Dogs: Do Wolf-Dog Hybrids Make Good Pets?Published July 20, 2011
Flickr User jeff-o-matic
My Own Experience with Wolf Dog Hybrids
In the years I spent in personal growth workshops in the high Mojave Desert in Southern California, I often took silent, solitary walks through the desert area surrounding the conference center, accompanied only by the two magnificent wolf dog hybrids that lived at the ranch.
In my time there, these wolf dogs became my constant companions and guides, leading me to incredibly scenic areas, where the heady aroma of juniper pines were hypnotic, and the view of the purple mountains shrouded in the early morning mist and clouds was truly amazing.
When I accidently ran across an online article the other day about these dogs, I was flooded with memories of those serene and joy-filled days, and started reminiscing about those dogs who played such an essential part in my spiritual journey. It became a sign for me to take a journey into the world of hybrid wolf dogs.
Facts, Similarities Between Regular Dogs and Wolf Dog Hybrids
According to the article I read, many myths exist about wolf dog hybrids. Some say they are unable to be trained and vicious while some claim they are as tame as a Golden Retriever. Some feel they live longer than other "dogs" and are less prone to disease.
With regular dogs and wolf dog hybrids, there are a few similarities:
- In reality, a wolf in captivity has the same life expectancy as a large dog, from 12-14 years.
- Both dogs and wolves are susceptible to the same infectious diseases.
- Additionally, the efficacy of a standard dog vaccine given to wolves and hybrids may be questionable.
Wolf Dog Hybrids As Guard Dogs
As far as making excellent guard dogs, by nature wolves are shy animals, so generally are not effective in this capacity. If any aggressive tendencies are observed in wolf dog hybrids, those may be fear induced, which can make them hard to handle and unpredictable.
Do Wolf Dog Hybrids Make Good Pets?
So while they are extremely attractive canines (and made excellent guides for me during my time in the desert), do wolf dog hybrids make good pets for an average dog owner?
While many folks say they make excellent pets for those who are familiar with their special needs, but in general, my answer is “absolutely not.” Since these canines are a cross between a wolf and a dog, they need special handling and training by a person dedicated to these animals.
With patience and consistency, even a dog that is hard to train can learn. But the wolf dog temperament tends toward dominance, and will constantly test his or her “master.” In order to avoid constant battles, the owner must establish "alpha" status to “dominate” the hybrid.
Things to Consider Before Owning a Wolf Dog Hybrid
Other important things to consider before making the decision to own a wolf dog hybrid are: since the wolf dog hybrid is still part wild, it cannot ever be a predictable "docile" family pet. They have special needs, both mental and physical. What are their nutritional requirements? Do the laws in your state permit hybrid ownership?
Are you willing to be dedicated to the hybrid's welfare? Too many people adopt these canines on a whim and end up surrendering them to the local Humane Society, where they are routinely euthanized since it is very difficult to place them with a new owner because they have already established deep bonds with their former caretaker.
For those interested in learning more about these beautiful and unique canines, you can visit various websites.
What are your thoughts about wolf dog hybrids as pets? Share in a comment.