Whitney has over 10 years of experience in dog training, rescuing, and healthcare.
Wolf-Dog Hybrids as Pets
After some time and debate, scientists have decided that the domestic dog originated from the wild wolf. It is thought that way back when (about 20 to 100 thousand years ago), wolves began to warm up to humans, who started selectively breeding them for traits that they could use for hunting and protection. They look alike and are similar in genetics, but the two animals are completely different. Over the past several thousand years, dogs have been domesticated to live amongst people; wolves are still wild animals.
They are not the same animal. Dogs and wolves are just similar.
When it comes to keeping a hybrid wolf as a pet, there's a lot that should be considered. There are many stories of hybrids being wonderful pets, and this may be true, and in the same studies, they show that most hybrids do not die of old age; rather, the owners either let them loose, it runs away, or some other reason as to why the wolf-dog was gotten rid. If it were truly a good dog/wolf, why did they get rid of it?
Wolf hybrids can have quite a varied appearance; some will have more of a wolf appearance, whereas others may look predominantly like a domestic dog.
Some wolf hybrids that take more of the wolf genes can be very hard to distinguish from a true wolf, whereas those who take more of the domestic dog genes can be hard to distinguish from a mixed breed dog.
- Wolf hybrids will have medium length fur with a medium to thick coat. The fur will range from a variety of colors to include black, gray, tan, brown, and white. Their coat color is not set in until after 1 year of age.
- Eye color will range from golden to brown.
- Ears will generally not flop.
- They may have larger teeth than a regular domestic dog.
- Their legs may be a little longer than a domestic dog.
- The tail may not curl but remain straight at all times, whether in the air or ducked.
- At a full grown size, males can weigh between 85 to 155 pounds and females between 75 to 130 pounds.
Behavior and Temperament
Being that dogs are the descendants of wolves, they have a lot of the same basic traits and characteristics in terms of protection and territory, but domestic dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years to live among humans, so the wild characteristics have been greatly altered.
Wolf hybrids are generally going to have behaviors of the wolf and the dog, but it is completely unrealistic to expect a hybrid to act like a domestic dog. Training will never eliminate the natural behaviors and characteristics of a wolf or a hybrid, so you will never be able to completely suppress the natural instincts.
Puppies will be more accepting of humans than adult hybrids. Puppies will be more willing to submit to humans, as well. After they turn about two years old, wolves start to challenge their pack, so don't assume a wolf/dog mix is not going to ever try to win his dominance over you. Hybrids will live in captivity with humans with great ease, but if you show even a simple sign of weakness, such as fatigue, frustration, or even an injury, you may find yourself in a battle over dominance, which can end in a fatality for you or the hybrid.
According to the CDC, there have been about 14 fatalities reported between 1979 and 1998 due to wolf-dogs; they are 6th in dog attack fatalities. But, like all dog statistics, you can't take these numbers as the word of God or 100 percent truthful, considering that it can be hard to distinguish a wolf mix from just a regular dog mix with no wolf genetics.
Studies show that neutering dogs reduces aggression and dominance problems, but when neutering a hybrid, you'll only notice differences during mating season, not throughout the year.
Wolfdogs are very intelligent animals, so you never want to put anything past them. When bored, they can be destructive. When under-stimulated, they can be plain mischievous. These dogs are not predictable, and if you do not have proper experience, it's not recommended that you bring a pup home.
You will want to give your hybrid a lot of exercise on a DAILY basis. You'll want to provide at least 3 to 4 hours twice a day, split between morning and evening, as that's when they'll be most active. Strenuous exercise will help keep destructive and irritating behaviors (chewing, digging, howling) decreased.
Wolf Hybrids and Children
If you have young children in the house, you will want to be very leery of every leaving the child alone with a wolf mix. It's a big concern enough to leave a trusted domestic dog with a child, as you never know what may happen to cause the dog to turn, but a dog mixed with a wild animal poses more of a risk. Even as an accident, an adult wolf hybrid could accidentally smother a child easily.
Because wolves are very predatory, mixes can maintain this natural instinct, which can result in major problems if set off. Children scream, run, trip, and cry, which can scare a wolf mix; children are prone to injury, clumsiness, and fatigue, which shows weakness to the mix. These things can set off the predatory response. Even hybrids that have been trained and raised with children can flip, resulting in serious injury or death.
Once the predatory instinct has been triggered, the wolf-dog will never look at the child or animal the same again.
Wolf Hybrids With Other Pets
Other animals (cats, domestic dogs, chickens, sheep, etc.) can easily stimulate natural instincts and should not be considered 100 percent safe when left alone.
Behavioral Problems With Wolf Hybrids
As mentioned, these mixes retain much of their wild behaviors and can be considered quite erratic and unpredictable. They can assert dominance on children, the elderly, and everyone in between. They can attack other pets, and their predatory instincts cannot be shut off permanently.
Another behavior issue with wolf-dogs is the strong natural territorial instinct. Domestic dogs can be quite territorial, but when mixed with a wolf, the behavior can be increased. Wolf hybrids do not like trespassers, whether animal or human.
Once the wolf mix has set his territory boundaries, that is his space, and if he doesn't think another animal or human is supposed to be there, he'll take it into his own account to deal with it.
You'll find that basic territory marking behaviors are not going to be the most pleasant to deal with. While being possessive, pacing the area, and being shy may not be as big of a problem for you, having a dog that digs, destroys, howls, and chews isn't that pleasant. Much less scent marking, inside and outside of the house. These may not be dangerous behaviors, but they're not acceptable to most.
You can train a wolf-dog, but you will never be able to 100 percent remove natural instincts. You can socialize the hybrid around other animals and people, but you will never be guaranteed that an animal or human won't trigger some kind of response that could cause injury or death.
Wolves have developed their behaviors of millions of years, and even domestic dogs who have been living with humans only thousands of year, still experience natural instincts that can be deadly. Wolf hybrids have the wolves' genetics, as well as the domestic dog's, but in many cases, the wolf genes are more dominant.
When training a wolf hybrid, they are very intelligent. They catch on fairly easily, but don't expect them to obey commands as well as the domestic dog. They get bored easily, and once they're bored, or even frightened, they're not going to obey (which can be common in domestic dogs as well).
Younger hybrids are more susceptible to obeying commands and training, but adults will try to overpower you when they think they can.
Some hybrids will retain the characteristics of a domestic dog, but you'll always see the traits of the wild wolf. You will find that mimicry is the best method of training a wolf hybrid because wolves learn best by watching their pack members and mimicking their behaviors.
Because there are many health problems across the board that are associated with dogs, it can be hard to determine if a mixed breed will be prone to any health problems.
What you can consider are basic health problems that are associated with big dogs, as wolves can be considered large dogs. Hybrids will see the same basic problems.
- Hip dysplasia
- Eye infections
Wolf Hybrid Studies
Although I will be the first to tell you that dog studies are not the most accurate when comparing the group in the study to the population as a whole, you can look at the individual studies and summarize those results to form your own opinion.
The most common study is one with 300,000 hybrids (with more dog genetics), and out of the entire group, 10 people were killed (about 1.25 annually); in comparison, out of about 50 million dogs are kept as pets, there are about 20 people killed annually (about 0.11 annual deaths). Deaths by hybrids are about 11 times more than domestic dogs.
Wolf hybrids are not for everyone, and if you decide to bring one home, you want to do all the research that you can beforehand, and you want to make sure that you and the entire household will be prepared to handle the animal. You cannot expect too much out of a hybrid in terms of obedience or the same pet relationship as with a dog.
Even though hybrids have domestic dog genetics, they are still considered wolves and wild animals in most states.
Wolf Hybrid Laws
Wolves and wolf hybrids are not legal in all states to keep as pets. Before you get a wolf-dog, you need to check with your state and local laws.
- Alaska: Illegal to own unless grandfathered in on January 23, 2002.
- Arkansas: Owning hybrid wolves requires special regulations and considerations.
- California: Illegal to own a first-generation hybrid unless you have proof you had the hybrid before 1988. You can own a second-generation hybrid without a registration.
- Connecticut: Illegal to own.
- Delaware: Permit required to own a hybrid.
- Florida: Doesn't regulate wild x domestic mixes, but hybrids of wild x wild crosses are regulated.
- Georgia: Illegal to own; considered any cross of a wild animal still a wild animal.
- Hawaii: Considers a hybrid to be a non-domestic animal and are illegal to own.
- Idaho: Illegal to sell, purchase, barter, keep, own, or transport wild animal or hybrid.
- Illinois: Illegal to possess hybrid unless the person has authorization from the Department of Natural Resources to bring it into the state and a federal exhibitor's permit to keep it.
- Iowa: Considers hybrids dangerous animals, and if you own one or want to, they are subject to many restrictions.
- Kansas: Consider hybrids to be large domestic dogs rather than wolves. However, it's still required to have a "special wildlife possession" permit.
- Louisiana: Illegal to import, possess, purchase or sell.
- Maine: Must be licensed, rabies vaccinated, and have a permanent ID (microchip or tattoo), as well as special caging requirements for breeding.
- Massachusetts: Illegal to possess, sell, trade, breed, import, export, or release except as otherwise provided by regulations of the division.
- Maryland: Illegal to possess, trade, sell, barter, breed, or own.
- Michigan: Illegal to own unless grandfathered in before the act was passed.
