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Wolfdog

Wolfdog

Overview

A wolfdog is a canid hybrid
Canid hybrid
Canid hybrids are the result of interbreeding between different species of the canine family -Genetic considerations:Members of the dog genus Canis: wolves, dogs , coyotes, and golden jackals cannot interbreed with members of the wider dog family: the Canidae, such as South American canids, foxes,...

 resulting from the mating
Mating
In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation. In social animals, it also includes the raising of their offspring. Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization...

 of a wolf
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 (various Canis lupus subspecies) and a dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

 (Canis lupus familiaris). The term "wolfdog" is preferred by most of the animals' proponents and breeders because the domestic dog recently was taxonomically recategorized as a subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 of wolf. The American Veterinary Medical Association
American Veterinary Medical Association
The American Veterinary Medical Association , founded in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 81,500 U.S. veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services....

 and the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 refer to the animals as wolf–dog hybrids. Rescue organizations consider any dog with wolf heritage within the last five generations to be a wolfdog, including some established wolfdog breeds.

In 1998, the USDA estimated an approximate population of 300,000 wolfdogs in the United States (the highest of any country world-wide), with some other sources giving a population possibly as high as 500,000.
In first generation hybrids, gray wolves
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 are most often crossed with wolf-like dogs (such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies
Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family...

, and Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a generally large breed of domestic dog originally bred for use as a utilitarian dog and later an Alaskan sled dog. They are sometimes mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but in fact are quite different in many ways...

s) for an appearance most appealing to owners desiring to own an exotic pet
Exotic pet
An exotic pet is a rare or unusual animal pet, or an animal kept as a pet which is not commonly thought of as a pet.The definition is an evolving one; some rodents, reptiles, and amphibians have become firmly enough established in the world of animal fancy to no longer be considered exotic...

.
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A wolfdog is a canid hybrid
Canid hybrid
Canid hybrids are the result of interbreeding between different species of the canine family -Genetic considerations:Members of the dog genus Canis: wolves, dogs , coyotes, and golden jackals cannot interbreed with members of the wider dog family: the Canidae, such as South American canids, foxes,...

 resulting from the mating
Mating
In biology, mating is the pairing of opposite-sex or hermaphroditic organisms for copulation. In social animals, it also includes the raising of their offspring. Copulation is the union of the sex organs of two sexually reproducing animals for insemination and subsequent internal fertilization...

 of a wolf
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 (various Canis lupus subspecies) and a dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

 (Canis lupus familiaris). The term "wolfdog" is preferred by most of the animals' proponents and breeders because the domestic dog recently was taxonomically recategorized as a subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 of wolf. The American Veterinary Medical Association
American Veterinary Medical Association
The American Veterinary Medical Association , founded in 1863, is a not-for-profit association representing more than 81,500 U.S. veterinarians working in private and corporate practice, government, industry, academia, and uniformed services....

 and the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

 refer to the animals as wolf–dog hybrids. Rescue organizations consider any dog with wolf heritage within the last five generations to be a wolfdog, including some established wolfdog breeds.

In 1998, the USDA estimated an approximate population of 300,000 wolfdogs in the United States (the highest of any country world-wide), with some other sources giving a population possibly as high as 500,000.
In first generation hybrids, gray wolves
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

 are most often crossed with wolf-like dogs (such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies
Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family...

, and Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a generally large breed of domestic dog originally bred for use as a utilitarian dog and later an Alaskan sled dog. They are sometimes mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but in fact are quite different in many ways...

s) for an appearance most appealing to owners desiring to own an exotic pet
Exotic pet
An exotic pet is a rare or unusual animal pet, or an animal kept as a pet which is not commonly thought of as a pet.The definition is an evolving one; some rodents, reptiles, and amphibians have become firmly enough established in the world of animal fancy to no longer be considered exotic...

. Because wolfdogs are genetic mixtures of wolves and dogs, their physical and behavioral characteristics cannot be predicted with any certainty.

North American mammoth hunting wolfdogs



Evidence for prehistoric domesticated wolfdogs in the Americas dates back at least 10,000 years while fossil evidence in Europe points to their use in hunting mammoth
Mammoth
A mammoth is any species of the extinct genus Mammuthus. These proboscideans are members of Elephantidae, the family of elephants and mammoths, and close relatives of modern elephants. They were often equipped with long curved tusks and, in northern species, a covering of long hair...

s.

