Wolf Hybrid Puppies — Friend or Foe?
In learning about a wolf hybrid, you may come across many facts mixed with opinions including moral opinions. A wolf hybrid, or wolf dog puppy is a mix between a wolf and a domestic dog. Often the breeds a wolf is mated with is a German Shepherd Dog, Alaskan or Siberian Husky, or an Alaskan Malamute. The puppies produced from these mixes can vary greatly, as with mixing any breed. Just as if you were researching a typical mixed breed dog for purchase or adoption, you first must research each on individually so that you may understand the great variety of temperament, personality, instincts and drives that your puppy may acquire from it's parents.
Is it legal?
The very first thing you should do is find out about the laws in your state and municipality. Many governments outlaw the keeping of a wolf hybrid as they are considered dangerous and unpredictable by the average person. However, for one to own, bond with, train, and fully appreciate this unique mix of dog you must first understand both dog and wolf psychology and behavior. This animal is by far not for the average pet owner or faint of heart!
Not “Just a dog!”
Even as a puppy the wolf hybrid is often much more difficult to handle than your common domestic dog. As proven in studies done on a comparison of the two species in their behavior, a dog will look to humans for guidance as it is within their genetic make up. A wolf, however, will do what he pleases, when he wants, to obtain what he is trying to do. This is why training from the day your puppy comes home is of such grave importance. If your wolf hybrid does not look to you for guidance as a puppy, he most likely will not as an adult! Bond building, trust exercises, and other things such as basic and advanced obedience are all absolute must-haves for the wolf hybrid puppy owner.
A wolf hybrid puppy can be skittish, stand offish, and take a long time to bond to a human. They are more likely to stand back and watch their surroundings than dive into the events happening around them, such as greeting house guests. They are also more likely show signs of aggression as a way to get their point across instead of automatically taking a submissive position with humans. This animal, even as a puppy, will require substantial amounts of time put into training, socialization, and include plenty of room for the animal to roam that is fully secured. Take into account the vast difference of diet that today's pet dogs are given in comparison to a wolf in captivity. No zoo will feed kibble to their captive wolves. They instead provide a raw, whole prey diet. Are you willing and able to do this for your new pet?
The growing wolf dog
When your puppy reaches about 18 months of age, his wolf side will kick in at full force. If you have put in the hours and proper training into your puppy while he was growing, this stage should be easier for you to handle than if he were not trained or bonded with at all. When he hits that 18 month milestone, his hormones and instincts will guide him far more than your bond with him. He will be more independent, less playful, and far more pushy than he was as your little fuzzy wolf puppy. Considering to spay or neuter your hybrid may help some in his adult development, but keep in mind his instincts will override any surgery, so be prepared ahead of time!
Your wolf hybrid puppy, as he grows, may become more and more distant from the human family. He may enjoy spending most of his time outdoors instead of in a home, but he should never be confined to a kennel or cage. Instead, he should be given plenty of time in an outdoor secured area with your supervision. A dog of this size (can grow to over 100lbs) and agility can easily scale a 6 foot tall wood or chain link fence. It may be worth your time, money and effort to look into installing a security fence. These are tall chain link fences that curve inwards at the top, preventing an animal from jumping over it. This is the same kind of fencing used to house big cats such as lions and tigers at zoos. It keeps the animal safely inside while keeping other people, animals, and debris from making it's way into the animal's enclosure.
Do your research!
If you decide that a wolf hybrid is right for you, take the time to research the breeder you choose to purchase a puppy from. They should be honest with the percentage of dog and wolf within the puppy's heritage and the parents' and grandparents' temperaments. Ask to spend time with the parents, either observing or interacting with them before you make your decision. Many wolf hybrid puppies end up being returned to owners and even find themselves in exotic animal rescues due to the owner not understanding what the puppy needed from them. If you do your research, put in the time and effort into making a relationship with a wolf hybrid work, it can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience!