High Content Wolfdog Profile

A High Content Wolfdog
By Cottonwoods

Wolfdogs are not a "breed", but this does not mean that some owners are not breeding towards a standard. 
USAWA has a standard and also assisted in the standard used by NWHA - the standard of which my animals were judged against.

If you think a wolfdog looks like a pure wolf, then that is good breeding -  This does not mean it *is* a pure. 
(talking only about physical conformation here) 

 

General

They are sensitive, entertaining and playful, independent and aloof. Wolfdogs are slow to mature, 2+ years old before reaching adulthood. They have remarkable eye sight, an acute sense of smell and very good hearing. Their memory is also excellent.
Slender and agile they are capable of great speed and endurance. A wolfdog is very alert and aware of his surroundings.
Not for everyone, only those who have experience in successfully raising dog breeds such as the Alaskan Malamute or Siberian Husky should consider a wolfdog.

Other Names

Wolf Hybrid, wolf crosses or wolf mix (often misspelled wolf hybred, hybred, high bred, hybread)

Wolves, dogs, and coyotes can interbreed and produce fertile offspring. The breeding of a wolf and a dog are known as Wolfdogs. The term "wolf hybrid" is incorrect (outdated), as wolves and dogs are the same species.

The Dog Mix

Wolves originally were most often crossed with Malamute, Siberian Husky, and German Shepherds. Although a mating can occur with any dog breed, Breeds such as the Rottweiler, should never be considered and will not be recognized by any reputable registry*.

The Wolf

F1 (first generation - i.e., one parent is pure) Wolfdogs are deliberately produced from wolves who have been bred in CAPTIVITY for several generations. Breeders do not "den rob" and I would run from a breeder who claimed the parents were "pulled from a den in the wild" this just does not (or should not) happen anymore. Learn the subspecies of wolves. Many breeders advertise subspecies that are not available in verified lines. Avoid *reports* of Red Wolf (only in captive breeding programs such as Fossil Rim), or Buffalo Wolf (an extinct subspecies of Wolf), Russian Black Wolf (does not exist), etc.

Legalities

In some states, cities, and counties, Wolfdogs are classified as wild animals and considered illegal to “own” or owners are required to possess a permit for ownership. In other areas Wolfdogs are not regulated, being classified as domestic dogs. Know your regulations if any BEFORE you buy.

Lifespan

In a stable home, about 12 - 14 years, some even longer.

Sexual Maturity

Most female dogs reach sexual maturity at around 6-8 months of age and has two estrus cycles per year. The male dog sexually matures around 8 months of age. With a wolf, high content, or first generation Wolfdog the female will generally reach sexual maturity at around 2 years of age (sometimes later), the male around 22 months. She will generally have only one heat cycle per year and he will only be fertile as breeding season nears.
As you decrease the wolf content the animal can reach sexual maturity at any time between these two extremes.

Breeding

Breeding usually occurs around the later part of January, most often February, March (Arctic), and litters will be whelped 63 days later in Spring.

Litter Size

Generally, the average is 6.

Puppies

Coloration of puppies; They are dark in color; either black, dark brown, or charcoal. Even Arctic wolf pups are born dark, never white. Try to steer clear of muti-colored puppies, also litters should be uniform vs. assorted looking. Avoid reported high content litters containing white puppies, or pink noses.

Purchase Price

The average price of a Wolfdog pup ranges anywhere from $500.00 to $1,000.00
The price does not represent the quality as many ad's sell misrepresented animals for high dollars.

General Physical Description

Wolfdogs will have a large head in proportion to the rest of the body with a prominent occiput bone. The skull being wedge shaped, flattened on top, with a slight stop. A long muzzle, that should be equal to or longer than the length of the top skull.
The lips and jowls should be tight-fitting, in all coat colors the pigmentation is black on eye rims', nose pad, lips, and footpads. Teeth will meet with a scissor bite, canines are large and slightly curved.
Fully erect, heavily furred ears will be small to medium in comparison to the head size. Ears should be cone-shaped with thick cartilage and rounded tips.
The small almond-shaped eyes are obliquely set. Adult eyes should not be blue, (but young puppies eyes will be) parti-colored, or Bi-eyed. The correct eye coloration is yellow, green, shades of amber and brown.
A strong, well muscled neck is well furred. The topline is near level  
The chest is narrow, keel shaped, and should should reach to the point of the elbow. 
Shoulders are set close together at the withers. Long, straight front legs; well up under the brisket, will be set parallel to each other. Pasterns are slightly sloped and flexible. The strong muscular hindquarters are moderately angulated.
The large feet, are more splayed than dogs', they turn slightly outward; are well furred with webbed, elongated well-arched toes. Toenails are black or self colored (opaque/taupe) but never white.
The moderately low set tail is well furred, with bone ending about the hock joint. It is carried straight down when at rest and never tightly curled over the back.
The Wolfdog has a thick, double coat; a dense undercoat and course guard hairs. Length may vary greatly depending on the season.

Color

The adult coloration is generally grizzled/sable (agouti), other colorations are white, and black phase. In all colors the coat should be well-blended.

Size Category

Large

Height/Weight Range

Males measure between 26-34 inches at the withers, and weight between 75-125 lbs. 
Females are between 25-33 inches at the withers, and weight between 60-110 lbs.  