- Minnesota: Not state regulated, but regulated by county.
- Mississippi: Permit required to own as well as special caging.
- Missouri: Permit required.
- Montana: No restrictions, but hybrids with 50% or more wolf genetics must be permanently ID-ed (tattoo or microchip).
- New Hampshire: Some restrictions.
- North Carolina: Not state regulated by county regulated.
- North Dakota: Illegal to own unless grandfathered in as of August 1, 1997, and has had the animal spayed/neutered.
- New York: Allowed as long as the hybrid is five generations removed from the wild.
- Ohio: Not regulated by state, but county regulated.
- Oregon: Not state regulated by county regulated.
- Pennsylvania: Permits required.
- Rhode Island: Ilegal to import, receive, or possess unless otherwise permitted.
- Tennessee: Permit required by the Department of Agriculture.
- Texas: Illegal to sell, trade, barter, or auction any dangerous animal or animal parts. As for owning, that is determined per county.
- Utah: Not regulated by state, but regulated by county.
- Vermont: Regulates hybrids that are 4 generations or less removed from the wild.
- Virginia: Permit required.
- Washington, D.C.: Illegal to possess, display, offer for sale, trade, barter, exchange, adopt, or give as a household pet.
- Wyoming: Regulates import, possession, and confinement.
Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Indiana (permit required for wolves, not hybrids), Kentucky, Nebraska (unless the dog is 90% and 10% dog), New Jersey (must be able to show proof it's a hybrid), New Mexico, Nevada (law is changing by still currently allowed), Oklahoma, South Dakota, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Ashley on August 20, 2020:
Good article with some misconceptions though..
Lisa Windham on July 16, 2020:
I disagree compmetely disagree with this. I have had hybrids for about 23 years. All of mine have been the biggest lap babies ever. They are truly exceptional animals. The only problem i see with them is having 2 males. They do tend to be territorial and want dominance. But my female had a litter of pups and i was very selective as to anyone getting one but out of her litter she had 2 end up being service digs, 1 K9, and 1 huge dog show winner. These dogs are some of the most intelligent and loving animals i have have ever had. My high content male is the most loving and family oriented animal i have ever had. All 5 of mine are the sweetest babies ever. My mid content male thinks hes a true lap baby at 115 lbs. In my eyes, u cant find a better more loving animal than a hybrid. I love them so much. Oh and i didnt say, that where they may take weakness and attack u. I had 2 emergency back surgeries in June and couldn't hardly walk. Mine have all been my medicine. They cuddle with me and love on me the whole time. Hybrids are amazing!!!
Tired of fake news on June 24, 2020:
This is such crap. All of mine are wonderful pets. They are great with my kids. Weve never had a singleninvident and my male is unaltered and he is high % maybe get the true facts before writing an article and trying to scare people.
Jbird on June 14, 2020:
Wolfdogs could injure you but never in a life time would they kill you or try to they would most likley be trying to be left alone or they want to play people always misunderstand the reasons your pet would hurt you its just like a cat say your cat got in a fight with another cat and got hurt you go to pet her and she attachs you see its not because she wants to hurt you its you hurt in a way you did not know
Randy Winton on February 20, 2020:
Only if you are a caveman
J on January 12, 2020:
My brother owns a half his key and Timberwolf mix. He lives in SOCAL and with the expenses their unfortunately he can only afford a one bedroom apartment. His wife and him both work full-time. I’m afraid he doesn’t get much attention as he should. Are there any sanctuaries in SOCAL ? My brother and his wife don’t want to put him in a shelter . They love him but know that living in a shelter is sad .
Roberta Dillon on December 17, 2019:
I had a 3/4 Timberwolf that lived for 17 years was the best dog I ever had. She was so smart. Smarter than a dog and was so loyal to me. I would have another in a heartbeat. Once you train the hybrid which listened very well the attention span was better than a dog. She was protective but also listened if you told her no.i loved her was the best and most loyal dog I ever had....
Nicole Miller on December 13, 2019:
My boyfriend's dog is Akita/Husky/Chow/Wolf is pregnant with a blue nose Pitbull. Has anyone had experience with this mix?
Nishelle Hadley on October 20, 2019:
I have a shepherd husky wolf mix she’s so beautiful and I love her so much I’m in Florida
Larissa Ellis on October 19, 2019:
Hi, I just stumbled onto the article and I was looking for some advice. I have a beautiful husky wolf mix. And she’s gotten into the aggressive stage. Thankful she has not yet shown aggressive to us. But she attacks all of our other dogs to the point they have needed stitches and just attacked our new puppy that she pretty much adopted to I guess assert her dominance. What can I do to help control her aggression? We would NEVER want to get rid of our baby. She’s such a sweet dog and loving, she even attacked a pit bull to protect me she ripped that dog off me and tore it up then came over to “ clean my wounds”. I just need help keeping her calm.
Gabe on May 06, 2019:
This is helpful.
Terri on April 28, 2019:
I inherited a wolf/husky hybrid and we absolutely love him despite the constant shedding. But I need hel from current owners, please...... Having some kink of allergy. Large bald spots and lumps forming on his hind end. Seems to itch like crazy and it's not from fleas. Vet not sure, changed food several times, started vit E and moisturizers and still no change. Poor guy is miserable. Please help!?!?
Kat on July 17, 2018:
I adopted a husky a few years ago and took him in for training. One of the trainers informed me that he's a hybrid. He's extremely smart, sweet, hilarious-let me tell you- he talks, he mimics. He calls me "Mama" & "Mommy" He tips over his water dish like he wants a shot at a bar. I could go on... I had a cat who died from diabetes. He cried & cried with me. He has favorite bands! I think he loves 30 Seconds to Mars as much as I do. He sits up & responds to Jared Leto, Ellen Degeneres, Matt Damon, & Zac Efron.
A few years ago I had a stalker issue. It soon stopped because of the fact that he scared the guy so much, he never bothered me again.
He growls at people he gets a bad vibe from.
We have full conversations!
He sings Florence & the Machine, Imagine Dragons, & 30 Seconds to Mars songs. Oh & The Rainbow Connection, if he's in the right mood.
He snuggles, even sleeps in my bed.
When I passed out from a medication he somehow got me into the bathroom, so I could get sick & get it out of my system. He saved my life!
He socializes well, is learning how to do agility, & has learned several tricks. I've been informed that if there's more wolf that they aren't as trainable.
If he gets out of the yard, he does go on a good run & returns a muddy mess for his favorite treats-the Nudges made with real chicken & the grillers he LOVES more than anything.
He loves being muddy & rolling in disgusting things though. He gets kinda stinky, but loves to play in water so bathtime isn't too bad LOL
Isabella gates on June 29, 2018:
I own a wolf hybrid but he’s very very shy and tips for him to warm up it maybe because his previous owners abused him but and tip please thank you and also he barely eats dog food or gets out of his cage and stays in his cage not willing to go to the bathroom outside
Tracey on June 10, 2018:
I own a wolfdog. He is incredibly sweet with people, and he especially adores women and children, but you can see his protectiveness as well. He will stand in between me and a guy that he gets a bad vibe from, and you can tell that if the guy attacked me that he would go into full protection mode. They are escape artists and you have to have a tall (at least 6 foot) buried fence so that they don't get out. They can NEVER be off leash outside of their secured fenced in yard. ANYTHING THAT ISN"T HUMAN OR DOG IS PREY. My wolfdog has killed rabbits, possum, squirrels, went after a 1000 pound cow, and would kill a cat in a heartbeat. They are expert killers - I was walking with my wolfdog in the woods, a coyote came right at me out of nowhere, and in 4 seconds it was dead, expertly killed. They are EXTREMELY intelligent. It is more work to own a wolfdog than a regular dog and requires eternal vigilance and monitoring. Most people should not own one as they are not careful enough. That said, if you are one of the few responsible enough to own one, they are extremely special, very loving dogs who will protect you without hesitation if you have a deep bond with them.
firstname.lastname@example.org on May 18, 2018:
Hum my experience with wolf hybrids and I've had three of them now is through a very loyal very loving yeah they can be a pain in the butt sometimes but to say they should be illegal that's not right just because of your personal fears or something you read in a book somewhere they can be very beautiful trusted loyal friends oh and yes by the way they're very protective of those they love I haven't seen any of my animals exhibit any type of trait that would make me fear them or my family how many post on here if you seen where they've actually saved people by dragging baby's back and other things understanding I agree they're not just a trophy but they have any more value
Yes they are pack animals that means they're very family-oriented warm loving and kind but I agree to there also very territorial and do exhibit great things that you can experience with a normal canine
Icewallowcome on April 03, 2018:
is a regular dog better than a wolf dog hybrid?
B.e.a on February 10, 2018:
We now have a red nose rescue,
Before we had 8 hybrid wolf dogs,all brothers an sisters,I could go on for hours,but these animals had plenty of property an when pups they hung out with my wife never a leash ,I guess we were lucky in a sense,but they had so much love an miles of walks an runs ,I have pictures in photographs,when young they are like children need I say more about our prefect animals. We gave 4 up for sale cheap as long as people had the right grounds.100.00 apiece long story short ,we had to move to the city,they lived untill they were 14 ,then each one passed ,in my opinion early do to mtn to city change, I will say it again best animals in the world ,but yes alot of work but so are children . And if you don't have the ground,dont do it ,also someone must be close or with them for they're first year.
