Remember, wolf hybrids are Mutts. The only difference is wolf hybrids have the DNA of the wolf still in their genetic makeup. Most wolfdogs have Shepherd, Husky, or Malamute in their DNA, for those are the most popular domestic breeds to breed with a wolf. Knowing what domestic breed your hybrid is mix with is also extremely important for this hybrid will take on the domestic traits as well. A Shepherd, Husky, and Malamute each require a different environment setting to thrive and be happy.
It is very important to understand that wolf hybrids are mutts, because each pup born in a single litter could pull different genetics/DNA. Just like you and your siblings. If you had your family DNA tested, most likely your DNA will be slightly different from your siblings. For example, if you father was Italian and German and your mom was Irish and German, then any one of your siblings could pull a variety of different percentages from Italian, German, and Irish. This will be the same with a litter of hybrid pups.
This is why it is important to understand the content and lineage of your breeder. Although Embark does provide DNA percentages, most good wolfdog breeders will refer to their hybrids as Low, Mids, and High Content. Yes, I have 2 DNA certifications at Timber Ridge Wolfdogs, UC Davis and Embark. However, I always tell my new puppy owners, that your pup you are bringing home could pull a number of different genetics from our hybrids. My hybrids have Gray Wolf, Siberian Husky, Malamute, and Shepherd in them. Wolf Hybrids, especially Mid Content hybrids, are like a box of chocolates. You never know what content/genetics you are going to get.
So please make sure you understand the content of your breeder’s hybrids. This is important for the new pup to be a successful member of your family. Let’s Review so as you search for your future pup, you know what to look for and expect.
Low Content Hybrids will not look like a wolf. They are more dog than wolf. Low content hybrids can be raised indoors in a typical suburban setting. They are easier to train. They will eat kibble as a main source of food. Low contents will more resemble a domestic breed; however, they will be very unique looking. They will have a couple wolfie features with a mix of mostly the domestic breed. Most will ask, what type of dog it is because it won’t necessarily resemble a full-blooded domestic dog. I have had some of Maheegun and Diesel’s pups look like Diesel and pull the more mid content trait, and I have had some look more like Maheegun and pull the low content trait. Statically with my litters, if I have a litter of 8 pups, only 2 of the 8 will pull the more mid wolf hybrid traits and the other 6 will pull a low wolf content trait. The box of chocolates example with low content hybrids becomes more predictable on what you will get when picking your pup from a litter. Low contents are great for typical suburban families who want a unique breed that want to raise the hybrid around kids and family without the stress of what a mid and high content hybrid will bring.
Mid Content Hybrids will have the most variety in features and looks. They can range from a little more wolf than dog to a little more dog than wolf. Some Mids will look more wolfie and some could pull the domestic trait. This is where the box of chocolates scenario becomes the greatest mix of options. This is very important to understand. From the same litter you can get a pup that pulled more wolf than dog and also a pup that pulled more dog than wolf. Not all Mids are created equal and folks need to be prepared to take on this challenge and have the correct environment to raise such a breed, especially if the pup you picked from the litter pulled a higher wolfiness markers. Mids are more challenging to raise indoors. They do not like to be tightly confined at all. House crating is not an option. So, if you work all day, an outdoor enclosure is a must. If not, your hybrid will self-destruct and the merge into your family will fail. Mids can make good indoor/outdoor companions. Many mids are raised indoors with the understanding outdoor stimulation and proper outdoor enclosure is a must. They are challenging to train, but it can be done very successfully with the right patience. If your mid takes on more wolf traits, this pup could be even harder to raise. So please keep this in mind when considering a mid-content hybrid.
High Content Hybrids are not recommended for a typical suburban family. They are more wolf than dog and will look like a wolf. They will also act like a wolf. Most high content hybrids end up in sanctuaries because folks do not know how to properly raise them. Actual meat will need to be their daily diet. They cannot survive on kibble alone, for their stomachs cannot tolerate the kibble and it will go through them like water. Just like low content hybrids, the box of chocolate scenario is more predictable. The high content hybrid is more wolf and needs to be raised as such. Although high content hybrids are not known for being aggressive, they are timid like wolves, so having kids running around or guest coming in and out of the house, especially kids from the neighborhood running in and out of your house could cause a problem. Note, high contents want to live like wolf not like a dog. So, if you don’t have wolf accommodations (land, enclosure, afford all meat daily diet, proper training, and wolf environment inside and outside your home) then this breed is not for you.
Please remember the parent’s actual DNA percentages won’t necessarily match your pup, so the most important thing to understand is what content your pups parents are -low, mid, and high content when searching for a wolfdog