Teotihuacan wolfdogs


In 2010, experts announced that they had found the remains of many wolf-dogs that had been kept by the warrior class of the Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan
Teotihuacan – also written Teotihuacán, with a Spanish orthographic accent on the last syllable – is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, just 30 miles northeast of Mexico City, containing some of the largest pyramidal structures built in the pre-Columbian Americas...

 civilization in Mexico's central valley about two thousands years ago, and that, in light of this evidence, the animal commonly found depicted in the art of that culture and which had been thought to be a strange dog or coyote were likely instead wolf-dogs.

British wolfdogs


The first record of wolfdog breeding in Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 comes from the year 1766 when what is thought was a male wolf had mated with a Pomeranian
Pomeranian (dog)
The Pomeranian is a breed of dog of the Spitz type, named for the Pomerania region in Central Europe . Classed as a toy dog breed because of its small size, the Pomeranian is descended from the larger Spitz type dogs, specifically the German Spitz...

, which resulted in a litter of nine pups. Wolfdogs were occasionally purchased by English noblemen, who viewed them as a scientific curiosity. Wolfdogs were popular exhibits in British menageries and zoos.

Documented Breeding


The first documented intentionally-bred wolfdog, the Saarlooswolfhond
Saarlooswolfhond
The Saarlooswolfhond is an established breed of wolf-dog hybrid.-History:In 1921, Dutch breeder Leendert Saarloos started crossbreeding a German Shepherd Dog male to a female Mackenzie Valley Wolf...

, did not begin until the 1920s. Later efforts include hybrids were used as experimental attack dog
Attack dog
An attack dog is any dog bred, trained or used for the purpose of attacking a target either on command or on sight. Attack dogs have been used often throughout history and are now employed in dog fighting, as well as police and military roles.- History :...

s in South Africa under apartheid. These wolfdogs were bred from German Shepherds and wolves from the Urals. The first of these hybrids was a male born in 1978 named Jungle, who remained in service until 1989.

New World Black Wolves


Genetic research from the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, Los Angeles revealed that wolves with black pelts
Black wolf (animal)
A black wolf is a melanistic color variant of the grey wolf . Black specimens are recorded among red wolves , but these color variants are probably extinct...

 owe their distinctive coloration to a mutation that first arose in domestic dogs.

Random-bred Wolfdogs


Cases of accidental breeding of wolfdogs are known (though this is very rare), where a domestic dog female on oestrus strays and is mated by a male wild wolf.

Breed-specific legislation


The wolfdog hybrid has been the center of much controversy for much of its history, and most breed-specific legislation
Breed-specific legislation
Breed-specific legislation is a law or ordinance passed by a legislative body pertaining to a specific breed or breeds of domesticated animals. In practice, it generally refers to laws or ordinances pertaining to a specific dog breed or breeds....

 is either the result of the animal's perceived danger or a categorization as protected native wildlife. The Humane Society of the United States
Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States , based in Washington, D.C., is the largest animal advocacy organization in the world. In 2009, HSUS reported assets of over US$160 million....

, the RSPCA, Ottawa Humane Society
Ottawa Humane Society
The Ottawa Humane Society is the humane society for Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.-Background:The Ottawa Humane Society is a non-profit organization, community-based organization and a registered charitable organization, Charity Registration Number: # 123264715 RR0001...

, the Dogs Trust
Dogs Trust
Dogs Trust, formerly known as the National Canine Defence League, is an animal welfare charity and humane society in the United Kingdom which specialises in the wellbeing of dogs. The charity rehabilitates and finds new homes for dogs which have been abandoned or given up by their owners...

 and the Wolf Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission
IUCN Species Survival Commission
The IUCN Species Survival Commission is a special commission operated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The commission's "major role is to provide information to IUCN on biodiversity conservation, the inherent value of species, their role in ecosystem health and functioning,...

 consider wolfdogs to be wild animals and therefore unsuitable as pets, and support an international ban on the private possession, breeding and sales of wolfdogs.

According to the National Wolfdog Alliance, 40 U.S. states effectively forbid the ownership, breeding and importation of wolfdogs, while others impose some form of regulation upon ownership. In Canada, Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland, and Prince Edward Island prohibit wolfdogs as pets. Most European nations either outlaw the animal entirely or put restrictions on ownership. Wolfdogs were among the breeds banned from the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Pendleton and elsewhere after a fatal dog attack by a pit bull on a child.

