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

Home Forums Miscellany Community Is your "Wolf-Dog" really a Wolf Dog? How to tell :)

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

      Tamaskans are a wolf-looking breed created in Finland. There is a lot of evidence that Czech wolfdogs were used in their creation, although I am not sure if you could find that info on any Tamaskan website. Even GSDs had wolves used in their founding stock, but it is rarely ever mentioned. It is ironic, that so many pure dogs are sold as being wolfdogs, but then there are several breeds of dog that do have wolf in their background and no one wants to admit it! I am not sure why, since in most of these breeds, the wolf content is so diluted that it is essentially gone. There is probably some fear among breeders that their dogs will face breed discrimination if people think they are “part wild”.


        WWWWOOOOWWW That wolf/collie mix is gorgeous! I want one! ….well that looks like this but is actually a dog.

        Also, those poodle wolfs look messed up lol they also remind me a little of Irish Wolfhounds

        You know, this was a good read. I am one of those people that wanted a wolf dog…but I live in the city, and they are not allowed here, so I never bothered to look into them too much. Also, 2 dogs is my max, and my beloved husky died last year, so 1 dog is enough for me. But, after reading this, I don’t think I’d want a REAL wolf dog. I never considered that they’d be so unfriendly and well, wild. And I know someone who told me she had 4 wolf dogs. I met them. After reading this, I think they are huskies/mixes of other dogs. 3 were very friendly, and the 4th one was just very shy; like he wanted to be your friend but was too scared. They were cool dogs nonetheless, but most likely the person she got them from lied to her. She was very intelligent and not someone who would say her dogs were wolf dogs if she had no reason to believe that. (like you were saying, some people know better but say it for the “cool factor”-she didn’t strike me as that type)
        I have dreams of working with wolves somehow some day, when I have some spare time. But for anyone else, huskies are a great substitute for “wolf dogs”. Their coats are soft, they have hilarious personalities, and are usually pretty friendly.


          An oldie but a goodie! I see a lot of Americans (strange) who swear they have one, when they don’t.

          I have family in Italy who once had a wolf-dog, I forget her name though πŸ™


            Hah. My daughter’s friend’s family has a dog that looks EXACTLY like a slightly oversized Norwegian Elkhound, and is a sweet social thing. You CANNOT convince them she is not a (purebred!) wolf. They are quite sure, since she was picked up as a stray in the woods when she was an older pup, and, I mean, look at her, she’s prick eared and grey…. πŸ˜›

            I have to agree wholeheartedly with Nightcrow. I worked for a low kill shelter for years. Several times we had people want to bring in so-called wolfdogs; we refused them and gave them info on local wildlife rescues except for once. I do believe that the one we took in was a true wolfdog; she had that narrow high legged build, big feet, long narrow muzzle etc. She was very shy and reactive, not social, and her just being there had all the other dogs in the kennels totally freaked out. They just reacted to her being there like I’ve never seen them react to another dog, even very dominant aggressive ones. We got a wildlife rescue in for her, otherwise we’d have had to put her down.

            And for what it’s worth, I second her on the feline hybrids. These guys- high percentages anyhow- just AREN’T suitable pets for most people. When there are so many cats of so many breeds out there that look like anything you’d want, any size you’d want, so why? We also once took in a high percentage Savannah and that was NOT a happy time for him or us. Once again, a wildlife rescue ended up with this huge, aggressive, reactive cat.

            Wolfen, there was a dog where I went to high school that strongly resembled that wolf/collie, only much stockier build. It was a collie/Malamute. There is a similar dog in my husband’s oldest son’s neighborhood; it’s a Border collie/husky. There are mixes out there to look like almost anything.


              This was a really great read and probably the best write up that I have seen on the subject. πŸ˜€ Thanks JynXx and Pam!

              I’ve met tons of people who have claimed that their dogs are part wolf – then claimed that ‘oh, but he was the friendliest dog ever!’ Uh huh, yeah, wolfdogs aren’t friendly. I’m never sure if I should tell them that their dog is just a dog. It drives me absolutely nuts whenever I see Youtube videos of obvious dogs (usually huskies) claiming that they are wolves or wolfdogs. (Often they are videos of husky puppies howling.) It’s just gross! I’ve met one true wolfdog and she was with a pack of true wolves at an educational wolf sanctuary (Northern Lights Wildlife Wolf Centre in Golden, British Columbia – her name was Aspen) and she was absolutely wolfy – mind and body. The only thing doggish about her was the ever-so-slight curve that she had to her tail sometimes. She was a gorgeous critter and I learned a lot from being with her for the short few hours that I went hiking with her, her pack mate Tuck (true wolf) and their two handlers. I did get to pet Aspen at one point but it was absolutely on HER terms – she happened to sit right beside me and the female handler told me that I could touch her. After a moment she trotted away, but we shared a nice moment. On the hike there were some very specific rules that we had to follow for safety and we had to sign a waver. Afterwards, they were put back into their enclosures which were extremely well fortified with very high fences. At one point during the hike one of the handlers threw some jerky into the air and Tuck galloped straight towards us then leapt a good six feet straight up to catch the goodies. When his teeth closed together there was a definitive clack which really wowed me and my parents because of the strength involved. I really wish that I had had a better camera! It really put into perspective exactly how powerful these animals are.

              One thing that I really noticed, which one of the handlers pointed out – the movement between a wolf and a dog is completely different. This is the analogy he gave me: dogs move like clunky Model Ts – wolves move like sports cars, smooth and utterly liquid. They also tend to ‘ghost,’ sticking to cover – wolves don’t really like being seen. That’s why seeing them in the wild is so tricky and why the vast majority of people will never see one in the few places left where they are plentiful – these things are masters of stealth. You hear people talking about cats as being stealthy, but wolves are just as incredible! Their howls are also amazing – there’s nothing like it. The only comparisons that I can possibly make are South American flutes and possibly the cry of a loon. There’s an amazing timbre to their call that you just can’t hear in recordings which I think puts most dogs to shame. (Although reputably there are some very pretty husky howlers out there. I haven’t heard husky howls yet so I can’t say for myself but I have heard average joe dogs howl a bunch of times back when I was a newspaper carrier and they sound nothing like wolves. Neither do coyotes.)

              Also when I was at the centre one of the other true wolves (Wiley) reared up against the fence and his paws were the size of a man’s hand. It was the best impression of an animal’s scale that I have ever gotten. (Though mind you Wiley was/is? a particularly huge wolf.)

              Me (18) and Aspen (RIP.)

              I definitely plan on going back someday. πŸ˜€


              The story I heard on German Shepherds was that wolves were definitely used in the creation of the breed, but that anti-wolf stigma caused this fact to be erased from the official registry. Seems legit. If you look at some of the field (often police/military) bred GSDs, they look quite wolfy and have very little in common with show bred GSDs (what you usually see around.) It’s almost hard to believe that they are the same breed but they definitely are – they’re just healthier and they look the way that they do because their breeders care about purpose/health/temperament (the important stuff) not looks. RCMP GSDs are great examples. πŸ˜€

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              Mercury Star

                WWWWOOOOWWW That wolf/collie mix is gorgeous! I want one! ….well that looks like this but is actually a dog.

                The wolf/collie mix looks similar to a Tervuren (long-haired variety of Belgian Shepherd), so it isn’t too hard to get a dog that looks like that, if you wanted one. In fact, if I hadn’t seen that picture attached to the above article, and someone told me it was a wolf dog, I would have thought they were full of crap like most people who claim their dogs are wolf dogs.


                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.

                May I ask where your sources come from, and how you know all this? I’m genuinely curious, as I actually have two NAIDs, and have heard a lot about them starting from wolf hybrids – which makes a lot of sense to me. I got them for their hypoallergenic coats (I know a truly hypoallergenic dog isn’t really a thing, but I have horrible dog allergies and have no reaction whatsoever with them). However, at this point down the line, it must be very diluted, and my boys are excellent dogs, though training is of course difficult and they are totally destructive if left alone with full run of the house. I’m an experienced dog owner, however, with access to trainers and animal behaviorists, so it’s manageable and worth it to me for their close bond.

                One of my boys, Seneca, who is full NAID (the other is mixed with GSD/Mal), acts like no dog I have ever owned, and he has several traits that remind me of a low-content wolfdog (of course, I take this with a grain of salt, as I know the chances of it are low), such as what looks/feels like a caudal gland, similar build and paw shape, more timid personality, things like that. Something that maybe harks back to a wolf several generations back. I have tried to get to the bottom of the rumor, as no breeder has been helpful on the matter.

                Any help would be greatly appreciated πŸ™‚


                  I have a question out of curiosity. When I was in high school (many moons ago), an idiot classmate claimed that he had a one-eighth wolf hybrid. If I do my math right, that is 12.5%. At that level, are there likely to be any noticeable wolf traits? I never saw the animal.

                  I say he was an idiot because of what else he said about the dog: He was training it to be a guard dog by beating it. When I objected, he assured me that was the only way one could get a good guard dog. I wish I hadn’t been so timid back then and had reported him to the city animal control.

                  My keyboard is broken. I keep pressing "Escape", but I'm still here.


                    I guess this is wandering just a little bit, but my Dad said that when he was a boy he had a dog that was part coyote. According to him, ole Jack was the smartest thing on four legs. Obviously, I have no idea if any of it was true. So, is there anyone out there that can give as good a description of coydogs as this post did of wolfdogs? Though I guess coydogs aren’t as “cool” as wolfdogs (which is probably just as well for them).

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                      Thanks for this. I got a dog from a shelter recently and he looks like the top left in the 3rd group photo. Folks keep saying he looks like a wolf or hybrid. He probably would fool the average Joe because he does look a little Wolfy but I don’t think he’s any kind of hybrid. Looks like a GSDxMal. Wish I still remembered how to post photos.


                        He’s a beautiful dog! Here’s what to type for plain, non-link images:

                        <img src=”(insert image url)”>

                        Ignore the parentheses, but you’ll need the tags. You can also put a link around it if you want people to be able to click on it, but it’s not necessary. If you did it would look like this:

                        <a href=”(insert image url)”> <img src=”(insert image url)”> </a>

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                          <img src=”(insert image url)”>

                          That’s what you type in for images. Ignore the parentheses, but you’ll need the tags. You can also put a link around it if you want people to be able to click on it, but it’s not necessary. If you did it would look like this:

                          <a href=”(insert image url)”> <img src=”(insert image url)”> </a>

                          Thanks! I just linked the album so I hope that’ll work!



                            Lets see if that works. I got him from the shelter. I volunteer there and he’d been there 11 days. I’d not shown him to anyone. I felt so bad for him. He just sat in the kennel… chilling. I decided to take him home because he showed no violence towards people, dogs, or even cats. He’s worked out perfectly and I’ve decided to keep him. He’s very mild mannered, shy, and timid, but sweet as can be. Looks like he’d been outside on a chain for a while because he came in with a rusted one around his neck and he had a lot of ticks. He loves being inside and the only time he likes to go out is when we go running in the mornings. He weighed 39 lbs when I got him and is now up to 58. He could use another ten lbs or so. So many people at the dog park say he looks like a wolf, but wolves and hybrids aren’t allowed in El Paso, so I really wish they’d quit! LOL!


                              Wow!! I didn’t think this Thread would be so popular.. so many awesome, informative posts! As for questions regarding the information in the OP [original post], neither my boyfriend, nor I can provide any answers. We’re people who love seeking out information, and he just thought that I’d appreciate a post that someone made on his Forums [NeoGAF]. And in turn, I thought that some people here would appreciate that post, so I shared it πŸ™‚ I am certain that through the source post, you can reach the original poster. The secondary poster is from my boyfriend’s Forums, and would be more difficult to reach unless you are already a member of that Forum. Their screening processes and the requirements to make an account there is intense.

                              Wishing everyone a safe and a very Happy Christmas!!

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                                Hey so I don’t think my dog has any wolf in him at all I mean I know he is 1/2 German Shepard and 1/4 alaskan malamute but I don’t know the other 1/4 and I just wanted to know if it is wolf. He has medium rounded ears full of fur never let’s us touch his food bowl either! He is black and white tall legs small chest big teeth too. His eyes look rounded and are brown from the shepard though. His back is shaped like a Shepard as well. His tail is like a Shepard/ malamute though. He also has the thick malamute fur as well but could that 1/4 be possibly wolf? He walks around the border of our house 4 times a day 2 times in the morning and 2 times at night he howls continuously if there is a ambulance or I howl and tease him into itπŸ˜‚.what do u think?

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