A wolfdog is a recent cross between a domestic dog
, a wolf
or any combination of the two...any canine which has a recent infusion of wolf blood in its ancestry. Very few wolf dogs are the direct progeny of a wolf and a domesticated canine, and few have pure wolf ancestry any more recent than their great grandparents or great- great grandparents.
This animal is often erroneously called a wolf-hybrid, but hybrids are by definition infertile. Because wolves and dogs are of the same species, their offspring (wolfdogs) are capable of procreation.
In spite of the unfortunate stigma attached to owning a pet descended from a wolf, many people find wolfdogs to be excellent companions and argue that their beloved pets are no more dangerous than domestic dogs. Nevertheless, wolfdog owners do struggle with numerous legal issues which range from issues of Rabies inoculation and the USDA's stance on fish and game to outright bans enforced by some states and local areas.
A few considerations for those contemplating adopting a wolfdog:
Do you have the time and means?
Wolfdogs are very social animals, and will require a large amount of your time adapting to your family structure. Your wolfdog is going to view you as a member of her pack, and her commitment to you and your family will be absolute. Give her the courtesy of reciprocating her devotion. Similarly, you are going to spend a good deal of time training your pet and teaching her what behavior is and is not acceptable. This requires plenty of patience and compassion. Also, if you are going to be separated from your wolfdog for any lengths of time, she will need a friendly canine companion to stave off loneliness. The companion can be a domestic dog or another wolfdog, so long as the two "play nice".
Do you have adequate room for the wolfdog?
Chaining, cabling, or tying the wolfdog up is inadvisable as such restraints have been linked to causing psychic trauma to canines as a whole. A more humane way to curtail your pet's movement would be a spacious cage or backyard with high fences. Wolfdogs are masters at digging and can jump surprisingly high, so take their prowess into consideration.
Is it legal for you to own a wolfdog in your state AND city?
Please call your local city/county Ordinance Department before purchasing your pet.
Are the reasons and conditions right?
Wofdogs don't make particularly good pets with children in the household. Like most breeds of large canines, wolfdogs view small children as a separate species and should not be left unattended with children. Similarly, any animal smaller than the wolfdog (especially a fast-moving one like a running cat) can trigger the hunter-prey instincts. If you are choosing a wolfdog as a guard or attack dog, reconsider. Wolves are shy by nature, and wolfdogs DO NOT make good guard or attack dogs.