Say what you want ,I'll NEVER REGRET MY HYBRIDS.MomTibet,China, Cimarron, and Cherokee, came to the city with us.
An we have our red nose rescue now
LadySweets on January 05, 2018:
ve a Red-Nose American Pittbull,Border Collie,Timber Wolf mix and she is territorial with her puppies who are Red-Nose American Pittbull,Border Collie,Labrador and Timber Wolf mix,but she loves to be hugged,kissed and loved on her name is Lady Sweets..Wolf Hybrids are not that dangerous as long as you know how to take care of one,although I have 11 wolf hybrids I take care of all 11 of my Wolf Hybrids out in the country
Thelma on January 05, 2018:
I have a Red-Nose American Pittbull,Border Collie,Timber Wolf mix and she is territorial with her puppies who are Red-Nose American Pittbull,Border Collie,Labrador and Timber Wolf mix,but she loves to be hugged,kissed and loved on her name is Lady Sweets..Wolf Hybrids are not that dangerous as long as you know how to take care of one,although I have 11 wolf hybrids I take care care of out in the country
Anonymous on December 31, 2017:
I am 13 and my wolf hybrid is german shepherd and wolf I have a twin were identical and we share him he gets jealous easily and doesn't like to see us get hurt.
Anonymous on December 18, 2017:
When i was 1-5 years old my parents had a wolf-husky mix that was great with kids and even got me out of the road by my diaper when i wandered in the street
Michael shaw on December 16, 2017:
Hi I have a Alaskan shepherd x Czech wolf she's been neutered at 5 and an half months old. Will this stop her from getting tall.
Gonzalez Wverney on October 21, 2017:
I’d love to have one but I was reading that I need a permission from my state (VA), who should I need to see? Where should I go to get it? I also have a Siberian husky, can they get along? Thanks in advance.
Amy on September 28, 2017:
I have an appointment to visit with a wolf/shepherd/malamute mix, I am a little cautious as I don't want to be killed by the family pet. Are there any pointers I should need to know?
Felicia on September 23, 2017:
Okay wolfdogs are not meant for everyone people....throwing around that wolfdogs can be owned by anyone is completely inaccurate. That is how wolfdogs get killed, people buy them thinking they will be a wonderful pet but will be in a rude awakening when the wolfdog rips up their entire couch because they were left alone for 10 minutes because of anxiety. Wolfdogs constantly are bought by uneducated people on how wolfdogs are and so that is when wolfdogs are let loose into the wild and die from starvation because they knew learned how to hunt or they get shot because of wandering around a neighborhood. Yes wolfdogs are beautiful yes they are amazing creatures but they are part wolf therefore a wild animal. Wild animals are not pets and cannot be treated like a cute fluffy domesticated dog. They need special care. A wolfdogs takes up so much time and money to accommodate to there needs, such as proper outside fencing and a lot of space to run and be active. If you buy a wolfdog and think they will just magically get along with your cat you are fooling yourself, that cat will be its dinner. If you want a wolfdog do extensive research, go to a wolfdog sanctuary and learned how to care for them, read books on them. DO NOT just buy one because you think you can handle it without knowing anything about the animal. That is how wolfdogs die by careless people who think they want a cute wolfdog but then later have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. If you are serious about owning one and never have before start off with a low content wolfdog and educate yourself. Do not be another person who is ignorant and ends up regretting their decision and having their wolfdog die from it.
maya on September 18, 2017:
my dogs like that
Peter John Stott on August 28, 2017:
I have a Wolfdog and I would recommend them to ANYONE. My boy is wonderful in every way including obedience, never have I had a better pet. He is also a great guardian, people need to approach me slowly and I need to tell him it's ok. We are regularly stopped by tourists so they can take a photo. He is a true Hybrid in every way. I wish people would try to learn about the Wolfdog before they buy one. One thing that must be pointed out is that you will be doing a lot of vacuum cleaning because of him/she shedding their coat, this can be quite a lot but if you love the pet you'll do it without any complaint, on this subject they need a lot of grooming to help them keep cool and if possible leave your air conditioner on for him or her. I live in Tunisia now and it's very hot here in summer so my boy needs to be given a good supply of cold water with ice and not to many goodies I know I know it's a temptation but frequent feeding of goodies can do more harm than good. Please don't listen to people that tell you a Wolfdog is dangerous to have as a pet it's rubbish, they are no different than any other pet in reference to giving them love and affection which they WILL and DO respond to I wouldn't swop my boy for ANY other pet. Thanks for reading this if it helps.......now go and buy yourself a Wolfdog and feel special.
Kathy Black on June 11, 2017:
I have one he is wonderful and just love them
Paul on April 02, 2017:
It was by pure accident I adopted a cute puppy while shopping at the local food market a lady had a shopping kart full of cute puppies to give away cause she was moving. So she claims. Our puppy grew like a weed and loves to be outdoors we live in the mountains and don't have any close neighbors. When he was a year
Miranda on February 13, 2017:
I had a wolf/husky mix and he was a gentle dog with myself and the children but very protective. They can be great pets but you need to know what your getting into. Ours would howl, a lot, at sirens, other dogs, strangers, the neighbors and the neighbors cat. Still breaks my heart we had to give him away.
ZEPHER on February 11, 2017:
Many good comments. Most importantly is truly being prepared to take a wolf.dog mix on. Like raising any child, adolescent, much love and discipline (ie teaching) is required.
These are very smart creatures who..same as we..want attention and understanding. Like adolescents, they test and because of their enhanced intelligence can be quite stubborn. The guiding precept that I came to grasp pretty quickly is they are canines as we know..but with very intense, exaggerated canine responses, proclivities...the very attributes we bred out of the wolf to have a 'domestic' dog.
Once you keep this always in mind, you'll have a chance of developing a successful detante. Hierarchy is paramount to them, especially during puberty (which can last till 3 yrs in a wolf). Instinctively they can go after the weak, even in you...though, often loyalty and love will trump after many years. My poor adult daughter would be his target even if I was the guilty party to any anxiety he might experience. But, is getting better as she has learned to stand her ground.
And, by no means ever leave a large dog, let alone a wolf...no matter how trusted... alone with a baby. I've had mauled babies present to the ER because of this lack of respect for the canines natural instincts which can be triggered any time.
On spay and nuetering, the U.S. is the only country in which the misguided vet and SPCA community routinely push mutilating pets. All those health problems, particularly musculoskeletal and cancer ensue down the road. Not going to go into detail, but hang onto this. The anabolic and life giving hormones of testosterone and estrogen are not just for giving new life (reproduction) , but are critical for renewing life of the host mammal's tissues throughout their life span and stem aging and disease. Castration, instantly ages the creature and is barbaric and illegal in most civilized countries. Sterilization can be accomplished by less radical vasectomy and tubals.. or in females at least leave the ovaries in as the uterus is routinely removed by vets today.
In carefully reviewing the literature, humans too, removing testosterone in male dogs cannot reliably predict less aggressive and marking behaviours and absolutely will NOT reduce this behaviour in a wolf dog. The testosterone surge in puberty is critical to systems development and for proper bone musculoskeletal mass.density and bone lengths and joint angles..resulting problems later on are usually a result of depriving the mammal of their required hormones levels. The adrenal glands simply cannot make up for it and will often burn out and we'll see increase rates of failure (Cushing ds). Keep in mind that both estrogen and testosterone are essential for life. Killing the necessary surge in adolescent pets condemns them to less life and impaired health. The levels of testosterone will simmer down naturally and dramatically at age 3 to 4.
So let nature's so brilliant design unfold as intended. Sterilize the animal WITHOUT castration. We need to advocate for these creatures and get the AVMA to see dogs and cats as worthy creatures to be protected and not as things.
But need to start with prospective owners. Wolf dogs should be respected and protected. Begins with understanding the true canine. Don't ever get a wolfdog cause it's cool. They become family members like children and not 'things' to show off or put on a shelf till you want to be bothered. And, do not kennel or crate them for long periods. They must have lots of exercise and mental stimulation. They are more possessive than any dog I've had (mostly Shepards over many decades). They need their own possessions and learn quickly what's your and what's their. My closet got routinely emptied till M found an object of interset. My husband's favorite shower would be pilfered for neat loot and his office too. M knows to leave expensive items be now cause he has plenty of his own.
And, never ever 'punish' a dog, especially wolf mix. They will do as you wish thru positive habituation. Not having much prefrontal cortex for anticipatory thinking, they don't get why potting indoors is wrong. Have to give them a stern NO and take them outside where you want them to go and encourage and praise. Treats are confusing, especially the Super smart wolfdog. But must get out absolutely any trace of urine in the house or their instincts to remark will take over. Remember dogs have 300 million olfactory receptors as contrasted with our measly 36 million. Use enzymes like BIZ which u can get at most stores.
Punishment only destroys the trust you need from your dog. He may act sheepish when he messes in the house, but not because he knows it's wrong, but because he knows you'll punish him if your unwittingly su scribed to this belief. Got to limit room access and get rugs up in the meantime, and like a puppy either crate or keep near you and always be very proactive in taking him out. He'll get it, but can't trust him till he is older. My WD would come get me to show me his 'efforts' once he began to go out on his own volition. He wanted that praise. No he just goes and doesn't seek me out afterwards.
