A Wolfdog is a type of dog breed which is a result of hybridization of a domestic dog and a wolf. They refer to this speciose as a canid hybrid and they also call it a wolf-dog hybrid or just a wolf hybrid. Nevertheless, the mixture is made by using a type of a domestic dog and crossbreeding it with a one of five Canis sub-species.
The sub-species in question are either the grey, wolf, the eastern wolf, the timber wolf, the red wolf, the Ethiopian wolf or the arctic wolf. These dogs are actually described as companion dogs and not really pet dogs. They are much smarter than regular dogs but are more tamed than wolfs. Here lies their advantage in comparing it to other dog species.
Wolfdog History & Origins
Historically, there are evidence of Wolfdogs that go way back to the prehistoric age. These evidence were found only recently. But in more closer events, a Wolfdog is simply a dog that was created through interbreeding of domesticated dogs and wolf. This has happened in the wild at first by accident and later intentionally by humans. Interbreeding between these species was established in England in 1766. This was the first example of a wolfdog hybrid in modern times.
Later there were various other examples and the interbreeding between dogs and wolfs became so much common. The German Shepherd is the dog which was mostly used for interbreeding with wolves. Hektor Linksrhein was the first person who bred a wolf with this type of a dog and it was the first documented and intentionally crossbred dog with pure wolf gene. From there on, there have been many different attempts and successful ones. This also brought to different types of Wolfdogs in existence now. So there are the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, the Hierran Wolfdog and the Saarloos Wolfdog as the best representatives.
Characteristics & Temperament
Since a Wolfdog is a mixture of different genetically traits, it is hard to predict the general behavior of a Wolfdog. Some of their characteristics are divided separately between them and mostly depends on their parents. It also sometimes depends on which the stronger gene was between a dog and the wolf parent. Most breeders describe them as curious dogs, meaning that they are not any more or less destructive as other curious dog breeds.
Some propel are under the impressions that a Wolfdog is actually much more dangerous than a regular dog. This is a common misconception as their aggressiveness is usually measured individually and not really based on a whole. Wolfdogs are usually timid and shy dogs. They are actually much more shy towards humans that towards other animals. But this does not of course mean that these dogs are untrainable. If you start early you can socialize and train a Wolfdog to be a perfect pet. They will act as a normal member of a family and will display more characteristics of a dog than a wolf. But you will also have to expect some wolf-like behavior and characteristics which are not destructive but can be aggravating at times. Until you train your dog, it is better to keep them away from really small children.
Wolfdog Appearance, Colors, Size
A Wolfdog can vary in size but generally speaking they are medium types of dogs. The males can grow up to be somewhere between 26 and 34 inches, while the females are a bit smaller. The same as the height varies their weight can be anywhere between 60 and 120 pounds.
The body fame of a Wolfdog is rectangular. The head has a pair of short and oblique ears that are characterized by a triangular shape. The spine goes straight and they have short loins, helping them have a strong and straight movement. They have a flat but large chest and the belly is strong and drawn in. Their backs are short and have a slight slope. The color of their hair goes from yellow-gray to silver-gray, with a light mask. Their coats are straight and very thick.
Generally speaking a Wolfdog is a very healthy type of breed. They do not suffer from some usual ailments that you would find other dogs of their size to be affected by. One of such problems is hip dysplasia, which is common with dogs of this size, but Wolfdogs somehow manage to get away with it. Nevertheless, there are another forms of sicknesses and diseases that affect these dogs.
Fleas, ticks, heartworms, parvovirus, distemper, rabies, etc. all affect these dogs. If you contact your vet and get all the necessary shots on time, the dogs will be safe. But you also need to know that certain vets do not treat Wolfdogs for certain conditions.
Grooming & Shedding
A Wolfdog is actually a pretty clean type of a dog and does not really have an odor. This makes them great pets to keep as they do not need that much grooming. But there are certain things that you have to do. Since they shed heavily two times a year, you have to provide them with some added care during those periods.
A Wolfdog is an average shedder but brushing its hair is absolutely necessary. Try to brush it on a weekly basis but during the heavy shedding periods this will need to be done much often. Bathing is not really necessary as these dogs are pretty clean, but if the dog gets really dirty you can do it.
Wolfdog Price and Breeders
Bathing a Wolfdog is fairly easy. This breed has spread in the last couple of years and there are more and more places for you to get one. The price is not really high as it starts with 300 dollars but can go all the way to 2,500 dollars for certain dog types.
There are many organizations that are going to help you adopt a Wolfdog. You can start by contacting Wolfdog Rescue: Dog in Need or UK Wolfdog Rescue. Organizations are found in various countries and they present an easier and a much better way to adopt this kind of a dog. Look for these organizations and you will see the offer that they have to provide for you.