Wolfdogs – A Mix Of a Wild Wolf And a Domestic Dog
A wolf and dog can be bred because the pure wolf DNA and dog DNA are similar. Dogs are a domesticated form of the wolf, meaning that they share many of the same physical and behavioral characteristics. Dogs were bred from wolves over thousands of years, so the two species are able to mate and produce offspring.
Hybrids were developed for the needs of the military and services, such as border-patrol, rescue, or protection dogs. Various breeders created breeding programs to enhance working dog’s physical fitness and senses.
Most of the experiments ended in failure due to the inability to eliminate the personality traits acquired from wolves, such as caution (fearfulness, alertness, and wariness), or independence (unpredictable behavior on uncertainty).
However, over time, researchers learned how to selectively breed canines with the right combination of personality traits needed for their purposes. Among the hybrids of dogs and wolf that have a breeding importance are:
- The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog:
- The Saarloos Wolfdog
- Lupo Italiano
- Kunming Wolfdog
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
It is a result of mixing German Shepherds and Carpathian Wolves. They are bred as working dogs, and are used as service, search and rescue, therapy, and police dogs.
The Saarloos Wolfdog
This hybrid breed was first created in the Netherlands in 1935, by crossing a male German Shepherd and a female European wolf. It is used as working dogs for police, military, and service dogs.
It is a Chinese hybrid dog breed created by crossing the Tibetan Mastiff and the Gray Wolf. They were bred primarily as guard dogs.
It is a mix of the Italian Wolf (Canis lupus italicus) and the European Dog (Canis lupus familiaris).
Some of the popular wolf-dog hybrids are kept as pets are the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky, the German Shepherd Dog, the Belgian Malinois and the American Eskimo Dog.
Historically, the domesticated dogs were wolves about 15 000 years ago. Today, hybrids are used in a variety of ways, such as for military and service dogs, border-patrol dogs, and rescue or protection dogs. Their physical fitness and senses have been enhanced through breeding programs to meet the specific needs of their tasks. While hybrids were first developed out of experimentation, researchers have learned how to selectively breed dogs with the right combination of personality traits needed for their purposes.
Some of the popular wolfdogs kept as pets are the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky, the German Shepherd Dog, the Belgian Malinois and the American Eskimo Dog.
Wolfdog’s appearance can vary a great deal, depending on the percentage of wolf genes they inherit. Some may look more like wolves, while others may look more like dogs. They may have some dog-like behaviors, or they may exhibit more wolf-like behaviors.
Wolfdogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on how much wolf blood they have in them. Usually, they are larger than dogs, and they may have a longer muzzle, straighter hair, and pointier ears. They weigh about 50 to 100 pounds on average and are about 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder. Some wolfdogs may be smaller or bigger than this, depending on their percentage of wolf genes.
Wolfdogs – Personality
Wolf dogs need human interaction and training just like any other dog. They are very intelligent and can quickly learn commands. However, they can also be quite independent and stubborn, so you’ll need to be firm yet consistent when training them. Wolfdog temperaments vary a lot depending on the individual animal’s personality; they range from laid back couch potatoes to bouncy bundles of energy looking for new adventures. Some wolfdogs can exhibit natural behaviors that seem dominant (towards humans or other animals), while others with stronger dog genes, show more submissive behavior when they’re unsure of themselves or feeling threatened. It is always important that socialization takes place early on.
Wolfdog’s generally are harder to train than other dog breeds, since wolves are not as eager to please humans as dogs are. However, with patience and a lot of positive reinforcement, you can train your wolf dog to obey your commands and they will make good pets and loyal companions.
Wolfdogs – Maintenance
Since wolfdogs are not domesticated animals, they don’t typically do well in homes with small yards or no room to run.
Wolfdogs should be kept on a leash when not in a fenced area, as they will often take off to satisfy their prey drive. They also tend to run away if they get bored or don’t get the exercise they need. A lot of physical activity is a must for wolf dogs. They need to run and roam around in order to stay healthy and happy.
Wolfdogs – Health
Among some of the health issues common in wolfdogs are:
- Mites, ticks, fleas
- Respiratory Issues
Many of these health problems are common in other dog breeds as well, but it’s important to be aware of them if you’re considering adding a wolfdog to your family. Make sure you talk to your veterinarian about what preventive measures you can take to keep your wolfdog healthy and happy.
Fleas, ticks, and mites are also common in wolfdogs. These pests can cause skin problems, hair loss, and even infection.
Heartworm is a serious disease that can affect both dogs and wolves. It’s caused by a worm that lives in the heart, and it can be deadly. Heartworm is preventable, but you need to make sure your wolfdog is on a preventive medication.
Respiratory issues may be caused by different viruses, bacteria, or fungi. Symptoms can include coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, and in severe cases, death. Treatment typically involves antibiotics or antivirals if the cause is a virus, and antifungals or antibiotics if the cause is a fungus or bacteria.
Tumors are also quite popular with this dog breed. While any breed of dog can get tumors, wolfdogs are particularly prone to developing them. Tumors can occur almost anywhere in the body, but are most commonly found in the mammary glands, liver, and lungs. Treatment options depend on the type and location of the tumor and the treatment may be expensive, so it’s important to be aware of this potential health risk if you’re considering adding a wolfdog to your family.
Wolfdogs – For Whom?
They are considered an “exotic” pet and are not recommended for most people. They can be difficult to train and may be aggressive toward other animals.
Like some dogs, wolfdogs require plenty of exercise. They need to be taken on long walks or runs every day to stay healthy and happy. If they don’t get enough exercise, they may become destructive or develop behavior problems. Wolfdogs also need a lot of space; they should not be kept in apartments or small homes.
Wolfdogs are not for everyone, and it is important to research them thoroughly before deciding if they are the right pet for you. They can be beautiful, fascinating animals, but they also require a lot of care and patience.
Although they tend to be loyal, wolfdogs are not suitable for children, as they may have qualities that are potentially dangerous for kids. It is important to remember that a wolfdog is not a tame dog; they should always be treated with caution and respect and that your wolfdog may share similarities with their wild cousins.
Understand a Wolfdog’s Instincts
Wolf dogs need human interaction and training just like any other dog. They are very intelligent and can quickly learn commands. However, they can also be quite independent and stubborn, so you’ll need to be firm yet consistent when training them. Wolfdogs make great pets for those who are experienced in handling them and have the time to devote to properly caring for one. They’re not recommended for first-time pet owners or people who live in apartments.
Wolfdogs can make great pets, but they require a lot of work. If you’re prepared to put in the time and effort, a wolfdog can be a loyal and loving companion. Just be sure to do your research first and know what to expect.
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