My rescue took a bit to get there and after many expensive rugs had to come up and be thoroughly professionally washed..they won't go back down till he has gone a year of perfect house training.
I ended up with a white shepherd wolf mix rescue (mid to high content..60%) who had been dumped....no doubt more than someone could handle. Yes, you live your life around them...but he is so worth it.
Another thing, they do learn by mimicking. My other 2 seasoned white shepherds have taught him where to go (is funny to behold the true pissing contests that ensue) but they have taught him many other things, like to fine tune howling, and bark at walkers...darn, he did not bark before. They all love each other but M does 'dog' relentlessly at times my lover dog..non alpha.. Lover will dog up at times to back M off, but also instigates. So it goes. Is like having special needs children.
Good luck if you go down this road, but be sure you have the temperament and setting, AND can think primitively like them. Even then won't always be able to anticipate what will set them off. But, train train train...and will be generally pretty good.
Andi B on January 06, 2017:
I have a 9 month old Timberwolf/M'loot hybrid. I did a lot of research and spoke with people all over the US about the different mixes. I learned everything I could and was told by numerous people that it takes a ton of time to take care of one. When I did decide on which mix I wanted, I found a person who let me know my babies parents. I think it's important to see how they react to people and situations. I'm so happy to say that my pup is extremely social, loves everyone....especially children. He will approach a child on his belly and roll over when he gets to them. He's great with our cows as well. The calves who have lost their mothers are his (he thinks) he wants to wash them, sleep with them, play with them, etc. His parents are also extremely gentle. The ONLY problem I have with him is that I can't fully potty train him. Hopefully in time this will happen. He doesn't chew shoes although he has destroyed the skirting on one of my old sofas. I'm so in awe of him and our relationship. He is always watching me and like a dog in some ways, we can read each other. He is 68% wolf, 30% M'loot, and 2% Husky. The M'loot will cause him to be somewhere between 130 and 170 according to his doctor. He's gone through two training courses for puppies so far and did wonderful. He will be going to service training soon for much more intense training. All I can say is.....do your homework and know that your whole world revolves around them. I take mine everywhere I can and expose him to as much as possible so he won't be skiddish.
Greg on November 19, 2016:
I have 2 wolf dogs now 27 pounds. And there. Energy is crazy. There smart. But. Hard to train. One is very smart he obeys every command but have to use and hand signals and voice. Hope they turn out good. Lotta meat diet. Mother was 50 wolf. And the father was huge. Idk how big they will get. But i need them to protect my property. Have to spend alot of time with them.
Merlene AKA (MaMa Wolf) on July 20, 2016:
I am a proud mommy to hyroglyph (Glyph) for short what we call him he is 85lbs male 65.5 American Gray wolf and 35.5 Husky , he is now 8 months old . He is my perfect compainion, he fits my personality perfect . He is my ADA dog and tells me when my blood sugers het to low or high and can also tell when i am about to have a brain seizure . I have fallen and told him mommy needs help go get daddy and he did just that. He is energetic mischievious rambunctious smart and I love him very much. Most expensive high-maintenance companion I've ever had but the most rewarding and wonderful to watch and interact with he is definitely a special creature that has come into my life for a reason I lost my companion of 12 Years A medium to long haired delphinian male cat 20 days before my 40th birthday and he passed away July 1st of last year hieroglyph was born November 11th of last year 2015 I got hieroglyph when he was 7 weeks old someone had brought him to me and we have been together and Inseparable ever since these animals are definitely a pack animal and he is definitely pack for us we never go anywhere without him we have a specific baby sitter that watches him and when we leave we never leave more than 12 hours as he does not eat or drink when we leave and that is not good so we are never very far and when we go on vacation he goes with us we have traveled across the United States to visit our grandchildren and our children Oklahoma and because of his breed we had to drive and it was the best experience that we've ever had he was wonderful he was understanding and loving and kind and I expect that he will continue to do so as he gets older he just gets better and better thank you all have a great day but I would like to say that if you do not have experience or all the time in the world do not get this animal they are very social creatures and they depend on you for attention constantly love and affection just like a child.
Mark on October 16, 2015:
I own a hybrid and I can tell you from experience if you have any animal tied up, confined and ignored until you feel the need to show Him/her off they are going to unsociable and aggressive. The problem isn't the breed it's the fact stupid people who just want to prove they have something special can't possibly train or take care of a hybrid the way they should be and treat them just like a trophy to show off to friends when it suits them. If you want a companion and a family member they are a great choice they are smart, loving, and are more like kids you need to raise not train if you want something to show off buy a car it's easy to say dogs have been trained for thousands of years bla bla bla ....and most breeds are but they were trained not as companions but for hunting (most breeds) fighting for sport (most large breeds like mastiffs and Pitts) so breeding is hypocritical to exclude hybrids from the "regular dog population " and some here have said they should be left in the wild ..... What wild Yellowstone come on if they are to be left in the wild how long until ranchers and urban development wipe them totally out how many are left in the wild now. There has been around 14 deaths caused by hybrids considering how many owners there are that just want to show off there wolf that's and not properly care for them it's realistically low...... I know they say they are statistically number 6 on dangerous dogs but that list was made by pure blood Pitts, rots ect they don't count mix breeds except in the hybrid case if you include mix breeds I'm sure the stats would be totally different. The fact of the matter is hybrids are good companions but it's hard to put them all in one category considering they are hybrids with different mixes mine is gray wolf and malamute she is beyond sweet and if anyone ever broke in to my house I am certin she would jump out the window rather then get into a confrontation or hide under the bed she loves people and other animals and kids but like any animal never leave them alone with kids and always treat them with respect believe it or not they get their feelings hurt vary easy you have to treat them like kids tell them no let them sulk then let them know you love them and everything is ok just like kids they learn what u teach them you show them abuse and neglect the will be just as screwed up as a child raised in that environment
Jacque Fredde on March 04, 2015:
I've got a two year old Timber Wolf/Alaskan Malamute cross and she is sweet as can be. She is timid around strangers and prefers to be close to me at all times. HIGHLY DESTRUCTIVE I cannot stress that enough. If you plan on owning one understand it will ruin everything. My wolf-dog's previous owners were not prepared for that behavior and got rid of her. That's okay because she came into my life and she is my angel. Very smart but stubborn. She does not live to please her human, as a border collie does. She requires large amounts of exercise and mental stimulus. Also, these animals have a high pack need. Leaving her home alone was not an option, another dog helped to reduce the destruction from separation anxiety but did not stop it completely. If you plan on owning one of these guys be prepared for some hardships. Know the laws. DO NOT openly advertise to EVERYONE your dog is part wolf, even if there is not use in denying how wolfy it looks. Just trust me, the last thing you want is your beloved pet to be destroyed. Know you will dedicate most of your time to the animal. Though they are not obedient, they rely heavily on you and your presence. I cannot stress enough that you will deal with destruction ON A DAILY BASIS. This is in their nature and you cannot get upset with her. If you are not willing to come home to your couch in shreds or your shoes ripped up... this is not the right animal for you. Finally, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check wolfdog rescues rather than buy from breeders. I know a cute little puppy is all too tempting but remember... the dogs in the rescue were once cute puppies too. Their previous owners did not realize how daunting the task of caring for a wolfdog would truly be. DO your research.
Nick Deal from Earth on September 03, 2014:
Sounds dangerous to me...
Roro63 on March 21, 2013:
I have worked with hybrid rescues and the problem , they are unpredictable . You never know if the wolf side or the dog traits will be more dominant . Various organizations like mission wolf and others taken around 500 wolfs and turn down 1000 calls a year. They just don't have the resources to help any more than that. Most hybrid wolf/dogs end up being destroyed because they turned. This means they stopped acting like dogs and more like wolves. Others will find a way to escape and end up hit by a car or shot or in a shelter where they will be euthanized . The lady who has the two 3 yr.old males that aren't getting along now, that's typical for wolves this age. They are battling for the alpha position or one has decided that he doesn't want the other to be in the pack. This happens in the wild all the time and with wolves that are at the sanctuary . They have to be moved and separated. If you want to help sponsor a wolf dog at one of the sanctuaries. That's the best way to own a piece of one of these beautiful wild creatures.
Mary on December 11, 2012:
My two males wolfdogs that are brothrs.. that are 3 years old just been nutered 2 weks ago.. they nevered been kenneled but we are staying at someones house my 13 year old benji dog came out of heat... wht is happening is the 2 wolfdog brother are arguring on the outside kennel at each other i won't let them together yet but on the inside kennel they are fine & in the van together.. when they see each other they want to fight.. too when they are leashed or one is leashed they want to go at each other help what can i do to get these two brothers together agin so they can play..
Alice on October 11, 2012:
That wolf x husky mix(pictured with the reddish tail) looks exactly like mine,except mine instead one of its eyes is icy blue due to his siberian husky heritage. My wolf hybrid is a mid-content Canadian gray wolf x siberian husky male and stands 29 inches at the withers at 4 years old. If it weren't for my wolf hybrid saving my life twice, I probably wouldn't be alive rightnow plus he is my best friend and I love him so much. My wolf hybrid and I, go 4 times a week for a 10km bike ride.
Shawn Holmes on June 27, 2012:
Beautiful creatures! Thanks for this hub!
