Is your "Wolf-Dog" really a Wolf Dog? How to tell :)

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  • #508259
    JynXx
    Participant

    My boyfriend shared this post with me from his Forums, and I thought it was interesting enough to re-post here. First, I’ll start with a key on how to read this post. Green, is obviously me. There are two posters in the text below, Blue is the person re-posting another’s for reference to their own post, and Purple is from the source post. Now, here we go!

    I initially typed a huge post of my own up, but I think another person did it better than I could. So I will start with that and add to it:

    I’d like to teach you guys a little bit about wolf hybrids.

    First, why should you listen to me? Without going into too much detail, I’ve been a professional animal trainer for the past 10 years, working with domestic, exotic, and native animals including wolves. I’ve worked to educate the public about the plight of native animals and their habitat, and also encountered a lot of general ignorance about wolves (and hybrids). I’ve worked with a variety of individuals from several subspecies of wolf.

    (Note: when I talk about hybrids below I’m referring to mid- to high- content, meaning 25% wolf and above, as below that it’s often difficult to tell wolf heritage without directly interacting with the animal.

    Also please note that the more correct term is “wolf dog”, although I’m using the term “hybrid” here as it’s used more commonly and is the term used in legal documents and laws. Technically, because dogs are a subspecies of wolf, a cross of the two isn’t a true hybrid in the way that a mule or liger is.)

    Can you pick out the hybrids below?

    Trick question suckas! None of these is a hybrid. Most of what people claim to be”hybrids” aren’t hybrids. So why do people think their dog is a hybrids when it’s not? There are three main reasons:

    1. They think it’s cool and makes them special. It gets them attention, in real life and on the internet. They’ve usually done a bit of research about hybrids and filled in the gaps with things they saw on TV and in movies. They want their dog to be part wolf so badly they convince themselves it’s true, or just flat-out lie.

    2. Someone lied to them. This is incredibly common these days. Many people selling “hybrids” are lying liars. Why? Well, how much do you think you can sell a GSD/lab x Husky/poodle puppy for? Not a lot, and probably not a whole litter of them. How much can you sell a “1/3 timber wolf hybrid” for? Usually $300 – $600+ for each puppy, and the average buyer can’t tell the difference. Bump that up to 50% and it can be around $1000+. Hell, why not call it a 90% hybrid? There’s no regulation. Alternately, someone with a dog that falls into the first category has puppies and sells them to their friends, telling them the puppies are 25% wolf (or whatever) because they misidentified their own dog.

    3. Several people tell the owner that their dog “looks part wolf”. The owner got the dog from a shelter, so they don’t know its breeding. They go online and look up “wolf hybrids” and finds out their dog has a lot of physical and behavioral traits that hybrids have. So it must be part wolf! More on that below.

    “But I did a lot of research online, and my dog has all these wolf traits.”

    Anyone can pick the wolf out here. The others are a malamute, a GSD, and a husky– crosses of which are the most commonly misidentified as hybrids. You can see they share a lot of similarities, in coloration, size, and body shape, and it’s easy to see why someone might mistake a cross of one of these for a wolf hybrid. Other common misidentified crosses include Eskimo Dog, samoyed (any spitz or sled-type, really), and collie.

    However– and this is important, so listen closely– THERE IS NO SINGLE TRAIT THAT CAN DIFFERENTIATE A DOG FROM A HYBRID. There is absolutely no physical or behavioral trait that is found only in wolves and not in dogs. A pure dog can have tons of “wolf” characteristics; after all, dogs came from wolves and get all their genes from them. People who identify their own dog as a hybrid tend to have a laundry-list of reasons their dog is a hybrid, but to the mildly educated objective observer the animal is clearly a dog.

    If an expert were to evaluate a questionable hybrid they would look at the animal’s appearance, behavior, and how you got the dog. If one of those is off, it sends up red flags. Does the dog have a somewhat wolf-like face and build, but is everyone’s best friend and came from a shelter? Probably not a hybrid.

    So let’s look at a real wolf for a second.

