Browse
Crafts, Recipes, Tips,
& Guides
Contests
Enter Contests
& Vote
Get Advice
Submit a
Question
Browse>Contests>Ask>Share>Newsletters>Account>About>

Are Wolf Hybrid Dogs Safe?

0 0EmailPrintFollow

Last week my kids went to the pound with a family friend. Our daughters Taylor and Brooke have been bugging us about this dog (Cooper) from the shelter. They have been asking us to adopt him.

He is 1 year old and he is a wolf-hybrid. From what I know a wolf-hybrid is an offspring of a domestic dog and a wolf. He looks like a wolf and i'm sure he acts like one also. I'm not sure if that's safe.

I mean, it's a wolf! I have 2 dogs already and they're pretty small so I don't know how that would work out. Does anyone know about the behavior of wolf hybrids and if they are a threat in any way to people or my dogs?

Thanks with love,
From Greg & Aly

By

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By jag1masons03/25/2014

Well I know part wolf is wild and free but part domestic dog is walks in streets and can be a family dog only if that dog let's you.

By wolfgirl10105/29/2013

Wolves are like pit bulls they are actually really kind and gentle but people think they are killers when they are not. It also depends on the pound. What is the name of the pound?

By sue huss03/20/2013

They definitely do not make ideal pets. Take it from someone who owned one. They have a high prey instinct and are very destructive.
Read more of my experiences with my wolf hybrid on my blog. Http:// morepetpampering.net
Some states like Michigan do not even permit ownership of a wolf hybrid. Do your research before you adopt one.

By Animaltrainer02/25/2011

Ok, A lot of misinformation on this page, not a lot of science.

First of all, a wolfdog is not a breed.
The thing to understand with wolfdogs, is their behavior is individually predictable, but not breed predictable. What this means, is if you get an excellent wolfdog, that is what they are, an excellent wolfdog. It's important to understand, that aggression in wolfdogs comes from dog genetics, not wolf genetics.

Wolves are very non-aggressive to other wolves, or to humans in the wild as it would be detrimental to the pack. Dogs on the other hand, can be very aggressive, and are much more so than wolves, particularly breeds that were bred specifically for their aggressive qualities. So aggression in a wolfdog tends to be related closely to the type of dog the wolf was bred with, and how high the content of wolf is. The higher the content of wolf, the lower the chances of aggression as wolves are less aggressive than dogs.

The next thing to understand is prey drive.
Dogs have prey drive, and wolves most definitely do. However dogs by and large are not very good hunters having been bred to depend upon humans. Wolves on the other hand make very good hunters. They are apex predators. What scientists have discovered as the main difference between dogs and wolves in tests, is that dogs will look to humans for guidance and instruction where as wolves will or may not.

We bred dogs for submission, to us, humans, and for dependency on us. Dogs have a gene for this, Wolves may not or may have a lesser developed one, or a more primitive one combined with others, that in breeding, we modified, to have them look to us humans as the Alpha pack member all the time. So dogs are very trainable and easily obedient compared to wolves. What all this means in a wolfdog or wolf hybrid is a mix-up.

You may get a wolfdog with dog dependency and trainable genetics, with a wolf coat, health, bone structure, and physical appearance, and intelligence.

Or,
You may get a wolfdog that likes to dig your yard to china, is impossible to housebreak (wolves pee outside), has a high prey drive even towards small dogs, cats, and possibly children, and possibly high dog aggression if it comes from a biting, or aggressive breed of dog.

In other words, depending on the pup, you may get the perfect pet, with perfect health and superior trainability and intelligence, or a beast that's unmanageable for most except a strong personality or Training professional. It depends entirely on the individual wolfdog.
That is the way it works.

In the same breed, some pups may essentially be unadoptable, needing to stay with the breeder the rest of their lives, while others of their litter mates may be perfect, or superior even animals. You have to take it on a case-by-case basis, and analyze each animal differently. Their behavior *is* stable, but on an individual level, not on a breed level.

You can't view them as a breed, but as an individual wolfdog. So as far as adopting one is concerned, like adopting any animal, you need to spend time with the animal to identify it's behavior personality to see if it's a good fit for your family. Just like a herding dog isn't appropriate for a small apartment or as a housedog with children (a herding dog will try to herd your children by biting them) so to you need to match the wolfdog to your personality and family needs.

