Puma: What's the fear of wolf-dogs all about?
I own 3 of them! They are very loyal and have never caused me any trouble whatsoever. There was one incident where one of our wolf hybrids nearly killed the neighbor's Pit Bull. But the dog came onto our property so, It greatly changes the scenario.
I will admit that these dogs are extremely powerful! But at the same time, I find them to be no different than any other dog. They have a true fear and respect for humans (At least the ones I have do it). The person we bought the hybrids from called them "Tundra Shepherds". They are a German Shepherd-Wolf mix.
Photo Credit: Sonja & Roland/Flickr CC
Answers and Views:
Answer by Kim
I think the fear is that these dogs are HALF wolves. Wolves are wild animals, and yes dogs descend from wolves, but the percentage of wolf in most breeds is very low. The breed that is closest to the wolf is the Alaskan Malamute. That wild instinct is more apt to come out with your dogs than it is for a DOMESTICATED dog.
Answer by SKITTLES
I had a chow/wolf mix dog when I was a kid and she was the best dog we ever owned. Very loyal and protective of all the kids, but loving and gentle. I have pictures of her taking care of some stray kittens.
Answer by chester drors
What's the fear?
You say "There was one incident where one of our wolf hybrids nearly killed the neighbor's Pit Bull"
I think that sums it up rather nicely...
Answer by littledel
People fear wolf-dogs because of the word wolf. I raised many of the fine animals and came to know them as very smart, strong, loyal, loving animals that loved and protected their family which included their owners. They are different than most dogs in they need to know where they stand in the rankings. You should always be the "top dog" to them. They are wonderful to be around but play rough so they are not for just anyone.
My kids would literally ride my hybrids like a horse, and these animals NEVER offered to harm my kids. But I raised them to know their place in the family. I don't have any more hybrids because the neighbors I had at the time were afraid of them, and one day, while we were gone my beautiful animals, were poisoned in their own pen. I never had the heart to get any more.
Answer by Abby_Normal
Just wanted to say there are records of wolf attacks in North America, just not fatal attacks.
Wolves are wild animals and are meant to be wild animals. If you do have wolves, you would agree.
Breeding them with domesticated dogs is just plain wrong.
Shame on "Tundra Shepherds" for breeding them.
Answer by Garnet
I had the most amazing experience at a friend's house. I had just taken her home and she asked me in. She wanted me to meet her 'dog'. He was a wolf-dog. Apparently, he bit several family members and she wanted him to get to know me. She let him in and he came flying over to me & put his head on my lap and looked up at me as if to say, 'aren't you going to pet me'? I played it cool & it almost drove him nuts.
He licked me and then went around the table and started pushing my hand with his nose. That finished me. I held him in my arms, petted and cuddled him. He licked me and whimpered. When my friend's husband came in he was shocked. He had never seen him 'fall in love with anyone before.'
I love wolves. They are the most misunderstood animal there is. They have been slaughtered almost to extinction. He must have picked up on my love for him. I believe he was a German Shepherd-Wolf mix, too. I use to hear him howl. When he heard the police and fire sirens he started. I haven't heard it in years. I have a feeling he has gone to doggy heaven.
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Answer by rebecca m
The only problem I see with them is that they are at a higher risk for health issues. My Aunt owns a malamute-wolf hybrid named Smokey who is the biggest, sweetest, dumb dog you will ever meet. He wouldn't hurt anything even if it was in his yard (he lives in the middle of about an acre of woods). The vet said that he had bad hip (the vet said he needed a hi8p replacement) problems already when he was only about 8 months old and some of his siblings died from health issues. They are sweet gorgeous dogs, I will agree but I don't think breeding them as a hybrid is worth all the pain they have to go through.
Answer by birdybrain50
My family owned one many years ago, and like you, we loved her and were quite amazed at her. She was smart, loyal, loving, and quite protective of us.
Most of the fear you see in people is purely uneducated fear of what they hear as a myth. Unfortunately, society has not learned to respect animals and only hears what they want to add to the prejudice of something they want to hate. I love dogs, but we found our wolf-hybrid was far smarter.
We did find, also, that there was quite a genetic difference; her body temperature averaged about a degree higher, and she had scent glands much like a deer and had quite an odor if frightened.
When people who are not educated about animals think of wolves, they picture the monster that would overpower and kill anything they want just for the pleasure of it. Obviously, they are not considering that man has killed far more wolves than wolves have killed people. The fear has the same root in myth and legend of an unnatural animal the same as the fear of snakes, for example.
Enjoy your wolves, and perhaps you can help to educate people and calm their fears.
Answer by heb218
My friend owns one and it's 120lbs + and growled at me when I first entered his home. Now he is fine with me, a total lap dog..lol… but people are very fearful of different breeds that have gotten a bad rep (pits, stuffies, Rotties, wolf hybrids) I personally think they are all wonderful animals, despite the breeds! It's just sad that the media only talks about the bad things that those breeds of dogs have done. we just need to work and prove that all dogs are loving and wonderful pets despite the breed, and end breed discrimination.