    As I said, there’s not one thing you can look at to definitively tell a wolf hybrid, but let’s look at a few things on this wolf:

    The eyes tend to be a big give away; notice how the eyes are black-rimmed and slope sharply up. Wolves often have light gold eyes (this one is brown, which is common in dogs). The face is “flatter” and the muzzle fine and long, with a thin bridge, as opposed to boxy in many dogs. The lips don’t droop or sag. The ears are small, rounded at the tips, and not set on the top nor sides of the head. The ears are thickly furred inside.

    The coat color is graded and doesn’t have sharp, distinct patterns. The markings are symmetrical, and the fur itself is “banded”, meaning each hair has several colors (even black wolves). As a young cub a wolf will be almost solid in color (usually black, brown, tan, or rarely pure white) and develop adult markings as it matures, unlike spitz-type dogs which are born with their adult markings.

    The back is flat, with the head carried low. The feet are large with black nails and pads. There is no rear dew claw. The tail has no sabre curl and is carried below the height of the back, not above it like a sled-type dog. The elbows are well below the chest.

    Note especially the build; there’s a common misconception that wolves are really heavily built with massive broad chests, but this isn’t the case. Wolves tend to be very lightly built with narrow chests and long legs made for chasing prey. Most wolves weigh between 60 and 100lbs.

    But keep in mind, every trait I just listed can show up in dogs too. However, the higher the supposed content of wolf, the more of these traits will be present. A high content hybrid will look almost exactly like a wolf.

    So now that you’ve learned so much about wolves and hybrids, pick out the hybrids below:

    Did I fool you again? Maybe, or maybe you’re getting a little better at this.

    These are all identified crosses between GSD, husky, and malamute– no wolf in here! But if someone told you any of these were a hybrid be honest, you’d totally give them all your upvotes and send them straight to the front page. I’ve seen much less convincing fakes make it. So now you see how easy it can be to misidentify a hybrid.

    For one thing, notice the attentive gaze on most of these dogs. Dogs tend to focus on humans and look for facial/gesture cues, while wolves and many hybrids don’t.

    Along those lines, something that many “hybrid” owners point to behaviorally to identify their dog as a hybrid is a lack of barking or shy, aggressive, independent, prey-driven, destructive, un-trainable, or alpha behavior. While hybrids often show these behavioral traits, in a questionable dog they can usually more easily be explained by poor early socialization and training, which is unfortunately common in rescue dogs, or from an excess of energy, which is very common in sled-type dogs (which are the most often confused for hybrids). Bad behavior does not equate wolf heritage, and in the same vein supposed wolf heritage is not an excuse for your pet to act badly– whatever your animal is, it’s up to you to make sure it’s well trained, well socialized, and well behaved.

    Now what you guys have been waiting for: REAL hybrids!

    You can really tell these are part wolf (of different contents), especially if you compare them to the crosses above. There’s no denying they’re stunning animals, and it’s easy to see why people would want them for a pet.

    However, wolves and hybrids don’t make good pets. There’s a reason we changed wolves into dogs: wolves do NOT make good companions, whereas dogs are the perfect companion. Each individual is different, but by and large hybrids don’t make suitable house pets.

    Real hybrids often must be kept in large outdoor enclosures, sometimes up to 10 acres by law. They will probably be extremely shy of strangers, so don’t expect to take them to the dog park or the farmer’s market, or even have them play with your friends. In many places it’s illegal to take them off your property or even to keep them in the first place. They can be trained, but only by a firm, patient, and competent professional trainer; the average or even experienced dog owner will most likely be overwhelmed by the task of training a hybrid, especially after sexual maturity. Hybrids tend to have strong prey drives, and may see your other pets as dinner. They may react badly to children and loud or intrusive people.

    They will most likely not seek affection or have an innate desire to please you or take commands from you. They’re naturally more destructive both inside and out of the house– not just with your shoes, but with your furniture and doors. Hybrids are 11 times more likely to maul a human than a domestic dog.

    Point is, unless you have 10 fenced acres and are an experienced trainer who doesn’t want to do “dog” things with your pet, you probably should just get a dog.

    Dogs make great pets.

    So why do I care so much?

