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Wolf hybrid dogs are produced by crossbreeding a wolf with a wide range of purebred dogs, including huskies, German shepherds, Akitas, and Alaskan Malamutes among others. However, blending wild wolf genes with domestic dog genes often results in an assortment of temperaments and instincts.
While the domestic dog genes are believed to dilute the innate wolf behaviors, these dogs still possess the instincts of wild animals. In fact, there are reports of escaped wolf-hybrid dogs killing small pets and threatening human life in the US and UK, renewing concerns of whether these hybrids should continue to be bred or kept as pets.
They are not bad companions though. When they are rigorously trained and socialized, wolf-dog hybrids make protective and loyal companions. They are also strong, smart, playful, and very affectionate towards the family.
Like other controversial dog breeds, however, wolf-dog hybrids are not perfect pets for everyone. You should be ready to manage any kind of trouble that comes with these dogs. Plus, you should know the best mixes to own.
Before, I highlight some of the most popular wolf dog hybrid breeds that can make great companions, let me first take you through a few facts about these dogs so that you can have a rough idea of what to expect when you decide to own a wolf-dog hybrid.
Top Facts about Wolf Dog Mixes
- In terms of physical characteristics, wolf-dogs tend to have smaller skulls than typical wolves, pointed ears, and brown almond-shaped eyes.
- Since a wolf is a natural predator, wolf-dogs have a strong prey drive. They will tend to chase anything that moves.
- They are prone to howling as this is the most common way wolves communicate in packs. The hybrids will howl when left alone for extended periods. When you decide to be a wolf-dog parent, therefore, don’t leave your hybrid for long, otherwise, your neighbors might soon begin to complain.
- Although wolf-dog hybrids may relatively be gentle when they are young, as they grow, they will start showing a lot of wolf-like behaviors.
- Wolf-dog hybrids are illegal in many states. So, confirm with authorities if they are allowed in your area before keeping one. You should also note that if you were to lose your wolf hybrid and he ends in a local shelter, you might find it hard to get your furry friend back.
- Most wolf hybrids are destructive in nature. So, leaving them unsupervised for an extended period might encourage them to get into mischief.
- Avoiding keeping this breed if you have young children or if you tend to stay away from home for long. Socializing and training these dog breeds might not be easy and need somebody who is patient and consistent.
- They tend to shed a lot, so you need to invest in a good brush and other de-shedding tools & products.
Popular Wolf Dog Hybrid Breeds
Siberian Husky Wolf Mix
Also referred to as a husky wolf mix, this is a cross between a wolf and Siberian husky. You can also get a wolf husky by breeding an arctic wolf with Alaska husky. They are a bit shy but have strong prey and pack drive. However, they make loyal pets when thoroughly trained and socialized from the puppy stage.
Considering that their wolf parents stay in packs and often try to assert dominance when you show inferiority or weakness, the temperament of a husky wolf mix can be unpredictable. That’s why it is not advisable to welcome this mix in your family if you have young children. However, if you have kids and decide to keep this mix, you should be extra careful.
Additionally, it may not be safe to put your husky wolf mix in the same house with smaller pets like cats and hamsters due to their strong prey drive.
Lastly, since husky wolf mixes are extremely intelligent, they need a lot of exercises and mental stimulation.
German Shepherded Wolf Hybrid (or Wolfshepherd)
Since a German shepherd already resembles a wolf, expect this hybrid to be large, with pointed ears, long face, and a thick coat. They weigh between 50 and 100lbs (depending on their age, sex, and genetics) and stand between 20 and 26 inches tall.
The mix often grows to be a friendly breed that is attached to his owner and adapts well to playtime. When well socialized, they can also adapt well to other pets that reside in the same house. Still, it is not advisable to leave a Wolfshepherd with small pets like cats, rabbits, or hamsters due to their strong prey drive.
Wolfshepherds’ temperament is unpredictable as they can become aggressive when they feel threatened. They may also become curious and try to escape when they have an opportunity, so ensure that your backyard is secured. However, aggressiveness and the desire to escape can be avoided with socialization from an early age.
