that is a good pet.
future prospects on June 15, 2012:
I understand the opposing arguments. Personally, I am interested in having a real wolf or a wolf dog whenever I am in a state that is legal. I agree that the owner sets the tone for the way a dog acts. I have a doberman (with hip displasia) which is the biggest baby ever. I am curious if anyone has had these positive experiences with a real wolf (98%)? Also, has anyone had a wolf dog in a state that prohibits such? If so, how did that work out?
Wolf dogs are not for the timid on June 10, 2012:
I own a wolfdog, and quite frankly, if you are a timid sumabitch, you have no business training a dog in the first place... I've been working with dogs since the age of 9, and have never met a more agreeable and eager to please animal in my life. Do you have to be firm and uncompromising? Hell yes, but that stands true for most any breed you want to train. In short, a wolfdog ain't for weak willed pussy mofos, but is good for real men (or women) who know what the hell they're doing...
moosemountain on June 06, 2012:
I did not read the entire article because although you may have done a lot of research, you have never raised a wolf hybrid for many years like some people (I had one for 12 years) A lot of what you say in the beginning is BS, any dog can turn on any human; wolf hybrids are no exception. Mine never bit anyone, and I had young grandchildren. A perfect example of useless book knowledge and no hands on experience.
Bill on May 24, 2012:
I own a wolf hybrid. He is 5 years old and I have had him from 5 weeks old. He has accepted me as the alpha from day one and readily obeys hand signals and tongue clicks. Although he will take food from strangers (with my permission) he seldom eats it unless I handle it first. I have chiuahuahs and 2 other large dogs as well and the only time they interact is when someone is home. He gets along better with them than they do with him. My wife has also aquired a kitten that he has adopted as his new friend. This was suprising because he has no problem killing a stray cat that gets into his yard, or a squirrel, or a bird. I believe this article was written on the side of caution which is good because I do agree that a hybrid wolf is definitely NOT a dog. I have been fortunate with mine and I hope anyone that chooses to own one has good luck with theirs as well.
Alycatt on May 16, 2012:
disappointed reader on May 10, 2012:
This is poorly written, badly researched and overly opinionated. I read it start to finish and I still haven't gleaned any workable information about hybrids, wolves, or dogs.
Judy Corley on May 01, 2012:
I think that wolf or vear talted at be pets coss i got on .
Haley on April 25, 2012:
I agree with hybridmamma. You don't care for and train different types of animals the same way you do your dog, i don't treat my painted turtle like i do my dog, or my dog like i do my cats, Hybrids and wolves may not be dogs, but they would make fine additions to anyones family if only they understood and knew how to treat and train them. One must understand animals are alot smarter than we give them credit for, ive met dogs smarter than some of my neighbors. Ive also had someone make an amusing comment ( a man who had horses had this one horse that liked to escape, could figure out the lock no matter what kind the man put in, the man exclaimed "why wont this stupid horse just stay in its pen" and his wife said," whos the stupid one for being outsmarted by the horse" )
Every animal has a personality that goes along with their natural instinct, animals have thoughts and they have feelings, you treat them with respect and love and know when and how to discipline your friend when they misbehave, i find it is better to treat your pets more like their your children, you wouldn't raise all your children the same, they react and feel and think differently than their siblings.
it is ignorant people like you that run off and google a bunch of statistics and research and think its 100% fact, you weren't there when it was being conducted, you don't know the circumstances behind any of these reports, those hybrids who killed people? maybe their owner was mistreating them, or had no clue how to handle a hybrid, maybe the animal had something mentally wrong with it, or got sick with some type of disease that affects temperament. and throwing your own opinion into every other line about how hybrids don't make good pets or how wrong it is to crossbreed didn't help your case, it just showed your bias and general ignorance.
if it can happen in the wild, though unlikely its still a possibility that a wolf and dog mate and have offspring who can mate, it becomes apart of the natural order, granted humans made this happen, its still possible through simple breeding.
im running off on a tangent but my point being there is nothing wrong with hybrids or humans owning hybrids (how do you think we first domesticated any animal? through wild animals) its stupid ignorant people who shouldn't be allowed to care for another living creature, they are the ones who die and get hurt and allow their pets to go on a rampage through the neighborhood and these pets are the ones who suffer for the humans stupidity.