Wolfdogs in the wild


Hybridization in the wild usually occurs near human habitations where wolf density is low and dogs are common. However, there were several reported cases of wolfdogs in areas with normal wolf densities in the former Soviet Union. Wild wolfdogs were occasionally hunted by European aristocracy, and were termed lycisca to distinguish them from common wolves. Noted historic cases (such as the Beast of Gévaudan
Beast of Gévaudan
The Beast of Gévaudan is a name given to man-eating wolf-like animals alleged to have terrorized the former province of Gévaudan , in the Margeride Mountains in south-central France from 1764 to 1767 over an area stretching . The beasts were consistently described by eyewitnesses as having...

) of large wolves that were abnormally aggressive toward humans, may be attributable to wolf-dog mating. In Europe, unintentional matings of dogs and wild wolves have been confirmed in some populations through genetic testing. As the survival of some Continental European wolf packs is severely threatened, scientists fear that the creation of wolfdog populations in the wild is a threat to the continued existence of European wolf populations. However, extensive wolf–dog hybridization is not supported by morphological evidence, and analyses of mtDNA sequences have revealed that such matings are rare. However, since mtDNA is mainly maternally inherited and most cases of hybridization in the wild seem to occur between a female wolf and a male domestic dog, these results may not be reliable. In 1997, during the Mexican Wolf Arizona Reintroduction, controversy arose when a captive pack at Carlsbad
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a United States National Park in the Guadalupe Mountains in southeastern New Mexico. The primary attraction of the park for most visitors is the show cave, Carlsbad Caverns...

 designated for release was found to be largely composed of wolfdogs by Roy McBride, who had captured many wolves for the recovery programme in the 1970s. Though staff initially argued that the animals' odd appearance was due to captivity and diet, it was later decided to euthanise them.

Description


The physical characteristics of an animal created by breeding a wolf to a dog are not predictable, similar to that of mixed-breed dogs. Genetic research shows that wolf and dog populations initially diverged approximately 14,000 years ago and have interbred only occasionally since; thus imbuing the dissimilarity between dogs and wolves in behavior and appearance. In many cases the resulting adult wolfdog may be larger than either of its parents due to the genetic phenomenon of heterosis
Heterosis
Heterosis, or hybrid vigor, or outbreeding enhancement, is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring. The adjective derived from heterosis is heterotic....

 (commonly known as hybrid vigor). Breeding experiments in Germany with poodle
Poodle
The Poodle is a breed of dog. The poodle breed is found officially in toy, miniature, and standard sizes, with many coat colors. Originally bred as a type of water dog, the poodle is highly intelligent and skillful in many dog sports, including agility, obedience, tracking, and even herding...

s and wolves, and later on with the resulting wolfdogs showed unrestricted fertility, mating via free choice and no significant problems of communication (even after a few generations). The offspring of poodles with either coyote
Coyote
The coyote , also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada...

s and jackal
Jackal
Although the word jackal has been historically used to refer to many small- to medium-sized species of the wolf genus of mammals, Canis, today it most properly and commonly refers to three species: the black-backed jackal and the side-striped jackal of sub-Saharan Africa, and the golden jackal of...

s however all showed a decrease in fertility, significant communication problems as well as an increase of genetic diseases after three generations of interbreeding between the hybrids. The researchers therefore concluded that domestic dogs and wolves are the same species.

Hybrids display a wide variety of appearances, ranging from a resemblance to dogs without wolf blood to animals that are often mistaken for full-blooded wolves. A lengthy study by DEFRA and the RSPCA found several examples of misrepresentation by breeders and indeterminate levels of actual wolf pedigree in many animals sold as wolfdogs. The report noted that uneducated citizens misidentify dogs with wolf-like appearance as wolfdogs. Wolfdogs tend to have somewhat smaller heads than pure wolves, with larger, pointier ears which lack the dense fur commonly seen in those of wolves. Fur markings also tend to be very distinctive and not well blended. Black coloured hybrids tend to retain black pigment longer as they age, compared to black wolves. In some cases, the presence of dewclaw
Dewclaw
A dewclaw is a vestigial digit on the foot of many mammals, birds, and reptiles . It commonly grows high on the leg so that in digitigrade species, when the animal is standing, it does not make contact with the ground...

s on the hind feet is considered a useful, but not absolute indicator of dog gene contamination in wild wolves. Dewclaws are the vestigial first toes, which are common on the hind legs of domestic dogs but thought absent from pure wolves, which only have four hind toes. Observations on wild wolf hybrids in the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 indicate that wolf hybrids in a wild state may form larger packs than pure wolves, and have greater endurance when chasing prey. High content hybrids typically have longer canine teeth than dogs of comparable size, with some officers in the South African Defence Force
South African Defence Force
The South African Defence Force was the South African armed forces from 1957 until 1994. The former Union Defence Force was renamed to the South African Defence Force in the Defence Act of 1957...

 commenting that the animals are capable of biting through the toughest padding "like a knife through butter". Their sense of smell apparently rivals that of most established scenthounds. Tests undertaken in the Perm Institute of Interior Forces in Russia demonstrated that high content hybrids took 15–20 seconds to track down a target in training sessions, whereas ordinary police dogs took 3–4 minutes.

Health


Wolf-dog hybrids are generally said to be naturally healthy animals, and are affected by fewer inherited diseases than most breeds of dog. Wolfdogs are usually healthier than either parent due to heterosis
Heterosis
Heterosis, or hybrid vigor, or outbreeding enhancement, is the improved or increased function of any biological quality in a hybrid offspring. The adjective derived from heterosis is heterotic....

. Some of the established breeds of wolfdog that exist today were bred specifically to improve the health and vigor of working dogs.

There is some controversy over the effectiveness of the standard dog/cat rabies
Rabies
Rabies is a viral disease that causes acute encephalitis in warm-blooded animals. It is zoonotic , most commonly by a bite from an infected animal. For a human, rabies is almost invariably fatal if post-exposure prophylaxis is not administered prior to the onset of severe symptoms...

 vaccine on a wolfdog. The USDA has not to date approved any rabies vaccine for use in wolf-dog hybrids, though they do recommend an extra-label use of the vaccine. Wolfdog owners and breeders purport that the lack of official approval is a political move to prevent condoning wolfdog ownership.

Temperament and behavior


Wolf-dog hybrids are a mixture of genetic traits, which results in less predictable behavior patterns compared to either the wolf or dog. This is not to say that the behavior of any specific hybrid is erratic. It would, however, be unlikely that someone unfamiliar with an individual animal would be able to predict that animal's behavior with reasonable certainty. The adult behavior of hybrid pups also cannot be predicted with comparable certainty to dog pups, even in third-generation pups produced by wolfdog matings with dogs or from the behavior of the parent animals. Thus, though the behavior of a single individual wolf hybrid may be predictable, the behavior of the type as a whole is not. The majority of high wolf-content hybrids are very curious and are generally more destructive than dogs.

Aggression


According to the CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are a United States federal agency under the Department of Health and Human Services headquartered in Druid Hills, unincorporated DeKalb County, Georgia, in Greater Atlanta...

 and the Humane Society of the United States
Humane Society of the United States
The Humane Society of the United States , based in Washington, D.C., is the largest animal advocacy organization in the world. In 2009, HSUS reported assets of over US$160 million....

, the wolfdog ranks sixth in the number of dog attack fatalities in the U.S., with 14 hybrid-related fatalities between 1979 and 1998 in the United States. In 2000, DEFRA and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals released a lengthy study that attributed much of the reported aggressiveness of wolfdogs to the characteristics of the breeds of dogs with which the wolves are bred. With both wolves' and dogs' social habits revolving around a pack
Pack (canine)
Pack is a social group of conspecific canids. Not all species of canids - notably the red fox - form packs. Pack size and social behaviour within packs varies across species.-Species which exhibit pack behavior:...

 structure, some wolfdogs may not show the dog's natural acceptance of humans as the dominant pack members, possibly resulting in physical confrontations.

Some purport that attacks may not even be caused by typical behavior patterns of aggression and dominance present in either parent species, but instead may be related to predatory instincts
Predation
In ecology, predation describes a biological interaction where a predator feeds on its prey . Predators may or may not kill their prey prior to feeding on them, but the act of predation always results in the death of its prey and the eventual absorption of the prey's tissue through consumption...

, as the majority of attacks involve small children. Between 1981 and 1999, there were 38 severe attacks and 13 fatalities caused by wolf hybrids in North America, with all victims being children.

Although not all wolfdogs will be aggressive, as some have shown to be gentler and easier to handle than others, the probability of aggressive behavior from a hybrid varies from animal to animal, depending on whether or not the animal has a high prey drive
Prey drive
Prey drive is the instinctive inclination of a carnivore to pursue and capture prey.In dog training, prey drive can be used as an advantage because dogs with strong prey drive are also willing to pursue moving objects such as toys, which can then be used to encourage certain kinds of behavior, such...

, and peaks at the onset of sexual maturity, when the animal attempts to achieve dominance over other pack members. This aggression tends to peak during the winter months when hormones run high. Attacks may also be spurred by people becoming suddenly and conspicuously vulnerable due to either injury, disease or fear. Some half-hearted test attacks may be misinterpreted as play, and result in the owner failing to discourage such behavior. An officer in the South African Defence Force once commented that it was very difficult to dissuade wolf hybrids from pressing an assault once an attack was initiated.

Trainability


Most wolf and wolfdog rescue organizations maintain that wolfdogs retain many of the traits and requirements of their wild relatives and therefore may be inappropriate as domestic pets. The view that aggressive characteristics are inherently a part of wolfdog temperament has been contested in recent years by wolfdog breeders and other advocates of wolfdogs as pets. Proponents of wolfdogs as pets say that the animals are naturally timid and fearful of humans, but that with proper training and responsible ownership wolfdogs can become good companions. Even in cases of wolfdogs displaying consistently dog-like behavior, they still often retain some wolf-like behavior such as howling, digging, chewing up household items such as furniture, fences and, to varying degrees, display considerable difficulty in housebreaking
Housebreaking
Housebreaking is the process of training a domesticated animal that lives with its human owners in a house to excrete outdoors, or in a designated indoor area, rather than inside the house. The pet owner's desire is to break the habit of eliminating in the house, hence the term...

.

Feral


It is not uncommon for wolfdog hybrids to become feral
Feral
A feral organism is one that has changed from being domesticated to being wild or untamed. In the case of plants it is a movement from cultivated to uncultivated or controlled to volunteer. The introduction of feral animals or plants to their non-native regions, like any introduced species, may...

 and return to the wild. This can lead to major problems as the wolfdog is a cross between a wolf with their traits and a domestic dog. This has led to problems for the feral wolfdog and society.

Breeds


Today, at least seven breeds of dog exist which acknowledge a significant amount of recent wolf-dog hybridization in their creation. Four breeds were the result of intentional crosses with German Shepherd Dog
German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd Dog , also known as an Alsatian or just the German Shepherd, is a breed of large-sized dog that originated in Germany. The German Shepherd is a relatively new breed of dog, with its origin dating to 1899. As part of the Herding Group, the German Shepherd is a working dog...

s, and have distinguishing characteristics of appearance that may reflect the varying subspecies of wolf that contributed to their foundation stock. Other, more unusual crosses have occurred; recent experiments in Germany were conducted in the crossing of wolves and poodles. Another breed is the Wolamute, a cross between an Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a generally large breed of domestic dog originally bred for use as a utilitarian dog and later an Alaskan sled dog. They are sometimes mistaken for a Siberian Husky, but in fact are quite different in many ways...

 and a Timber Wolf
Gray Wolf
The gray wolf , also known as the wolf, is the largest extant wild member of the Canidae family...

. The intention in creating the breeds was manifold; ranging from the desire for a recognizable companion wolfdog, to military working dogs.
  • The eldest breed, the Saarlooswolfhond
    Saarlooswolfhond
    The Saarlooswolfhond is an established breed of wolf-dog hybrid.-History:In 1921, Dutch breeder Leendert Saarloos started crossbreeding a German Shepherd Dog male to a female Mackenzie Valley Wolf...

    , traces its origins to the efforts of a Dutch
    Netherlands
    The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

     breeder in 1921. This first attempt at sustained wolf-dog crossing was to improve Shepherd breeding stock and prevent canine distemper
    Canine distemper
    Canine distemper is a viral disease that affects animals in the families Canidae, Mustelidae, Mephitidae, Hyaenidae, Ailuridae, Procyonidae, Pinnipedia, some Viverridae and Felidae...

    . Though this effort failed, today the FCI
    Fédération Cynologique Internationale
    Fédération Cynologique Internationale is an international federation of kennel clubs based in Thuin, Belgium. The English language translation, World Canine Organisation, is not often used.Its goals are described in Article 2 of their regulations:...

     and the Dutch Kennel Club both recognize the breed.

  • In the 1950s the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
    Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
    The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is a relatively new breed of dog that traces its original lineage to an experiment conducted in 1955 in Czechoslovakia...

     was also created to work on border patrol in the countries now known as Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It is recognized by the Foundation Stock Service of the American Kennel Club AKC
    American Kennel Club
    The American Kennel Club is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. Beyond maintaining its pedigree registry, this kennel club also promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, an annual event which predates the official...

    , the United Kennel Club UKC
    United Kennel Club
    The United Kennel Club is the second oldest all-breed registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States and the second largest in the world. According to the website, the club records 250,000 registrations annually. The UKC is not part of the International Canine Organisation, Fédération...

    , and the FCI
    Fédération Cynologique Internationale
    Fédération Cynologique Internationale is an international federation of kennel clubs based in Thuin, Belgium. The English language translation, World Canine Organisation, is not often used.Its goals are described in Article 2 of their regulations:...

    , and today is used in agility, obedience, search and rescue, police work, therapy work, and herding in Europe and the United States.

  • The Lupo Italiano
    Lupo Italiano
    The Lupo Italiano was created in 1966 by crossing a wild she-wolf from Northern Lazio with a German shepherd dog.-Characteristics:Unlike most wolf-dog hybrids this canine displayed a propensity to be used as a working dog, and its breeding was taken over by the Italian Government...

     has also been accepted into the Italian
    Italy
    Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

     Kennel Club.

  • The Kunming Wolfdog is a Chinese wolf-dog hybrid bred for military purpose.

Popular culture

  • In the 1995 movie Balto
    Balto (film)
    Balto is a 1995 American animated comedy-drama film directed by Simon Wells and produced by Amblimation, and the first of the overall trilogy. The film is based on a true story about the dog of the same name who helped save children from the diphtheria epidemic in the 1925 serum run to Nome...

    , Balto (voiced by Kevin Bacon
    Kevin Bacon
    Kevin Norwood Bacon is an American film and theater actor whose notable roles include Animal House, Diner, Footloose, Flatliners, Wild Things, A Few Good Men, JFK, Apollo 13, Mystic River, The Woodsman, Trapped, Friday the 13th, Hollow Man, Tremors, Death Sentence, Frost/Nixon, Crazy, Stupid, Love....

    ), the main character, is a half-breed wolfdog. His mother was presumably a wolf, and his father a purebred Husky. However, the real Balto
    Balto
    Balto was a Siberian Husky sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nenana, Alaska, by train and then to Nome by dog sled to combat an outbreak of the disease. The run is commemorated by the...

     which the film is based on was not a wolf-dog hybrid but a pure Siberian Husky
    Siberian Husky
    The Siberian Husky is a medium-size, dense-coat working dog breed that originated in north-eastern Siberia. The breed belongs to the Spitz genetic family...

    . His daughter in the sequel was also a half-breed wolfdog and shared his characteristics.

  • In the book White Fang
    White Fang
    White Fang is a novel by American author Jack London. First serialized in Outing magazine, it was published in 1906. The story takes place in Yukon Territory, Canada, during the Klondike Gold Rush at the end of the 19th-century, and details a wild wolfdog's journey to domestication...

    by Jack London
    Jack London
    John Griffith "Jack" London was an American author, journalist, and social activist. He was a pioneer in the then-burgeoning world of commercial magazine fiction and was one of the first fiction writers to obtain worldwide celebrity and a large fortune from his fiction alone...

    , White Fang is a wolfdog. His father was a wolf, and his mother was a half-dog half-wolf, resulting in White Fang. White Fang was three quarters wolf, one quarter dog.

  • In the popular TV show True Blood
    True Blood
    True Blood is an American television series created and produced by Alan Ball. It is based on The Southern Vampire Mysteries series of novels by Charlaine Harris, detailing the co-existence of vampires and humans in Bon Temps, a fictional, small town in the state of Louisiana...

    , wolves and wolfdogs are used to portray the werewolves .

  • Dog trainer Cesar Millan
    Cesar Millan
    Cesar Millan, is a Mexican-born American dog trainer. A self-taught expert, he is widely known for his television series The Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, now in its seventh season and broadcast in more than eighty countries worldwide...

     had two wolf hybrids (Hyde & Vada) on his show Dog Whisperer
    Dog Whisperer
    Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan is a reality television series that features Cesar Millan's work with problem dogs. In the United States, the program airs exclusively on the Nat Geo WILD channel with season 8 expected to premiere in 2012....

    http://www.cesarsway.com/dogwhisperer/episode-archive/season-5-episode-6.

  • Actress Kristen Stewart
    Kristen Stewart
    Kristen Jaymes Stewart is an American actress. She is best known for playing Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga. She has also starred in films including Panic Room , Zathura , In the Land of Women , The Messengers , Adventureland and The Runaways .- Early life :Stewart was born and raised in Los...

     from Twilight
    Twilight (2008 film)
    Twilight is a 2008 American romantic vampire film based on Stephenie Meyer's popular novel of the same name. Directed by Catherine Hardwicke, the film stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. It is the first film in The Twilight Saga film series...

    owns two wolf dog hybrids, named Jack and Lily.

  • In the TV police comedy-drama Due South
    Due South
    Due South is a Canadian crime drama series with elements of comedy. The series was created by Paul Haggis, produced by Alliance Communications, and stars Paul Gross, David Marciano, and latterly Callum Keith Rennie...

     Constable Benton Fraser's companion is a deaf (but can read lips), white wolfdog called Diefenbaker.

  • Wolfdogs acted as enemies in the game Metal Gear Solid
    Metal Gear Solid
    is a videogame by Hideo Kojima. The game was developed by Konami Computer Entertainment Japan and first published by Konami in 1998 for the PlayStation video game console. It is the sequel to Kojimas early MSX2 computer games Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake...

    as well as its remake: Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
    Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes
    Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes is a stealth action video game developed by Silicon Knights and Konami that was published in for the Nintendo GameCube video game console...

    .

  • Kate Shugak, the main character of Dana Stabenow
    Dana Stabenow
    Dana Stabenow is an American author who has written science fiction, mystery, and suspense/thriller novels. Many of Stabenow's books are set in her home state of Alaska, where she was raised by her single mother who lived and worked on a fish tender in the Gulf of Alaska. Stabenow received a B.A...

    's Kate Shugak Mystery series owns a wolfdog, Mutt, who serves as her companion and guarddog.

  • The character Blue in the anime Wolf's Rain
    Wolf's Rain
    is an anime series created by writer and story editor Keiko Nobumoto and produced by Bones Studio. The series was directed by Tensai Okamura and featured character designs by Toshihiro Kawamoto with a soundtrack produced and arranged by Yoko Kanno. It focuses on the journey of four lone wolves...

     is a female dog who is part wolf.

Further reading

  • Living with Wolfdogs by Nicole Wilde
  • Wolfdogs A-Z: Behavior, Training & More by Nicole Wilde
  • The Wolf Hybrid by Dorothy Prendergast
  • Above Reproach: A Guide for Wolf Hybrid Owners by Dorothy Prendergast

See also


  • Black wolf
    Black wolf (animal)
    A black wolf is a melanistic color variant of the grey wolf . Black specimens are recorded among red wolves , but these color variants are probably extinct...

  • Coydog
    Coydog
    A coydog is the hybrid offspring of a male coyote and a female dog . Together they are genetically capable of producing fertile young. The dogote, a similar hybrid, is the result of breeding a male domestic dog with a female coyote...

  • Coywolf
    Coywolf
    The coywolf or eastern coyote is a canid hybrid having a mixture of genetic stock from western coyote and either the Gray wolf or the Red wolf . They come from a constantly evolving gene pool and are viewed by some scientists as an emerging species...

  • Interbreeding of dingoes with other domestic dogs
    Interbreeding of dingoes with other domestic dogs
    The interbreeding of dingoes with other domestic dogs is an ongoing process affecting the population of free ranging domestic dogs in Australia. The current population of free ranging domestic dogs in Australia is now probably higher than in the past...

  • Jackal-Dog Hybrid
    Jackal-Dog Hybrid
    A jackal–dog hybrid is a canid hybrid resulting from a mating between a dog and a golden jackal. Such crossbreeding apparently only occurs in captivity, as such matings in the wild have never been observed...

  • Wolves as pets and working animals
    Wolves as pets and working animals
    Wolves are sometimes kept as exotic pets, and in some rarer occasions, as working animals. Although closely related to dogs , wolves do not show the same tractability as dogs in living alongside humans, and generally, much more work is required in order to obtain the same amount of...


External links