Would a wolfdog at a dog park be a cause for concern?

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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 11:53am PST 
So there's a hubbub brewing at our little unofficial dog park. A young woman has been bringing a wolf dog--who looks very much like a wolf to the park. This has caused a great deal of concern and fear amongst some park goers. She at first told people he was indeed a wolf cross, but then started making up a changing cast of mixes she says he is from GSD, malamute to husky . ..

As far as I know, he has not caused any trouble with any dogs.

It apparently came to a head with some other owners telling her they were uncomfortable with her wolfdog and taking pictures of him, which ticked her off. She has spoken to one of the people who initiated getting permission from the adjacent public school (who owns the property) to let the space be used by dogs, and told him she had papers to prove his lineage was whatever dog cross and not a wolf, but became defensive when he asked if she would mind letting him see them.

Thanks to FB, though she's outed herself by talking blatantly on her page--it was easy enough to track down the breeder and her review of the breeder on FB mentioning that he is indeed a wolf cross.

I'm not sure what the legality is here for wolfdogs--crosses.

All that said, is it wise, not wise or safe for a wolfdog to be off leash at dog parks? Is it an individual thing or are they capable of being too unpredictable with prey drive?

Also what do wolf dog breeders mean when they speak of "high content"? Is that more than 50%?

It ain't over- till the fat- kitty sings
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 4:41pm PST 
IMHO wolf dog can mean anything...from somebody bragging about how badass they are, to a dog who possibly has a few molecules of wolf...maybe not even, maybe it just looks like a wolf and somebody is fibbing...it's hard to say.

Sometimes it's like putting a label on something..."pit bull" for instance...never ever ever are you supposed to have a pit bull type dog in a dog park. Sophie has happily played with teacups and puppies at the dog park for years.

If it was me I'd be more afraid of the owner you describe than the dog. Keep an eye on it certainly...but the owner sounds like a nut. Certainly if this dog like any dog had a bad confrontation the owner would be fully responsible.
Some links-

h ttp://inetdesign.com/wolfdunn/whate/whate1.html#percentages

Edited by author Wed Jun 12, '13 4:51pm PST


Spooky Mulder
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 5:01pm PST 
Check your local laws, find out the legalities, pop her in the nose with them if she tries to start anything with anyone.

No I would NOT go to an off leash situation where a high content wolf hybrid was present.

High content wolf hybrids are NOT dogs, I don't care what anyone here who owns them thinks or says, MOST places don't even legally allow them to be owned, so no... I would not potentially put myself in a situation where there are legal issues afoot, but also potential physical danger to my animals.

On her side of things, as I'm sure SOMEONE will come in saying "there are good wolf dogs/ how dare you say such things/ there can be good representatives/ambassador/WHATEVER", off-lead dog parks where dogs of unknown backgrounds are allowed to freely interact are pretty bad in MOST situations, but especially for these animals, as there is no federally approved rabies vaccine for them. Should a bite or incident occur, it would likely result in the animal being euthanized.

Ember FDX

Go Go Devil- Bunnies!
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 5:10pm PST 
Pretty much exactly what Mulder said.

Exceptions and "breed ambassadors" aside, there is no way in heck I would involve myself in the mess of legalities surrounding this situation. The owner is an idiot if she can't see what risk she's placing her companion in.
Sarah, CWSR,- CWG1, CGC

Million Dollar- Mutt
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 6:17pm PST 
There was a guy who used to bring his wolf-dog to the dog park by my house. He claimed it was a direct descendant to the one that played White Fang. The guy seemed nice enough but the poor wolf-dog was absolutely terrified of everything. It was quite young too, and BIG. I only saw it a few times and there were never any problems, but I could definitely see a problem arising. It would take much for the fear to turn to aggression.

Serious Face
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 8:13pm PST 
Wolf dogs are gorgeous and I can see the appeal, but they are not for everyone and I don't think an off-leash dog park where you're going to encounter all sorts of people and dogs is a safe spot...
Especially smaller dogs or children that the wolfdog doesn't know are gonna look a lot more like prey. Many responsible wolfdog owners say they NEVER trust their animal off-leash unless they're in their own fenced yard.

It kind of sounds like she's more interested in being able to say she has a wolfdog than being responsible about it. Probably should have gotten something like a husky, malamute, or a tamaskan...

Life is better- with Sheltie- love.
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 8:57pm PST 
I think every dog is an individual, no matter the breed. Perhaps I'm biased, but to me a good dog is a trained dog. If this wolf dog is nicely behaved and responds ready and willingly to his owner, then I myself would not object to his presence. If he is well socialized with other canines and plays/interacts accordingly then I, personally, would not be phased. If he is a wild, uncontrollable hellhound harassing dogs and people, that is a new ball game. Especially if he ignores his owner.