Both dogs and wolves need discipline.
Dogs get it from humans, wolves get it from the alpha members of their pack. If you are going to own a wolfdog, you need to be serious about being an Alpha pack leader. I recommend a Halti (now called a Holt) brand head collar, as well as a German pronged collar for checking them. They need to be taught to heel, and obey, and who the boss is. If you can do that, they are a great animal.

If not, they may not be a good fit, and some wolfdogs are only a good fit for people who understand wolfdogs and Wolf behavior. Some are great family animals, some are better suited in a wolf enclosure. It all depends on the dog, and the animal. If you're serious about adopting one, get to know the animal, do your research, and find out more about wolfdogs. Wolfdogs can be great companions, if it's the right fit for you and your family.

By josh02/07/2011

If you want to get these breed do your research first. Any dog at any shelter, learn about its past. I just got my second wolf hybrid puppy. He is wonderful and full of energy. I have been around wolf hybrids before this. I had good and bad times with this breed but I love them. My blueheeler/wolf hybrid is hardheaded but she is like my child. I've had her five years now. She's good around kids but she doesn't like them pulling on her ears or tell. It's only been three year for her being around them though so she still learning.

By corey (Guest Post)12/15/2008

I have two wolf hybrids, one is 3 and the other is 6 months. They are the best and they love my two nieces. They are good dogs to have, and I hope it works.

By Patricia Sertic [6]11/15/2008

My aunt and uncle had a French Poodle. That darn dog would lay quiet sleeping all evening while you were visiting however when we went to leave and would kiss my uncle goodbye Bowzer would go crazy and jump for your face to attack you. And it was just a poodle.
My friend and wife have a hybrid husky from when he was a puppy. He is a beautiful dog but they don't have children. He is very loving to everyone a real sweetheart.
In your case though with small dogs and children I don't think it would work with a dog that is already a year old and you do not know its background. The risk is to great with your family involved.

By jusup (Guest Post)08/31/2008

I have a hybrid and he is the nicest dog I have ever seen in my entire life. He gets along with any other dogs, puppies, cats, anything, he is literally a big sweet fluffy dog. I wouldn't let the name "wolf" hybrid scare you because I wouldn't trade him for anything else.

By Memphis (Guest Post)03/14/2008

My fiance and I have a wolf hybrid. He is 1 1/2 years old. Our dog is very dominate over his territory and yes is a very different from a domestic dog, however he is very smart! My advise is not to get a wolf hybrid from the pound. Why? Because you really don't know what the dog has been through or what his mentally state to be around you and your kids. If you had gotten him/her it was a puppy that's a different story.

By WolfDogOwner27 (Guest Post)12/28/2007

I have a wolfdog and, like what has been said previously, not a good idea to bring small dogs around her. Not a good idea to bring people she doesn't trust around her either. I love her to death and she's a great dog, but she's very independent and will pretty much do as she pleases. She mostly will just listen to me or my dad if we tell her to "sit" or "lay", but for the most part, training her was pretty difficult.

Unless you have gobs of time to devote to training and getting in good with the animal, I'd strongly advise to think twice about owning one.

By jackie (Guest Post)09/09/2006

We had a collie/wolf. She was a big baby for the most part. She bit one child because he pulled her tail (hard) while she was eating and she snaped at me on a separate occassion. I imediately dominated her and I became the top bitch in this house from that point on. We had a few minor behavior problems with her. She died right after we became Dog Whisperer fans. His techniques were really working. I wonder what he would say about a hybrid.

RE: Are Wolf Hybrid Dogs Safe?

By bobbi (Guest Post)08/25/2006

i have owned 3 wolf hybrids and all of my children were little with all of them. they are the most loyal animal and will except you and your family as their pack and will go out of there way to protect you. i just lost my wolf-hybrid of 10 years and she will be very sadly missed. i wouldn't hesitate to get another one except the state i live in has banned them because of the idiot people that think they are mean! the picture is of my male and female playing in the snow. he died at the age of 7 (Lakota-male black/tan) and she was 10 (Miatuck-female black). i hope i was of help to you and if you have any further questions feel free to contact me at wolflover 0204@yahoo.com.(remove space between r and 0)

RE: Are Wolf Hybrid Dogs Safe?

By Rachel (Guest Post)06/13/2006

I have a wolf hybrid and she is great but I got her when she was 2 monthes old. I would not advise getting a hybrid that is older. They do take a lot of work and time. also she does not really like little dogs and that could be a problem for you and dangrous around the kids if the hybrid was to go after the small dogs.

