A Wolfdog, also known as a ‘wolf hybrid’, is simply a
dog that has wolf in its family history. While it is
widely understood that all dog breeds have
descended from the wolf, a Wolfdog has pure wolf
recently in its background, such as a parent or great
grandparent (whereas your family dog may have to
go back hundreds of generations to pure wolf).
Today’s Wolfdogs are not the result of a wild wolf bred
with a domestic dog (generally). They are the result of
dozens or more generations of Wolfdogs bred with
There is no breed standard. Wolfdogs, are wolf mixed
with another breed, or several breeds, of dog. There
are however a few breeds “in development”, for
example the Blue Bay Shepherd, Timber Shepherd,
Nordic Timber and Berger Mahigan. Some are more
known, some less known, but they do each have their
Usually, the Wolfdog is a combination wolf with
Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute or German
shepherd, but can be mixed with other breeds as
Wolfdogs will behave like wolf and the breed of dog
they are mixed with. The wolf part tends to be shy
with strangers, cautious, curious, intelligent, playful,
watchful and energetic. They can also be stubborn,
loving, independent and aloof.
The low content Wolfdog is the perfect starter animal
for those wanting to venture into Wolfdog ownership.
They make better companion animals and are easier
to manage, easier to socialize and train, and most
importantly they are more forgiving than mid or high
contents. You can make a mistake and not have to
live with the consequences for the rest of the dog’s
These animals are much more adaptable to urban
living and easily ft into an active outdoor lifestyle with
They usually love to go for car rides or long hikes with
their owners but can be equally happy at the dog park
or sitting at the local coffee shop with you. At home
they tend to be less destructive, and less likely to
dismantle the furniture.
They typically lack the high prey drive seen in highs
and are generally better with smaller pets and
children, although no large breed dog should be
They behave like a super smart dog and look more
like a northern breed dog with some slight
modifications that don’t quite fit the dog standards.
You are more likely to see blue eyes or party colored
eyes, tall thin ears that lack a lot of fur. Their coat will
feel and look more like the dog in the mix with less of
the bushiness and a lot less ruff around the head.
Their eyes tend to be rounder and more often brown
than the almond shaped deep amber we find in
wolves, and the tail will hang differently and in some
case curl on top of the croup.
They will go into heat at any time
of year and often have 2 cycles a year. We see a lot
of the lows born Aug-Nov and again in Mar-June.
You will find the largest range of looks and behaviors
in the mid content wolfdog category.
Animals on the higher end of the mid scale will have
easily noticeable wolf features and some
recognisable dog traits that will keep it from being
bumped up into the High Content category.
It will demonstrate a bit more intensity and
sensitivity in its behaviors, yet not to the extreme
that is seen in a high content.
The mid content will have some wolfier traits, but
takes on an equal portion of the characteristics of the
northern breed dogs that usually make up the mix.
Their behaviors are also a bit watered down as
compared to the high content.
Typically you will see more of a dog-like pattern to
their coat, slightly taller and pointier ears with a bit
The body may resemble more of a blocky style than
the sleek look we find in a wolf. The shoulder and
hips may also carry more of a look of the malamute,
shepherd or husky. They can vocalise like a dog or a
wolf and there breeding cycle can be anytime of the
year and can happen more than once per year.
Like the High Content these animals require heavy
socialisation to offset shy, fearful or skittish behaviors
but they are extremely smart, easily trainable and not
quite as independent as the high content. Just like the
high content they will show some fear to new people
and strangers, men being the most common for then
to fear, you should always wait until they approach
you and never approach them, as this can cause
them to become fearful of the situation and want to
flee.They can be housebroken with some work and
can easily live in the house but constant supervision
Outdoor containment is a must to let them get their
There is no one breed standard for the wolfdog so
depending on the animals in the mix you will see a
wide variety of physical traits. However, the high
content should display a large number of wolf-like
traits. An extremely high content will be almost
indistinguishable from a pure while those on the lower
end of the high content spectrum may display some
slightly doggie features and possibly some watered
down behavioral characteristics.
It is hard to pinpoint specific behavior characteristics
of a high content because each animal is an
Canine behavior is canine behavior, but the reactions
and the intensity of the behavior is what make a high
content wolfdog much different to work with. As a
general rule a high content will follow many of the
traits we find in pure wolves that have helped them
survive in the wild. They are typically very sensitive to
their environment. They come across very stubborn
and aloof with a lack of a willingness to please that
we see in domesticated dogs. They can be very shy
and fearful of anything new or different. They can be
very fearful of new people and it is advised not to
approach one, sit and wait until they decide to
approach you or not.
They are very direct animals with strong will and the
full predatory motor pattern.
These wolfdogs are so intelligent that they must have
a lot of stimulation to keep them from boredom and
the inevitable destruction that follows. They are very
affectionate and bond strongly to their family. They
love attention on their terms but prefer to live
outdoors as they mature rather than sharing the
house with you.
Contrary to myths, they can be trained but you must
find the right methods to entice them to want to
You just have to do a lot of trial and error to find it and
once you do remember to train in short periods to
avoid boredom. They can excel in learning basic
manners, but obtaining 100% recall will aggravate the
most patient owner. A high content wolfdog should be
owned by very experienced people with the proper
containment, a thorough understanding of canine
body language and of canine behavior. These
animals are not for everyone!
Example theoretical wolf content, parent 1~8%
+ parent 2 ~16% wolf would be= 24% combined.
24/2=12% theoretical wolf content of offspring.
However, nature is never this exact, but
A pup can be as high as 24%, or as low as 0%
depending on which genes they get. We tend to
explain this using something called the “marble
effect”, where different coloured marbles represent
the wolf/dog content. This also illustrate that all pups
in a litter can have different content, depending on
which marbles nature decide to pick from the bowl
that represent the combined DNA (here marbles) from