    I’ve had people on here say “What do you care if she wants to call her dog a hybrid. It’s not hurting anyone.”

    Well for one thing I’ve dedicated my life to the proper care and training of animals as well as to educating the public. When a person claims to have a hybrid and tells people what fun it is to have one and what great pets they make, people want to have a hybrid of their own. And some of those people take the steps necessary to make sure they get a real hybrid, which is almost always bad news for the owner and the hybrid:

    Usually the owner gets overwhelmed as the animal matures and the owner or hybrid gets hurt. Or the hybrid gets locked up in a 10’x15′ chain-link run for its entire life. Or the owner dumps it in the woods to be “wild” and it ends up starving to death because it never learned survival skills and is too shy to approach strangers. Or the owner dumps it at a shelter where it’s almost always put down, either for aggression/fear issues or liability on the part of the shelter. It’s almost never as the owner imagined, because a hybrid isn’t a dog.

    Also, claiming your dog is a hybrid (even if you know it isn’t) can be deadly to your dog. Although the rabies vaccine almost certainly does work in wolves and hybrids, it’s not approved for them. So if your “hybrid” bites anyone for any reason and the police find out you’ve at any time claimed your dog is a hybrid, whether it really is or not and even if it’s up to date on its vaccinations, they would be obligated to test it for rabies. They test for rabies by putting the dog down and taking a sample of its brain. So where a normal dog may have gotten a note in its file or a stern warning, a “hybrid” (even a fake one) would be killed.

    And finally…..

    The higher content of wolf an animal has, and the closer pure wolf is in the family tree, the more a hybrid will act like a wolf. It’s just silly to think an animal that’s 75% wolf will act 100% like a dog; if a 75% wolf hybrid does act like a dog, you can be assured that it probably is in fact a dog, or a misrepresented low content hybrid. Wolves are not dogs and do not act like dogs. Wolves absolutely do not make suitable house pets, and neither does an animal that’s mostly wolf. This is common sense.

    It’s been estimated that 70% of wolf hybrids are actually just misidentified crosses of other breeds, and that 80% of actual hybrids have far less wolf in them than the owner was told or claims. So be honest with yourself if you have a “hybrid”. It may very well be one, but it very likely isn’t. And your friend or relative’s “hybrid” that was the greatest dog ever? Probably also a dog.

    And please, please: if you have (or think you have) a real hybrid, don’t encourage people to go out and get one; this just sets up ignorant owners to get an animal they can’t handle, and puts a part-wild animal in a dangerous and unkind situation. Keeping these animals in demand also fuels unscrupulous breeders, as there aren’t any regulations or standards for hybrid breeding. Sanctuaries are already overcapacity with animals people thought would be “cool” but which became unmanageable as they grew. Perpetuating the sale of hybrids to amateur owners is bad news for the animals and people involved.

    But thanks for reading. If you’ve made it this far I’m impressed. Now bring on the comments of all the people who really really have “hybrids” and what great pets they were……

    So be honest with yourself if you have a “hybrid”. It may very well be one, but it most likely isn’t. And your aunt’s “hybrid” that was the greatest dog ever? Probably also a dog.

    But thanks for reading. Now bring on the comments of all the people who really really have “hybrids” and what great pets they were……

    TL;DR: Most hybrids aren’t hybrids, and real hybrids usually don’t make good pets.

    ——

    Now for my personal experiences on this subject. Almost every person I come across both online and in-person claims their Nordic dog is some wolf mix. And when they do it it’s mostly because they think it makes their dog that much cooler. “I don’t have any old Husky, he’s part wolf! I named him Ghost!” Makes me want to vomit. If they only knew how uncool (in my eyes at least) it actually makes them. And how unsafe it is for everyone involved.

    Once you take the time to research them it becomes quite clear what a wolfdog is and how to actually tell visually (called phenotyping) when one actually is [a wolfdog]. But before we get there you have to first understand a dog’s content and how that plays a role in how they look.