General Temperament

Wolfdogs require extensive socialization from a very early age. They are independent, but also great fun due to their lively intelligent disposition. This is not an animal that would be suitable for a novice dog owner, and needs a handler who naturally radiates leadership.
Affectionate with their own family, but generally aloof with strangers, especially after reaching adulthood.
Training and constant companionship (human or canine) are very important.

Characteristics

Pack oriented, they are social and demanding of your time and attention.
Wolfdogs like to dig, and can also become destructive if bored.

Training

Wolfdogs are highly intelligent and can be trained, however, they are not particularly keen on repetitive exercises. They are easily bored and thus harder to train. Wolfdogs have a strong inclination toward independent thinking and may seem stubborn. When training, the best results are achieved by motivational methods with a determined, consistent and loving approach. 
It is very important to begin training as early as possible, because a fully grown wolfdog may be too strong and too big to be corrected and because these animals have their own ideas and will not cater to his owner's every whim. They are sensitive to reprimands and eager to receive affection. 

Potty Training

It will require a major effort for your wolfdog to be housebroken, due in part to the importance of marking their territories.
The male dog will usually exhibit raised leg urination (RLU). With a wolf, high content, or first generation Wolfdog the male may not exhibit RLU depending on his status.
Alpha (dominate) female Wolfdogs may also exhibit RLU.

Socialization

A wolfdog may take time to warm up to new people or places and will need to be highly socialized to prevent shyness. A lot of effort must be put into introducing him to new objects/places/people, this must be a constant effort as fear of new surroundings might increase with age.

Energy

Wolfdogs are high-energy animals that require adequate exercise and mental stimulation.

Guard Dog Qualities

Although alert, Wolfdogs tend to be shy, therefore he does not posses any guard dog qualities and should never be considered for a protection animal.

Communication

Wolfdogs are capable of an amazing level of communication. Their emotions are exhibited in the purest expression of body language. Second to body language in communication is the howl, a wonderful song not all of your neighbors will enjoy, however, Wolfdog owners do not miss the repetitive bark heard in other dog breeds.

Compatibility of other animals

Wolfdogs are gentle and nurturing with puppies, introductions however, should be well supervised.
When bringing a Wolfdog into a home with other canine breeds, they will generally get along provided the Wolfdog has been introduced at a young age. 
When other animals are previously owned, it should be noted that Wolfdogs tend to be aggressive towards other dogs of the same sex (especially females), however, they are not generally aggressive to other animals outside their own territory
There is always a very well defined 'pecking order' in the pack, and other dogs may not always be accepted.
It is possible to raise a Wolfdog with cats or other small animals, however it is not recommended.

Suitable with Children

Due to the Wolfdogs size, he is not a good choice for families with small children.

Health

Cases of Hip Dysplasia have been documented in wolves; don't let a breeder tell you that Wolfdogs are somehow genetically immune to problems. It is, however, not as common as some other large breeds.
It should be noted that high contents can be sensitive to anesthesia. 

Ailments

Wolfdogs of recent wolf heritage/selectively bred breeding programs are virtually free from hereditary health problems. Due to many back yard breeders they can have bad temperaments and health problems & buyers should insist on screenings.

Common Ailments

Bones (Developmental) - Hip Dysplasia
Possible, but not commonly found in Arctic mixes, are Mouth - Malocclusion (Overshot or undershot jaw)

Allergies Prone to

Wolfdogs do not tolerate soy found in commercial dog foods. 

Well Being

The Wolfdog needs a lot of exercise. It is relatively unhappy permanently indoors and needs a large, enclosed (fenced), and safe area for running around off the lead and so does not do well in apartments, or large cities.

Feeding Requirements

Dog food should be high-protein, meat based and contain no soy/corn/wheat filler ingredients.
While many Wolfdogs do fine strictly on dog food, they usually do far better on a diet consisting primarily of raw meat.

 Housing Requirements

They are inquisitive and will roam. They must be kept under control at all times and need a fenced in yard or kennel that is secure as they can jump great heights and are diggers. Being bred to look like a wolf has its drawbacks, if they are caught running free, there is a likelihood of the animal being harmed.  
When building your dog house, keep in mind that Wolfdogs also like to find a high place from which to watch over things (make sure it is not next to your fencing.)

History

Early wolves were probably acquired as hunters/companions. Through domestication, we have the dog.
Wolf-Dog's have been intentionally mated to produce a well-tempered canine with higher intelligence, increased strength, stamina, and greater senses.
Wolfdog fanciers simply desire a canine; that has not lost it's ability to exhibit body language, that is not distorted from it's original form, and riddled with excessive physical problems such as eyes that pop out of socket. Though mainly bred as a companion animal, Wolfdogs have been
photographed and casted in movies to portray the wolf.

Grooming

Wolfdogs require little grooming, however, they should be accustomed to grooming procedures when they are puppies to make veterinary care possible later in life. They will shed heavily during the moulting season, this can be reduced by a thorough brushing-out.

Registries

Lupine AWAREness, USAWA, NWHA (no longer registering), Iowolfers (no longer registering)

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Copyright © 2004-2005 Cottonwoods.