By Superboy (Guest Post)02/23/2006

I once owned one, it was honestly the best pet I ever owned. Biggest lap dog ever. Infact the government no longer used hybrid as a way of calling them. Since DNA testing has evolved they have found they are the same as captive dogs, they now call them wolfdogs and that is why they are willing to let you adopt it. Just like ANY big dog, proper breeding is esential to them. Raised well they are good, I would not consider this animal if it was abused though

By ROSA (Guest Post)09/04/2005

I had a Hybrid wolf dog once , NEVER AGAIN ! I / we could not train her , she ate a whole couch right down to the springs, the woodwork on the door frames, you name it she ate it, She was a beautiful dog, ( puppy ) I gave her away 3 times and they always brought her back cause she did something wrong . She was gentle but she was just a baby too at the time, Finally found her a home , she is a junk yard dog , guarding a junk yard. So I was told ? She was 6 months old by the time I found her a good home, My other dogs hated her big time, always trying to beat her up. NOT A GOOD IDEA GETTING A HALF/BREED WOLF DOG, But a friend of ours had one, and she was excellent, loved everyone.

By terry09/03/2005

I can't believe a shelter would even have a wolf hybrid! I used to have a dog/coyote mix, and she was wonderful, but I really advise against any of these hybrids, especially with young children. We cannot even assume our pet dogs won't bite or attack, let alone something that's half wild.

TerryfromChilliOH

By Maryeileen [76]09/03/2005

I don't think a hybrid is a good idea if there are children or other pets in the household.

I also wonder why this poor creature (humans are at fault for breeding them) is at the pound in the first place.

There has been a place here locally that has wolf hybrids that has been in the news at least twice. Their animals are kept in a penned/fenced area but have gotten out and have harmed or killed pets in that neighborhood.

Wild animals belong in the wild! And, we should stop encroaching on their territories when we build more houses and more stores and yet more restaurants! Okay, I'll get off of my soapbox now!

By Lynne [2]09/03/2005

Check out http://www.wolfpark.org/wolfdogs/guidelines.html

A few quotes from that page:

-- Wolves and high-content wolf hybrids should never be regarded as pets.

-- Children below the age or size of a typical 14 year old, including the owner's, are always potentially in danger.

-- Wolf-dog hybrids should, for safety reasons, essentially be kept like wolves. While low percentage wolf-dog hybrids may be unlike pure wolves in many respects, and many can and are kept like pure dogs, they all retain, *as do many dogs*, the motivation for predatory behavior. This means that a person, especially a child who tripped and fell, or who is moaning, crying, or screaming, may be considered wounded prey and attacked. Grave injuries, even death, are all too frequent in such cases.

-- The animals should be fed a proper meat diet, including bones, skin, and/or fur.

-- Socialized wolves or wolf-dog hybrids may also challenge the owner or others for dominance. This, too, can result in serious injury to the persons involved. Tame wolves or wolf-dog hybrids may also defend their food against people, especially children. A mere defensive bite can result in serious injuries, even though the animal "meant" no harm.

In summary, while wolf-dog hybrids seem like really neat animals, they are NOT suitable as pets. There are so many other wonderful, gentle dogs at the pound that are looking for a good home, why would you deliberately subject your family to these types of risks and headaches?

By Jeneene (Guest Post)09/03/2005

I have read many times that these dogs are unpredictable. Might be totally tame and nice for a while but can never be trusted.

Listen to your gut. Don't give in.

By sandy (Guest Post)09/03/2005

ditto.
your small dogs are SMALL and look SMALL to another dog. this is a wolf mix. stay away i say.

By Holly [350]09/03/2005

This is a P.S. My sil adopted a part dog/ part coyote. Big mistake. I'm not going into any details.

By Holly [350]09/03/2005

I would NOT adopt that pet.
1. can be dangerous
2. is only half domestic bred
3. how vicious can the other half become?
4. as it gets older, it may become mean
------------
My aunt had a collie that was mean - and that dog was bad enoough. Can you imagine a part wolf with an attitude problem?
Someone is going to say that the wolf part of its heredity makes it shy, but I think the wolf part of its heredity makes it want to attack a lesser being (aka young child) to establish dominance.
We were at a petting zoo and the baby bull went after by then 3 year old - because he was the smallest one in the group. Knowing that animals can distinguish between big and small adversaries, how safe are your children and their friends? And the other pets? How's your insurance? Got a $1,000,000 umbrella insurance policy?

By lindal (Guest Post)09/03/2005

When in doubt, DON'T. Especially a wolf mix. If you want a big dog get a golden retriever or a lab retriever, or a collie. These are great with kids!

Answer This Question

Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.