Wolf German Shepherd Mix – Hybrid Dog Breed WolfDog
The domestication of dogs presumably began over fifteen millenniums ago. Many people believe the acclimatization started when humans tamed wolves and turned them natural pets in their homes.
If humans domesticated wolves and tamed them into dogs, what should we expect from the crossbreeding between a German Shepherd and a wolf?
When crossbred, wolves and German Shepherds produce German Shepherd Wolf Mix hybrids.
Otherwise named Wolf Shepherds, these hybrids make perfect protectors but unpredictable companions, especially for inexperienced owners.
A Wolf Shepherd requires not only intense coaching but also frequent socialization and rigorous exercise sessions, to become a composed and obedient pet but they are one of my favorite German Shepherd mixes.
Even when it seems pretty exciting to keep a half-wolf, Wolf Shepherds can pose the threat of insecurity, particularly to small kids and strangers.
Training a dog can take up to six months or a year, depending on the breed’s intelligence. Besides, the temperament of dogs varies from time to time hence their unpredictability.
Should you expect any difference in temperament when keeping a part-wolf?
Wolves hardly enjoy pleasing people; they rarely obey instructions and will make the training process nearly impossible.
However, the decision to keep a Wolf Shepherd rests upon your choice as an aspiring owner, readiness to dedicate your time and energy toward training, sacrifice, and experience.
In this piece, we dig deeper into detail about the Wolf Shepherd hybrids, their personalities, temperament, history, and requirements for training and socialization.
The Wolf in the hybrid; should you keep the Mix?
The ratio of German Shepherd genes to Wolf genes may vary depending on the parents. Full German Shepherds and hybrid wolves will breed crosses that carry 75% Shepherd genes and 25% Wolf genes.
Some breeders only sell hybrids whose grandparents carried more wolf genes than Shepherd genes. If you prefer to keep an obedient and easy to teach companion, then a mixture with more dog genes makes the better alternative.
Unfortunately, many states in North America prohibit the keeping of wild animals unless when owners acquire wildlife permits – the permits neither come easy nor cheap.
A Wolf Shepherd treads on a thin line between a domestic and wild animal. Laws, however, consider the origin of the breed and regard the Mix as not only capable of acting violently but also unreliable to domesticate.
Before deciding to keep a wolf, make sure you carry out tons of research and find a haven that will allow you to keep your pet.
Ancestry and history of Wolf Shepherds
The American Kennel Club disapproves of the Wolf Shepherd hybrid because of its capriciousness. However, the crossbreed unites unique traits of wild wolves and tamed German Shepherds, and often confuses people who mistake them for wild wolves.
Searloos, a breeder in the 20th century, crossbred a wild wolf with a German Shepherd. Searloos intended to breed the wolfdog into a dog’s lookalike in character while maintaining the natural physical appearance of a wolf.
Leendert’s efforts finally bore fruits when he discovered and described the breed as a loyal, hardworking, and protective dog.
Since Leendert’s successful program, breeders have managed to create Czechoslovakian wolfdogs, and Tamaskan wolfdogs, amongst other strong crossbreeds.
If we want to understand the Wolf Shepherd hybrid keenly, we should delve deeper into the character of both the Wolf and their Shepherd parents.
When breeding wolves with German Shepherds, breeders often use these two wolf breeds:
- Eurasian Wolves
- Carpathian Wolves – Often crossbred with Huskies to produce Czechoslovakian wolfdogs.
A wolf works extremely hard to hunt and find food in the jungle – their remarkable hunting senses match their impetuous work principles.
Nobody can fully domesticate a wild wolf; their unpredictable nature makes it difficult to socialize or tame them in domestic environments.
- German Shepherds
Stephanitz first bred German Shepherds in 1899. Shepherds exhibit remarkable intelligence and loyally protect their kin from danger. Besides their obedience, German Shepherds work extremely hard and provide reliable aid for patrols and the military.
German Shepherds make the best pets because they love playing with small children and hanging out with the entire family. Training Shepherds takes less energy and time, and many families prefer keeping the dog as a lifelong companion.
Why did we pick the wolfdog?
Besides their beautiful coats, Wolf Shepherds share many common physical traits with wolves. Wolfdogs protect their kin. Besides, German Shepherd Wolf Mix hybrids remain loyal to their masters — they follow every instruction when adequately trained.
A Wolf Shepherd pup
Due to the rarity of the breed, the cost of a hybrid pup depends entirely on the breeder. Prices of other species will slightly vary amongst breeders depending on their demand from buyers.
Wolf Shepherd puppies typically cost between $800 and $1,000. An experienced breeder will likely charge more, mostly if they breed multitudinous generations of Wolf Shepherds.