Wolf Labrador Retriever Mix
Labradors are intelligent, playful, and loyal with warm and friendly temperaments. They also do well as part of the family and get on well with other pets, children, and even strangers. Labs are also known to be rewarding dogs that are not only energetic and placid but can also cope up with the hustle and bustle of city life.
On the other hand, wolves are reserved, territorial, always wary of strangers, and resistant to domestic life. Among the most popular wolf-hybrid dogs, wolf lab mix’s personality and temperament seem more interesting and may vary from one puppy to another. Put simply, with a wolf lab mix, it can be difficult to predict the temperament, personality or behavior that you may get.
Akita Wolf Hybrid
A crossbreed between an Akita dog with a wolf, this mix has a dominant and predatory nature. Like other wolf hybrids, Akita wolf mixes are intelligent and full of energy. However, they get bored fast, making it a bit difficult to train them.
They are a bit aggressive and may challenge the owner for dominance if not trained well. Besides, they don’t get along well with children and small pets. They are also possessive eaters and tend to create a lot of conflicts with other pets, especially in a multi-pet household.
Alaskan Malamute Wolf Hybrid
This is a cross between the Timber wolf and the Alaskan malamute. One of the oldest domesticated wolf-hybrid dogs, it is playful, sweet, and makes a wonderful companion. However, it can be extremely stubborn and skittish.
In terms of physical characteristics, the mix inherits most features from his parents. They are large breeds with long faces and pointed ears. Their coats feature dark and light markings that don’t change throughout their lifetime.
Like their Alaskan malamute parents, they are affectionate towards their owners though they may be aggressive towards strangers. However, they seldom warn owners about the presence of intruders, making them poor watchdogs.
They can bark loudly and become destructive when left alone for long. Those with mid and high wolf content also tend to dig and chew a lot. Lastly, due to their hunting instincts, it is not advisable to leave them alone with young children and other smaller pets.
Other Wolf Dog Hybrid Breeds
Here are more wolf-dog hybrids that some breeders have tried. We will update their behaviors and personalities as we continue to interview breeders and people who have owned them.
- Great Dane Wolf Hybrid
- Mastiff wolf hybrid
- Pitbull wolf
- Golden Retriever Wolf Hybrid
- Doberman Wolf Mix
- Australian Shepherd Wolf Mix
- Chow Chow Wolf Mix
Quick Tips for Taking Care of Your Wolf-Dog Hybrid
Besides special training, owning a wolf-dog hybrid requires special care to help deal with character and improve the dog’s overall health. Here are some quick tips to help you take care of your wolf dog:
- Ensure that you keep your wolf-dog in a spacious environment where he can roam freely and exercise. Limited spaces may promote negative behaviors such as pacing and self-mutilation.
- Wolf dogs are most carnivores, so give them a lot of meat diets like raw beef, chicken, and turkey. They may not process well some dog foods such as grains. Consider adding more calcium and other nutrients in their diet to strengthen their jaws and bones.
- Like any other dog, wolf dogs are also prone to common health issues like hip dyslexia, parvovirus, fleas and mites, and injuries. So, always consult a local vet if you notice any weird behavior.
- Bond with your wolf dog as early as possible by playing games with him so that he becomes accustomed to what to do and what to avoid. Consider introducing him to new toys so that he doesn’t destroy valuable things in your home.
- Wolf dog puppies have a much bigger brain and may, therefore, require more intense training than that of typical puppies.
Keeping a wolf dog hybrid is not an easy task but the above-mentioned mixes are certainly worth the trouble. They can be trained to be smart, affectionate, and loving companions. Nonetheless, they may not be the best breeds for average dog parents. So, before welcoming these hybrids to your home, ensure that you can commit to taking care of them.
Remember that while they can look cool to own, they require special training and a lot of exercises as well as close supervision, especially if you have children or other smaller pets. They should also be kept in safe, fenced enclosures so that they don’t escape and cause damage to other