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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm getting a German Shepherd / wolf puppy (he's a low content wolfdog). The mother is pure GSD, and the father is the wolfdog. The owners don't know what the father is though.. they think maybe Husky/wolf, but to me he looks like he might be German Shepherd wolf, and possibly some husky as well.. Although I'm hoping he's all GSD/wolf. To me he looks like the result of a sable GSD bred with a wolfdog.. What do you think he looks like, husky/wolf, or GSD/wolf? (last two photos are the puppy I'm getting at almost 5 weeks old and his mother)
 

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Could be either. I think it's important you know though.
Would you go looking for a puppy and if all the owners could tell you was it was either a GSD or a Husky - would you say that's ok... it doesn't matter to me?

You probably would have a preference, as you should. They are different types of dog and have distinctive training needs and behaviors. That becomes even more important when you are dealing with a hybrid wolf cross.

I would never own a wolf/husky cross or a wolf/Malamute cross because those two breeds have traits that can make training more difficult. I'm talking about basic training ability so that the animal can function in a relatively normal pet situation. When you add wolf to the mix, your chances greatly increase that you will be getting something that may never be settled enough that you won't have problems. That may be in the form of destruction of many household items (this includes sheetrock walls and carpets - to constantly escaping your yard and wanting to wander.

The GSD is not as close in appearance to a wolf as a Husky or Malamute, but people breed that mix in hopes that the GSD personality and trainability will prevail in the hybrid. The dog I had for 13 years - mother was purebred GSD and sire was pure timber wolf. He was very manageable because the GSD traits were extremely strong in him. I got lucky. I have seen several 1/4 wolf mix that were very unmanageable to owners that thought the lesser content would eliminate problems.... not always the case.....

It is concerning that you don't know and would "like" it to be GSD but you're going to acquire regardless. The first red flag is the owners don't know, the 2nd is that you don't particularly care. Playing the odds and not being prepared for the type of dog you will end up with could be a mistake and if that's the case...it could be a very sad outcome for the pup in a few months...

Even though the percentage won't be half, you should still be prepared to build an escape proof enclosure (including top - they can climb) and your dog may never be able to be trusted in the house. You just won't know what kind of animal you are bringing home for some months down the road. You may also want to try to locate a trainer in your area that has specific experience with wolf hybrids... otherwise, you may be on your own.

Hate to sound doom and gloom - but you still have time to make sure your motivations and knowledge are sound so you can meet the needs of this animal regardless of the mix and possible challenges.....
 

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One more thing you should look at, if you haven't already. The laws in your state regarding ownership of a wolf hybrid. As you probably know, no rabies vaccine is acknowledged to work for a wolf hybrid of any % content. Some vet's won't treat a hybrid because their insurance company won't permit it. In Idaho where I live, if a hybrid bites a person, the animal is killed by law enforcement and the head is shipped to Boise for rabies testing.

Here is a link to some states regulations, though it doesn't cover all - as you can see for Idaho it mentions nothing of the automatic kill procedure for bites from hybrids... but it is spelled out very clearly in the Idaho State Code Books. I believe it is federal law that will not acknowledge effectiveness of rabies vaccines so that covers all states. How your state proceeds is what you need to know.

Welcome to Howling Hills Wolf Hybrids | Howling Hills Wolf Hybrids
 

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I wanted to second that it would concern me that these folks don't know what the sire is but they are using him for breeding? Where did he come from?

Frankly, I don't know what a "reputable" breeder of wolf dogs looks like, since my personal opinion is that it is hard enough to place many dogs in a suitable pet home and I can't imagine deciding to breed wolfdogs and add them to the pet population.

I have seen "pet" wolf dogs in their enclosure, overweight and bored and unable to engage in any naturaal behaviors. They aren't wolves but they aren't dogs either and for that reason they can't even enjoy much if the enrichment our dogs get. I have also seen overburdened sanctuaries trying to care for all of the wolfdogs who couldn't make it in the pet environment or were given up for the same reasons dogs are given up just rehoming a wolfdog is not the same ballgame as rehoming a dog.
 

