Jan 142014
 

 

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I love wolves and wolfdogs, and have previously written several articles on this blog and elsewhere refuting the commonly asserted negatives: wolfdogs are not inherently dangerous, they can be very happy in captivity, they are not confused by their competing lineages, they can be effectively immunized, and in the right situations they can be wonderful pets. Wolfdogs are often extremely intelligent and tend to have a deep connection with their people.  They can be among the most beautiful of animals, and for those interested in improving as trainers they provide some of the best learning opportunities as their behaviors and responses tend to be very clear and direct.

Brit&ShayJan09031However, when people ask me about getting a wolfdog, in almost every case I attempt to dissuade them, and I IMG_5477wanted to share the reasons why:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a wolfdog as a pet! But in the vast majority of cases, there is a “better” breed of dog available.  For many hundreds of years, selective breeding has been “improving” upon the characteristics of our canine companions, and for the most part has been hugely successful.  Dogs without immediate wolf heritage are generally easier to live with, more tractable, more trainable, less fearful, less destructive, easier to contain, less protective of resources, and in many other ways more adapted to normal human lifestyles. With hard work and commitment, you can accomplish many things with a wolfdog, but with the same amount of work you will generally get considerably further with a dog.  When you get any dog, you must be committed to altering your life to make the relationship succeed, but with most dogs you can expect them to accommodate and meet you more than half-way.  With a wolfdog, you will likely have to do considerably more of the accommodating…

Additionally, there are hundreds of dog breeds with a huge array of distinctive attributes.  Whatever characteristics are most important to you, there are likely a few breeds that far exceed wolfdogs.

IMG_0181-2I generally tell people who are looking for a pet, that the first step is honest careful evaluation of their life and their expectations of where a pet will fit into that life. What experiences are they looking to share?  Will they take the pet with them in the car, participate in particular activities, or train particular behaviors?  Do they want the pet to participate in, or even help with, certain aspects of their lives? Only once you have rigorously assessed your expectations can you begin to focus on what pet will be best, BrittBunnyEarsand for most people the best dog breed–the breed with which they are likeliest to share a long and wonderful adventure–is something other than a wolfdog…

 

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 January 14, 2014  Posted by at 6:46 am

  One Response to “Should You Get a Wolfdog?”

  1. That’s right. and that’s what I said to my fiancee when he said that he wanted a wolf dog for our home.

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