    There’s no real way as of now to determine how much content in percentages a dog has. There is no accurate test for this. So my dog is 92% wolf, or “…my vet did a test and here are the papers!” is all bullshit and a red flag out the gate. The only real number one could determine is 50% if one parent is all Wolf and the other all Dog. And this rarely happens. Mostly because owning a Wolf in any State [in the US] is illegal. And owning a wolfdog in most States is also illegal, or requires a permit. Again, more flags. Most wolfdogs come from high-content Wolfdog parents.

    Another flag is if it’s some strange breed x wolf. You won’t see any Beagle’s or Great Dane’s with any recent (or any at all) wolf in them. It just doesn’t happen. Most wolfdogs are Malamute/Husky/German Shepherd Dog mixes. There have been only a few rare instances of random mixes of wolfdogs outside of the norms. And no one actually has them running around right now. They are:

    Wolf x Poodle. Experiment from the 70’s in Russia. Most badass purse-dogs ever made.

    Collie x Wolf mix. From someone who didn’t really know what they were doing and this happened.
    IIRC the owner had all the dogs taken from them.

    Lab x Wolf mix. Same litter. Top dog from the top image is the parent.

    Pitbull Terrier x Wolf. My fave random mix. Easily the most badass.
    Again from an owner who had an oops litter.

    ——

    Wolf genetics are strong. And how much wolf shows up is dependant on how high the content of the parents are + how far removed from the Wolf parentage they are, which are described as generations (F1, F2, F3, etc. for first generation, second, and so on). So a Dog with a Wolf or high-content wolfdog grandparent is an F2 wolfdog. And if no wolf was introduced in the breeding since, the F2 dog will start to lose those traits (depending on the breed and the original wolf content). It all varies and even dogs from the same litter with the same parents are look dynamically different. But some of the rules still apply.

    Even a low-content wolfdog will look like a wolf in many aspects, and not look like a Husky/Malamute/Shiba Inu, etc. So when people have a dog that looks 100% like a dog, but his daddy was half wolf, it’s a lie. Period. Let’s take a look at some confirmed low-content wolfdogs (roughly 34% and lower):

    Slim chest, slanted almond eyes, long paws and black claws. Long snout, furry ears. Even at low-content it is quite easy to tell these are wolfdogs. It’s unmistakable. One thing that is really rare is blue eyes. Even in low-content wolfdogs. The one above has them. But even with that, everything else about him is clearly from a wolf. He does not resemble your friends Husky outside of eye color.

    Now let’s look at some mid-contents (roughly 35-74%).

    Now we are are getting to a point where even some well trained folk will get them confused with a real wolf. More of the features are all present, and all at once. You won’t see a mid-content wolfdog with blue eyes, for instance. It doesn’t happen. The build is almost completely wolf. Their mating cycles are not all year long. It’s usually only once a year, just like wolves. While in some cases their dog side is still shown, it becomes way more diluted at this point.

    (roughly 75-99%)

    At this point, you can’t even tell in most cases they are wolfdogs. They will look indistinguishable from actual wolves.

    Sorry for the long post but it’s been something on my heart for awhile. People lost their dogs to something that should be easily avoidable.

    If you made it this far, thanks for reading!
    Also, if the original posters are on this Forum, I really liked your posts! πŸ˜€

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    #935850
    Kim
    Blocked

    That is interesting. Thanks for posting! It has bugged me if someone claimed their dog was part wolf and I could clearly tell there was no wolf in it!

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    #935851
    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    Very interesting (and yes, I read the entire post!)…
    A co-worker of mine several years back had neighbors who did actually have Wolfdogs and he told me about the same things in this posting: they had to have permits, the Wolfdogs were kept outside in fenced runs and weren’t friendly animals at all. The neighbors weren’t the best people to deal with either from what my co-worker indicated.

    Like you voiced, I don’t believe these would ever make ‘cool’ pets-Ever. My feeling is that potentially dangerous wild animals like this, or tigers, pumas, cheetahs, alligators, chimps, gorillas, bears, etc. etc. that you sometimes read civilians have as ‘pets’ is a VERY Bad idea, and very disturbing to me. Especially since unless you are appropriately trained to handle these types of animals, like being an experienced Zoo keeper or accredited Handler, it’s only a matter time…of When not ‘If’… that something will go wrong.