Anne from United Kingdom on May 09, 2012:
What a great hub. My own view is that hybridizing wolves and keeping them as pets is utter madness, you are messing with nature and just asking for trouble.I think it should be illegal everywhere to own them. It´s all very well owners saying they can handle these wolf dogs, but what if they escape into the community? I´m sure this must happen a lot as I can´t see any way a hybrid would ever feel completely settled in a domestic situation..have the owners of these animals never read " call of the wild". I don´t hold with the views about dangerous breeds in the dog world, I think all depends on how the dog has been raised , treated, and trained. But as you point out so well in your hub hybrids are not and never will be 100% domesticated..they are wild animals at heart and wild animals as anyone with half a brain ought to know can be dangerous. Stop messing with nature and let wolves be wolves living their lives free and stick to owning a 100% dog.
dappledesigns from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest on April 16, 2012:
Wow - this was a great hub. Very informative. I recently moved to Wisconsin and started hearing how people had these and decided to research it. I would have never even thought this was legal anywhere.
cmostafa on February 20, 2012:
i just recused a wolf /Shepard hybrid running down the street in my neighborhood , i think he was used for pit fighting cause his ears are flopped and have scars. he was running into traffic and i yelled stop ur gonna get hit, then all of a sudden he ran to me, (i was a little frightened at this) as he got closer i realized his size and started to run. he caught up to me lighting fast and knocked me over and covered me in doggie kisses. after calling the police and taking him to a vet , my husband and i decided to keep him, all 98lbs. (we have 2 chis that are 5 lbs) the vet told us he was a wolf hybrid and about 9 months old, and he would be about 120lbs , that's a lot of dog!!!! we finally got him home and named him aleister,and gave him my art room, and a couch for a bed , also he only gets fed a whole raw chicken once a week , and gets taste of the wild twice a day with 2 raw eggs. He is amazing ,but i have to say , he does howl , he is very , very protective of my family, he is stubborn ,but overall a joy to have. we also have a paralyzed dog Otis, who is also amazing ( he was left on my porch, with a brick round his neck),and aleister helps him , he nudges him and pushes him in his wheelchair , he just is so good with otis. Also we have cats he loves the cats, the only problem we have is if you don't meet aleister with us he's not gonna like you, he doesn't like loud colors (don't ask me but he hates neon colors) , and yes they DESTROY EVERY THING , if they don't get exercise. and please don't give me hell on this but i had to get a shock collar , i have never shocked him ,just used the vibrating and it works wonders i am pack leader, in fact if he sees the remote he stops in his tracks , i suggest one . in finishing he is wonderful , he protects my family, he keep's me active, and he gives so much love, but as others have warned please, please be sure you have the time for this awesome dog if not its a waste.
Jeanne on February 16, 2012:
I had a wolf-hybred for 13 years and he was the most work of any animal I have ever owned. He died in his sleep - a happy boy I would like to think because I had run out of dog food that night so I gave him 2 steaks from the freezer- one was gone and the other one was laying beside him when I found him in the morning. I would never do it again but I'm glad I did it and all turned out well. If we lived far out in the woods alone it would have been much easier and some of out best times were me cross-country skiing and him running through the woods with me off leash or just ramming around in the woods exploring. (I live on an island so its kind of hard to get really lost ) He pulled me down main street one time on skis and caused quite a stir but on the flip side- cats were not safe from him, nor suet hanging from bird feeders. My son was a toddler when he came to ask me what was furry with no head and I looked out the window to see three headless kittens on the deck. My biggest job was keeping him safe from himself. Did obedience training with him when he was still a puppy and the trainer said we would probably never get it 100 percent- just when he felt like it. I didn't know what I was getting into and bought him on the rebound. My aunt, who had a small lap dog told me I should get a dog - better than the boyfriend who dumped me. I was afraid she would find me a little foo-foo dog so I found myself one! As much as I don't like the idea of restricting ownership of hybrids, I think it would be for the best. Its just not fair to keep something as beautiful and wild confined and at the whims of people. We can't aways go the distance with them. As much as w e do we can never give them what they deserve. I did it mostly by luck and paranoia and there was a time when I was looking into a rescue for him but I realized it was my problem and I would probably have to put him down. We were always tangling over who was boss and it was ugly. By the time my kids came along Micky was almost too old to be a threat- the one time I let my guard down I came too because he was fussing at me to get the little toddler away from him- as careful as I was- there was that one time. You just never know - I think we were being watched over! SO- watch them in the wild- that's where they belong. We can't own beauty- but we can appreciate it and make room for it!
Angela Blair from Central Texas on January 08, 2012:
Great Hub and excellent information. My Indian friend, Tall Horse, is heavily involved with wolf rescue and it is ongoing and growing in this country. So many people are enchanted with the idea of owning a wolf or hybrid and have no idea whatsoever the challenges involved -- then when the going gets tough they want to get rid of them. We've found mistreatment to be very common at that point and my friend has literally bought a couple of wolves back from near death -- hairless, starving and beaten. Seems humans resort to beating and other mistreatment when they can't manage one of these animals -- or set them wild loose on the community when they can't find anyone to take them off their hands..
Tall Horse now personally owns three rescued wolves (two females and one male). The male is the brother of one of the females. The bottom line is wolves are not dogs and although they may respond to humans somewhat like dogs they're still and always will be wolves and will always have the instinct that's born in them. Instinct is not meanness -- it's a born and bred survival trait that has to be recognized by humans. Tall Horse is very careful to maintain his "leader of the pack" status and has been challenged on several occasions. When those occasions arise there's no holds barred as he must win and win big. His three rescued wolves are not only delightful but loving -- but they're wolves and can resort to wolf traits in a heartbeat.
I've personally only known loving attention from all three wolves but as they're each close to 100 pounds if they ganged up on me they could win in a heartbeat and I never lose site of that fact. In fact, Tall Horse never says a word about it but when I go in the backyard I've noticed he always follows me out the back door and keeps a sharp eye on all interaction between me and the wolves. Not a one of these wolves has ever attacked anyone for any reason -- but if one gets radical they'll all join in as they're "pack" predators.
If there were any advice to share with potential wolf or wolf/dog owners it would be to study and learn the responsibilities of owning one of these marvelous creatures and their natural habits and instincts. Secondly, no matter what you read they are thinking predators by nature and there's no guarantee at any time they won't revert to some deeply hidden instinct as it's part of their nature. If that instinct is recognized and addressed controlling it is a possibility -- BUT -- the beauty of wolves is their sense of freedom. How sad it seems (to me) to disallow the real nature of these beautiful animals by closing them up in an apartment or a room all day. They need room to roam and play and a backyard with at least a 5' fence would be a good start.
Yes, to live with human beings there must be rules but the instinct of the wolf is freedom. A home where they can run, play, enjoy health and good treatment while interacting with human beings is the optimum. Being starved and beaten into submission is as inhumane to a wolf as it is to any other creature. To be honest, the wolves I've known that have been starved and beaten might be the most dangerous of all and I damned well don't blame them.
There are lots of wolf rescue organizations in the United States as there's lots of people who think they can -- but find they can't -- deal with wolves wolf/dogs. If you're thinking of adopting please contact these organizations as there's lots of good information available from them on raising, owning and adopting wolves and wolf/dogs. It's not for the faint of heart but may be one of the most rewarding adoptions a human can make.
moose mountain on December 05, 2011:
I have a 3/4 wolf, Husky and malamute X who is now 12. Got her when she was 3 months. Very loyal and sweet, but not used to children and doesn't like them because they make too much noise and touch her. (She is not very physically affectionate - like a wild animal) Would not leave her alone with them. She has had cancer tumors removed from mammaries (did not have her spayed until recently as I live in the woods, far from any dogs; she never roams, even unrestrained), a couple of seizures recently and arthritis, which came suddenly. Don't know what is casuging the seizures. Total personality change, won't go for walks now (used to LOVE) not very alert or playful anymore. Kind of like a zombie. Maybe brain damage from seizures? Guess we all get like that when we get to be 84! She was/is/used to be the smartest and IS best, sweetest most loyal dog I have ever had.
Dave on November 07, 2011:
I have hybrid wolf it nice dog.
Wow they make good pets.
missallie85 on October 21, 2011:
I am the proud mummy to a german shep/timber wolf. She was dumped on my partner before we meet. She had 1 eye barely open when she was dumped. My partner had always lived alone with AbbyGail. We dated breifly before they moved into the home I currently lived in with my 4yr old daughter. The dog and child had been friends before the relationship began. Abby adjusted very quickly to her new family and has been GREAT. I love her as much as I love my daughter. She is NOT A PET. She is a MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. She comes into "heat" every 3 years. and has had puppies both time. 8 and 9 puppies each time, all healthy and no runts and all have survived. My partner loves her whole heartedly. And I believe will die, when Abby passes away. They have such a remarkable connection to one another. She doesn't like other dogs for the most part, but she is all momma to the cats. And Protective of the entire "pack". I have done tons of research about hybrids, to find the best ways to manage and correct and show her where she stands in the totem pole. She has adjusted well. Not to say she doesn't get mad and tear thing up. or be upset with being left and pee-pee on rug to "show me". It is true, not just anyone can handle a haybrid. Also in all my research i have not been able to find much on common health problems, or anyone who has had one altered. I am afraid it will change her temperament, partner is just afraid to put her under to have it done :) She doesn't think she could live with herself if Abby didn't wake up from surgry. Any way Abby is 7 years old, and this week when it got cold all of a sudden she started showing signs of arthritis in her back end, we only gave 81mg asprin when she was hurting so much she was whinning. It did seem to help but we would like to find a more natural way to reduce the symptoms and relieve the pain. Does anyone have any suggestions?
matt on October 18, 2011:
i didn't see anything about South Carolina could someone please give me the info. im wanting to get a hybrid. and if it is legal here would anyone be in to selling me a pup?
larry on September 23, 2011:
my wolf is warm and friendly and totally trustable and part of the family, he loves people. I think that wolves are being given a very bad rap here. Wolves treat you with respect if you treat them that way. My wolf expects a nose kiss every day from my wife before she goes to work and when she gets home. He takes my hand and leads me to the door when he wants to go outside and howls when he wants back in. He is timid and very kind to other dogs. He lays his head on my arm while I eat and I show wolf manners by giving him the last of what's on my plate every time. He kisses my face after I do.