dogs are dangerous, wolves are dangerous, hybrids are dangerous, hell horses are dangerous and their a prey animal, one has to take into consideration how their animal acts naturally and what they need to expect from their pet and act accordingly, my dog barks when anyone comes close to our home, is it annoying? yes extremely so, however its what she does, i understand why she does it, this house is her territory and she is warning others off it, do i tell her to shut it after i go check it out? yes, but i also thank her for her due diligence as part of the pack and for protecting our home, as odd as it is my lab acts surprisingly like a wolf, shy of others, always asks if its ok, but aggressive, territorial and in command as second in command of our home when the cats act out of line, she doesn't hurt them but she lets them know she means business. I have a Golden Lab and she acts nothing like an obedient loving pet, she acts as one of the family; with her own personality her own feelings and her own thoughts and ideas; and that is how we treat her.
hybridmamma on April 06, 2012:
I absolutely agree that if you don't know how to handle a hybrid you should stick with a domestic dog. Hybrids are a totally different animal depending on the content, but I do not agree that they are all wild animals that cannot be trained or trusted. I have two hybrids a 5 year old that acts very wolf like (timid, nervous, always the look-out on camping trips) that is really amazing with everyone. It has taken 5 years of exposure to people, noise and other animals, he is still nervous in new place or around new people... but is in no way dangerous. He has had random people including children walk up and grab him by his big bushy face to give him love, although he does sink into my legs to get a cue on if this is okay he deals with it. I do try to warn people before they do that, just so he is not tortured, but not everyone is familiar with how to approach a strange animal. I take him and his baby sister 6 months old to the dog park and they have never had an issue with dogs or people, if someone gets to close they will sprint across the field to mom, but they do not act aggressive in any way. I think that because people are stoked on getting an "wild animal" they make excuses for bad behavior when usually it is just bad training. I hate when I hear people say, "I came home from work and the chair was eaten and there was pee all over the floor, I was so angry, but what do ya do he is a wolf he can't be potty trained". It is idiots that think this way that give hybrids a bad name. PLEASE if you only want a hybrid to brag about owning a "wolf" please look elsewhere for a dog like a husky or malamute do not get a hybrid...by the way I hear the same excuse about huskies not being able to be potty trained, if you make this excuse for any breed of dog don't own a dog at all because you have no clue at all about animals.
sally on April 01, 2012:
mike88 on March 25, 2012:
I just got this stray dog its all black with yellow eyes and 3 white hairs on chest the tail curls up most of the time he has a thick coat around neck and he howls at sirens when they go by he also has a redish color in his hair...I know for sure he has lab how do I find out what he is mixed with... his tongue is half black and the roof of his mouth is all black... im leading towards timberwolf but his ears are not pointing up... guess if I don't find out what he is he can just be a mutt just like the rest of us...lol
Tony on March 18, 2012:
Couldn't agree more, the wolf and dog are not meant to breed together, and if someone truly insists on keeping a hybrid they should know the differences between the two.
faith on February 28, 2012:
That is so cool
Adam on February 15, 2012:
Keep wolves protected in the wild. Don't try and tame what you do not understand because you feel it is 'cool' to do so. man should never have automatic domination other animals when they wish.Dogs were bred as they were originally the wolf ancestors that chose to be humans rather than the ones who shied away whos ancestors are now being hybridised for peoples whims.
Daniel on January 22, 2012:
Excellent article on wolf dog hybrids. more good articles on wolfdog hybrids at http://www.wolfhybridpuppies.com/articles-from-the...
ryan on January 22, 2012:
I understand where you are coming from in this argument but hybrids are not always uncontrolable. I own a hybrid he is 90% wolf and 10% german shepperd. His name is wrench he is 5 years old and smart as can be. He behaves better than my 9 year old yellow lab.
