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Discussion Starter #1
I've loved wolves ever since I was five years old, they were an obsession of mine for quite some time. I had a Labrador Retriever puppy about six years ago but he died of parvo a month after my family purchased him. I've mostly been raised around feral cats but all my pets are gone. I started getting interested into the Dog Training business again, which was something I dreamed about pursuing as a child. I plan on getting a dog in four months or possibly sooner. And the Wolfdog (Wolf Hybrid) has been the type I've been wanting for quite awhile. My father had a Wolfdog who was 87% Timber Wolf, 13% German Shepherd. And he said that his Wolf was extremely friendly and well behaved.

However I am concerned I've heard so many negative things, mostly because people aren't experienced. Or don't give the K9 the proper time. My biggest concern is trainability. Can they be trained? And not only trained the basics but also advanced training. I want a dog that can take on all the training I plan on giving him, I was definitely thinking about a Border Collie, but the Wolf haunts me and I impulsively want it.

I am home 24/7 and we have two acres of yard, one is fully fenced we also have a large dog cage. Now one thing that really bothers me, is that behind the fence in my backyard is a farm. The farmer every so often releases some cows in his yard. I am worried that if I get a Wolfdog he may want to kill the cows and some how manage. What makes this so awful is that the farmer is extremely temperamental and once my neighbours chickens got in his yard and started yelling so he shot them and put their bodies on my neighbours doorstep. This frightens me that if I get a wolf he might be in the same situation as the chickens if he messes with the farmers cows.

So what are your thoughts? I personally feel like wolves are very misunderstood. And this is a huge reason why I want a Wolfdog to prove to everyone that they aren't as bad as people make them out to be. And that with a lot of training and love the big bad wolf could melt into a strawberry scented candle. But could this work out or am I just dreaming too much?
 

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Sorry to hear about the puppy. That's rough. :\

I share your admiration for these creatures and I agree that the idea of having one is very tempting. However, if you look at the research that has been done on this, there are SIGNIFICANT behavioral differences between dogs and wolves. Is it possible to get a hybrid that is more "dog-like"? Sure. But you are really rolling the dice on that one. Yes, they can be trained. But you can't always treat them like a dog. I say this not as someone with any personal experience, but just from reading some of the research and watching interviews with professionals who interact with these animals. So I can't claim any particular expertise, but I strongly recommend that you look into the science of the behavioral differences. Wolves are also extremely powerful animals, with a bite force exceeding even the most powerful breeds of dogs, so there is NO room for error.

If you are really sure this is something you want to do, I'd get more dog-owning experience first. I myself would not feel comfortable raising an animal like this until I'd raised several large dogs (and even then...yikes).

The only silver lining here is that a lot of the animals that are passed off as "wolfdogs" are just husky mixes. Real wolfdogs are pretty rare, from what I understand.
 

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What about breeds which look similar to wolves such as the tamaskan or northen inuit dog?
Or wolfdogs classed as breeds such as the Czechoslovakian wolfdog?
These can be much more trainable depending on the breed possibly.

There are people who work with wolfdogs for a living, they could give you some detailed help. Im sure these places would be happy to help, such as http://texaswolfdogproject.org/
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've considered several breeds with similar appearance to that of a wolf. But its still not the same. I don't know maybe its the rarity that attracts me. I was really in love with the Gerberian Shepsky but I have a very rough time finding any in my state. I have more luck finding actual Wolf hybrids then Gerberian Shepskies.
 

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If its the rarity that attracts you, then wouldn't it be more special to get a dog which is difficult to find? You say you would have more luck finding a wolf hybrid, wouldn't that make it less rare?
 

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True high contents act like wolves, not like dogs. That means that one would likely be a flight risk and a risk to livestock and would not be able to be trained like a border collie or ever let off leash. Even basic training could be a struggle; advanced obedience is a pipe dream. You would need proper containment (a dog cage would not cut it; you would need a zoo-style enclosure, large and with a roof and reinforced dig guards) and to heavily research high-content care and winter wolf syndrome.

Please keep in mind that many "wolfdogs" don't actually contain any wolf. There are many, many scammers out there, and many will even give you fradulent "papers." If it acts like a dog, friendly and trainable, the chance of an animal being a true high content is extremely low. If it looks more like a dog than like a wolf, it is likely low or no-content.

I don't have any personal experience with wolfdogs, but there are a couple members of this forum who do. Hopefully one of them will see your thread. In the meantime, research, research, research.
 

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Don't look for "Gerberian Shepskies" then, just look for Siberian husky mixes. GSD x Husky mixes are super super common, finding them by a specific designer name may be more difficult.

