WOLFDOGS

Responsible or Irresponsible Breeding:  Myths and Facts Explored

 

Years ago I listened to a lecture by Dr. Erich Klinghammer, Director of Wolf Park. He was lecturing on understanding behaviour and body signals in canines. A more fascinating lecture, I have never attended. Subsequently I visited Wolf Park in Indiana. After reading a request to import a Wolfdog on a UK forum board, I went to see if Dr. Klinghammer had written anything concerning the wolf-hybrids. I respect his opinion greatly since he has been dealing with these animals for well over twenty years. His editorial was interesting and I went on to peruse the rest of the site.

Of particular interest was
Wolf Park’s position on keeping Wolves and Wolf-Hybrids wherein they stated that they were not opposed if the people understood the awesome responsibility being undertaken. They have established Guidelines For Keeping Wolves and Wolf-Hybrids which to me, at least, would definitely preclude my ownership of any wolves or wolf-hybrids.

I would encourage those of you who, like me, enjoy education on a variety of subjects to check out the
Introduction to Wolf Hybrids Controversy. I found the section on Quality of Life (section 4, I believe) a bit disturbing.

I also found Monty Sloan’s article on
Of Wolves, Wolf Hybrids and Children to be forthright and on point.

If any of you ever happen to visit the Midwest in the United States, try to put Wolf Park on your list of places to visit. As dog enthusiasts and students of behaviour and genetics, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Wolf Park is also accepting
internships, though foreign internships must arrange their own visa, if necessary for the three months.

 

There is a great deal of controversy concerning wolfdogs.  While one group advocates the cross-breeding of dogs and wolves, another large portion of the population continues to be concerned over the breeding of wild, undomesticated animals for the purpose of producing pets suitable for close relationships with people.  I readily admit that I have great trepidation concerning the ownership of these hybrids by persons who are not fully cognizant and experienced in wild animal behaviour and the resultant relationship with humans.  My concern is not only for the two-legged community within which the animal is expected to exist, but also with the quality of life for an animal more suited to the wild.

 

Wolfdogs are not wolves or have such a small percentage of wolf as to be inconsequential…” is one argument used by the proponents of wolfdogs to justify the breeding and keeping of such animals. My immediate reaction would be “why call them wolfdogs then and point with pride to their wolf heritage?”

 

This argument continues to be used to advance the validity of wolfdog breeding since the advocates state that they are not wolves or to quote another person “they are dogs with a percentage of wolf in them usually quite a small percent(age).”  It has also been stated that these dogs are no more dangerous than other large dogs and citing that these dogs may, in fact, even be more dangerous.  Further, it has been proposed that wolves are no threat to humans since they are naturally timid animals that would avoid people if possible.  Another argument is that “wolfdogs are not wolves, they are not wild animals.” 

 

I, and the experts whose articles I have been reading, would disagree with the statement that wolfdogs or wolf-hybrids if one prefers that term are not ‘wild animals.’ One cannot 'domesticate' an animal simply by breeding a wild animal to a domesticated animal.  The following sites give further insight into the issue:

 

Wolf Hybrid Awareness Through Education

Wolf Hybrids: A Glimpse Behind the Allure

Kim Miles' Wolfdog

Wolf Park (These people actually research, work with and understand the wolf and wolfdog)

 

All of the above, while in some instances agreeing that wolf-hybrids can under the right circumstances make acceptable pets, state unequivocally that they are different from dogs. Most of the sites also state that wolf-hybrid is a misnomer and the term should actually be wolfdog.   It is interesting that proponents of the ‘wolfdog’ in the UK have stated that their particular animals are simply ‘wolf-like’ in appearance and do not actually have wolf genes, while others do promote them as true wolfdogs.   

"Wolves are no threat to humans..."  One might want to look at the article written by Marty Sloan, Director of Wolf Park, Of Wolves, Wolfdogs and Children, wherein there are several cases of children being attacked and killed by wolfdogs. These were healthy animals and in some cases had been 'child-friendly' previously, yet inherent traits took over and the wolfdog perceived the child as prey.