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I have to add my 2 cents here... I agree absolutely with everything Stonevintage posted. In my lifetime I have had several wolf/GSD crosses, higher content than what you feel you are looking at. What made them trainable and decent housedogs was the GSD blood. Huskies and Malamutes are not the most obedient breeds in the world, and are very independent. Mix that with wolf, and you have an animal that you must spend his life managing him. You spend your life managing any wolfdog cross, but crossed with those two breeds intensifies it.

Please consider the following, from someone who has lived it (by choice--I am an introvert): Are you ready to forego vacations, watch as some of your friends no longer visit, be ready to provide all the pack interactions that a wolf needs all his life--I repeat, ALL of his life (can be as much as 15 years)? Are you willing to see some of your most expensive possessions (including parts of your house) be destroyed because your dog is bored? Can you stand it when a puppy with saber-sharp teeth chooses you as his chew-toy? Way too many people get rid of GSD puppies because they can't stand the landshark phase... It's nothing compared to a wolf/GSD puppy's Great White Shark phase. Can you provide a good, secure, large fenced area for him to run? A walk around the block won't do it. Can you give him another canine as a companion--providing for 2 dogs? Can you provide the training the wolfdog is going to need? You HAVE to be an assertive person, and, yes, it takes a good amount of physical strength, especially for a woman.

And I haven't even mentioned their escape talents, Stonevintage touched on that.

Do I love them? I can't deny it, I would have one now if the State of Michigan hadn't legislated against them. But they are not for the faint of heart, not for someone who loves their material things, not for someone who loves to be going places, doing things, not for someone without strength, both in personality and physicality.

Susan
 

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I wanted to second that it would concern me that these folks don't know what the sire is but they are using him for breeding? Where did he come from?

Frankly, I don't know what a "reputable" breeder of wolf dogs looks like, since my personal opinion is that it is hard enough to place many dogs in a suitable pet home and I can't imagine deciding to breed wolfdogs and add them to the pet population.

I have seen "pet" wolf dogs in their enclosure, overweight and bored and unable to engage in any naturaal behaviors. They aren't wolves but they aren't dogs either and for that reason they can't even enjoy much if the enrichment our dogs get. I have also seen overburdened sanctuaries trying to care for all of the wolfdogs who couldn't make it in the pet environment or were given up for the same reasons dogs are given up just rehoming a wolfdog is not the same ballgame as rehoming a dog.
I understand your opinion, but you cannot group all experiences. There are successes but a very high incidence of failures with very sad outcomes.

What does a responsible breeder do? There are some, though not many and they certainly don't breed many litters.

The breeder I got mine from, I feel was as responsible. He, by occupation was a Fish & Game Dept Bear & Wolf advisor for populations in Minnesota. He worked closely with David Mech (who some would say, is also very knowledgeable about wolves & hybrids lol)

He only bred 2 or 3 litters. Here were his requirements to adopt;

Must have a well trained larger breed dog already in the household. Must bring that dog to meet him and successfully demonstrate basic obedience commands for the owner in his presence;

Must follow his training and feeding (diet) schedule to the letter and report any health concerns to him; Proof of spay or neuter had to be provided within the first year.

These were his rules for those who wanted to adopt a 50% content. He had one litter of 75% but he only allow those pups to to go to homes where there was already experience with 75% or higher - so they went to his close friends and he helped them devise safe acreage compounds and taught them how to build dens (lined in concrete) for their living quarters.

Also, if for any reason the hybrid cannot be kept, it shall immediately be returned to him for placement in a more suitable situation or to be retained in the compound to live out it's natural life.

We visited him more than a dozen times before we brought ours home. He had his animals in functioning packs each with 2-4 wolves and hybrids in one of 4 - 3 acre enclosures. Several were returns that he deemed too wolfy to be place so they were his and became a part of one of the packs he maintained. He raised rabbits for them and hunted deer, also the nearby poultry operation kept him well supplied.

As you can see, I don't encourage ownership. IMO it takes a special dedication to make it work and a ton of precautions. I can say that mine had high quality of life. We lived in areas that allowed him to run free most of his life.... yea - he had a great life:) that was a long time ago when they were not common. We never revealed his wolf content. I was fortunate to share his life with him.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so I understand what you guys are saying, but honestly I didn't come here to be preached to, but to just find out what you thought the father looked like. I actually wasn't looking to get a wolfdog, but it just so happened my niece's friend had an accidental breeding (yes they should have fixed them). I'm fully aware of all the horrible stories of wolfdogs, in fact I read a bunch on here already, but I know I have what it takes, plus I live on 20 acres.. so I'm not worried about it.
I guess I'll find a wolfdog forum..
 

