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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      Without photos I’m not sure anyone can tell you what you have. This video might help. The gal has a few other videos as well.
      Contrary to the video title, she does NOT suggest anyone get dogs with high wolf content in them.

      Looking for:


        First I want to say there is a lot of BS in this thread (and literally all over the internet) when it comes to wolf dogs. First off, wolves, especially wolf dogs, can most certainly be domesticated. Every single solitary animal kept as a pet in existence originated from the wild and was domesticated. So the drivel constantly spilled about “wild animals can’t be domesticated”, is just that, drivel. Secondly, I HIGHLY doubt most of the poop talkers here ever had any real experience with wolf dogs. Any current “domestic dog”, if it spent its life in the wilderness would be just as wild as a wolf that spent its life in the wilderness.
        Now, why am I saying this? From as early in life as I can remember (which to date is when I was 4) until I was about 10, I had a dog that was half timber wolf and half doberman. Her mother was a timber wolf (and was not a “pet”, but was acclimated to the humans she lived near and was not aggressive towards them) and the father was their doberman. She was amazingly beautiful and basically looked like a black wolf. Anyway, the FEW things correct in this thread: she didn’t really care about “pleasing us” (though we never really wanted to make her that way anyway), she never really let strangers be her friend (though she never attacked any that didn’t deserve it except one – but I’ve never seen a stranger actually petting her), she never ran to great us in the normal, retarded dog way, and she did like to wonder a lot, especially in the woods. She would disappear for long periods of time before coming home. We had 35 acres of land and a 5 acre pond. We also had several other dogs and a metric butt ton of cats that all free roamed. This dog was sweet, loyal, highly intelligent (as expected), and extremely protective. Dogs and wolves alike are pack animals. You and your family are your dog’s “pack”. Especially so if you have a wolf or wolf hybrid. They will protect that pack at any cost. While the may be hard to train (can’t speak on that because we didn’t “train” her, we just loved her from a puppy and took care of her), the are certainly amazing dogs. You won’t find a dog that is more loyal, protective, and intelligent. I’m so sick of hearing people say BS about wolf dogs being wild animals that will most likely turn on you, can’t be domesticated, will NEVER be a “pet”, etc. It’s all a bunch of caca. Own one from a baby pup, love it, care for it, show it affection, and there isn’t a better dog around… Period.

        And, this BS kind of thinking is probably why she died. My dad said he believed “she had a heart attack”, but after everything I’ve read recently on the internet (including this thread), 78 wouldn’t be surprised if some clueless twit killed her because she looked too much like a wolf. Please stop spreading lies and perpetuating fear of the wolf dog! Your going to get someone’s very beloved pet killed!!

        Pit bulls are FAR more likely to hurt someone…


          My post disappeared.
          All dogs began with the wolf Man has manipulated their genes to get the dogs we have today.
          I got Gandalf when he was 2 1/2weeks old.I bottle feed him a few weeks and he was one of the best dogs anyone would be privilaged to have by their side.I witnessed his bloodline breeding for two gens. back.He grandparents were…sire was wolf,a pet a family member had,his dam was husky,another member’s pet.Gandalf’s sire was a product of that paring.I witnessed that also.His sire ,a red husky/wolfhis dam solid black GS.I chose him because he was the biggest pup in the litter and was a ball of blonde fur.He was raised in the house with two rat terrier and cats.He never showed any aggression.He was raised in a loving,caring,understanding of pack mentality and obedience,no aggression household.He was not aggressive to strangers but not friendly to them.He would not take food or treats from anyone but Jeff,Amber and I.He would patrol the house at night like a security guard and slept at my feet.I believe nurture trumps nature if you are knowledgeable about pack mentality and with proper training,you will get as good a canine friend as a purebred professionally trained.
          I also raised a pitbull,Sali-Tsunami in this same household environment.She never once got angry or showed any aggression.She loved everybody.They all slept together,played and ate together.
          Brego,my happy boy,was the product of those two paring.You could not ask for a more loyal or a better friend than he was. You would be privilaged to have such a friend in your life.You would also be mistaken to judge him by the blood running through his veins.I believe if you have a problem canine it is mostly due to the human factor.My knowledge and experience has come from having raised dogs for almost 50yrs,
          starting with the awesome Dobermans as a child.imo

          Every act matters.No matter how small💞
          (Wanted......Brimstone Lap)
          Male Hearth....one day🤞Dream on.