 

One of the most interesting things that I found was on one of the sites where they said that anyone who represented a wolfdog as making a great family pet and safe with children was misrepresenting the wolfdog and doing them a grave disservice. It was also interesting to see that under no circumstances should these animals ever be let off-leash.  How then do they get the exercise they need unless housed on very large tracts of land, surrounded by six foot (or higher fences), with appropriate precautions taken for them not to escape?   


All the websites I visited made it very clear that wolfdogs were not dogs and had different training, containment, socialization, and expectation needs. While I will agree that a dog in the wrong hands can be dangerous, I have to believe the experts when they unanimously seem to be saying that wolfdogs must be treated differently than dogs.  A logical conclusion would be that if the wolfdog must be treated differently than dogs, few people would have the experience or necessary training to deal with the differences. 
Reading about a subject is very much different than being experienced in that same subject.  If I were to have my appendix removed, I would definitely opt for the trained physician instead of the medical enthusiast who had read lots of books on surgery and appendixes. 

No one could argue the fact that wolves are non-domesticated, wild animals.  Nor could it be argued that the vast majority of breeds recognized have been domesticated for the past fifty years or, indeed, more.  Wolfdogs have not been domesticated for decades, as evinced by the fact that they have a percentage of wolf in them. This is contrary to the Husky, Malamute and other Inuit breeds that have been domesticated, even though these breeds may, very well, remain more primitive than some other breeds.  These northern domesticated breeds were also domesticated for very different needs and responsibilities than some of the other breeds.  They were developed by people with a need for a companion/working animal that was able to withstand the deprivations of the northern areas and could survive. 

Wolfdogs are no more dangerous than other large breeds, such as the Rottweiler and German Shepherd Dog….”   If one looks at percentages, the percentages would show that based on the numbers of GSDs compared to the number of bites versus the number of wolfdogs/wolf-hybrids (whichever term you wish to use) that the percentage of wolf-hybrid bites would be higher. Just as an example if there are 10,000 GSDs and 500 of them bite children in a year, the percentage is .005% (less than 1%). On the other hand if there are 500 wolf-hybrids and 5 bites, the percentage is 1%, double that of the GSD. And in the case of the wolf-hybrid the bites seem to be either more severe or fatal.

In Monty Sloan's article on the Wolf Park website there are three incidents mentioned, along with an example of one of the Wolf Park animals that had been noted for being safe with children and then after two incidents of crying children, waving their arms (not even next to him) then started looking at children as prey and was no longer permitted to be around children. The sites, even those that advocated wolfdogs as companion animals, said that they could NEVER be considered as pets, but as companions, were NEVER to be trusted alone with children and people should always remember that they are wolf-hybrids. These are people who have them in their ownership. Once again, one would tend to believe the experts who deal with these wolfdogs and wolves on a daily basis in a professional, scientific setting.

 

Factually, the Dog Population in 1996 in the US was 53 million according to Dog Dynamics.  The Wolf-Hybrid Population in the US is estimated at 300,000 according to Animal Welfare Information Center and Wolf Hybrid Statistics.

There were twenty-two total dog bite fatalies in 1996 for purebred dogs (though I am not sure how they verified the dogs were in fact 'purebred' and not unregistered mixes purporting to be purebred, any more than I can be sure exactly how many wolves versus hybrids there are for the same period); pit-bull *types* accounted for four of those; ten were Rottweiler; two were a GSD; the rest of the statistics are as follows:

 

1995-1996

Purebred vs Crossbred

 

Pit bull-type

4*

 

Wolf-dog hybrid

2

Rottweiler

10

 

Mixed-breed

1

German Shepherd Dog

2

 

German Shepherd Dog Mix

2

Husky-type

2

 

Pit bull-type Mix

0

Malamute

1

 

