It can sometimes be difficult to comprehend that our lovable companion dogs once descended from wolves, especially when you look at the cute and cuddly Poodle or Pomeranian. However, when we take a look at Wolf Dogs, we can often see the resemblance between these canines and their ancestors.
While Wolf Dogs are gaining popularity as pets thanks to their appearance in the media, these dogs certainly aren’t for inexperienced owners. Strong and powerful, these dogs have high exercise needs and require lots of care, so a family that matches their lifestyle is always best.
If you’re interested in learning more about these Wolf Dogs are seeing whether they might be the pet for you, take a look at the most popular Wolf Dog breeds below.
What Are Wolf Dogs?
Wolf Dogs are domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) that share the resemblance of gray wolves (Canis lupus). Wolves and Wolf Dogs share common ancestors, and often these Wolf Dogs still possess much of the DNA that made them wolves in the first place, although most of their wolf-like traits have been “switched off.” This is why they look so similar and are often mistaken for them, yet are more tame.
What is the Difference Between a Wolf and a Domestic Dog?
Often, dogs and wolves are thought to be very different species. While a dog is a loyal companion, wolves are often seen as dangerous and aggressive animals that should never be pets. However, these two mammals are actually not that different from each other.
In many ways, dogs are actually much more like wolf puppies. As we mentioned above, companion dogs have been bred from wolves, with wolf-like traits being switched off in the process to create a docile and more domesticated pet. However, some of these wolf-like traits are switched back on during breeding, creating a dog that looks like a wolf.
Of course, there are some major differences between wolves and domestic dogs. Wolves only give birth once a year, while dogs can give birth all year round. Dogs also possess a gene for the digestion of grains and starches, making them more omnivorous than wolves, too.
In terms of appearance, it is easy to see how a Chihuahua differs from a wolf. However, this can become more difficult when we compare a wolf to a Husky, as these both have “primitive” features that are known to wolves. Often, dogs are bred on purpose to look like wolves and it can be difficult to see any difference at all. Luckily, these Wolf Dogs are domesticated and so owners can enjoy the traits of a wolf in a companion dog.
Should I Get a Wolf Dog?
Wolf Dogs can make wonderful pets, but only when they are placed in the right environment. These dogs can be a handful, and you will need to be an experienced dog owner to understand their needs. With the rise in popularity of these dogs in recent years, there has also been a rise in the number of Wolf Dogs in shelters as owners buy without realizing what it takes to really look after one of these pets.
Wolf Dogs are very powerful pets and will not do well around young children, purely because they don’t know how strong they are and may end up hurting them. However, this doesn’t mean that they are affectionate and friendly — in fact, these dogs are known for doing very well in family environments.
These pups need a lot of exercise every day — both physical and mental — and need a large space to run around in. They also don’t often like to be left alone for hours at a time, so are not the dog for those at work all day. Wolf hybrids can have high grooming needs too, thanks to their often double coats.
So, while these dogs can be a little difficult to look after, if you’ve got the space, time and resources to cater for them then a wolf-like dog might be the perfect companion for you. Lets take a look at the most popular Wolf Dog breeds below.
Most Popular Wolf Dog Breeds
The Siberian Husky is one of the most popular and famous Wolf Dog breeds and it is for this reason that they are often found in shelters. People go out and buy these dogs without doing any research about what it takes to care for one of these pups and then realize they can’t look after them and meet their needs.
The Siberian Husky is a very intelligent dog with high energy and therefore they can become bored very easily. These dogs need to be kept entertained all the time and do not like to be left alone. They excel outside, being given a job to do as a working dog, and certainly won’t want to stay cooped up inside without anything to do.
When bored, the Siberian Husky can begin to exhibit destructive behaviors. You must make sure you can spend a lot of time with these dogs! They also don’t tire easily, so will not want to spend time with you in front of the TV but will prefer to be outside chasing a ball!