            Yep, that’s a good idea.My big boys and Sali have passed on but I now have a gorgeous AKC Shepherd.Some in her pedigree have been tested.I might do hers sometime next year.I plan on breeding her one time in a couple of years and that would be helpful information to pass on.

            Every act matters.No matter how small💞
            (Wanted......Brimstone Lap)
            Male Hearth....one day🤞Dream on.


              First, I’d like to talk about whom it was that taught all of you to read, because whomever it was didn’t teach you anything about how to spell, or for that matter, grammar.

              Second, let’s talk about the fact that none of your wolves/wolf-dogs/hybrids have ‘Arctic Wolf’, ‘Timber Wolf’, or ‘Red Wolf’ genes, they’re all gray wolves because the aforementioned are all sub-species, and not actual species of wolf. The only species that exists is the Gr(a)y Wolf (Canis Lupus). Also, most of the people on here have no idea what they’re talking about (aside from OP and maybe 3 others that I saw) because they do what everyone is guilty of in life, which is spewing what they have to say before doing research (we’re all guilty here, don’t lie to yourself).

              Third, genetic testing would be the most accurate way to find out if your dog is a wolf-dog, at least in my opinion. DNA doesn’t lie, radioactive isotopes (used to highlight and identify genes and proteins for the human eye to see under a microscope) don’t lie, and neither do the molecules that all of us are made of. *However*, if you have your dog tested, and they are found to have almost any content of Wolf above 15%, and you live in a place where *they are illegal*, then the animal will be either seized (most commonly taken from you and moved to a shelter or sanctuary in a legal county/state/city) or euthanized (probably happening anyway if they’re moved to a shelter and they stay for long enough).

              Fourth, don’t *just* check to see if they’re legal in your state- check with your county and city ordinances. They may be legal in your state, but if every city in your state considers them illegal then it’s a moot point when referring to “State Law”.

              Fifth, you can definitely tell when a dog is, in-fact, a wolf dog, and the people here have done a decent job of describing way to do so. Best ways to tell, in my opinion, are: Eye shape/color (almond shape, light brown or Amber/yellow in color), paw size (approx. size of a man’s palm unless you’re Trump [that was a joke, he has small hands]), nose and paw color (black pads/nose, not pink), an abnormally thick neck (to me, it’s the biggest giveaway but also common in GSD) and behavioral traits. The one that I have has: paws as large as my palm (I have fairly large hands), almond-shape brown eyes, an extremely long and thick neck, black pads on his paws and a mostly black nose. He heeds commands but only when he deems them necessary or there’s food involved, is extremely shy with strangers (I’m hesitant with letting strangers pet him unless I am physically touching him or he’s on a leash), he whines… a lot (main form of communication, growling is saved for threats or discomfort, and howling is for echo-location, to locate other members of their pack, as well as rival packs and to locate a kill), and typically not getting along with other dogs unless he’s used to them, and even then he’s likely to establish dominance by biting, snapping his jaws, or being possessive over food and toys. He also gets extremely nervous when he’s near more than 3-4 people that aren’t seen on a weekly/bi-weekly basis, and absolutely hates loud noises and fire.

              Sixth thing is general advice, and also warning signs that your dog (wolf blood or not) is about to bite or is scared/aggressive. To start, never take on the responsibility of adopting any animal (or birthing a child for that matter, ‘teen mom’ over here is raising an axe murderer) without being financially able, physically able (time is the biggest, also affection/attention), or just being generally responsible and having your shit together. Your dog- whether he’s aggressive, scared, anxious, or nervous- is probably about to bite if: they’re restless around people and there’s absolutely no way that they’re tired (sign of anxiety/nerves), their brow/forehead will wrinkle or furrow (common when reacting with either aggression or fear), the fur along their spine with rise to stand almost vertically (aggression), bar their teeth (aggression or fear), growl, snap their jaws or bite (fear and aggression, but dog bites with humans are almost always caused initially out of fear or nerves). Their ears can be either down or up in all of the above circumstances, but that only shows if they’re scared (ears down) or aggressive/attentive (ears up).

              Lastly, I DO recommend people adopt a dog, especially ‘aggressive’ breeds (Pits, Hybrids, GSD’s, Rotts, etc.) because they’re misunderstood in most situations- however, I would not suggest a hybrid unless you have owned more than one dog at more than one point in time (I.e. caring for a dog for 13 years, then getting another one). This does NOT mean owning 5 golden retrievers at the same time or being a professional dog walker.