    Thanks for the article and clarification of what Wolfdogs really are, and are not.

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    #935855
    Bodine
    Participant

    This is my beloved Gandalf.He was a mix.I knew his bloodline from two generations back from him.He was wolf/red husky/black sheppard mix.Noone could have asked for a better dog or friend.He is still so dearly missed. :((
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    #935859
    Prezaurian
    Participant

    One other thing I could add to anyone interested. There is a dog breed that is bred specifically to look wolf-like. I don’t believe it’s an official breed yet, but it is rather beautiful. The NAID. The acronym stands for ‘Native American Indian Dog’. You want something wolfish looking but are looking for a dog? Get one of those. Just a warning though, they get pretty big. At least the girl I saw in person was. SO PRETTY! <3 But I've never owned a dog before and I think that breed requires a more experienced hand so…I'll just stick to looking.

    Edit: I don't believe NAIDs are wolf dogs or hybrids. At least, they are not supposed to be. They're supposed to be 100% dog.

    #935873
    Jennifer
    Keymaster

    Great info, Pam.

    If more people carefully researched their dog breed (when acquiring from a breeder or adopting based on breed alone) for temperament (including behaviors/activity level) first and only worried about appearance later, I suspect that more people would have long, happy relationships with their dogs.

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    #935874
    Ela_Hara
    Participant

    This is my beloved Gandalf.He was a mix.I knew his bloodline from two generations back from him.He was wolf/red husky/black sheppard mix.Noone could have asked for a better dog or friend.He is still so dearly missed. :((
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    Your Gandalf was very special.

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    #935871
    Pam

    One other thing I could add to anyone interested. There is a dog breed that is bred specifically to look wolf-like. I don’t believe it’s an official breed yet, but it is rather beautiful. The NAID. The acronym stands for ‘Native American Indian Dog’. You want something wolfish looking but are looking for a dog? Get one of those. Just a warning though, they get pretty big. At least the girl I saw in person was. SO PRETTY! <3 But I've never owned a dog before and I think that breed requires a more experienced hand so…I'll just stick to looking.

    Edit: I don't believe NAIDs are wolf dogs or hybrids. At least, they are not supposed to be. They're supposed to be 100% dog.

    Here is a post I wrote about NAIDs in 2005, shortened and edited slightly and with personal names removed. Just as a disclaimer, I have not kept up with NAID news for about 10 years. I am sure there are happy NAID owners out there. However, in the past, these animals were known for being extremely hard-to-handle. I don’t know if the temperament of the NAIDs has been improved at all in the past 10 years, or if there are any serious breeders attempting to standardize and improve the “breed”. From the founder’s website, they still appear to be a random mix of shepherd/husky/mal crosses sold at ridiculously high prices. If the wide variety in their appearance is anything to go by, I would suspect that the temperament, at best, might vary just as widely. If someone is interested in a wolf-like dog and wants to buy from a breeder, I think they would be better off buying from a reputable husky breeder. Anyway, here was the situation as of 2005:

    The dogs are fakes; they are not a real breed. They are a mix of akita, GSD, husky, wolf, and malamute.

    The ‘creator’ of the NAID and the original “NAID” breeder actually started out with genuine high content wolfdogs (wolf hybrids), and back then they were called wolfdogs, not ‘NAIDS’. However, when wolfdogs were banned in MI, the owner decided to change the name of her wolfdogs in order to keep them from being euthanized (she did this not because she loved her animals, but because she wanted to continue making money off of them). The owner knew though that her higher wolf content animals were still too wolf-looking to pass as “NAIDS”, so she had most of them shot. She took the remaining low-wolf content animals, and inbred them to create the ones with white spots, which she thought would sell better because they looked more ‘exotic’. Most of the other “NAID” breeders out there have NAIDS directly from the founder’s stock.