After acquiring a pup at the age of 8 weeks, please ensure that you teach your dog all socialization skills in the succeeding ten weeks. The part-wolf nature and fickleness of a Wolf Shepherd necessitate adequate coaching time and lots of continuous training on socialization.
Good breeders should help with the interaction and training, to ensure that you adopt not only a loyal but also a safe puppy for the whole community.
Appearance, size, and colour of Wolf Shepherds
You can quickly spot German Shepherd Wolf Mix breeds owing to their conspicuity. Many physical traits of the breed match those of wolves, hence easy to identify.
Despite its smaller size, the head of a wolfdog much resembles that of a wolf. The dark brown and almond-shaped eyes of both species look alike. You also won’t mistake the straight ears resting on their heads; they perfectly resemble the ears of their unpredictable parents.
Other hybrids tend to resemble either parent. However, Wolf Shepherds look more identical to wolves than their Shepherd parents – pups will often grow into athletic, muscular, and strong wolfdogs, just like wolves.
A wolfdog weighs between 55 to 125 pounds. In classification, Wolf Shepherds fall under the large breed category. The wide range of weight variation occurs due to the large size variance between Shepherds and wolves, and the height disparity common in wolf families.
Wolfdogs can reach a maximum of 24 inches. Just like with any other breed, females reach shorter heights and weigh less compared to the males.
A wolfdog will inherit the coat colour and texture of the wolf progenitor. The thick and relatively coarse double coats of Wolf Shepherds shelter their skins and protect them from severe weather conditions, as well as debris.
Many German Shepherd breeds come in various colours, including black and blue. However, Wolf Shepherds come in shades of black, white, and sable, just like their wolf grandparents.
Wolf Shepherds hardly experience frequent shedding – their sloughing periodicity only increases with seasonal change. A wolfdog sheds more during spring than fall – they usually adjust and prepare for hotter conditions.
The temperament of a Wolf Shepherd
- Highly whimsical
When introduced to new or frightening environments, Wolf Shepherds behave erratically or aggressively towards people and other pets.
Wolf intuition guides the hybrids to react when feeling threatened. Training your wolfdog pup to socialize from their early lives will lessen their disposition to erratic behaviour. However, coaching a wolfdog comes with numerous challenges for beginners.
Before allowing them to socialize, ensure that you properly acquaint all your pets, friends, and family with the hybrid pup, because if improperly initiated, the breed can sometimes become overly protective.
Wolf Shepherds howl as their means of communication. The crossbreed inherits the trait from a wolf. If untrained for long, the howling may become distractive and undesirable, particularly to people with busy schedules.
I would advise wolfdog owners or aspiring nurturers to keep other small pets such as hamsters, rabbits, or cats in separate homes from Wolf Shepherds. Wolfdogs possess irresistible urges to seize their prey and thus could easily harm them.
Even when keeping them alongside other dogs, please ensure that you regularly watch over your Wolf Shepherds. Introducing the hybrids to interact with other pups at an early age can significantly impact their positive development and future interaction.
The personality of a domesticated German Shepherd differs considerably from that of a feral wolf. The conflicting characteristics make it difficult to predict the particular individuality traits of the crossbreed.
A wolfdog owner requires extra patience and time to get close to the hybrid. Playing with your wolfdogs not only gets you closer but also benefits them, by reducing their anxiety, and keeping them active for healthy development.
Despite their shyness during adoption, Wolf Shepherds grow into adult domesticated dogs when their Shepherd personalities take over. A well-trained adult wolfdog will show loyalty and love towards their kin, and make excellent companions.
Wolves and German Shepherds share loyalty traits. Wolf Shepherds get their protective personalities from their wolf progenitors because wolves live as pack animals; hence would do anything to defend their kin.
Can I keep a Wolf Shepherd as a family dog?
Sadly, no. Also, I wouldn’t recommend families with young children to keep wolfdogs, because the species can quickly get impatient. A Wolf Shepherd will only associate comfortably with family members if supervised carefully and introduced to children at an early age.
It would be best if you, however, kept the Mix in a surrounding without children or pets because of their intense prey-drive and precariousness. Wolfdogs make lovely companions and show obedience and tough love towards their families.
Nonetheless, wolfdogs should strictly live under the close supervision of an experienced keeper because the breed can easily change emotions or act according to their wolf senses. Experienced owners can dedicate enough time to coaching and socializing the hybrid.
Common health problems affecting Wolf Shepherds
Wolfdogs can die as young as nine years, and live up to 13 years if well-fed and treated. German Shepherds live between 9 and 14 years, while wolves live for eight years tops.
Wolf Shepherds can fall sick or suffer serious health complications because they inherit genetics from their Shepherd progenitors.