KDub on September 06, 2011:
So does that mean they are legal in Colorado?
loveourhybrid on September 02, 2011:
We have a 3/4 malamute, 1/4 timber wolf, female who will be 2 in November. She has been an awesome friend to the entire family. She has also been extremely irritating at times. We bought our baby before doing much research. In the beginning, she was allowed to run the home 24/7. We learned quickly she could not be trusted to "run free" in the house. She ate the furniture, soiled the carpet, ate clothing and anything else on the floor or within her reach. We began caging her at night and when we were away from home. After beginning the caging, she house broke easily and quit destroying everything in site. We already assumed she would have the wild animal instinct and showed her, and are still showing her today, she is NOT the Alpha in the house. She obeys commands excellently (down, sit, NO, bed) She is great with our kitten (plays gently, cleans, sleeps with him) BUT we still do not, and probably never will, trust her ALONE with the kitten or children. The kids (ages 3-16) have been told not to show weakness to her and to treat her with firmness, but kids will be kids so it is easier to just not leave her alone with them. She has never shown aggression toward anyone in the home or strangers on the street, but she does have wild animal in her and COULD turn and we know this. If anything were to happen to our baby, I would have no problem getting another hybrid, BUT I would NOT have two at the same time. She is ALOT of work.
Loved the reading Whitney!!
Shanny on August 25, 2011:
Wolf hybrids should be judged by others. I own a mid-content siberian husky x canadian grey wolf male and he is totally amazing,loving and loyal and I trust him 100% and I know that he will protect from any harm since he has already done so twice. He is about 72 cm tall at the shoulders and weights 110 pounds and has inherited one blue eye from his siberian husky heritage while the other is amber.
Sheila Kuna on August 24, 2011:
I have just adopted a 90% Canadian Grey Hybrid/Shepherd/Husky, now 4 months old. He has a lot of energy and has learned several tricks and is the apple of my eye. Every night before I go to sleep Cody jumps on the bed, and I give him his good night kiss, and he takes his little nose and very gently rubs the whiskers all over my face and then goes to sleep. He gets along with cats, but I have to watch him constantly around my parrot. He is so beautiful and sweet.
Wolfgirl13 on August 18, 2011:
I really want a wolf hybrid and I appriciate all the info. I am doing lots of research and will make sure to treat my wolf hybrid with respect and kindness
Cristy101 on August 18, 2011:
My friend recently lost her german Shepard/wolf hybrid Atila (short for atila of the hun) cause he was always very buff. Anyway, I have known her since we were in pre k and after 18 years of growing up with her and going to her house, that dog was the most gentle giant ever. She had a little sister that would pull on his ears tail and paws and he wouldn't budge at all. He was definitely a gentle giant. His mother was a Labrador/German Shepard and his father was a German Shepard/wolf hybrid. A beautiful mix that resulted in a beautiful,majestic creature. You will be missed Atila!?
Megan on August 11, 2011:
When i was born my dad had brought home a wolf/husky pup, she was mine from the beginning. She was very sweet and protective of me. If someone new came to the house she would instantly get up and curl around me and growl until my dad took the person by the hand and showed her that they were "ok". She had only one dominance issue the whole time she was alive, she snaped at my dad... she nvr did it again. she used to sit by the underground dog fence thingy and listen to her collar beep, and she'd sit ther for hours until it stoped... at that point she'd make a break for it in the woods. She had eaten something dead and got poisoned from it. she was a wonderful dog, and if my fiancé and i didn't live in michigan, we would definatly have one.
emily on August 03, 2011:
i luv wolves and owls wodnt it be creepy if there was an owl+wolf hybrid?
CathhyJ on February 16, 2011:
I liked this article for the balanced and responsible information given. I have a wolf/dog mix that I had from a puppy, very challenging as a puppy and I was her 4th home at 9 weeks old!! That is the down side to anyone who breeds these mixes, I had her spayed at 9 months old to prevent more wolf dogs who people think are cool to own, but don't realize the difficulty and long commitment that they require. I think there are alot of husky mixes that people think are wolf dogs, but are not. Anyone who claims that their wolf dog is easy does not have a true wolf dog. I also do not have children and have not allowed my wolf dog around small children. They are loyal.. intelligent.. beautiful dogs, but can be unpredictable. We had had a malamute wolf mix prior to her.. so knew the responsibilities that went along with ownership. We live in maine where wolf dogs are not uncommon, all the people I know who have them are responsible but I hope anyone considering this type of dog will seriously reconsider, it is traumatic for them to change owners.. more so than than domestic dogs.. so be prepared for 10 year plus commitment and vets who may not choose to care for them. I was lucky as my vet took her as a patient, but he still flagged her file. Oh yeah, she is always on leash or chained when outside.
stephaniemm on January 12, 2011:
My dog/wolf is now 7 months old. I didn't think I could love him or enjoy him more than i did, but I do. He is so kind to all humans and animals and I really dont think it will change. He now carries 20 pounds in his backpack, and walks so proud with it!! He has turned me into a blushing dog owner:-)
Melisa on January 12, 2011:
We adopted a wolf- german rottweiller hybrid from a breeder. Only thing was, he was going to breed his 2 rottweillers and his neighbors 100% wolf came down and we'll say "got" her first. He gave her to us and she has done really well. Its hard to find a trainer and I didn't tell the vet when he didn't ask, but I'm sure they'll do blood tests. Thank you for the article, it was very informative. Our dog looks 100% domestic, you would never look at her and think wolf ddog.
Anon on December 29, 2010:
Also keep in mind that the people posting on this hub and reading about this are most likely the responsible owners who know how to handle their hybrids, take necessary precautions, and treat their animals well to earn their respect and loyalty. People commenting on their fears here are far more worried about people who treat their animals as a showpiece, as some sort of trophy, and who don't know how to instill loyalty or keep the animal from causing trouble. Some people can get so tied up in the "romanticism" of having a wolf that they don't realize the responsibility they have to take care of it properly, and that's when the problems happen. It's much safer for irresponsible pet owners to have another kind of pet (if they're going to insist on owning one, which they shouldn't be allowed to... poor pups!).
darladoan on December 28, 2010:
i have a husky/wolf low content hybrid. She is a member of the family, and I love her like a daughter (since I have no children). Everyone posting comments saying hybrids are absolutely dangerous, or absolutely fine, cannot speak for every single hybrid out there. Every single one is different. All owners are different. I am an avid animal lover, and I wouldn't trade my Princess for anything in the world. She has been my best friend for 7 years now. If you adopt a hybrid, you are taking a risk, but you will never know how it is going to work out until you experience it yourself. So for those of you who do not own one, and are downing people that do, you are completely ignorant. Speak only on topics you have some personal knowledge about!
STEPHANIE on December 14, 2010:
I got my wolamute when he was 6 weeks old. I have read, and continue to read, everything possible about hybrids. He is six months old now and I would n't change him a bit. Because I have read so much, I know what to expect, and what not to expect. I have a 13yr old border collie that is definatley the alpha of the 2. I am a single mother with a 17 yr old daughter and we love him dearly. It was been hard housebreaking him, as I expected, but he is fine now. I wish I had room for 2 more. Like many people have said, they are not for everyone. People please do your research BEFORE bringing one into your life. It is a challenge, but a challenge that is very rewarding. He has his own backpack, loves it, and eventually I would like to train him to pull a sled. Not professionally, but for fun. I will let all know how it turns out.
Be kind and smart for the sake of the animal
chantelle on December 09, 2010:
Honestly, wolf-dogs (because they technically arent hybrids because wolves & dogs are in the same classification)arent any more "dangerous" than any other dog. Pitbulls are the most naturally aggressive canines out there, by far more than pure wolves. wolves are naturally timid, they dont go looking for trouble, they only protect & hunt for survival. Unlike chihuauas, pitbulls, rotweilers, mastiffs, & HUNDREDS of 'breeds', a wolf-dog wont run up to a stranger, & they DO NOT make good "guard dogs" unless their owner is irresponsible & lets their pet think its the Alpha. & as far as "Alphas" go, its not a things that is singled out to wolfdogs, it goes with any breed, & any pack or herd type spiecies including horses, cattle, & even chickens,.. Ive been attacked by plenty of roosters that thought they were the alpha, & if you own a horse & dont take the role as the higher authority, your in BIG trouble, & even worse with cows....
aside from all of that, wolf-dogs are a breed even if they arent "registered" thats like saying, "well air doesn't exist because i cant see it"...
there are even "registered" BREEDS of wolf dogs, such as the
the whole Issue of wolfdogs isn't the breed. its the irresposible breeders & owners. "high content" animals should only be bred by reliable breeders & for Experienced owners such as trainers that use wolfdogs to play in movies..