Cam on January 07, 2012:
The description of physical attributes is infotmative. Wasn't expecting a zoology lecture so I don't understand some of the harsh comments. We have a wolf colony rescue nearby. If anyone doubts the problems with trying to raise a hybrid as a house pet go visit the wolf rescue in Lucerne Valley CA.
wolflover on December 29, 2011:
First, I want to reiterate the previous post relating to common health problems and inbreeding vs. crossbreeding. Hip dysplasia, hearing problems, eye problems, etc. are all very common to pure breeds. Just ask your average doberman or German shepherd breeder or owner about hip dysplasia. Ditto other common problems. These health problems occur because of heavy inbreeding, not because of cross breeding. Additional statistics show crossbreeds - especially accidental crossbreeds (mutts) are generally healthier and live longer. Second, having had a wolf hybrid in my family as a child (was accidentally killed by a car at age 5), and having raised and owned a wolf hybrid as an adult who lived almost 15 years (had him put down due to health problems a few weeks before his 15th birthday), the problems of how to raise and treat a hybrid, while real, are certainly surmountable - even by families. Amadeus was one of the gentlest, sweetest pets I have ever owned, which my wife (not really a dog person) agrees. Should people be made aware of the differences between raising a wolf hybrid and a domesticated breed dog? Certainly. Should those differences be used to discourage crossbreeding with wolves and/or hybrid ownership, or as some have posted here, disparage those who do? Absolutely not.
doglover on December 05, 2011:
one of the problems i found with this article was the idea that crossbreeding dogs created problems such as dysplasia, eye problems, etc. this is incorrect as inbreeding is what intensifies the imperfections to create health problems. cross out of the breed and those problems often get lost in healthier DNA mixes.
Ollie on November 28, 2011:
Amazing article. I really have no words in my brain to express how happy I am to find this article.
Mary on November 14, 2011:
i honestlyly think a person can tame any animal with spending the time it takes to do so! i beleive they are all special in their own ways an you should give them more or a chance. seems to me they are just misunderstood an maybe your a little full of shit
Sandi on October 19, 2011:
My son brought home a half wolf mix he got in CA when he was in the Army. It killed two of the dogs I had for 14 years. I do not blame her ( the wolf ) I blame myself for not researching & understanding her nature before I treated her as just a pet. Because I have taken in strays I have had 40+ dogs over the years, sometimes our "pack" as large as 10 at a time & they have NEVER killed one another. She is sweet & loving toward people & IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. She shows zero aggression, even when eating, even when other animals take her food. But she killed the old, weak ones when no one was there. The people that think they "know" what an animal will do are fooling themselves. They have their own "laws" of behavior & it is not anything like humans. And people that breed wolves to dogs should be shot. There are too many uneducated "owners" that will cause tragic things to happen with this cross, to both the hybrid animal, humans & other animals. It just should not be allowed. And I DIDN'T put the wolf down, I love her very much and now that I know she is NOT a dog & has to be treated differently I will do so. She is entitled to a happy long life, as much as any living thing, it is up to me to be responsible & make sure she doesn't kill anything else!!
Christina on October 01, 2011:
Dear wolfdog writer first may I say thank you.To be honset I have only read 1/4 of your story based on wolfdog behovir.However like the ''honset'' public Iam smitten with wolves and dogs alike.But I didn't think that their was a large diffrence seprateing the two.I knew wolves were wild and dogs were pets.A wolfdog quckily caught my instrest in what I thought would make a low maintince family pet.Now I see that wolfdogs in the wrong hands can make a bad temperd anmail.Wolfdogs to good owners may make a good pet.I will do more rescreach on both dogs,wolves and wolfdogs.This may be of your pleasure.When I was younger I knew a wolfdog or at least a wolf like dog.I noticed he was very sweet I think he thought of me more as a pet than an owner.He was more attion seeking than the modern dog.I could stop peting him because he was such a handsome anmail.He was very big rather aggrsive at times.Compare this wolfdog to my Labdor retiver Daisy.She was more playful,loving,more tolrent.Yes wolfdogs can make good pets only to people who understand the wolfdog is your owner you his/her pet.
