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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious to know if there are any restrictions preventing wolf/dog mixes from becoming legit service dogs.

I've met a beautiful wolf/malamute mix while walking around town a couple times. The owner told me his animal is a high content wolf mix,(supposedly sire was a malamute, dam was a full-blooded wolf). He intends to establish a breeding program with this male to create more wolf/dog mixes.

I saw his dog and him today while at the park, and he told me that his animal is a service dog in training now! Specifically, he is apparently being trained to be a mobility/stablity dog.

My personal opinion is that wolf/dog mixes are strikingly beautiful, but do not make good pets. Wild animals are just that, wild.

I don't know anything about service dogs, but I can't help but think that if these animals don't make desirable pets, then they have no business being service animals.

Opinions?
 

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Legally, service "animals" can only be dogs now, and miniature horses have their own classification now.

So I suppose a wolf hybrid would have to be determined, legally, whether it's truely a "dog" or not. Also ask yourself if the person is really telling the truth, or is aware of whether the animal is actually a hybrid. I see people all the time who think their mal/husky type dog is a wolf mix, either because they are lying because they think it sounds "cool," or because they were lied to and aren't knowledgeable enough to know their "hybrid" is nothing more than a dog/dog.
 

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Good point. I have certainly met people who are convinced their siberian husky is mostly wolf, lol.

This particular animal, though, seems to my eye to have some wolf in him. Tall and kinda lanky, with big dinner plate paws. Eyes close together in a rather narrow,wolfish face. Does not seem to have the head/face that I associate with malamutes. Very full coat, but of course the coat could easily be all malamute. Also, though, I'm not an expert on wolves or malamutes so I could be totally wrong! :eek:

Also of note, his owner stated that he sometimes had "issues" with other large dogs and some leash reactivity that he's trying to resolve. Today I saw this animal while my GSD was with me. Let me say I'm quite glad there was a fence between us. That dog wanted a piece of Kyhber!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can't imagine a wolf mix making it to be a service dog. Its incredibly hard on the dog, and wolves/wolf mixes often have weak nerves or are very flighty and insecure when kept as pets. I could never see one doing what a service dog has to do everyday.
This.

I just don't see how a wolf/dog mix would have the rock solid temperament that I imagine is crucial to a reliable service dog.

It's sad to consider, but I wonder if this owner is just going fake service dog credentials to make his future stud dog more appealing. :(
 

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This.

I just don't see how a wolf/dog mix would have the rock solid temperament that I imagine is crucial to a reliable service dog.

It's sad to consider, but I wonder if this owner is just going fake service dog credentials to make his future stud dog more appealing. :(
I have to agree with Lin, I am confused is the dog being trained to be his SD? Or ismhe just handing his dog Oberon to an organization to be placed with someone? Ihow old is the dog?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The owner told me this animal is five years old. He apparently wants to use this wolf/dog mix as a stud for his breeding program.

The owner doesn't seem to have issues that would necessitate the use of a mobility/stability service dog, but then again I'm not physchic. He could easily have a disability that is not obvious, or he could have just recieved a diagnosis that will ultimately require him to have the aid of a service dog. :shrug:

Just an less than optimal choice for a service animal, I think.
 

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Well let me just put in I have a very LOW content wolf dog, and she is as flighty and anxious as they come. I've met several and I can't see how a 50% could even come close to being appropriate to be trusted as a service animal. They are very instinctual.
 

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about 98% of the time when someone says they have a "wolf mix" it really isn't a wolf mix, its a GSD Mix, Husky Mix, Malamute Mix, or a combo of the 3 and other breeds mixed in.

Can they be service dogs? Probably, I have met some people who have stable and good tempered wolf dogs, and these people know what they are dealing with and have experience. The fact the dude said he wants to use him for breeding sends up some red flags for me, IMO.
 

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A service dog isn't a service dog unless paired with a disabled individual. Its just a well trained dog. So unless he is legally disabled and training his dog to be his own service dog, or was planning on handing over the dog to a disabled individual... He isn't doing service dog training. And at 5 years old it would be pretty silly to start service dog training, especially in an animal who has reactivity issues that would slow the training.* It takes approximately 2 years to complete service dog training, so by the time the dog was an actual service dog it would be 7 with a very small window of workable life, especially for a mobility assistance dog which is the most physically demanding.

