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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Over the years I've encountered two such animals back when I was stationed in Jacksonville, FL with the Navy. One was a GSD/Wolf mix that was fairly timid around most other people other than her owner and the other was an Akita/Wolf mix that seemed reserved but fairly comfy around humans.

Both encounters were completely unplanned and casual ones where I struck up chats with both their owners. I was unafraid when I approached both animals, but in the case of the GSD/Wolf mix I was absolutely sure she didn't sense any aggression from me before I reached over to pet her just to avoid a fear based bite. The Akita/Wolf mix was more confident, just more aloof.

Then I've read wolf-dog articles and the spate of recent attacks mostly on children by these animals. And read even more cautions on their unpredictability.

I wonder why people want to own such unpredictable animals. I mean man's best friend is full of enough surprises of all varieties. Why crossbreed him with a wolf?

I can understand utilitarian reasons behind wolf/dog crosses: fiercer guard dogs such as the Czechslovokian Wolfdog (bred during the Cold War as a border guard animal), several varieties of various Eastern Block Guard Dogs, and some South African attack dogs during Apartheid.

Personally I'd rather have my Malinois, well trained, tractable and a damn good buddy for anything ranging from running along the beach to just flopping down on the couch, as a guardian animal.

Now I'm about as macho as the average military male, but I can't comprehend the macho value of having a wolf-dog hybrid. A pitbull, GSD, or Malinois is about as "macho" as I get.
 

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I'm not crazy about people owning wolf hybrids either, but I imagine they do it for the same reasons that people want to own pitbulls, GSDs, snakes, big cats, etc. Because they like the "breed" and the idea of owning one and think it would be fun and exciting. It's not all about being macho. I know a woman who owns 2 wolf hybrids and she's not macho at all.
 

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In the city I live in, it's illegal to own a wolf hybrid, but people still do. Personally, I wouldn't want to mess with an animal that's just as wild as it is domesticated, but that's just me. The retired military working dog across the street is a Belgian Malinois and is one of the coolest dogs I've met. He spends his days on the front porch staring up and down the street and daring people to make his day.
 

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I have to agree that I don't see the point of them as pets, but they have been used as working dogs for generations, either for hunting or for pulling sleds. They have a tenacity that other dogs don't have, as well as possessing other qualities, that makes them valuable to certain humans under certain conditions.

I'd love to see restrictions on who could own them, just as there are restrictions on other "exotic" pets, but I don't think that they should be banned entirely. I would never own one, since communicating with wolves is completely different than communicating with dogs, but I am not a big fan of bans that leave no recourse to people who are well meaning and would have the best interest of the animals in mind.
 

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they have been used as working dogs for generations, either for hunting or for pulling sleds.
Is this true? This seems extremely unlikely to me - I don't see how crossing with wolves would enhance either activity. The utility of a hunting or sledding dog isn't just in strength or endurance, but responsiveness to commands and, in the latter case, uniformity of stride. Introducing random wolf behaviors dramatically reduces performance in both.
 

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...I imagine they do it for the same reasons that people want to own pitbulls, GSDs, snakes, big cats, etc.
lol I'm not sure owning GSDs and owning tigers is the same ;)

But yeah I think people tend to like the "idea" of it more than they really understand the reality.
 

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There is a wolf-dog at my dog park that is so loved, such a clown, so charming, playful and unthreatening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv3iEkmKMzY

that a few of the dog park semi-regulars have unfortunately acquired wolf-dog puppies in hope of emulating him. None of them turned out well and none can come to the dog park.

BTW: I often board this dog as he and mine are wonderful friends. I can take him off-leash on the local hiking trails and swimming hole no problem. As he runs ahead of me just out of sight it's kind of fun hearing the.. um.. slightly concerned exclamations of the people he encounters on the trail, especially when he play stalks their dogs. Right out of the National Geographic channel.
 

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lol I'm not sure owning GSDs and owning tigers is the same ;)
I agree! Owning pit bulls or GSDs is not remotely the same thing as owning a non domesticated (or partially non domesticated) animal. People may have a problem with powerful dog breeds, but they are still domesticated animals.

I don't really know what I think about wolf hybrids anymore. If you know what you are doing and are responsible with your animals, it's a different situation than with people who just think "it's so cool" to have a wolfdog. I have a neighbor who has a wolf hybrid. He's very nice, but definitely a bit aloof. It doesn't seem to cause a problem, but I've seen the dog wandering around alone from time to time which is just asking for trouble IMO.
 