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Hi Sarah, gorgeous pic of the pup! I'd fall in love with that face instantly :p The father's eye shape and markings around the eye make me think of a husky? but that's just what I focused in on, which is why he didn't seem GSD-like to me.
 

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Ok so I understand what you guys are saying, but honestly I didn't come here to be preached to, but to just find out what you thought the father looked like. I actually wasn't looking to get a wolfdog, but it just so happened my niece's friend had an accidental breeding (yes they should have fixed them). I'm fully aware of all the horrible stories of wolfdogs, in fact I read a bunch on here already, but I know I have what it takes, plus I live on 20 acres.. so I'm not worried about it.
I guess I'll find a wolfdog forum..
Awww ... don't be like that. People issue cautions/advise/concerns based on their experiance. Isn't the whole point of "reaching out" to gain "information??"

Lots of members here have problems enough raising a "Dog." To be fair usually the WL GSD's. I would imagine an "actual" Wolf Dog would ramp up the "degree of difficulty??"

I'll stick with "Dogs" myself but .. I do find the "Wolf Dog" thing interesting.

At anyrate ... we have a "Wolf Dog" rescue 60 or so miles from me in 'Lake Tahoe" CA.

There site: Lake Tahoe Wolf Rescue - Home

And "Welcome Aboard" in case you decide to stick around. :)
 

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Sarah if you were not actively researching and wanting to get a wolfdog, and this just happened, then I really encourage you to research more and rethink. Joining a wolfdog forum might be a great idea.

It is my opinion that just getting one because someone you know had an accidental litter isn't a good idea.

Is your 20 acres fenced?
 

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Sarah, we have seen too many dogs (including wolfdogs) whose home turns out to be temporary, for whatever reason. This is why we come to you with our own experiences. As for telling what mix the pup's sire is, that's anybody's guess, and only a guess could it be. I will say that his ears are a bit small for a wolf/GSD, which MAY suggest husky or malamute. I, too, encourage you to check out a good wolfdog forum, I used to belong to one, but it was years ago, I have lost touch with them. The information we have given you I am going to bet that it will be very close to what other wolfdog owners will give you. You are certainly welcome here, there are other people here who have or have had wolfdogs, and people here who have other dog breeds besides GSDs. Please let us know your decision, and, if you do adopt the pup, there are people here who can help you with issues that may come up. We just don't want you to go into this without knowing what the full picture can be.

Susan
 

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Sarah, as you can see a couple of us have been there and are torn. We both had great experiences. Just wanted to make sure you have it thought out. Sounds like you do, so I say go for it. There are some who don't and it would be bad if we didn't try to make sure they know the whole story before they end up in a bad place.... that's all. So, that's done - at least from me.:)

I am so curious how your guy's going to end up looking! Can you post pictures as he grows??? Please:) I noticed the dark round colors on his tummy and paws - I've never been around a sable GSD pup and don't know if these are normal but I'm so curious to see his color changes. Also, his ears seem shorter than I would expect to see in anything but a higher content.... Maybe it's because mine had such big ears or it's just been a long time and I don't remember. But, with that - his face looks more wolfy to me (than 1/4 content). It will be great to watch the progression.

Just a tip - they love chicken necks. When mine was young I pounded them with a hammer and cut up, when he was about 4 mos old he would eat 3 to 4 a day as a supplement. If you do feed these - peel the skin off and discard - gives em the poops!:(
 

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Ya know... this is so textbook - about what everyone's been saying for the last couple of weeks on the "manners" post....

They come, they don't like what they hear, they register their "disappointment" and they're gone....

This one, I can't see one thing where anyone said anything out of line - yet.....it's DOA and the OP got miffed....