Rottweiler Mix

1

Doberman Pinscher

0

 

Alaskan Malamute Mix

0

Chow Chow

2

 

Chow Chow Mix

1

Great Dane

1

 

Doberman Pinscher Mix

0

Saint Bernard

0

 

Saint Bernard Mix

0

 

 

 

Great Dane Mix

0


 
According to
Dog Bite Statistics the chances that a child will be the victim of a fatality is 7 out of 10; the chances of the bite victim being a burgular is 1 out of 177. In the year 2000 a four-pound pomeranian (a breed originally bred as watchdogs) mauled and killed an infant. Therefore, as we can see, the problem is not limited to solely large breeds.

Using the figure of 53,000,000 dogs and 27 fatalities for 1996, I come up with a fatal percentage for dogs of 5.09%. Using the figure of 300,000 and 2 fatalities for wolf-hybrids in the same period I have a fatal percentage of 6.6%. It would appear using those statistics that wolf-hybrids do have a higher fatality percentage.

 

Just as another footnote, an interesting article was written by Pat Tucker and Bruce Weide and published by Wild Sentry. Some of the questions and answers were very interesting, including:

"The statistics bear this out. The estimated 300,000 hybrids and captive wolves in the
USA killed 10 people between 1986 and 1994 (about 1.25 deaths/year/300,000 hybrids) and injured many more. In contrast, the 50 million dogs in the USA killed an average of 20 people/year (about 0.11 deaths/year/300,000 dogs). Put another way, captive wolves and hybrids are 11 times more likely to fatally maul a human than a dog is. Additionally, bear in mind that many of those 300,000 hybrids actually have little, if any wolf in them. If the statistics were only for wolves and genetically high-percentage wolf hybrids, the rate of fatal attacks would be much higher."

It was an extremely well-written article including many reference sources and answering various questions about ownership, fitness for ownership, an open letter from a hybrid owner, etc.


Japanese Akitas were bred for aggression, but as one can see so was the Pomeranian, which is where the 'bred for aggression' argument begins to unravel.

 

“It’s a fallacy that children are the primary target of wolfdog and wolf attacks….”  Ratio of German Shepherd Dogs in existence in the United States compared to the number that bite children or cause damage to other animals is far less than the ratio of wolves or wolf-hybrids being kept in capitivity that do the same thing. The reason that most wild wolves/wolf-hybrids do not cause injury to humans or children is because they are naturally suspicious, shy of humans (unless cornered) and do not interract with them. In the wild, these animals would go out of their way to avoid human contact.  Unfortunately, when the animal is kept as a companion or pet, there is no way to avoid close proximity If one don't understand why the wolf or wolf-hybrid would find children more prey-like than adults, I would question their understanding of the wolf behavior. Children are small creatures that normally make a lot of noise, higher-pitched than an adult; combined with the fast movement of arms, legs, etc. that most children show, the child is very much prey-like and will trigger a hunt instinct.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks, another breed used in the argument for wolfdogs, are a domesticated animal and, as such, is suitable for the environment for which it was bred. Wolves and wolf-hybrids are wild animals and, as such, suitable for the environment in which it lives naturally -- the wild.  It is not difficult to understand that problems arise exponentially when an animal is taken from its native environment and working purpose. 

“Siberian Huskies have a high prey drive….”  While it is argued that Siberan Huskies have a high prey drive and because of their strong hunting instinct they are unable to be allowed off-lead, possibly dangerous to other animals, it is difficult to counter a point where the sole basis seems to be that if the Siberian Husky has a high prey drive and is considered a viable, legitimate breed that the wolfdog should also be included.  Not having talked to the same Siberian Husky breeders, it is possible that here in the UK the Siberians have a more difficult and primitive temperament than those in the United States, though I would find that somewhat difficult to believe.  Further, the Siberian Husky has been domesticated for several centuries to act as a companion/work partner, unlike the wolfdog.