    The information on the NAID web pages has almost entirely been made up. According to the founder, the NAID is a pure bred dog designed after the dogs the Indians had. This claim is false. Her NAIDs and the NAIDs of the other breeders are a random mix of various breeds of dogs, and they have no real standard or consistency in either looks or temperament. Some look like German shepherd dogs, and others just look like Siberian huskies! In reality, they are just mutts. They are not a pure breed! The Indians themselves didn’t even have a pure breed of dog. Theirs were also mixed dogs. With the arrival of the Europeans, these dogs became interbred with dogs from Europe and other countries.

    According to the founder, the dogs are hypoallergenic. Little could be further from the truth. There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. People are allergic to dogs because of DANDER. ALL dogs produce dander. Aditionally, the NAID founder admits that her dogs were produced by mixing various northern breed dogs, NONE of which are hypoallergenic. If the dogs she used to create the NAIDs were not hypoallergenic, the NAIDs themselves could not be hypoallergenic.

    As for temperament… The NAID founder does not breed for it. She breeds for looks. Her original wolfdog stock were notorious for having very poor temperaments, and this was passed on to her NAIDs. I have seen numerous ‘Native American Indian Dogs’ come up needing rescue. Most are skittish, energetic, and extremely sensitive to their surroundings and environment. Most grow up shy of people and almost impossible to handle except by the most experienced of dog owners. Besides being shy and reactive, they are often destructive indoors, great escape artists, and not good around children. A few of her animals DO turn out nice, I have met at least one owner with a dog from her who was the best pet she ever had, but this is not the norm. Personally, I would not risk it.

    The other NAID breeds are just as bad. They claim to have “rare white spirit dogs,” rare brindles,” “rare parti-brindles,” and “rare reds”, and other such nonsense. Anything to make a buck.. The brindle came from the Akita, the red from husky, and the white from inbreeding.

    I would not recommend buying from any of the NAID breeders. The dogs are not a pure breed of dog, only random mixes. They have very poor and random temperaments, and are often too difficult for the average owner to handle. The NAID founder over breeds her dogs, lies about their temperament and physiology, and she often fails to properly socialize the dogs. The other breeders lie about the rarity of their dogs, and are not much better than the NAID founder herself.

    #935875
    Pam

    JynXx, I think your b/f’s post is excellent, a very good summary of wolfdog phoenotyping. Just a few comments on my part, if you would not mind passing them on to him.

    β€œThe eyes tend to be a big give away; notice how the eyes are black-rimmed and slope sharply up. Wolves often have light gold eyes (this one is brown, which is common in dogs).”

    Dogs commonly have dark brown eyes. I have never seen a wolf with dark brown eyes. The wolf in this photo appears to have amber eyes. Some wolves might have dark amber eyes that look almost brown.

    β€œAs a young cub a wolf will be almost solid in color (usually black, brown, tan, or rarely pure white) and develop adult markings as it matures, unlike spitz-type dogs which are born with their adult markings.”

    Even arctic wolves are not born white. Wolf pups are born dark brown. The only exception to this that I have ever seen was a litter of high content arctic wolfdogs that were born piebald, due to inbreeding. If a pup is born white or spotted, it is almost certainly a lower content wolfdog.

    β€œFor one thing, notice the attentive gaze on most of these dogs. Dogs tend to focus on humans and look for facial/gesture cues, while wolves and many hybrids don’t.”

    Studies have shown that dogs look to humans for guidance and wolves don’t, but only in a situation where the wolves and dogs were confronted with an obstacle not directly relating to humans. When actively being trained by a human, wolves will look at the human to receive commands and rewards. Wolves can be trained, and this would be impossible if they could not learn to watch humans πŸ™‚

    A few more things worth mentioning:

    -Wolves, both male and female, come into season only once a year (a few months during the late winter) and the pups are born in summer. The holds true for very high content animals as well. You will not have wolfdog with a supposed pure or high content wolf parent being born in, say, September.

    -Arctic wolves have light colored claws, not black. Also, most people assume arctic wolves are pure white. Their undercoats are actually light grey, not pure white like the longer outer coat. They may also have a darker “v” pattern on their back, and a black spot on their tail where the “violet gland” is (this gland is functional in wolves but not always in dogs).

    -As you get further removed, generationally, from the original wolf parent, you can have high content AND low content animals appearing together in the same litter! This is because genes are not passed down equally. If you bred together two animals that were exactly 50% wolf, individual pups in the litter could theoretically range anywhere from nearly pure dog to nearly pure wolf.

    -You should never try to ID a wolfdog by looking for wolf-like traits, because all wolf traits can be found in dogs. Instead, look for dog-like traits. Many dog traits are NOT found in wolves. A mid or high content animal should have very few dog-like traits. Some more dog-like traits include: shorter legs, wider chest, smaller paws, or bigger ears.

    -There are a few dog traits that you would almost certainly never see in a high content animal, and perhaps never even see in a mid content animal. These traits can be a dead giveaway that a dog has little to no wolf content. These traits can include: pink or snow nose, widows peak mask, born white or with adult markings, having ice-blue eyes, or having a curled tail.

    -Wolves fade! Small dogs can fade, and large dogs as well, but usually not to the extreme that wolves can take it. A black or grey wolf can turn almost completely silver/white by the time it is 5 years old. I wouldn’t use something like this as the sole factor IDing a wolfdog, but it is an interesting trait that most people are not aware of.

    #935888
    KaytanaPhoenix
    Participant

    Very good read! As a person who has worked closely with dogs my entire life, one of my biggest pet peeves are the people who have “wolf hybrids” when it’s *clearly* a husky or malamute, or the one idiot I darn near smacked because she had a “Dingo hybrid!” … Australian Cattle dog mix…
    I lecture the few idiots I’ve talked to that thought they were good enough with animals to own a wolf hybrid.. kind of wanted to hand them my Dutch Shepherd and watch the sh**-show as she walked all over them (She’s such a good dog, but she knows when she can walk on a person, lol) then point out she would be a walk in the park compared to a hybrid… but generally just shut them down with explaining how very illegal hybrids are (I don’t precisely bother pointing out only select states they’re illegal in, I do believe Colorado is one of them, though… I figure the less chance they think they have, the better!)
    Of course, this is the same mentality of the people who assume my Dutch Shepherd is a Pitbull x German Shepherd, because she’s brindle, she has to have Pit, right?? *facedesk* Ohh gotta love dumb people o.o

    #935892
    Bodine
    Participant

    Gandalf came from a litter of 13.He had three other litter mates that were born almost white like him but as they aged they turned different shades of blonde and red husky.A few others were black and some were the grey/black/brownish mix.He was almost all white but had very faint blonde markings when he was born.His coloring changed from darker to lighter shades with the season changes.The litter mate’s body structures were different also.Gandalf had a strong straight back,tail did not curl,soft brown/gold eyes that were kind of slanted.He had the best temperament in the world and very intelligent and lived 15yrs at my side.Never be another one like him. :love:

    "Perhaps we should all be examining what we think we know."D.Stormborn
    (Wanted:GREY PINTO/PAINT baby unicorn)

    #935897
    Prezaurian
    Participant

    One other thing I could add to anyone interested. There is a dog breed that is bred specifically to look wolf-like. I don’t believe it’s an official breed yet, but it is rather beautiful. The NAID. The acronym stands for ‘Native American Indian Dog’. You want something wolfish looking but are looking for a dog? Get one of those. Just a warning though, they get pretty big. At least the girl I saw in person was. SO PRETTY! <3 But I've never owned a dog before and I think that breed requires a more experienced hand so…I'll just stick to looking.

    Edit: I don't believe NAIDs are wolf dogs or hybrids. At least, they are not supposed to be. They're supposed to be 100% dog.