The only thing I can say is for many of the posts that go this way... take a look back at your contributions every few months to find other posts that dead ended . I am always happy when I see 1k or more views on these "dead" posts thru time. In my mind, even though the OP was not receptive or responsive - there are a thousand or more that read all the viewpoints over time and if it helps a few - in a non defensive environment - so they may be more open minded and make better decisions - that's what counts.....

No reason this or any thread should go on and on because of absent OP, then it looks pretty silly and desperate . There's many more and people will see this and the way it was left will tell it's own story...:)
 

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but I know I have what it takes, plus I live on 20 acres.. so I'm not worried about it.
lol.

does anyone else get the feeling that this person has never even raised a real dog before... and now they want their first real dog to be a wolf-mix. this is not going to end well.

If OP or anyone similar is reading this... get a White German Shepherd instead. They can look a lot like wolves, but they're 100% GSD. Now, raising a GSD is still not an easy task... but it's a lot easier than getting a wolf-mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Stonevintage, I'm not gone.. I just got home from work..
thanks for the tip though, and I will post pics if you'd like. I can't wait to see how he'll turn out, it seems he inherited a slightly more wolf look than his siblings, as they have bigger ears than him. I think he's going to turn out to be a blanket back. I'm hoping he'll stay more black though, he is the darkest in the litter.

BauerWhite, that's a pretty big assumption there. I've actually owned dogs my entire life, all large dogs, some hard to train and difficult dogs. I currently own a 95 pound GSD who I raised from a puppy. He was a handful, but a great dog now.
I've always kept all my dogs for life, I don't give up on them.
 

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Susan_GSD_mom, Thanks! I do plan on finding a good wolfdog community/forum. I do plan on getting the puppy, I have researched it a lot and feel confident.

Thecowboysgirl, I'm not getting him just because they had an accidental litter, I was actually looking for a GSD puppy. and not to sound overly confident, but I think this puppy will have a much better home with me than most people around. Most people get wolfdogs because it sounds like a cool idea and they are uneducated and unexperienced.. then the dog ends up going on a chain outside, or ends up in the pound... That isn't me.

It's partially fenced.

Chip18, thank you. it's just that the instant negativity got to me at first, and no one seemed to care about answering my question I came here with.

LittleBear, thank you. His face reminds me of a little black bear cub : )
 

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Sarah,

I strongly recommend that you talk with other wolfdog owners about containment. I don't know if partially fenced means it is fenced on 2 sides or 1 acre of it is fenced?

Many people struggle to keep dogs from chasing game offleash, never mind a wolfdog. I don't think it is commonly recommended by wolfdog ppl to let them run offleash? You have to think about your neighbors, livestock, kids, small dogs.

My point about the accidental litter is just what you said, you were looking for a GSD, thinking about and planning for a GSD but now you are getting a wolfdog. Planning a d prep and life you will lead with this vs a GSD, not the same.

Do you have the financial means to build an escape proof enclosure with 6 foot fencing?
 

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Sarah, I'm glad you didn't leave us. I just have one more thing that I know I didn't mention. With mine, I never, and I mean NEVER, left them outside on their own. Mostly it was for their own protection. Even when I moved out of town, had a couple acres, had 3 different sections of it well-fenced, I never left them outside unsupervised. We had one neighbor, and she had two little girls who thought they should be able to come over the fence and pet the dogs. They even pushed things up against the area that was privacy-fenced so they could climb up and get over. If they had succeeded and been nipped, pushed down, or looked at cross-eyed, it may have meant that my dogs could be put down, decapitated, and the head sent out for rabies testing. I had double gates, and the outer gates were padlocked. I had a fence completely around the house as well. The double gates came as a result of a clever tactic one of my wolfdogs used on my sister... She put him on a sit-stay, turned to unlock the gate and open it. Once it was open, he reached out, nipped her on one side of her behind, when my sister turned to look at him and scold him, he zipped around her other side and out the gate. I swear they reason things out.

Now, the lowest percentage of mine was 50%. If your puppy is 25%, you may have a puppy that is more biddable. However, he does look pretty wolf-like, although looks don't always matter, either. One of my males looked like a big red saddleback GSD with a thicker coat, and he was one of the most wolf-like in personality and temperament that I had.

Again, glad you didn't leave us, and all this is to help you, certainly not criticize your decision.

Susan
 
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