Alongside their energy and exercise needs, these dogs all require a lot of grooming. That being said, despite their high needs, these dogs are extremely affectionate and loyal and really do make an excellent family dog in the right environment! Make sure you can give them lots of love, attention and playtime and they will be your best friend!
German Shepherd Husky Mix
The German Shepherd is an extremely popular dog so it is no wonder they were bred with the Husky to create the ultimate Wolf Dog — the German Shepherd Husky Mix. These dogs are very intelligent and quick learners, but this means that their owner needs to be one step ahead of them! For this reason, the German Shepherd Husky Mix is suited to experienced owners who understand their needs.
Both of the parent breeds of the German Shepherd Husky Mix are very athletic and so these dogs have high exercise needs. They are also need mental stimulation to keep them occupied, which can include games and puzzles. They will love to play outside with you and keep themselves entertained in the yard. However, make sure that the yard is secure as these dogs are known to escape!
This crossbreed can make a wonderful family pet and is extremely loyal. They can do well in families with older children, although when socialized with younger children can grow up happily with them too.
The German Shepherd Husky Mix can take after their German Shepherd parent or their Husky parent in terms of appearance. Sometimes it is a bit of a lucky dip and you never know what these pups may actually look like. They can come in a range of colors, including the German Shepherd’s classic black and tan, yet they may also have the Husky’s blue eyes!
Native American Indian Dog
A historic working dog, the Native American Indian Dog is indigenous to America and are extremely athletic and strong. To this day these pups are still used as working dogs, primarily as search and rescue dogs, police and military dogs, therapy dogs and hunting dogs.
Unlike many of the dogs on this list, the Native American Indian Dog is a dog that does very well with children! A great family dog, they will fit in best with an active family who will ensure they get the right amount of exercise. They’ll love to accompany you on hikes and runs too, making the perfect exercise buddy.
Unfortunately, as a large dog breed, these pups can be prone to elbow dysplasia and hip dysplasia. Dysplasia is a condition that is seen in many large dogs and is a disease of a malformation of the joints. The joints can become very painful and may worsen over time causing lameness. Ensuring you buy from a responsible breeder can help ensure your dog is less prone to any health issues.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a intelligent dog breed that needs a lot of exercise — both physical and mental! They are very loyal and devoted to their owners, yet they need an owner that understands their high needs. It is for this reason that these dogs don’t do as well in homes with very young children.
These dogs were initially developed for the Czech military yet are now used as search and rescue dogs, as military dogs, as police dogs and as other forms of working dogs.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog has wolf-like facial features and an athletic body. They normally weigh between 44 and 57 lbs and can stand between 24 and 26 inches in height. With a thick double coat, they do have high grooming needs and are known to shed a lot! These dogs can come in three different color ways — silver and gray, yellow and gray or just gray.
You will need to spend a fair bit of time training and socializing your Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, so ensure you have the time before purchasing one of these dogs. They can definitely be a handful, but are also extremely loving when put in the right home!
The Northern Inuit Wolf Dog
The Northern Inuit Dog was created by breeding German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies and Alaskan Malamutes. They are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and therefore can be difficult to find.
These pups are very friendly and affectionate with their people and those that they know, but they are also very protective and can be aloof with strangers. Their devotion to their family can also mean they suffer from separation anxiety when left alone. Correct training and socialization from a young age is very important for this breed.
The Northern Inuit Wolf Dog stands between 23 to 30 inches tall and weighs between 55 and 110 lbs. Thanks to their size they are not the dog for families with young children, as they may end up hurting them without meaning to!
Northern Inuit Wolf Dogs can come in many color variations including gray, black, sable and white. Like many Wolf Dogs, they have a double coat that needs regular brushing, so you must be prepared for their high grooming needs!
The Utonagan dog is a cross between a German Shepherd, Siberian Husky and Malamute and is often confused for the Northern Inuit Wolf Dog we mention above or the Tamaskan Dog we mention below. While these dogs have a wonderful temperament, they do have quite high needs.
