These days, wolf dogs seem to be everywhere—from ancient literature (thank you, White Fang), to Game of Thrones, to renowned Instagram animals—and for good cause. These rather untamed dogs are not only gorgeous, but also incredibly enigmatic and interesting.
Aside from their beauty and mystique, wolf dogs are the subject of much discussion over their suitability as family pets. Read on for important information on wolf dogs, their mannerisms, and their legal status if you're thinking about adding one to your pack.
01 of 08
Wolf Dogs, Defined
You might wonder what a actually is. A is, as its name suggests, a mix between a wolf and a domestic dog; the most popular domestic dog breeds to be crossed are Siberian Huskies, Malamutes, and German Shepherds. Both wolves and domestic dogs are "interfertile," meaning their genetic makeup is close enough for them to interbreed. However, because wolves are so fierce and territorial, it is uncommon for these hybrid canines to be found in nature.
And, yes, it's true that all dogs have some wolf in their ancestry, but an animal can only be considered a true wolf dog if they have a pure wolf ancestor within the last five generations.
02 of 08
Wolf Dogs Are a Little Controversial
Like many other dogs that are considered "dangerous," there's some controversy around wolf dogs—and whether or not they make good pets.
Others contend that they are excessively wild, violent, and unpredictable while others assert that they are devoted, caring, and completely trainable creatures. There is no such thing as a "typical" wolf dog, and there is no way to know how "wolf-like" a dog will be. It may be challenging for pet parents who are unable to nurture a wolf dog with an unpredictable temperament and wolf-like requirements since there is considerably more variability in behavior and temperament than, example, a Golden Retriever. Sadly, many of these creatures are killed or forced to live in cages because their owners were ill-equipped to provide for their needs.
03 of 08
Wolf Dogs Can't Be Vaccinated for Rabies
Since wolf dogs do not currently have an authorized rabies vaccination, every wolf dog that bites a person or another animal might be regarded as posing a rabies risk.
Owners of wolf dogs are advised to immunize them since, in most situations, the vaccination will still provide protection. However, because wolves are not listed as a target population for the vaccines, these dogs cannot be deemed legally immunized. Accordingly, if a wolf dog bites a human or a pet, they would be regarded as a Rabies risk and, depending on the circumstances, would be put to death before being tested for the disease.
04 of 08
Wolf Dogs Aren't Legal in All 50 States
According to how many generations they are from a pure wolf, or their filial number, wolf dogs are often categorized. For instance, F1 stands for the first generation, which resulted from the mating of a wolf and a domestic dog or wolf and wolf dog. It can be difficult to tell if your dog is a real wolf dog or a typical domestic dog that has been bred to look like a wolf because DNA sequencing is seldom done or offered to prospective owners.
This blurriness makes it extremely hard for states to establish legislation around wolf dogs being kept as pets—and many have made it out-right illegal, while others allow restricted ownership.
If you're considering adding a wolf dog to the family, do your research to ensure owning a wolf dog is legal in your state.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Wolf Dog Pups Can Look—and Behave—Totally Different Than the Rest of the Litter
Although many domesticated dog litters share some physical and behavioral characteristics, wolf dog puppies can appear and behave differently from any of their siblings. Why? Some of the litter's puppies could exhibit traits more typical of domesticated dogs, but others might exhibit traits more typical of wild wolves. As we previously stated, there is no real way to forecast how much your wolf dog will resemble a wolf as she matures into an adolescent and adult.
06 of 08
Wolf Dogs Need a Ton of Space
Wolf dogs are often advised for those who live in remote areas or near forests since they require a lot of room to be happy, healthy, and active. A minimum 65x65 square foot space with lots of trees and other barriers for the wolf dog to climb is advised by some resources.
07 of 08
Wolf Dogs Need a Special Diet
No, a wolf dog cannot survive on the regular kibble that you give your other dogs. Each day, they require two to four pounds of uncooked meat. Regular dog food won't give your wolf dog the nutrition he actually needs.
08 of 08
Wolf Dogs Howl—A Lot
Numerous things can cause wolf dogs to howl, such as interacting with other wolf dogs (or wolves! ), warning other canines to keep away from her territory, or even hearing a distant siren. Be ready for a lot of howling if you bring a wolf dog home.