Wolfdogs are not right for the average owner. You need more than just a fence and a "large dog cage" if you plan to own a high content wolfdog. You will need a proper enclosure, and don't plan on your pet living in your home. Your father's 87% wolfdog that is friendly and well behaved is probably not 87% wolf. Misrepresentation is common. Often low content or plain dogs are sold as high content wolfdogs. Which leads to people purchasing actual high content wolfdogs thinking they can handle it because the wolfdog will act just like their friend's "wolfdog" that slept on the couch and was friendly with children, cats, and other dogs. I recommend you do a lot more research and get experience with actual dogs (and maybe some hands on experience at a wolfdog sanctuary) before committing to a wolfdog.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Your father's 87% wolfdog that is friendly and well behaved is probably not 87% wolf.
My fathers Wolfdog did have wolf in him, he should me a picture and he looked just like one not only that but he was 120 pounds and had to be tied with a huge chain that was like three inches thick. There was definitely no doubt that Wolfer had Wolf in him. But his personality does some very unusual. Thats the only odd thing, you would think he would have a temper or something.
 

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Wolf dogs don't act like dogs. At all. I have no personal experience, but after watching videos and listening to other people talk, they are nothing like dogs. They are not easy to train, but it can be done. They aren't going to do agility or obedience, if that's what you're after. They will never behave like a dog. You would have to build a special enclosure to keep them (which is probably not cheap or quick) that looks like something you would see in a zoo. There are "exotic animal" laws in many states for wolf dogs. There are some wolf dog owners (real wolf dogs) on this forum that probably have more detailed information.

If you "impulsively" want something, then it is probably not a good idea to get something. I think you should get more experience with regular dogs before you attempt to own a wolf dog. There are plenty of dogs that look like wolves and are far less risky. Do your research and talk to people who own real wolf dogs before you take that kind of leap.
 

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A true high content is usually unmistakable. Most people have no idea what a wolf really looks like. I had a big malamute/collie mix with floppy ears and I constantly had people telling me he looked like a wolf (he did not). An "87% wolf" dog would not act like a dog. It would not be a housepet. A chain in the yard would not be good enough.

Check out these sites:

http://www.saintfrancissanctuary.org/forms/ID Guide.pdf
http://wolfpark.org/animals/hybrids/sloan-poster/
http://www.texx-wolf-tails.com/highcontentwolfdogs.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Most people have no idea what a wolf really looks like. I had a big malamute/collie mix with floppy ears and I constantly had people telling me he looked like a wolf (he did not).
Personally I find if very easy to tell a wolf from a dog, you can see it in their face, eyes, head shape, ears, paws, tails etc. I don't get why people assume everything with a shepherd like look has ''wolf'' in it. Shows you how lowly educated our society is.
 

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Make sure you fully understand your local regulations on the subject. Also, make sure you check out your homeowner's insurance policies. Most of them frown on keeping wild animals, or at least make you buy a large rider policy. And homeowner's insurance is sort of a thing you need.

A wolf wouldn't have a "temper". That's really a dog thing. Wolves are highly predatory though. I suspect your farmer neighbor would be extremely unhappy if he heard you had a wolf, so don't be spreading that around. He might manage to slip some poisoned meat over the fence or something. So make sure you can deal with the reactions you might get.

Also, rabies vaccines aren't legally recognized in wild animals or wild hybrids. In some places this can be a big-freaking-deal. Make sure you know the local laws about that.
 

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Reminded me of a Patricia McConnell blog post from a few years back and I think would be worth a read, for perspective: http://www.patriciamcconnell.com/theotherendoftheleash/the-tragedy-of-wolf-dogs

It's dicey at best and if things don't go perfectly, someone could get seriously injured and/or the wolfdog gets put down (or spend the remainder of its life behind some heavy bars)--steep price for the wolfdog to pay. I personally have a hard time justifying much less supporting an industry that breed wolfdogs for financial incentives and too many stories end in tragedies. Wolves belong in the wild. Dogs belong with people. Wolfdogs belong in neither of those.

In my opinion, if you really want to spend time working with wolves, find some wildlife organization or wolf sanctuary to volunteer and spend time with.
 

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So what are your thoughts? I personally feel like wolves are very misunderstood. And this is a huge reason why I want a Wolfdog to prove to everyone that they aren't as bad as people make them out to be. And that with a lot of training and love the big bad wolf could melt into a strawberry scented candle. But could this work out or am I just dreaming too much?
You are dreaming too much. It sounds cool because wolves are cool. No amount of training is going to make your Wolf a "sweetheart".