*Thats if the reactivity is something that can be trained out of the dog... Sounds like the dog is definitely not service dog material, especially for someone who is limited in mobility if it takes a fence to keep the dog under control.
 

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A service dog isn't a service dog unless paired with a disabled individual. Its just a well trained dog. So unless he is legally disabled and training his dog to be his own service dog, or was planning on handing over the dog to a disabled individual... He isn't doing service dog training. And at 5 years old it would be pretty silly to start service dog training, especially in an animal who has reactivity issues that would slow the training.* It takes approximately 2 years to complete service dog training, so by the time the dog was an actual service dog it would be 7 with a very small window of workable life, especially for a mobility assistance dog which is the most physically demanding.

*Thats if the reactivity is something that can be trained out of the dog... Sounds like the dog is definitely not service dog material, especially for someone who is limited in mobility if it takes a fence to keep the dog under control.
This too. Sounds like a guy who is just out to sound cool and make a quick buck.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the input everyone. :) I just had to run this by somebody.

The whole thing sounds pretty fishy to me. And Lin, good point about the age of this animal. I was wondering about starting a service dog so late. Especially in a large breed type dog, I can't imagine the few years left of usability would balance out the cost and time associated with training a dog to that level. And add in the work on the reactivity issue, eesh.

I agree, Jesssiewessie, this individual may just be out a quick buck. Like we're short on that kind of breeder. :rolleyes:
 

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i've met a few wolfdogs. One most recently being in 2006. He was very sweet but also jumpy with people he didnt know or consider his pack. Never aggressive but snappy nervous. Would play more than happily with Riley and Zena. Adored kids so much he would see a kid, roll over and wait for a belly rub or a good rub down. His sire was 100% timber wolf. dam was GSD. he only allowed a select few people around him. Obeyed his handler and handlers daughter and myself. Had to be sedated for vet visits because of that snappy nervous attitude. he was a fabulous dog beyond that. You just couldnt rely on him to be stable in stressful situations. Thats the case with most wolfdogs. The wolf side makes it very difficult to work with them. Loyal to a fault with their pack members but outsiders not welcome. I couldnt ever see one making it to being a service dog.

he was definitely more stable minded than most wolfdogs but still had that attitude.
 

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Wolf hybrids are illegal as pets in many states.
I think that people like to brag that they have a wolf hybrid because that is tough. Most of those dogs are just dogs. Being a wolf hybrid can be a death sentence, I wish people would stop breeding them.
 

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about 98% of the time when someone says they have a "wolf mix" it really isn't a wolf mix, its a GSD Mix, Husky Mix, Malamute Mix, or a combo of the 3 and other breeds mixed in.
Yes, this has been my experience as well. I would say that less than 5% of the "wolf dogs" I have been shown in my life are actually "wolf dogs".
Sheilah
 

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I am very skeptical about any claims about "wolf" hybrids. It doesn't happen very often.
about 98% of the time when someone says they have a "wolf mix" it really isn't a wolf mix, its a GSD Mix, Husky Mix, Malamute Mix, or a combo of the 3 and other breeds mixed in.

Can they be service dogs? Probably, I have met some people who have stable and good tempered wolf dogs, and these people know what they are dealing with and have experience. The fact the dude said he wants to use him for breeding sends up some red flags for me, IMO.
i've met a few wolfdogs. One most recently being in 2006. He was very sweet but also jumpy with people he didnt know or consider his pack. Never aggressive but snappy nervous. Would play more than happily with Riley and Zena. Adored kids so much he would see a kid, roll over and wait for a belly rub or a good rub down. His sire was 100% timber wolf. dam was GSD. he only allowed a select few people around him. Obeyed his handler and handlers daughter and myself. Had to be sedated for vet visits because of that snappy nervous attitude. he was a fabulous dog beyond that. You just couldnt rely on him to be stable in stressful situations. Thats the case with most wolfdogs. The wolf side makes it very difficult to work with them. Loyal to a fault with their pack members but outsiders not welcome. I couldnt ever see one making it to being a service dog.

he was definitely more stable minded than most wolfdogs but still had that attitude.
Growing up in AZ, I knew a couple who bred wolf/Samoyed hybrids.