              Animals, are very much children, as we all are (dogs have roughly the same intelligence as a 2-5 year old depending on breed and genetic traits) and they require the same amount of care. You might not have to teach it how to speak english, but you must feed it, show it where to defecate, show them affection and treat them like family (dogs are pack animals and specifically don’t do well or get severely depressed without others, whether animal or human. Even cows and pigs become distressed when separated and can even form ‘best friends’ [I know, right? Out of all mammals…]), and you have to TAKE YOUR FUCKING DOG OUTSIDE, JANICE FROM ACCOUNTING, KENNELING YOUR DOG ALL DAY AND LETTING HIM OUT 8 HOURS APART, ONLY TO GO TO THE BATHROOM AND THEN PUTTING HIM BACK. That’s not a pet or companion, that’s a prisoner. Let them outside when they want to go outside, it’s not their fault that they (mostly) can’t open doors. There’s no bad pets, just bad owners.

              P.S. you’re ALL wrong about the most aggressive breeds. Never once have I been bit by a pit, Rottweiler, Doberman, boxer, wolf-dog, GSD, Great Dane; I have been bitten strictly by the smallest breeds, excluding Maltese and terriers (terriers can be aggressive, too). Most of my dog bites have come from chihuahuas, as well as one mini-poodle mix and one beagle.

              Edit: You’re able to edit these and still none of you changed any spelling or even read what you said?


                First, it is rather rich for someone new to come in and criticize other people for spelling and grammar errors, while making spelling and punctuation errors. Are you trying to establish your superiority, or what? This is a conversational forum, not an English class.

                Calling red wolves a subspecies of gray wolf is very much a matter of debate among experts.

                My brother had his foot badly injured by a rottweiler bite. He got bitten for the crime of riding his bicycle down a public street that ran in front of the rottweiler’s home.

                Only for a half hour.

                Calm down, relax, and take a chill pill. You will find life much more enjoyable.

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


                  I used whom correctly, I think I put one comma in the wrong place? I received a 31 on my ACT for the grammar section and a 29 on the essay section. Please sit down.

                  Also, point to me which and where these supposed experts are claiming red wolves aren’t a sub-species of gray wolves? They’re direct descendents I have my bachelor’s of science in Biology with a specialization in Genetics, Lab Research. Don’t lecture me on Taxonomy when you’re probably going to have to look up what the word means.

                  Hopefully you learned something from what I said instead of just reading the criticism I displayed.


                    Welcome to the amazing and kind world of Windstone.

                    I’m currently going to college for my BS in Biology. I’m not an english major or minor. I was taught that taxonomy and phylogeny trees can only infer evolutionary history. They are hypotheses. So I just hopped online to my college library, searched for red wolf taxonomy,and alot of credible and scholarly articles appeared. Here’s one:

                    DNA profiles of the eastern Canadian wolf and the red wolf provide evidence for a common evolutionary history independent of the gray wolf
                    By:Wilson, PJ (Wilson, PJ); Grewal, S (Grewal, S); Lawford, ID (Lawford, ID); Heal, JNM (Heal, JNM); Granacki, AG (Granacki, AG); Pennock, D (Pennock, D); Theberge, JB (Theberge, JB); Theberge, MT (Theberge, MT); Voigt, DR (Voigt, DR); Waddell, W (Waddell, W)…More


                    Volume: 78 Issue: 12 Pages: 2156-2166
                    DOI: 10.1139/cjz-78-12-2156

                    Published: DEC 2000

                    Document Type:Article

                    View Journal Impact

                    The origin and taxonomy of the red wolf (Canis rufus) have been the subject of considerable debate and it has been suggested that this taxon was recently formed as a result of hybridization between the coyote and gray wolf. Like the red wolf, the eastern Canadian wolf has been characterized as a small “deer-eating” wolf that hybridizes with coyotes (Canis latrans). While studying the population of eastern Canadian wolves in Algonquin Provincial Park we recognized similarities to the red wolf, based on DNA profiles at 8 microsatellite loci. We examined whether this relationship was due to similar levels of introgressed coyote genetic material by comparing the microsatellite alleles with those of other North American populations of wolves and coyotes. These analyses indicated that it was not coyote genetic material which led to the close genetic affinity between red wolves and eastern Canadian wolves. We then examined the control region of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and confirmed the presence of coyote sequences in both. However, we also found sequences in both that diverged by 150 000 – 300 000 years from sequences found in coyotes. None of the red wolves or eastern Canadian wolf samples from the 1960s contained gray wolf (Canis lupus) mtDNA sequences. The data are not consistent with the hypothesis that the eastern Canadian wolf is a subspecies of gray wolf as it is presently designated. We suggest that both the red wolf and the eastern Canadian wolf evolved in North America sharing a common lineage with the coyote until 150 000 – 300 000 years ago. We propose that it retain its original species designation, Canis lycaon.