Huskies and Malamutes are bred (domesticated) as working dogs to accept working with other dogs. Sometimes I wonder if people do not perpetuate the 'primitive' dog myths for the same reason that the wolf-hybrid is an allure -- a maschisimo thing. The old attitude of 'hey, I am really unique and big and bad because my dogs are big and bad.'  

Having trained protection and patrol dogs for various law enforcement agencies, I can testify to the fact that high prey-drive is something that one must have in a dog being trained for such work. The other thing equally important and mandatory is STABLE temperament.   Aggressiveness should never be confused with a working desire, whether it is in the Siberian, the Malamute, the German Shepherd or the Belgian Malnois.   

“Is it possible that the government figures do not mention wolf hybrids because they are not an actual 'breed'….  There is a very viable reason for the wolf-hybrid not appearing on the CDC reports, though if you go to the other site that I posted, it not only has a very interesting article but also statistics as I showed broken down. The reason is that most people in the US will not identify their dogs to any dog warden as a coydog, a wolf-hybrid, or a wolf because the system will invariably be prejudiced toward them. While I sympathise with this stance, I also realize the inherent risks of owning them.

 

“Wolves are timid, afraid of people, for the most part.”  However, the problem comes in when the DOG is introduced into the equation and the dog temperament is not one that is afraid of humans, nor timid for the most part. One has to look at what one is genetically introducing to get the overall picture. So now we have a timid, extremely prey-driven animal with STRONG pack instincts no longer afraid of people that is constantly testing to assume pack leadership. Hence, the problems.

Why can the same not be said about dogs? It can about very small percentages of them. However, the dog was DOMESTICATED and some of those drives have been softened in order to make a more malleable pet.

All in all, the wolfdog is NOT a domesticated pet. All of the wolfdog sites, including the ones that talk about ownership in a semi-positive light, state unequivocably that it is not for everyone. In fact, other than the pure problem of containment, they discuss things like difficulty in housebreaking (because the wolf has different voiding habits than the dog), difficulty in training (one must use different techniques than employed with dogs), necessity for maintaining pack leadership at all times, different dietary needs than most dogs, and the list goes on. They also state that this is not an animal for everyone and one site in particular went so far as to have in their buyer's agreement that the person must spend a minimum of two hours per day interacting with the dog. That doesn't mean having it lay around your feet, but actually interacting.

Considering the domesticated dog goes, the overall percentages of 'iffy' temperaments in any breed of dog will be less than the overall percentage of 'iffy' temperament in the wolfdog.

 

“Large dogs cause more serious or deadly damage than a small dog because the jaw is bigger…..”  This statement may be a bit oversimplified.  While the vast majority of bites would be far deadlier when imposed by a large or even a medium dog, a bite by a small dog in a crucial area, such as the jugular or other vein/artery, would obviously have serious and perhaps fatal consequences.

The thing to remember is that the greater proportion of bites do occur with children for a variety of reasons: children, as members of the 'pack', are lesser members who can be challenged for superiority; children have a tendency to cry or scream invoking prey drives for the weak; children are quick moving and flail with arms and legs, again invoking prey drives; children don't always behave appropriately (kindly) toward animals, etc.

 

Unfortunately, the other statistics I have read indicates that the face is the primary attack zone. An obsolete nightmare location for a bite because of the close proximity of vessels, the eye area, fragile ears, neck, etc., in addition to being very visible to scars and causing post traumatic stress disorder.

Obviously the higher the inherent prey drive, the higher the danger level.  One of the very arguments used to try to vindicate wolfdogs really further strengthens the argument against breeding wolves and dogs or wolfdogs: 
“Wolves are timid, afraid of people, for the most part.”    Joy Tiz, MS, JD, author of I Love My Dog But…. has this to say about timid dogs:  Weak dogs are unpredictable.  Combine weak nerves with a high defense drive and low threshold and you have a genuinely dangerous dog.  Who knows what is going to set the dog off?  Owners are always stunned when their dogs show fear aggression.  They find all sorts of excuses for it, they especially like to define it as “protection”.  Her articles on temperament can be found in the Behavior section.