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I agree! Owning pit bulls or GSDs is not remotely the same thing as owning a non domesticated (or partially non domesticated) animal. People may have a problem with powerful dog breeds, but they are still domesticated animals.
It's not the same, but the reasoning behind owning them is. People get them for the macho feeling.
 

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Macho, Macho man....I wanna be a Macho man :D

Sorry Hulk...I have to disagree....
The point is valid. Do you dispute that there are people who own GSD's and pit bulls just because they like the feeling of power that comes from owning a big dog? How is that different from owning a wolf hybrid for the same reason?
 

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I've heard a number of different reasons and they are not often macho reason in my experience...though the macho reasons do happen...

sometimes the reasons are downright treehuggin hippie..such as

"I feel a deep connection with the beauty and wildness of the wolf and I want to as close to them, these royals among Mother Nature's children as possible" ( <--actual quote from someone I knew, taken straight from one of his emails)

theen there's the macho reasons...then there are people who end up buying or rescuing what they believe to be a husky or malamute pup..only to have it turn out to be a hybrid..I've known someone like this...she wanted a husky and picked a pup out of the city pound...and it turned out to be a husky x wolf.

the only real GOOD reasons to have them..imo...is to help them or to use them in educational purposes to teach about wildlife conservation(its a bit easier to introduce a hybrid to the public than it is to do so with a full blooded wolf).
 

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The point is valid. Do you dispute that there are people who own GSD's and pit bulls just because they like the feeling of power that comes from owning a big dog? How is that different from owning a wolf hybrid for the same reason?
I feel that yes SOME people own certain breeds to feel "Macho"...and yes SOME might own wolfdogs for the same reasons....

I do not agree that owning a GSD/Pit bull/ Or wolfdog = Person trying to be Macho
 

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The point is valid. Do you dispute that there are people who own GSD's and pit bulls just because they like the feeling of power that comes from owning a big dog? How is that different from owning a wolf hybrid for the same reason?
Yeah.. I think 4IC was hinting at the lure that comes with owning something powerful. A Pit Bull attracts people sometimes for the wrong reasons, just as an exotic might. That was the comparison she was making - not really a Pit Bull vs. Tiger kind of thing, just the fact that they are idiot magnets, at times.
 

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That's a cute video but I'm glad they aren't my neighbors :D

There is a lady here in town that does nothing but breed Wolf/GSD . You have to put your name on their list even before the dogs mate. Pups go for a $1000.00 Can .



There is a wolf-dog at my dog park that is so loved, such a clown, so charming, playful and unthreatening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv3iEkmKMzY

that a few of the dog park semi-regulars have unfortunately acquired wolf-dog puppies in hope of emulating him. None of them turned out well and none can come to the dog park.

BTW: I often board this dog as he and mine are wonderful friends. I can take him off-leash on the local hiking trails and swimming hole no problem. As he runs ahead of me just out of sight it's kind of fun hearing the.. um.. slightly concerned exclamations of the people he encounters on the trail, especially when he play stalks their dogs. Right out of the National Geographic channel.
 

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sometimes the reasons are downright treehuggin hippie..such as

"I feel a deep connection with the beauty and wildness of the wolf and I want to as close to them, these royals among Mother Nature's children as possible" ( <--actual quote from someone I knew, taken straight from one of his emails)
For some reason, I find this to be even worse. I think it's because almost everyone knows the Macho Man is an idiot, whereas hippies get some weird respectability regardless of the scientific illiteracy.
 

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For some reason, I find this to be even worse. I think it's because almost everyone knows the Macho Man is an idiot, whereas hippies get some weird respectability regardless of the scientific illiteracy.
I actually agree with you on this...even though its a slightly less threatening reason than Mr. Macho's, it represents a certain kind of naivete that I find kind of scary.
 

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Yeah.. I think 4IC was hinting at the lure that comes with owning something powerful. A Pit Bull attracts people sometimes for the wrong reasons, just as an exotic might. That was the comparison she was making - not really a Pit Bull vs. Tiger kind of thing, just the fact that they are idiot magnets, at times.

I see the point that is trying to be made:).....but the statement was made that people own "exotics" for the same reason people own Pit bulls and GSD's...and that also the reason behind owning a Pit or a GSD is to be macho....that is generalization..... I think you made the point much better by saying....SOME and MIGHT.....otherwise you are lumping me and the other Pit Bull/GSD owners in there
 

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I guess we just interpreted it different ways. Since FIC is a GSD owner herself, I doubt she was trying to call herself macho.

Actually after re-reading it I think all she was trying to say was that people own them because they like them and only sometimes is it for a "macho" reason. But this is getting really really semantical now. :p :D
 
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