                    I also have been bit by a friend’s pit bull. Then a different friend recently had their pit bull bite their child’s face when the child grabbed him suddenly.

                    We are a very friendly forum. We appreciate knowledge and diversity. Hope you have a better day.



                      So me and my wife do have a wolfdog and I will tell you he has been the hardest animal ever to train. He does not like company at the house and when walking him people stop to ask if they can pet him because he is soo beautiful and we have to say no. I would love for people to be able to pet him but its just not a good idea. We didn’t go looking for a wolfdog but our sons friend got him as a pup and then had nowhere to live so he would leave the animal in our house all the time. We finally told him we would care for the animal until he could find a suitable living arrangement but that never happened for 2 years and then we became too attached to chief to let go. I actually hated the poor thing for quite some time as he was not friendly and would bark viciously at me every time i walked in the door from work and he bit me at least 100 times. He was just a pup though. After working with a guy who specialized in wolfdogs did we finally realize what we had gotten ourselves into. Anyhow 4 years later chief has become a huge part of our family. We have 6 kids from 24 years old to 8 years old and chief knows and loves us all. And that is about all he loves. We cant have friends over as he may attack someone. It just doesn’t seem right to lock him in a room either so we just live with it. Watching him run through the woods is just beautiful. Never seen anything in life so graceful. He has brought several fawns to us with such pride in his face and eyes and mine and my wife’s sunken hearts but that is just nature and something we’ve learned to accept. I would never recommend that anyone ever get one as a pet. It’s not designed for that and it takes a whole lot of sacrafice. We never would have gotten ourselves into this had we known. My wife just has a heart too big for her own good. We do however love our chiefy and wouldn’t trade him away for anything. I felt like killing him several times over when he was young and we were learning but he is just so beautiful to look at that staring in his eyes I immediately felt guilty for thinking it. He rarely shows affection and is not a snuggler or cuddler and most often can care less what we are doing unless it’s going outside and hes a part of it. He sheds nonstop and our house is a mess with dog hair even though we dust mop 3x’s a day. The work and care is constant and he tries to attack any living creature including people so keeping him outside is impossible. We cannot risk him getting loose and harming someone. I couldn’t live with that. Getting rid of him is out of the question because he has done nothing wrong. He didn’t ask to be born or sold or penned up and only does what is natural for him. He deserves to live a life and be as happy as we can possibly make him. He doesn’t deserve to be put down or euthanized or whatever you want to call it. He cant be released into the wild as he would not know how to live in the wild. He can definitely hunt but there is more to it than that. So we just love him and try to make his life good. He often looks to me to be sad or depressed wishing maybe he could be free to run in the mountains but things just aren’t that simple. I sure dont think it’s cool to say I have a wolfdog and actually dont. We tell our younger kids that he is a gsd x husky mix for fear that they may tell others what he really is. We needed veterinary care and when we walked into 4 different vet offices we were turned away. I finally had to call a friend from school that I hadn’t spoken to for almost 10 years to come to my home to care for him. One look in his face though and I hope you can see what I see and can see why we do all we can for him so he can be as happy as possible given all the circumstances.



                        I think there is a lot of great information in this thread, and clearly we have… opposing… viewpoints, to balance out the conversation in case anyone stumbles across this in the future and wants to hear from more than one point of view. However, when we have individuals (more than one!) creating accounts [i]just to argue[/i] on ONE thread on our forum over a very niche subject not at all related to Windstones, I think it might be time to close this thread. Not trying to suppress anyone’s point of view or comments, but this isn’t exactly in the spirit of our community here.

                        Volunteer mod- I'm here to help! Email me for the best response: nambroth at gmail.com
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                          I just want to let anyone who sees this thread know that there is no one at Windstone Editions that is an expert on Wolf Dogs. Occasionally I receive emails through our “Contact Us” form asking for information – I’m sorry, we haven’t any information and do not have someone to refer you to. You might find someone in this thread that you could contact via Private Message. -Susie Hartney, Windstone Editions, Customer Service

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