 

“Northern Inuits are a new breed created to ‘look like’ wolves….every breed is a mongrel breed since they all used established breeds to create the new breeds….”  Northern Inuits according to the Inuit Sled Dog International are not a breed of dog, but rather a misnomer. According to the editor-in-chief, admittedly a very ballastic statement, in reference to Northern Inuit: "As co-founder of the Inuit Sled Dog International, I am disgusted that the name of the domestic breed of dog with which I am associated has been bastardized into the label for this phony, pseudo-breed. The Inuit Dog is tough enough in its own right but doesn't need to be mistakenly confused with the lousy reputation that wolf hybrids a.k.a. "Northern Inuits" deservedly own, especially when, to the lay person (or possibly the victim) they may look alike. I am equally irritated by the name, which is grammatically incorrect. The pleural form of Inuk is Inuit (not Inuits) and both words refer to human beings. The common names for Canis familiaris borealis are Inuit Sled Dog, Inuit Dog, ISD, CISD, GISD and maybe/hopefully there is an R(Russian)ISD."

The World of Northern Breed Dogs lists a wide range of northern breeds, including the Inuit Dog, but does not list a Northern Inuit Dog.  Sled Dog Central lists an Inuit Sled Dog when a search is done for "Northern Inuit Dogs".  I also found Canadian Inuit Dogs and Greenland Inuit Dogs, but no Northern Inuit Dogs. As I understand it, Inuit is a term that refers to the human, similar to Eskimo Dog, etc.


Doing a search on North Inuit Dogs, I came across an interesting article in
Official Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog International wherein their official stance is that "Northern Inuit Dog" is "ISDI enthusiasts in both Europe and North America have received a number of inquiries from the United Kingdom regarding "Northern Inuits". Questions are coming from owners, would-be owners, barristers defending client owners and even a veterinarian who wanted to know why her prospective client owner insisted that his "Northern Inuit" receive only a half-dose rabies vaccine. On one hand I am glad that the ISDI has developed a visibility to the point where we are sought out to answer, as best we can, these questions. On the other hand, I am as upset as ever that some monosynaptic buffoon coined this term, a deception which has caused much confusion.

The ISDI's position is that the name "Northern Inuits" is deliberately misleading, an effort to feign legitimacy, a cover up to disguise the genetic identity of hybrid canids: dogs bred with wolves or other wolf hybrids. That this was deemed necessary by the miscreant who did it leads to the conclusion that this "mastermind" acknowledged both negative public opinion as well as the reality of wolf hybrids posing a real danger to humans.


My views on cross-breeding without great forethought, a stated goal, a registry, etc. is well-known and documented.  Briefly, the difference between every dog breed being a 'mongrel' and being an established breed doesn't take a lot of thinking. An established breed has been in existence for a significant period of time, has a written standard, has a stated objective and goal, a registry, and a like-minded group of people supporting the breeding and establishment of the breed. A 'mongrel' is simply willy-nilly mating, planned or unplanned, of two disparate dogs.   

Just as a matter of point, I don't have a problem with the breed, IF indeed it is a breed and meets the above criteria.

 

“Is the Northern Inuit a Wolfdog or a Wolf-look-alike?”  The information that I have read said that they are bred to look like wolves. But then the Inuit Sled Dog group doesn't recognize them as a breed and calls them wolf-hybrids. The only website that I found that had Northern Inuit Dogs on them was one from the UK and some other dog websites that referred back to them.  I did find a very obtuse 'standard' on that particular UK website, but no registry, group of members, organization, projected goal, history, etc.

Postscript: I did receive an email from an individual who stated that they had a standard which had been Kennel Club approved, a registry, a stated goal, etc. However, when I contacted the Kennel Club and spoke to one of their representatives I was told that while they had heard of the dogs, there was no approved standard and they were not recognized. I have since emailed the individual who emailed me and asked for further information, but have not received it.