The female was INSANELY well trained (The couple trained dogs for everything from police, military, and rescue to some work training "actor" dogs). I've yet to see ANYONE with as smart and as trained of a dog in ANY breed. As well as the common commands, she could open doors on command (using her paws), you could tell her to stay, and come back 15, 20 minutes later and she'd still be in her exact same position, just a wonderful animal. She would alert owners to door knocks by howling (taught to do that), she had all sorts of tricks she could do.

She looked EXACTLY like a wolf (just a slight curl to the tail hinting at the Samoyed parentage). Blue eyes, rabbit-like silver pelt, and BIG (around 110lbs).

That dog was amazing. She was the most gentle, calm dog ever. Completely trustworthy when playing with the couple's 4 year old. That being said, unless it was one of their dogs, trained by the couple, I wouldn't want a hybrid, due to the vast numbers of poor pet quality animals. And as a service dog, it seems even more unlikely... I'm sure it can be done, I just find it skeptical, since there really isn't a benefit to the animal or the service dog "industry" for wolf hybrids to be a service dog. It seems more of a fancy or a vanity, rather than serving a legitimate need. Most people who legitimately need a service dog require an animal that won't un-nerve the community. Few are scared by retrievers or poodles, and both dog breeds are well known as intelligent and competent service breeds.
 

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I remember reading years ago, don't remember where the highest content "breed" was actually the collie. I can't remember border, scotch, rough or smooth..... I think there is a tendancy to paint everything with a broad brush stating it is a service dog, similarily with therapy dogs a few years ago, I know Sandi was a St John's ambulance certified dog, we did one test, one night to get said distinction. But I met a ton of other people who had therapy dogs at that time, who didn't even do that, they ust brought their dogs places with the staff's permission - ie. nursing homes, private daycares. It seems to lately be a passing trend amongst some to give the distinction of "service dog". I'd hate to see it used as a selling promotion for breeders with less than scrupulous ideals, but it will be bastardized by someone, somewhere. The definition of service dog is becoming broader as well, it once was a visual aid, now it's pretty much anything - if I get sent to the outfield this year on my ball team maybe I could say Oz was my service dog and have him retrieve the balls I don't want to run after........ LOL tongue in cheek, I'll be on first base as all string beans are, so I can reach and grab the crappy throws the pitcher aims my way. But honestly the distinction is becoming very broad and we will find less scrupulous people using it. Again, who knows, maybe these dogs are unique and fit/help a specific niche.
 

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The definition of service dog is becoming broader as well, it once was a visual aid, now it's pretty much anything - ... But honestly the distinction is becoming very broad and we will find less scrupulous people using it. Again, who knows, maybe these dogs are unique and fit/help a specific niche.
Actually its getting less broad. The original definition of service dog was
any guide dog, signal dog, or other animal individually trained to provide assistance to an individual with a disability.
This broad "or other animal" allowed different species to qualify as well, leading to people claiming things such as a service cat.

The ADA restoration act of 2008 which was put into official use as of March 15th 2011 a service dog is defined as
Service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition. The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler´s disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The crime deterrent effects of an animal´s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.
And, as I've said before, a dog is only a service dog when paired with a disabled handler. If the handler is not legally disabled, what the dog can or cannot do is irrelevant.
 

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I would say NO and the reason is most likely in this link . AWIC Newsletter: The Wolf-Dog Hybrid

This is the reason I do not think it would work a quick quote from the link.

Rabies vaccination for wolf hybrids is yet another difficult issue. Although it is likely that current rabies vaccines are as efficacious in the hybrid as they are in the dog, Federal regulations require that any vaccine be tested in a species before it can be approved for use in that species. Due to the expense, no such testing has ever been done on either wolves or hybrids. Regardless, many hybrids have been vaccinated with canine rabies vaccine. Such vaccinations are not officially recommended or recognized, and in some States may even be illegal. Consequently, hybrids that have bitten someone are often treated differently than a dog would be. In many cases the hybrid must be destroyed and the brain examined, regardless of whether or not it was vaccinated for rabies.

Last I knew you had to have you dog vaccine against rabies and sense it is unknown if it really works in this case or not.
 
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