I also dont agree in breeders breeding wolfdogs that look like malamutes, huskies or german shephards, it somewhat defeats the purpose of the breed. just like any breeding with any animal, it should be done selectively & in a professional manner.
libby101a from KY on November 19, 2010:
Wolf hybrids are beautiful, just like a full wolf. However, one can own one forever and not have a problem...but the instant you show any sign of weakness in front of the animal you better watch out! They see you as the alpha...once the alpha seems weak it's their natural instinct to attack you to take over the alpha position. A lady owned one of these wolf hybrids...she had them for years, and was considered an expert with them. They found her dead in the back yard. She had tripped and fell and the dog attacked her! It killed her then began eating her. She treated her wolf-hybrids like babies and fed them very well!
Sure...dogs came from the wolves...however, over thousands of years, the wolf has been bred out of the dog! A wolf hybrid is still half wild! So that gives you a 50% chance of getting attacked! Good luck with that one!
Lora on November 04, 2010:
I have to say that I was always against owning a wolf/hybrid. However I rescued a wolf/hybrid three years ago and she has been one of the most beautiful, intelligent creatures I've ever had the pleasure of being around. Her personality is second to none and she is extremely gentle with the family to include my grandchild. However, because I've worked with and owned large dogs before and was aware of potential dangers regarding large dogs, plus have studied wolves for years I trained her to be submissive with food and other things that could trigger instincts from the time she came home. She was 4 weeks old when I brought her home. She is now 3 years old and 98 lbs.
She has been a lot less of a handful than the Huskies, Laboradors and Malinois I've shared my life with so far! People wanting a wolf/hybrid need to be aware of the inherent dangers, but not all wolf/hybrids are dangerous. They are like other breeds... as dangerous as a cruel or uneducated owner is. I would not trade her for the world.
Aimee on October 31, 2010:
Excellent hub. I did my final project on hybrids when I graduated high school. I think a lot of people are making the mistake of grouping all hybrids as the same and this is where the debate is. High percentage hybrids, 50/50 mom was 100% one side and dad was 100% another, are the most unpredictable. Loving and devoted yes but you never know when the predator will come out. No matter how you spin it a wolf is a predator and the natural instincts are still deep rooted in a high percentage hybrid.
That being said lower percentage hybrids are safer, still not 100% safe. Then again you should NEVER leave any dog alone with a small child or animal that can't defend itself.
I personally am against breeding dogs and wolves together. Their roads have diverged and they are not the same animal. Wolves are sacred and wild, we need to respect them and leave them alone. Domestic dogs are our buddies and companions, ever faithful and watchful. Why water down the wild just to have a novelty pet? It's just wrong.
donkeyz1 on October 24, 2010:
Great information on here! Hybrids are a lot of work, which is why I'll stick with my foster dogs! Thank you.
Cody on October 07, 2010:
I recently became the proud owner of a 19 week old wolf/husky, named Nella. So far as a puppy she has been the smartest dog and has picked up on things very quickly. She has been trained quicker then either of my beagles. That being said my sisters beagle chooses to fight over food and always acts up. That was do to lack of training and discipline to show him right and wrong. Which also shows that any dog will act up and fight. They are all animals for a reason. They all want to be dominant. If anything you would assume a wolf to be more loyal in the fact that they live in packs. I have already seen a loyalty from my dog that i had not seen from any of my other dogs, besides my recently passed on 17 year old chow/lab mix(which chows are known to bite and be bad themselves). Thousands of years ago when people started breeding the dogs we have today, you have to think how might these dogs of acted at the start. I am sure that in 2 years there will be no out bursts with my dog because i fully trust her and have done everything to help her adapt to children and other dogs. Its sad that i have to keep her at my grandparents house because my dad when he was informed by others, came to the conclusion that she would attack or be disobedient no matter how she was trained. Also my sisters fear "she's a wolf she might try and attack my baby", when in actuality she is a puppy and would acclimate better to a young child at this age. Its sad that such a beautiful breed can be criminalized based on what people say and don't know through experience. When you read most of these responses you see there are more positives then negatives. There is a loyalty factor that you might not find in any other animal, they aren't your every day dumb loving dog. They are intelligent and have a connection to humans more then people realize.
heather d on October 05, 2010:
I recently adopted a wolf-hybrid not knowing what i was getting into. I got him when he was 3 1/2 yrs.old. He needed a home, he met 3 families and chose me. I have now had him for 1 year. I must say the transition was definitely difficult. He chewed everything, my couch, camera, door-lock..EVERYTHING!....BUT, i held on, stuck by him and he turned the corner so to speak and 100% better! He hasn't chewed anything in months. He has always had absolutely the most GENTLE tempermant. He adores the cat Fidel, actually the cat runs the show! I must give props to the previous owners who did a FABULOUS job training him, but am a little concerned d/t previous posts about him challenging me in the future....although deep down i just don't see him doing that. I feel like he would have tested me by now. I have obviously researched hybrids AFTER i accepted him, and consider myself EXTREMELY LUCKY how easy he is compared to what i have read. If i would have read any of it before i never would have taken "Buddy". This has been a learning process and lesson well learned. I personally think you should never intentionally breed wild animals w domestic animals. Animals are wild for a reason and belong in the wild. But if any experienced hypbrid owner has any advice they'd like to share, i'm here to listen and learn! great thread....
taty96 from Ecuador on September 08, 2010:
Nice article, butI can´t understand why people can´t leave animals alone. Why create a dog wolf hybrid? To prove that we humans are creative? What´s the point really, poor animals
Sweetsusieg from Michigan on August 31, 2010:
Having had a wolf hybrid for 12 years I must say she did teach me a lot, not only about her but also caused me to do research on the wolf in general. I have come to greatly respect these magnificent animals. But have to agree the wolf belongs in the wild. If you'd like to read about her, the title to my article begins with Princess. She still retained a touch of the wild, but managed to find a balance (eventually) between inside the home and outside.
Great Hub, good info!!
JFord313 on August 29, 2010:
I recently read this and thought it would be of use to you...."When a dog is constantly leaning on you, putting his paw on you, or touching you in some way, this is not your dog loving you, it is your dog displaying dominant behaviors. In the dog world, space is respect. A dog who is constantly nudging you and leaning on you, is not only disrespecting you, they are being the alpha dog. You are the one who must start and end touching and affection." Hope it helps a little bit, I know it is rough to rescue an animal who is that age already and was so mistreated. I commend you for making such an effort and having so much love and faith in him! :)
Autumn on August 26, 2010:
They are not dangerous. I own one right now and he's my big baby.
Blondie on August 26, 2010:
I have a wolf hybrid and I love him so much. I have never had a problem with him. He was even aproached by our neighbors dog who growled at him and he just walked away. Judging one wolf hybrid does not speak fairly to the rest of the species. I mean Think about there have been some terrible people in this world, but we dont go judging all the human race like that its not fair and injust. Some wolf hybrid may have aggressive tendencies but not all of them will.
Jenine88 on August 21, 2010:
My son acquired a husky/wolf/german sheperd mix about 2 mths ago. she is tan in color and getting black down her back. she carries the wolf tail with the black tip. I have her now. she is not tied or caged. we have another dog for 7 years and they love each other. she does not mind the cats either. we do not play rough with her or let her jump upon us. she is allowed in the house and has been very hard to potty train but I think we just about have it down. she barks rarley and when we are gone and come home she uses funny sounds to try to talk to us. she loves friut loops and cat food. she loves the grandkids and loves to play with them. I hope her teperment will always be good. we do scold her but we do not hit her. she is shy and timid at times but not as much anymore with us. she has seemed to pick out my 17 year old daughter has her favorite. she cries when she goes to bed, shower, etc... she is a sweetie and her name is Dixie Lynn
grammasue1228 on August 09, 2010:
We rescued a "german shepherd" (no papers) at a shelter a few months ago.... right away noticed odd things about his behavior that seemed very wolfish. Not knowing anything about wolf dogs did some research online, your article is very good. Pretty certain Shadow is some sort of wolf mix as he has so many characteristics you describe and is very unpredictable. The shelter we got him at warned us of his behavior issues but he is so beautiful we figured our love of all animals would win him over. I would never trust him around small children as he has gone after our cats (one in particular) a number of times. He is four years old and was found abandoned in someones basement that had moved. We do love him and plan on keeping him for life despite all the work involved keeping him. He is super intelligent and we couldn't figure out why he was doing such dumb things like marking in the house, and NOT barking at strangers.(we wanted a watch dog!) He acts almost shy but if a stranger were to reach out to touch him he will snap. He also has this odd way of coming up to us and "leaning" his side and hind quarters on our legs. This is when you are either standing or sitting. He does it ALOT. Almost like submission. Anyway just wanted to comment on your article as it was a big help in figurig out Shadows strange behavior.