    Here is a post I wrote about NAIDs in 2005, shortened and edited slightly and with personal names removed. Just as a disclaimer, I have not kept up with NAID news for about 10 years. I am sure there are happy NAID owners out there. However, in the past, these animals were known for being extremely hard-to-handle. I don’t know if the temperament of the NAIDs has been improved at all in the past 10 years, or if there are any serious breeders attempting to standardize and improve the “breed”. From the founder’s website, they still appear to be a random mix of shepherd/husky/mal crosses sold at ridiculously high prices. If the wide variety in their appearance is anything to go by, I would suspect that the temperament, at best, might vary just as widely. If someone is interested in a wolf-like dog and wants to buy from a breeder, I think they would be better off buying from a reputable husky breeder. Anyway, here was the situation as of 2005:

    It’s good to see more info. The breeder website I had looked at that the owner of the NAID I saw in person seemed well done. And they seemed to genuinely care about their dogs. They appeared to be very concerned about where the puppies went, if they were spayed/neutered, if they were taken to the vet, etc. Alas, it has been several years since I’ve seen the website (I don’t even remember their name). But they did state that they were not a recognized breed at the time. And I have to agree, the prices of the dogs were unbelievable! -shrugs- As I said before, this kind of thing needs a more experienced dog owner. Personally, I think it’s better to get a dog from a good adoption agency or the shelter. I don’t really trust breeders all that much. Too many of them lie just to earn a fast buck. I guess that’s all I have to say now. I never feel like I say the right thing on these kinds of threads anyways.

    #935902
    Landipan
    Participant

    Very interesting! I should share this with a few people I know. I’ve met people who claim their dog is a wolf dog, I never believe it either unless they have some actual credible proof and not just because they were told it was by a breeder, especially if it’s clearly just a husky/malamute/shepard etc. mix. I don’t know why people go to such lengths to get a dog just so they can feel special about calling it a wolf dog, I firmly believe people should pick a pet based on personality, not on looks or ‘special snowflake’ factor like ‘ooo, it’s part wolf!’.

    *Formerly meowmix101
    Not currently open for PYO commissions.
    Find me at: Twitter, DevArt, and IG @landipan

    #935911
    Melody
    Keymaster

    What are Tamaskan dogs? Are they hybrids, or just dogs that look like wolves?

    #935912
    Nightcrow
    Participant

    What a great post! I wish I could print it out and hand it to some people I’ve met…

    I work at a nonprofit cat and dog rescue organization, so we get our fair share of idiots bragging to us about their (or their brother’s, or their cousin’s, or their stepgrandson-once-removed’s girlfriend’s…) “wolf hybrid” pet. D:< Not long ago we had someone approach us to try to get us to take one in that needed rescue. (No idea if it really was a wolfdog or not; she didn't show us pictures, and since the dog didn't fit our criteria anyway, we sent her away with a list of rescue groups and a gentle, "we're really not equipped to handle that kind of animal, sorry.")

    Considering that I live in a city, and one whose animal shelter receives 12,000-15,000 animals per year, a wolfdog is the last thing anybody here needs! (Good grief; we reached temps over 100F this summer; you don't even need a Husky or Malamute, guys!) I keep meaning to look up the specific licensing/permit requirements for such animals here, but there's nothing about them by name in the city's municipal code, so it must either be something bigger (county or state level) or else there are no particular restrictions.

    I feel much the same about hybrid cat breeds, too. Even the F4 offspring, who are perfectly tame, still, for me, come down to "you paid for an animal whose existence relied on somebody taking a wild cat from the wild and breeding it for profit… in a country where over a million cats die in shelters every year… because you wanted a cat that was big and pretty." There are natural, 100% domestic cat breeds that capture the look of a wild cat without having to incorporate wild genes; do a little research and pick one of those! A California Spangled Cat, Egyptian Mau, Pixiebob, Ocicat, Bombay, or Toyger will give you the pleasure of a "wild cat look" – as will many a shelter cat (the rescue I've worked for has had a number of exotic-looking felines of no particular pedigree, including one who could have passed for a Ocicat with vivid green eyes, a gorgeous laterally-marbled tabby with Bengal-style rosette coloring, and a number of Bombay-lookalikes!) without the need for hybridization with wild species. Please don't give your money to breeders of Bengals, Savannahs, Cheetohs, or Serengetis!

    Interested in buying or trading for: GB Pebble Sitting Red Fox in grey, Lap Dragon Test Paints (Pearl Steel Blue, Opulence, Pastel Rainbow, others), production Lap Dragons with minor to moderate damage, and Griffins in Black Rainbow or Frosted Jade.

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