 

“Millions of wolves are destroyed each year in the US because of prejudices and myths…..”  This statement is totally without foundation and, in fact, many States are setting aside areas for the wolves to be able to remain part of the ecological system. In fact, there were many, many wolves transported to Yellowstone Park for re-introduction into that area. Isle Royale in Michigan is an island that has a great many wolves.
 
Those States in the US that have what could be deemed "anti-wolf/anti-hybrid" legislation are primarily Western States where there is a good deal of open range cattle herds. It is not unsurprising that these states would be concerned with any type of animal that jeopardizes the main product and livelihood of that State. Concerned individuals though, including many of what you call the 'powerful' people are also very active in establishing safe havens for these animals away from the cattle herds in areas where they can hunt other wildlife. Yellowstone National Park is one example. It might surprise you that not only the wolf, but also the dog, comes under the deer act in Michigan, whereby any animal "running" deer can be shot on sight. So, what could be perceived by wolf advocates as a 'witch' hunt on wolves actually applies to other animals to safeguard the deer herds. I don't believe it is an actual "loathing" as you stated, but more an attempt to product the property of its citizens.

“I still want a wolfdog and don’t feel a need to validate my choice….”  I don’t believe that most people will be childish in their response to another’s desire for a wolfdog; I do, however, believe that people are rightfully concerned, considering the number of animals in rescue whether they be monkeys, foxes, wolves, wolf-hybrids, great danes, or any other creature that was purchased without fully thinking the matter through.  People deciding on a wolfdog hopefully will have done their homework and will be responsible enough to handle the situation.  Issues to consider:  Are you aware that the experts state that no wolf or wolf-hybrid should ever be trusted with children? Nor should they be allowed out of a secure compound where they are neither caged nor on a chain? That their hunt instinct will always be highly evolved and place other small animals, children and possibly humans at risk?

 

I don't agree with any animal being chained in a backyard. But then you also have to consider what alternatives you have for containment. Are you prepared to put up ten foot fences with tops to prevent the wolf/wolf-hybrid from climbing out? As I noted previously, wolves have been known to climb. What about exercise? Is this animal doomed to a life behind walls, never to know the joy of free running through a park, the woods? Yes, I know there are dogs out there that cannot be run freely and I feel just as badly for them, though in truth more for the wolf/wolf-hybrid because it is not a domesticated animal and is at heart a wild creature.

I have a great deal of respect for these beautiful animals and because of that respect I am really saddened to see people try to make them into pets and lessen the quality of their lives. I would much rather see more sanctuaries such as Wolf Park established and areas where the wolves can live freely and naturally. It's interesting to note that even in Wolf Park where they have years of expertise that wolves and hybrids revert back to their wild instincts at some time during their lifetime. Wolves that were loving and playful change over a period of time and become much less docile.

“Wolves are discriminated against; there is a conspiracy to not permit wolves and wolfdogs to be vaccinated against rabies in an effort to kill off the species….”  I've written to the experts on the rabies vaccine, primarily because I know for a fact that my vet in the States had vaccinated a hybrid. I really don't see a 'conspiracy' to allow animals to get rabies in order to kill off the species. There are far easier ways to do so than to jeopardize the health of squirrels, foxes, bears, and humans too. I have received an answer from Monty Sloan of Wolf Park: 

 

Actually, most vets who treat wolfdogs, will vaccinate wolves and wolfdog hybrids.  Although some vets chose to not accept wolf hybrids at all in their clinic, those who will, generally will vaccinate.  Only a few states chose to recommend against vaccinations and in Texas they did ban veterinarians from vaccinating wolfdog hybrids against rabies, but then some years ago, there was a rabies epidemic in the wild coyote population and the state not only repealed this law, but sent a memo to all vets to get any wolfdogs they knew of vaccinated at once. 