That's my honest opinion. smile I don't believe in breed discrimination. I look at individual animals and their owners.
Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 9:06pm PST 
Here is a section of what she said in the comments she left reviewing her breeder:

6. Provides detailed records of the animals history and lineage. I have to say that at the time I really did not ask her for the lineage. I had seen wolfdogs from her kennel around and I was just amazed at how beautiful they were. While we were at her kennel she told us each wolfdogs history in detail though.

7. Breeds only animals of sound temperament that are free from known genetic defects that might impair the health and quality of life of the offspring. All of her wolfdogs were extreamly beautiful and breathtaking. Some were shy and not very social but then others were very friendly.

8. Makes sure appropriate and adequate food, water, and shelter is always available. Every day Janet works full time on the farm. She is with the dogs 24/7 and they are her number one concern.

9. Makes sure there is adequate, permanent containment with at least one area for isolating ill animals. Any animal that was ill was taken into its own pen away from the rest of the wolfdogs.


10. Confirms the buyer is well prepared for the reality of raising and living with a wolfdog(s). She informed us of everything that could go wrong and how wolfdogs are unpredictable animals sometimes.

11. Inspects buyers containment enclosure, verifies legal status, and evaluates experience level. Janet knew that achilleous was going to be our first hybrid and that we were a newly married couple who wanted a lifetime companion. For the sake of achilleous all of his reccords say that he is a german shep/mal/husky mix. I did not want anything with the word wolf in it connected to him. I didn't want him to get treated differently b/c of a lineage.

12. Places any puppy considered less than “breeding quality” under a spay/neuter
contract. She didn't have any contracts for us to sign but she knew that we were thinking about mabe breading but not really sure.

13. Evaluates buyers understanding of enrichment including developmentally appropriate socialization, habituation and training for each individual animal.
She said that raising a hybrid in a house and not in an outside incloserr wouldn't be easy but she said that as long as i socialized him from day one I shouldnt have a problem.
14. Provides information on the social needs of wolfdogs and recommends a companion animal of a compatible type, size, and complimentary temperament for the mental and physical well being of the animal. We told her that we had a female choclate lab at home and we wanted her to have a forever sibling. She did not reccomend smaller animals to be kept around achilleous.

15. Encourages buyers to have their new animal(s) examined within 48 hours of leaving breeder’s facility by a licensed veterinarian and asks that the results be reported to breeder. She encourraged us to get achilleous checked in 24 hrs at a vet just so he could have a clean bill of health.


16. Breeder stays in touch with the owner, sharing ongoing education and insight.
Janet always sends me emails wondering how achilleous is doing. She always invites us to come down and visit.
17. Breeder commits to accepting the animal back if there is an emergency or serious situation or if unable to accept animal back, makes arrangements for other appropriate assistance or placement. She even offerd to take achilleous back after he started showing signs of aggression but my husband and I were adimit that he was not going anywhere. She always tells me that I could trade out for a pup out of a different litter if I was ever unsatisfied.


Some red flags-- "all his records say he is a gsd-malamute-husky mix . . .i did not want anything with the word 'wolf' in it connected to him"

-informed us of everything that could go wrong with wolfdogs, they can be unpredictable animals sometimes.
-warned us he should not be around small animals.
-requires a spay neuter contract for animals not worthy of breeding quality, didn't have us sign anything, cause she knew we were thinking about breeding.
-she even offered to take Achilleous back after he started showing signs of aggression, but my husband and I were 'adimitt' that he was not going anywhere.

Life is better- with Sheltie- love.
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 9:25pm PST 
MAJOR red flagseek

People are dumb. Really dumb... shrug

So, the breeder breeds animals of acceptable temperament... But this dog shows signs of aggression and his owners do nothing to rectify it? How irresponsible of a breeder go offer them another pup in return for their aggressive dog... I consider this dog a definite no no now, since I wouldn't trust that his owners are responsible people.

Im just a little- guy
Barked: Wed Jun 12, '13 9:37pm PST 
Is the dog behaving poorly? Is he showing clear signs of being predatory? Is it a puppy at this point?

If the dog is stable at the dog park and not acting excited, I would not worry. There are actually some stable wolf dogs out there. I worry about dogs based on their behavior, not breed or allegeded mix. There are plenty of unsafe dogs that are not wolf mixes to worry about.

At least this person is socializing their dog or whatever he is.
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