Answer by Strigidae
Read "Of Wolves and Men" by Barry Lopez.
We have several wolf/wolfdog rescues in Colorado. One rescue's animals got out and killed or maimed several dogs and livestock.
I've witnessed "well-socialized" (the owner's words, not mine) hybrids attack and kill their own hybrid kin.
One of YOUR hybrids attacked another dog, doesn't matter if it was defending its territory, your animal is now considered "vicious" in the eyes of the law and your neighborhood.
How you can logically assert they are "no different than any other dog." I find that very curious, unsettling, and plain uninformed on your part. Your hybrids are not "dogs" and never will be.
If you have kids I strongly advise you NEVER leave them alone with any of the hybrids (or any domestic dog, either). Considering you have three hybrids — one with a proven record of attack behavior, I strongly advise NO ADULT be alone with them. Not unless you keep a .45 in your belt.
Kelly C Thank you!
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Comments ( 5 )
I understand your problem and I love wolves and dog and everything in between. but some people have had a bad experience with them my friend is terrified about dogs because when he was 3 he got betten. now he is trying to get over it and has petted some dogs be is still scared of them. now some movies can get others the fear of wolves but other get you to love them. sorry but it depends on the person that you talk to. now as far as a dog coming on your property is understandable but you also have to control yours to some extent. I don't like that but that's life.
Kelly C says
Now dont get me wrong I love wolves, all species and subspecies… including the domestic dog which is a subspecies of wolf. My problem lies in the fact that in reality it is pointless to include part of a wild wolf into a dog which is already a wolf in every way that matters. The problem is the fact that dogs which are nothing more than domesticated wolves have been altered significantly behaviour wise over the course of 15, 000 years of living with and being bred by humans… in effect we took the wild out of them. We purposely bred the most dangerous traits out of them.. we changed them to suit a life among humans.. we neotenized them, we altered them in such a way that they are wolves who in effect live with humans and are adapted to doing so. Wolves in the wild are different, they still have those traits to ensure survival in the harsh wilderness and as such they are very different from their cousins who are suited to living with us. May I ask how old your hybrids are? the reason being that unlike dogs who have been neotenized which means they retain juvenile traits into adulthood and never reach the true maturity and independence of a wild wolf… wild wolves mature at 3-4 years of age and it has been a proven fact that many hybrids will mature like wolves do and when they reach that maturity they dont take kindly to discipline or life with humans in ways that dogs accept because that is how they have been altered. You cannot strike an adult pet wolf and generally live to tell the tale, they are independant wild and free and they have all the instincts of a large carnivorous predator. Dogs that have been hybridized with wolves have a far higher tendency to be overcome by their instinctual prey drive and are 100% more likely to run after and take down a child that is merely running around playing. It isnt their fault but it is their instinct. You may be right in that your dog/wolf hybrids may never do such a thing or hurt anyone in their lives but remember that is the DOG in them. The wolf in them is not so trustworthy… You must accept the risks associated with adding the genetics of a wild animal to that of a domesticated one… dogs are wolves as I said but they differ as a subspecies from wild wolves by 0.02% mtDNA thats alot of information genetically and alot of behavioural differences exist between domestic wolves(dogs) and wild wolves. We humans are the ones who altered the genetics of the dog by 0.02% on purpose to make them better suited to life in a human environment adding that .02% back into the mix adds traits that are better left in the wild where they are needed, and not added back into what we have already altered to suit our lifestyles.
PS In case you wondered I am very educated about wolves and dogs, I have made it a point to learn all I possibly can about them. I love wild wolves but that is where you and I differ.. I love the domestic dog because they are wolves that we have changed and brought into our lives, I respect their ancestors but I believe they belong in the wild where they chose to stay when other members of their kind first came out of the depths of the forest to lay at the fires of mankind and join our pack. Bottom line is, wolves are wild.. dogs are wolves that forsook the wilderness to form a partnership with man.. I am content with those wolves who chose to befriend humans and I have 3 of them in my life at this very moment.. I respect the choice of their ancestral brethren too much to impose domesticity on wild animals that chose to remain wild.
Quite New Here says
It is due to survival fears from your ancestors , no doubt.
It is now only a vestigial preconditioned addition into your genetics , because previous to this lifetime, your ancestors knew that their babies could fall prey to anyone of the these hunters.
It goes all the way back when life was a premium and food was scarce.
Fast forward to now. Food is plentiful, millions of years of evolution and behavior modification.
Here you are, now their patron and friend.
If the shoe was on the other side and someone else owned them and knew what you know now, you would also be as wary of them.
after reading the responces I want one where can you get them?
i don't know. i've never had one, but i have seen them, and read about them. as soon as i have my own house i want to get one. i think that any breed can be good as long as they are trained. most reasons why people are afraid is probably because they dont know much about them. and i don't think that your dog attacking the pit bull was wrong. most dogs would do the same thing. i know a chihuahua that would! The only diffence is your dog did some damage. i feel sorry for the pit, but it should have been kept in its yard.