Tan on June 28, 2011:
I have a hybrid pup and he is wonderful. His parents were just like any other dogs aside from how big they were. I understand you are argueing for the sake of stopping cross breeding, I agree completely. I adopted mine because he was not meant to be born and needed a home. I do not think people should adopt their animal friends because of what breed they are or whatever, but on the chemistry they share between human and animal. I love my hybrid more than anything and I can assure you they are not the monsters you have made them out to be. ANY animal will kill and be wild if allowed. It takes patience and love to raise any animal the right way. No animal is born bad, they are just "made" that way somehow.
pat on May 21, 2011:
i have two hybrids and a new born a todler and a teen the hybrids have been around my german shepards and i have never had a problem they are just as loving and loyal as a dog they do have a lot of energy but i make sure they burn it off my children run around no problems they've cried when infants and still nothing and they are very protective you say they wait for the alfa to react is bull they are very good at protecting my home and family its is true they are not for eveyone but then again neither are dogs for those same owners you can come and study my hybrids all you want cause your research is incomplete (for your information its a 50/50 hybids)
Maddie on March 04, 2011:
awesome to read. these people that want these hybrids are just lookng for something exotic that they can glite about. There are so many breeds of dog, these losers whould pick a dog not a wild animal.
wolfman on March 03, 2011:
I am 30 years old and have been around hybrids for 10 years hybrids i have been fortunate enough to get to know these magical and mystical creatures if you took the time to do this research you should have taken the time to get to know one they are great pets and if properly taken care of (like any dog) will be a great companion for years facts are that hybrid wolfs account for less than 2% of yearly dog bites know whaqt your talking about before you dismiss them
fabia on January 24, 2011:
what i did read make good sense,but there is a breed that is most gsd,with a small part of wolf.it's clever and trainable like a dog and strong with a good sense of smell like a wolf.is the lupo italiano.of course is been create years ago,by qualify persons.is not available to the public,is a working dog for avalanche rescues,police etc.it would be a good pet?possible !it did take many years and a lot selections to arrive to the lupo italiano,i would't cross a dog with a wolf,the result can be very different.there are other new breeds around,most gsd x wolf,very pretty but none is loyal and can be trusted like the gsd.so' the lupo italiano is not available to buy,better stick to gsd or hushy if do you want a little bit of the look of the wolf,but play safe!
wolfpassion on January 16, 2011:
I think that everyone is missing the point of the article. The point is stop breeding wolves and dogs. Let dogs be dogs and wolves be wolves. Did you know that most wolf-dogs don't live to see there 3rd birthday because owners don't know how to handle them. When they are turned over they are put down within 24 to 48 hours no questions asked. A dog and wolf are not the same. Sure dogs are decendents of the wolf but through all the breeding through out the centuries, man has created "DOG".
biovet on December 01, 2010:
A wolf is evolutionarily more closely related to a dog, as they are of the same species and can interbreed producing a viable (able to reproduce) offspring. A lion is not of the same species of a housecat. In fact, a lion is not even of the same species as a tiger or other large cats (breeding them would not produce VIABLE offspring); therefore, your comparison of a wolf and a dog to a lion and a housecat is unfounded, and I did not continue reading due to this argument at the beginning of the paper.
roam el on October 21, 2010:
Thanks for a useful article .
you state clearly that a dog would react as an alpha and would chase out an intruder , while a wolf would leave it for his master the human being ( as the alpha ) . yet , many scholars argue that the dog has inherited his character from the wolf ( the gray wolf ) , in such case , he had also to leave to his master strange intrusions , maybe it's a sort of proof that the dog acts or inherited other behavioural patterns concerning the notion of being pack leader or led member of a pack .This is contrary to what many scholars and professionals argue .....
LoneWolfSullivan on May 27, 2010:
The wolf has a "brush" tail, the dog has a "sickle" tail.
"The sickle tail is the single phenotypic characteristic that seems to separate dogs from wolves. Dogs who have tails tend to have an upward curve in the tail, which is called the sickle tail. Wolves' tails, on the other hand, hang straight; this is called the brush tail—similar to that of a fox." (Wikipedia)
Lone Wolf Sullivan on May 27, 2010:
You used too much space explaining how much research you did. It was superfluous, and not necessary. The proof is in the pudding, as they say.
I accessed this post to find the proper name of the dog's tail. The wolf has a straight "brush" tail, and you do not give the proper names. So much for your research. I'll look elsewhere.
Your estimate that the wolf was civilized to become a dog 20,000 to 100,000 years ago is too high. Most authorities estimate 10,000 years, but nobody knows for sure.
Otherwise the article was informative and OK. Here is the link to my "Wolf Anti-Defamation League" for factual info, a survey of the wolf in fiction, and wolf photos:
stars439 from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State. on October 16, 2009: