Should You Adopt a German Shepherd Wolf Mix? Read Before Buying

German Shepherd Wolf Mixes are popular wolf dogs. As the name indicates, a wolf dog is a hybrid resulting from the cross breeding of a domestic dog and a wolf. These breeds cannot be considered purebreds and are usually referred to as mutts. While wolf dogs can be trained to become beautiful, affectionate and loving companions, they are not the perfect choice of pet for average dog owners.

Keep in mind that such breeds are illegal to own in several areas, hence if you were to lose your dog and he ended up at a local shelter, chances are you might not get your furry friend back. Here’s everything you need to know about the breed if you are considering adoption:

German Shepherd Wolf Mix

Appearance

Wolf dogs have sensitive dispositions and remarkable hearing abilities. The German Shepherd Wolf Mix is usually tall and has a dense coat. The coat of the wolf hybrid can be found in a variety of colors, ranging from grizzled sable to white or black phased. The average wolf dog weighs from 60 to 120 pounds, depending on age, diet and genetics. This breed has beautiful sharp eyes that do not miss anything.

Breeding History

The German shepherd is a relatively new breed and only came to existence in 1899. A captain in Germany, named Captain Max von Stephanitz, can be credited for creating this dog breed. Stephanitz wished for a dog that would be unmatched as a herding dog and thus began experimenting with dog breeding.

Later one day in 1899, a wolf-like dog caught his attention and he immediately purchased the dog and worked out to learn more about the dog’s descendants. Later, the dog and his progeny were used to create the German shepherd breed. Years after, the German shepherd was later crossbred with wolves to create the German Shepherd Wolf mix.

Temperament

As with any breed, the temperament and disposition will vary according to the ancestry.  When adopting a German Shepherd Wolf Mix, it is imperative you learn more about the breeds that were used in the cross. Overall, the German Shepherd Wolf Mix can grow up to be friendly breeds that adapt well to playtime. With time, the dog is likely to become attached to the owner and with other pets residing in the same house. However, because of their strong prey drive, it is best you keep your dog away from small pets, such as rabbits, hamsters and cats.

Wolf hybrids can be quite jumpy and generally do not respond well to inanimate objects, loud noises, new people and fast motion. Though the breed is quite intelligent, training can be a difficult task and requires patience and persistence. Up until the dog is a puppy, he will not display any wolf-like characteristics but as the dog grows older, you might notice a change in behavior. As the dog approaches their post-adolescent stage, their hormonal system begins to experience changes with the onset of maturity, resulting in the display of more typical wolf breed behavior and temperament.

These large energetic dogs tend to get destructive. Leaving your dog unsupervised for several hours may cause him to get into mischief. In some cases, your dog may exhibit consistent wolf like characteristics. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do as the dog will remain destructive, aloof and fearful, no matter how much time you spend on training. Another major concern regarding wolf dogs is whether they can be trusted or not.

Living Conditions

Due to their wolf-life tendencies, the German Shepherd Wolf Mix is not a great choice for families that have small children and pets, such as hamsters, rabbits and cats. Caring for a wolf dog can get expensive as you will need to ensure your backyard has a fence. A bored animal is likely to get destructive, hence the fences should be secure enough to prevent the dog from running away. Large dog breeds can easily clear a 6-foot fence without much effort so be prepared to spend time and money on building a proper containment while modifying the fence.

A large fenced enclosure (non-electric) is the ideal place for you to set your pet free to roam around and play. The enclosure must contain a double gate and must have enough vegetation to provide the animal with shade. However, there must be no trees and bushes as the dog can easily climb up and escape in no time. Wolf dogs are social animals and tend to get bored easily, hence consider adopting another canine companion to give your pet some company. It is recommended to put both the dogs on opposite sides of the fence until they become accustomed to each other.

Feeding

Do not feed your wolf dog traditional store-bought dog food that is rich in carbohydrates and artificial preservatives. Instead, they require a diet that is rich in protein. Wolf dogs are particularly fond of bisons and elks but since ingredients are difficult to find, you might as well make do with raw chicken, turkey and beef. You may feed your dog uncooked bones. Raw and whole bones are an excellent source of calcium and other vitamins and minerals that will keep your dog healthy. Keep in mind that your dog must have access to vegetation and fresh grass to aid digestion.

With Children

Many pet owners are afraid of adopting a wolf dog due to the number of child deaths caused by the breed. Under no circumstances should you leave your child unsupervised with a German Shepherd Wolf Mix. Younger children do not usually understand what it means to be gentle and may inflict pain on the animal without meaning to do so. This might cause the dog to revert back to his wolf-like tendencies to protect himself.

Exercise

As mentioned above, the German Shepherd Wolf Mix is an energetic dog breed which is why they require 1 to 2 hours of exercise every day to stay mentally and physically fit. Depending on the age and genetics of your dog, devote an hour or two for long walks. It is also recommended that you allow your pet to roam around in fenced backyard where they are free to explore and play.

Training

Training a wolf dog takes consistency and patience. Take your dog out to outdoor areas where they can roam around while training. Before you begin the training process, it is imperative you become familiar with your dog’s psychology and have a good idea of what your dog generally likes and dislikes. Wolf breeds are not for the weak-minded as dog owners must have considerable knowledge in establishing the Alpha Position and maintaining it.

This is why this breed is not recommended for average pet owners. Although, the German Shepherd Wolf Mix can be successfully trained, it is important to consider that their wolf instincts might kick in at any time. Keep the training sessions short and if your dog appears tired, it is best you call it a day. Keep in mind that if at any given time the dog decides not to comply by your rules, he may attempt to reassert dominance. This is why the pet owner must be well versed in dog psychology so that the dog knows that you are the boss.

Also See: A Beginner’s Guide to Husky Golden Retriever Mix (with PICTURES)

Grooming

German Sheperds and wolves both are heavy shedders by nature. The German Sheppard Wolf Mix has a thick coat to keep them warm during the winters. The coat is likely to shed during the spring. Invest in a rake style brush to groom your pet a couple of times a week. Pay special care to the area closer to the eye or on the hair behind the ear as these areas are likely to become tangled.

Health Problems

In general, wolf dogs are exceptionally healthy animals and are not prone to common genetic health problem, like most dog breeds. However, without proper care, your German Shepherd Wolf Mix can be susceptible to common canine ailments, such as ticks, fleas and heartworms, including common canine diseases, such as rabies, parvovirus, etc. Ensure that your dog has been vaccinated against such ailments and be sure to take the dog to the local clinics before the adoption.

Conclusion

Caring for a German Shepherd Wolf Mix is certainly not an easy task but these lovable companions are certainly worth the trouble. Before adopting a new pet, think carefully about the commitment you are about to make. While these dogs are a lot of fun, they have special exercise needs and must be kept in a safe, fenced enclosure to prevent them from escaping and causing damage to others.

Do not adopt the breed if you have young children or have a busy job that requires you to stay away from home for extended time periods. Training the dog might not be an easy task, hence be consistent and patient. The German Shepherd Wolf Mix is only a good choice as a pet if you are up for the challenge.

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