JESS on June 18, 2010:
I own a hybrid and have never had a problem. My parents have two and my brother has three and they live in our homes. Not one of them have been a problem. Great with kids, cats and other dogs. I worked at an animal shelter for a long time and find that any dog can have aggression issues. Any animal(no matter the breed)is in the hands of their owners. And if that animal turns on their owner, it's because the owner didn't give them the proper attention and training. It's you as an owner of a hybrid or any other dog to have the responsibility for your animals actions. The only people that should be banded from having a hybrid are ignorant people. And they should also be banded from having any animals or children for that matter, as that is way our shelters are full.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 10, 2010:
Yes, I have heard and know of many states, towns, and countries who ban Pit Bulls and many other breeds as pets. The difference is that wolf hybrids are bred of domestic dog and wild animal versus a dog breed who's history is decades of domestic dog only. A breed who's breed has been breed for many years at being human friendly and animal aggressive.
It's good you trust your wolf hybrid with your children, but these animals still have wild genes in them and can be quite unpredictable.
And, yes, I have heard of attacks caused by wolf hybrids. Many of them. That is why they are illegal as pets in many areas.
ctbare on June 10, 2010:
I have owned a wolf hybrid for over 3 years. We have 4 children 12 and under. I can honestly say that this is the best pet we have ever had. Anyone who has never had one should really keep their nasty comments to themselves. Apparently you don't know what you're talking about. Any dog can turn. Look at all the attacks you hear about from pits. Do you hear anyone saying it should be illegal to own one of them? I have rarely heard of attacks by wolf hybrids who have been domesticated. Also, my wolf hybrid gets along great with our children and i have never worried that he would turn.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on June 07, 2010:
All dogs are different, so it is hard to say. Some dobermans and pits are super sweet, so ask if a wolf hybrid will act like that, who knows. Some may, but it's more likely to turn as the hybrid gets older, depending on how much of the wolf genes it actually got.
jeanie.stecher from Seattle on June 07, 2010:
hello Whitney, read your article. I love reading it and it gives a lot of knowledge regarding a new wild breed. At least new for me. Isn't these kind of breed dangerous? I mean, can they be so wild or unpredictable? If so, will their be reaction the same in case they are sprayed with a repellent? I'm just curious because if ever someone came across these kind of breed, will they be able to react like doberman or a pitbull?
hoyle on June 02, 2010:
i own a six month old wolfsheaperdhusky mix supposodly 96% wolf and i did no research till after i got him. he's already 64lbs i have four daughters and we all love him allthough he does play little rough but he is just like any other 6mnth old pup just about 35lbs heavier, i woulnt trade him for the world. beleive half of what u see but nothing that you here. treat them with love and respect and establish dominance at an early age and you'll have a loving companion, but with size and energy i recommend them for bachelors or people with older children. God bless!!
Sue1226 from Dallas, Texas on May 24, 2010:
I love wolves and at one time wanted one, but after reading your article I think I will enjoy them from a distance, I don't want to take the risk of some one getting hurt because of my wolf. I guess real wolves would be the same if not worse than the hybrid. Thanks for the Knowledge enjoyed your hub.
wencatherine on March 19, 2010:
There are people who have animals for the right reasons and there are idiots who have animals for the wrong reasons. I have had 2 wolfdogs in my life, and I am blessed with the knowledge, understanding and life style that has allowed me to experience these wonderful creatures. I wish those of you who are against the ownership of wolfdogs would be quicker to blame humans, rather than the animal itself that ends up being aggressive or tied to a tree. My heart breaks for ANY animal that ends up in the wrong hands.
Whitney (author) from Georgia on March 03, 2010:
Huskies and Malamutes are domestic dogs and have been so for many, many centuries. These breeds are high-strung, but they are in no way wild.
ryansjones from Snohomish, WA on March 02, 2010:
I remember when I was working at a boy scout camp near Bellingham, WA on kitchen staff, the cook I worked for had a wolf-shepard mix that I saw once. He seemed pretty friendly though. BTW, I wonder how wolf dogs compare with say Huskies or Malmutes?
Whitney (author) from Georgia on February 25, 2010:
I agree to breeding full blooded wolves and trying to reintroduce them into the wild.
Averianna on February 25, 2010:
i love that comment "if it has teeth it will bite, from your pet mouse to your two year old toddler" very true! personally i believe that with the wolves dwindling in number why not let ppl breed more full blooded wolves.. i'm sure some one somewhere can set up a program to give them the ability to be released into the wild.. though i have to say i am also a fan of owning (responsibly owning) wolves. Hybrid or otherwise. my grandmother's ex husband owned one, with permit. and he was the sweetest most magnificent creature ever. don't get me wrong i do give them respect. but in owning one, i also require they understand the pecking order has me on top. i also wouldn't own one with out have a 10-15ft fence around at least half an acre of propertery or MORE preferably more... to prevent jumping the fence and also giving them adiquate area for roaming and excersizing.. keeping them socailized would also be on the top of my list. but in walking them i'd also keep sure to have them secured. i seen one once had a collar and a harness.. apparently he pulled back out of the collar cuz he wanted to go play one day, so the harness was added for more control... (this was in the begingin stages of training) also i've seen another one with a head collar, and a regular collar. this why the animals are controled for the peace of mind for others... even if all they want to do is play.. i agree that you can't always be a hundred percent sure and i would never really feel comfortable letting a wolf play with a chiuahauah... or anything smaller than a huskey for that matter... i also agree that someone with minimal understanding of even a basic dog should NOT own a hybrid or a wolf. they are not the same. they are not pets as much as companion animals.. a dog is willing to please a wolf requires respect and understanding. it's a whole other can of worms to domesticate a wolf or hybrid... if you don't have knowledge of such creatures.. leave them alone!! if you have an understanding of them, as i have said.. i'm all for RESPONSIBLE wolf owning.. as long as you keep in mind they are NOT dogs and they are NOT pets. but they can make GREAT companions!
aurora112368 from Van Buren, Indiana on January 31, 2010:
I raised wolf/malamutes for about 4 years, I loved them very much, but I lived in town, and nearly every time I got them out to walk them or exercise them someone would call the police, even though they were legal to have, and they were on a leash, I was still harrassed to the point that I decided it wasn't fair to the animal. I found someone in the country to take them. I miss them but I don't think I would do it again.
Norah Casey on January 31, 2010:
I really enjoyed this hub. I had run into a couple at the dog park who were really convinced they were clever in telling me their wolf hybrid puppy was a form of shepherd. There were young children running around (stupidly, but thats a comment for a different hub), domesticated dog puppies toddling around, and lots of noise and distractions. This wolf hybrid puppy was terrified, snapping occasionally, and visibly in distress. The owners were proud of themselves, I thought they were insane, and their wolf hybrid just wanted to get back to the wilderness. Very depressing!
Stephanie on January 30, 2010:
I've been married to my husband for five years, dated him for three. He has a beautiful hybrid that is 12 years old. Although she showed some jealousy at first, and would not obey my commands readily, she now respects me as the alpha female and greets me daily after work with love and enthusiam. She is one of the most mellowist dogs I've seen. I respect her size and breed as one should of any animal regardless of species. Realize that ALL animals may become aggressive if angered, frightened or ill. My rule is: If it has teeth it may bite. That goes for your pet mouse to your two-year-old toddler. Remember that humans are capable of some of the most heinous acts.
crazywolfe on January 30, 2010:
i have owned an Alaskan Malamute/White Wolfe going on 14 years now and never once has she shown aggression towards children or adults,she is very protective of myself and my children,she's the sweetest most intelligent dog i have ever owned and i wouldn't trade her for the world and until someone has had one keep your opinions too yourself!!
IdeaMorphist from Chicagoland on January 30, 2010:
I love it! I knew a wolf dog growing up. He looked like he had no dog in him! His personality was perfect :)
Whitney (author) from Georgia on January 28, 2010:
I got the information from online from a website giving wolf and big cat laws, so the laws may have changed since that site posted. But, I have found several other sources that have all said they are illegal, stating that F1 Hybrids are illegal to possess unless you had the F1 generation hybrid before 1988. Otherwise, you don't need registration for F2 generation and below, basically the puppies from a direct wolf and dog breeding are not allowed, but puppies from one of first pups breeding to another domestic dog is fine to have without a registration.
"671. Importation, Transportation and Possession of Live Restricted Animals.
(a) It shall be unlawful to import, transport, or possess
alive animals restricted in subsection (c) below except under
permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game.
a. Wolf hybrids ( Canis familiaris (domestic dog) x Canis lupus (wolf)).
(i) Any F1 (first) generation wolf hybrid whelped on or before February 4, 1988 may be possessed under permit from the department.
(ii) No state permit is required to possess the progeny of F1 generation wolf hybrids, but cities and counties may prohibit possession or require a permit."
mary on January 28, 2010:
Hey I agree and think they should be illegal - most people who end up buying a Wolf hybrid will statistically not have the dog until it dies of old age, but only until they get fed up with it and abandon it or it runs away, which is second nature to these animals. They do not want to be kept. As much as I wish it were true - your comment about wolf hybrids being illegal in the state of CALIFORNIA, you are wrong - they are not illegal there at the moment, I have called the department of Fish & Game & verified it.
MKetchel-realtor from Bay Area and Central Valley, CA on January 14, 2010:
I love this article. I've "met" a few timberwolves, (nose to nose!), as well as hybrids. Magnificent animals. Always to be respected. I'm watching our 2 German Shepherds sleeping on the big leather sofa they claimed, both rescued animals. Both amazing. That's as close as I'll get, and I'm okay with that. Great article.