This breed has only been around since the 1980s and was originally bred to pull sleds, thanks to their muscular body that gives them speed yet the ability to all carry weight. These dogs have a great work ethic and lots of energy too, which means they need an owner to match!
Alongside lots of exercise, the Utonagan also needs a large space to run around in. They will do well in family environments with children and are very playful dogs. Thanks to their pack nature they don’t really like to be left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety, so this is something to think about if you are out at work for the majority of the day.
The Saarloos Wolfdog was created by crossing a German Shepherd dog with a Eurasian Grey Wolf. This breed was created by a Dutch breeder who thought that the German Shepherd had become too domesticated and wanted to breed a dog that had more “wolf-like” traits.
These dogs are a large breed that can weigh up to 100 lbs and can stand between 24 and 30 inches in height. DNA tests have shown that the Saarloos Wolfdog is more similar to a wolf than any other breed of dog. Their appearance also means they stand out more; these dogs are normally seen in a gray color just like their wolf ancestors.
Despite their similarity to the wolf, these dogs also have a wonderful temperament of the German Shepherd and are very loyal and devoted to their owners. Again, they need an experienced owner who understands their needs and will do best in an adult only home thanks to their powerful nature.
The Tamaskan Dog has been bred to look like a wolf as much as possible, being crossed with Huskies, German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. It is for this reason that they are not considered a purebred dog.
The Tamaskan first appeared in the 1980s and an official breed club was founded with a goal to ensure good health and responsible breeding in 2006. Despite their wolf like appearance, these dogs are actually very affectionate and loyal and can make the perfect companion for those families who understand their needs.
This pup has a lot of energy and loves to be out exercising! They will need to be in a home where they have their own yard and will benefit from lots of time spent with their owners playing games. The Tamaskan Dog can suffer from separation anxiety and so they are not the dog for you if you are often out for hours at a time.
Thanks to their double coat these pups do require a lot of grooming and are known for shedding, so this is something to think about if you have allergies or don’t want dog fur all over your house!
The Kugsha, also often called Amerindian Malamutes, are a hybrid breed with a difficult history. It is unknown where these dogs originate from and there are many different theories around which breed they descend from. However, these dogs look like Huskies.
Thanks to their mysterious history, not much is known about this breed. They are an active breed and have a love for running and exercising. They also have a great work ethic and exhibit the drive that many Wolf Dogs do.
These are very intelligent dogs and they require an experienced owner to train and socialize them, which should ideally start at a very early age. They can make an excellent family dog and, like many of these Wolf Dogs, can experience separation anxiety when left alone.
Best Dog Food For Wolf Dog Breeds
While every Wolf Dog hybrid is different and it will be up to you to determine which food is going to be right for your pup, below we recommend a food for these wolf-like dogs that will hopefully meet their exercise needs and help keep them strong and healthy.BUY ON AMAZON
Formulated for very active dogs such as Wolf Dogs, the Extreme Athlete dog food from Diamond Naturals will ensure your pup gets all the nutrients they need. Included in the recipe is high-quality chicken that provides an excellent source of protein for strong and lean muscles.
There are also vitamins, minerals, fruits, vegetables and superfoods included in this formula, all of which are easily digestible. Even better, this food contains K9 Strain Probiotics which is bacteria that supports their immune systems and helps your dog maintain an active lifestyle.
As you can see above, there are many wonderful Wolf Dog breeds out there and all can make an excellent pet in the right environment! Certainly not for first time owners, these dogs need experienced handlers who understand their high exercise and grooming needs and who have the time to spend with these pups ensuring they are kept entertained and active.
Whether you’re looking for a pup great with children like the Native American Indian Dog or you’re looking for a working dog like the Siberian Husky, if you’ve got the understanding of what it takes to care for one of these dogs and the patience for training and socialization, why not think about adding a Wolf Dog to your home?