Dysplasia refers to an elbow and hip complication, often characterized by pain around the joints. Dysplasia can cause arthritis and lameness when the joints rub and grind — they should slide smoothly.
Treatment and vaccination
Vets sometimes experience incomprehensible challenges when treating wolfdogs because unlike full dogs, and they do not respond to some medications.
All dogs require vaccination against Rabies. If a wolfdog shows any signs of the infection, vets in California recommend Euthanasia.
How to exercise, feed, and groom a Wolf Shepherd
Brace yourself for a series of time-consuming, challenging, and laborious training sessions if you plan on coaching your wolfdog to becoming more socializing and predictable.
To succeed in tutorship, make sure you outline clear exercise strategies, develop a regular coaching culture, and include balanced meals for the healthy growth and development of your Wolf Shepherd pup.
Recommendation – You can adopt the German Shepherd Wolf Mix, only if you are a seasoned dog keeper.
The taming of dogs started more than 135 millenniums ago. Since their docility, different industries specializing in dog foods emerged, and to date, dogs still eat kibbled diets. However, wolves originate from wild forests and can only thrive on the raw flesh they get from their rapines.
Wolf German Shepherds will grow and develop actively when fed fresh meat diets, because raw meats contain good fats and proteins that keep them healthy.
Vitality requirements of dogs depend on various factors, including their physiological condition, age, and energy levels. Veterinarians can offer helpful advice on the right diet quantities and the frequency of feeding.
I recommend owners to feed their Wolf Shepherds no more than two times a day.
Unlike other breeds that can train anywhere in the backyard and with minimal supervision, Wolf Shepherds require not only strategic exercises but also active workout sessions to burn their calories and keep fit.
A wolf can walk for 8 hours a day. You should probably take your Mix out for long hikes, running, and long walks, or a combination of all. Always use restraints when training or walking your Wolf Shepherd in public places – they can become quite stubborn at times.
Wolfdogs inherit intelligence from their Shepherd parents. Nonetheless, expect a challenge or two when training the hybrid.
Intelligence, the eagerness to impress, and temperament make any dogs trainable.
Wolf Shepherds carry different traits from other breeds; their independence and unpredictability make the species so stubborn at times that instructors should continuously train them.
A veteran owner with background knowledge on positive training can best train a Wolf Shepherd.
When coaching your wolfdogs, ensure that you maintain persistence, patience, and consistency. Besides regular training, please include socialization when tutoring the hybrid, because of the part-wild and part-tamed nature of the breed.
Also, metaphysical training such as deceptive training will keep the strong crossbreed active and minimize the risk of them getting bored and turning destructive.
The dense fur of Wolf Shepherds requires constant brushing. Dog owners should start grooming their pets at their tender ages because a wolfdog wouldn’t want to start grooming when all grown up.
It would help if you also brushed your wolfdog every two days to keep them clean and minimize shedding.
Can I release my Wolf Shepherd?
I don’t recommend anyone to set free their wolfdogs. The action not only demonstrates incredible cruelty against animals but also poses a safety risk for members of the public.
If your Wolf Shepherd cannot live up to your expectations, contact a vet, rescue, or wildlife conservancy, and explain your problem; they will help or advise you accordingly.
A wolfdog wouldn’t know how to hunt for food when released into the streets. The hybrid may attack people, starve to death, or get killed by a speeding car on the road.
Older packs teach younger wolves how to hunt. Without training, wolves hardly develop their hunting intuitions. The same practice applies to dogs and their hybrids – they need enough exercise to survive and fend for themselves.
A Wolf Shepherd makes one of the most unique and most active hybrids in the entire world. If you feel the irresistible urge to adopt one, make sure you conduct adequate research on the species, and countercheck your state regulations concerning the possibility of petting the breed.
Many states prohibit the domestication of wolfdogs. However, if your state allows you to raise and keep Wolf Shepherds, make sure you possess the right skills, patience, and experience needed to train, socialize, and feed the crossbreeds until they come of age.
A well-raised and socialized pup can prove many people wrong by growing into a protective, obedient, playful, intelligent, and loving companion.
To some, the negatives of keeping a Wolf Shepherd outweigh the positives. However, perspective, experience, and sacrifice matter a lot in deciding whether to nurture a wolfdog or not.
If you live in a vast piece of land and can spare a lot of time every day, then nurturing a Wolf Shepherd should come as a blessing.
Fickleness and strength make Wolf Shepherds not only appealing but also protective pets. However, domesticating a wolfdog comes with its share of challenges.
All in all, any experienced owner should find the German Shepherd Wolf Mix intelligent, and the best pet to take for walks and hikes. The breed will become your most reliable accomplice upon the completion of successful training.