I agree with volunteering with wolves in some kind of wildlife sanctuary. Find a Wolfdog rescue near you to learn more about them in person. An animal like that should be FAR from an impulsive buy.
 

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And that with a lot of training and love the big bad wolf could melt into a strawberry scented candle.
Hehe, I didn't see that part. Um no. A wolf is a wolf. A wolf will never be a Golden Retriever. . .that's why humans bred Golden Retrievers---they wanted a "melted strawberry-scented candle" type of canine. Wolves aren't gregarious or cuddly. They're wild. They may deign to be friends with you but they aren't going to fawn all over you like some dogs. No matter how much love and/or training they receive.
 

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I am home 24/7 and we have two acres of yard, one is fully fenced we also have a large dog cage.
Do you yourself own this property? Can you reasonably expect to be living on it, with a similar amount of free time, for the next fifteen years or so?

So what are your thoughts? I personally feel like wolves are very misunderstood. And this is a huge reason why I want a Wolfdog to prove to everyone that they aren't as bad as people make them out to be. And that with a lot of training and love the big bad wolf could melt into a strawberry scented candle. But could this work out or am I just dreaming too much?
My thought is that if you want a strawberry-scented candle, get a strawberry-scented candle.

The average dog cage or fence doesn't hold a determined dog, let alone a wolf. Yes, a wolf hybrid would be liable to prey on neighboring livestock. No, you're not going to be doing high level dog training with a high-content wolf hybrid. Have you researched your community and state's laws? Dog-wolf hybrids may not be legal for private ownership there. Here (Alaska) it is illegal to breed or own them.

My recommendation is that before you even consider a hybrid you a)get a less-tractable bred of actual dog, and see how you do with containing and training that, first and b)volunteer at a wolf/wolf-dog sanctuary regularly for quite some length of time.
 

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Check local and state laws, they have changed a lot in several states in the last few years.

A wolf or hybrid is not something to take lightly, know someone who has had them for as long as I can remember, and while yes the can bond with the family, you are never walking them in public, and you need some very extreme fencing and pens, there's a pretty high cost there, along with food costs, and the need to see what your insurance while say or if they will even cover.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone for your advice and information it was helpful yet disappointing at the same time. Yes I have done some online research during my adolescence years. And used to study wolves a lot when I was real little. I think I should have explained my situation a little further. I wasn't planing on getting a high content wolf, maybe 50% - 25% which still is a lot of wolf to handle I get that. I was wanting something that I could take to group classes, impress my mentor with, and take to dog parks, walks etc. The whole nine yards. Maybe thats a lot to expect from a wild animal, maybe its even impossible, but can it be done? This isn't something I just thought about over night. This is something I thought about my whole life, not just a dream but a long time desire and passion. And I could go and help out at some Wildlife Wolf Rescue Program. But I still need a dog and maybe it would be a better idea going for something like a Cocker Spaniel, I mean yeah it looks kinda silly a woman with little dog experience getting a Wolfdog. Idk guess i'll have to put more thought and research into but I have a bad outlook on learning from online. Or believing anything they tell you because it usually seems wrong to me. Thats why I went on here to learn from people who've may have worked with wolves or wolfdogs. The only thing positive I seem to have is my fathers opinion, everyone else seems strongly against it. But I appreciate everything you all said! And I will look more into it. :)
 

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I'm certainly not an expert, but if you're going for as little as 25% content (which I'm guessing you would need to to be able to do the things you want to do) you're going to have very little wolfishness. In which case, why get one at all? With all the sketchiness around hybrid breeders and legal issues and etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I'm certainly not an expert, but if you're going for as little as 25% content (which I'm guessing you would need to to be able to do the things you want to do) you're going to have very little wolfishness. In which case, why get one at all? With all the sketchiness around hybrid breeders and legal issues and etc.
I'm really not sure why theres something special about it, and comforting at the same time. Two days ago I went to the store and saw some breeders selling Wolf-Chow mix pups. The owner had the mom with him too, and said she was full blooded Canadian Black Wolf. She was not. You could look at her fur, it was longer. Her tail was fluffy and more Border Collie like then Wolf. She did have a wolf look to her face and arms and you could tell there was some in her especially her ears, her ears were very wolf-like. The father was Chow with something Unknown mixed with him. He only wanted $100 for a pup. I thought it was still a good deal for even a quarter wolf.
The weird thing was how the owner tried convincing us she was pure wolf, when she obviously wasn't. She looked almost exactly like the Wolf-Chow mix then she did a full blooded Canadian Wolf. Just like this picture but with a more Wolf face. Still kinda want one they were hard to resist
 
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