Although all evidence points to the vaccine working, and the USDA came close to adding wolves to the label, from what I heard they decided to not add wolves and wolfdog hybrids because that would undermine several statewide bans on the ownership of these animals.  Laws which are based on the lack of approval for the vaccine so yes, this is being used as a political issue to restrict and ban ownership in some areas.”
 

 

Therefore, it is clearly indicated that the conspiracy, if one chooses to call it such, is in the arena of banning the wolfdog through inability to be vaccinated for rabies, rather than in a perverse desire to perpetuate rabies in an effort to eradicate wolves and wolfdogs.  Mr. Sloan went on to state that “Most people I know with wolfdogs have them listed as malamute mix or some other dog on the vet records to get around this dilemma.”


Frankly, I'd love to have a wolf, a fox, a polar bear, a kangaroo, a koala, a monkey, a seal, a dolphin, an otter, and a lion. But I know that these are not pets and are instead beautiful creatures of nature that we should spend money safeguarding both their existence and their habitats so that they can live a full life instead of one of muzzles, compounds, lack of other animals such as themselves, and caution. I exercise my love of these creatures by ‘adopting’ them through the various sanctuaries and providing for their upkeep or further efforts to keep them safe.  Wolves are not domesticated creatures and as such should be respected and revered for being what they are instead of us trying to fit them into a niche to fit our own selfish interests.

 

“Why aren’t people adverse to the Sarloos and Kugsha Dog, both of which were bred from wolves?”  To answer that question: Sarloos were first crossed with wolves back in 1955 with a very set breeding plan and were recognized as a national breed of Czechoslavkia in 1982.  It was recognized as a breed of its own in 1972, seventeen years after the first crossing of a German Shepherd with a wolf by Leendert Sarloos who died six years before the dog was recognized. It is not considered a wolf-hybrid, but is a distinctive breed after 47 years of selective, careful breeding.

The
Kugsha Dog is also described as being a a result of the immersion of three distinct bloodlines for the purpose of producing the finest quality weight-pulling and freighting breed that is still a companionable animal suited for families with experience in large northern breeds, as well as being said to be a primitive northern breed of dogs. My understanding of these dogs is that the three lines were bred in the 1980's, again over 20 years of selective breeding.

Further, both breeds of dogs have a registry, a breed standard, set goals, etc. In my mind's eye, they are domesticated animals, unlike the wolf-hybrid or wolf.  Perhaps someday the Northern Inuit will meet the task and fulfil the necessary criteria for me to consider it an established breed.  Until then I have to question motives of those who breed wolfdogs and those who are ‘trying to establish’ some of these other breeds. 

 

“Why do you believe that the wolfdog should not exist as a companion?”  I don't believe that no person should have a wolfdog. What I DO believe is that people should look realistically and rationally at why they actually want or think they need a wolfdog. Most of the rescue sites will no longer take these animals from individuals because they are overloaded.

 

One of the saddest statistic that I have read was that the majority exotic animals, in which they included the hybrid, were dead before the age of three. To me that is a shame.  It was also sobering to read on one of the sites that anyone who represented a wolfdog as making a great family pet and safe with children was misrepresenting the wolfdog and doing them a grave disservice.


I applaud those people who are concerned enough to discuss the ramifications in an intelligent manner. I welcome constructive comments.

 

NOTE:  An invitation to the Wolf UK group to participate in these series of articles by submitting their views was extended and to-date has gone unanswered.

 

Copyright  2002 Sierra Milton.  sierra.milton@ntlworld.com All rights reserved. However, you are encouraged to copy and distribute this article for non-commercial use with the following restrictions: You may not modify the article in any way. You must include the entire article including the copyright notice. You may not charge any fee for use, copying, nor distribution of the product with the following exceptions: Non-profit organizations may charge a nominal fee (not to exceed $5.00) until and unless notified by the author this is not the case.

 

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