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What Exactly Is a Lycan Shepherd? The Truth Behind the Breed

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

Black dog wolf breed shepherd alone at day portrait

What Exactly Is a Lycan Shepherd? The Truth Behind the Breed

Lycanthropes (better known as werewolves) are only found in legends and lore, thank goodness! Lycan Shepherds, however, a new and evolving breed of dog inspired and named after these fantasy creatures, embody many of the best traits of three domestic dog breeds: German Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Blue Bay Shepherd.

Breed Overview

Height:

24–28 inches

Weight:

60–100 pounds

Lifespan:

10–14 years

Colors:

Black to very dark gray

Suitable for:

Individuals experienced with active breeds

Temperament:

Loyal, intelligent, easy to train, obedient

With the Lycan Shepherds, they only share a striking werewolf-like appearance, so don’t be scared to keep reading if you’re interested in bringing this gorgeous and unique breed into your life.

Lycan Shepherd Characteristics

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
+
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
+
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

The personality of a Lycan Shepherd is defined by a strong work ethic and a reliable and trustworthy nature. They’re known to be loyal and obedient companions to humans. Lycan Shepherds have keen intelligence and take easily to both agility and obedience training. They are not a dog for new dog owners; they require intense and regular exercise and can become aggressive and destructive if they become bored or lack mental stimulation. If you already have experience with high-energy working breeds, especially the ones that are related to Lycan Shepherds, they could be a good choice for you.

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The Earliest Records of Lycan Shepherds in History

Since this is a very new breed, there is not too much history about them. They are a rare designer breed first developed by Chadde JoliCoeur, a dog breeder with 30 years of experience. Chadde started creating this breed in the late 1990s.

The Lycan Shepherd can only be fully appreciated by learning more about the breeds contributing to their unique DNA.

Black dog wolf breed shepherd alone at day portrait
Image Credit: Photo Spirit, Shutterstock

German Shepherds

Lycan Shepherds are descended from working-line German Shepherds. These dogs have been selectively bred over the years for their ability to perform demanding jobs such as herding, police, and military work, search and rescue, and other forms of working or performance-based activities. While show-line German Shepherds are bred for their physical appearance and have to meet certain breed standards, working-line German Shepherds are bred for their physical ability and have a more muscular and athletic build. They tend to have a higher drive and energy level, which makes them a good fit for demanding jobs that require physical endurance, focus, and intelligence.

Working-line German Shepherds are typically more trainable and adaptable than show-line German Shepherds and are often used as police dogs, search and rescue dogs, therapy dogs, and guide dogs for the visually impaired. They are also popular in competitive displays of obedience and agility.

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a breed of dog that originated in the city of Melines in Belgium. There are four breeds of Belgian Shepherd dogs: the Belgian Tervuren, the Belgian Groenendael, and the Belgian Laekenois. Belgian Malinois are medium-sized dogs that typically weigh between 55 to 65 pounds and stand around 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. They have short, smooth coats that are typically tan or fawn in color with a black mask and black-tipped hairs.

Belgian Malinois are known for their high energy levels, intelligence, and work drive, making them popular for the same jobs as working-line German Shepherds. Belgian Malinois can be found working as police and military dogs, as well as for search and rescue and other service work. They are also used in dog sports, such as obedience, agility, and Schutzhund, and are eager to please their owners.

Due to their energy levels and working drive, the Belgian Malinois require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. They are not recommended as pets for people who cannot provide them with enough exercise and activity or are away from home for long stretches of the day. However, for experienced dog owners who can provide the necessary training and activity, Belgian Malinois can make loyal and devoted companions.

black belgian malinois shepherd dog
Image By: msgrafixx, Shutterstock

Blue Bay Shepherd

The final contributor to Lycan Shepherd DNA is the Blue Bay Shepherd. These dogs are also a relatively new dog breed that is not yet recognized by major kennel clubs such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) or the United Kennel Club (UKC). They were developed by a breeder named Vicki Spencer in the United States, who selectively bred various breeds of dogs to create the Blue Bay Shepherd.

The exact breeds that were used to create the Blue Bay Shepherd are not publicly disclosed by the breeder. Experts hypothesize they include German Shepherds, Malamutes, and possibly other breeds as well. As its name suggests, the Blue Bay Shepherd has a bluish or gray coat, which can range in shade from light gray to a darker blue.

Blue Bay Shepherds are said to be intelligent, loyal, and protective, with a strong work ethic and a high energy level. They are also described as being affectionate with their families and good with children. However, since this is a newer and not yet standardized breed, it is important to do thorough research and work with a reputable breeder if you are considering adding a Blue Bay Shepherd to your family. It can also be tricky to find a “true” Blue Bay Shepherd, in part because they are so new but also because disreputable breeders try to pass off other dogs as Blue Bay Shepherds.

Formal Recognition of Lycan Shepherds

You likely hadn’t even heard of the Lycan Shepherd because they are so new to the canine scene. They are not yet officially recognized by the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club. Because it is hard to predict which characteristics from the three origin breeds will show up in each Lycan generation, breeders are closely observing the physical and intellectual traits in Lycan Shepherd puppies, looking in particular for sharp intelligence, a wolf-like appearance, and loyal, watchful temperaments. Aggression is the main trait enthusiasts are working on breeding out of the Lycan Shepherd.

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Top 3 Unique Facts About the Lycan Shepherd

1. A Lycan Shepherd can cost around $3,000 to $5,000!

This is definitely not a cheap dog! The main reasons why the Lycan Shepherd is expensive is because it is still quite a rare designer breed and due to its high level of intelligence.


2. They have a high brain-to-body ratio.

The Lycan Shepherd is highly intelligent as indicated by their larger than average brain-to-body ratio. Since they are more intelligent than the standard domestic dog, they will need an experienced owner.


3. Lycan Shepherds have traces of wolf DNA.

Don’t worry—we said wolf DNA, not werewolf DNA. Since one of the parent breeds is the Blue Bay Shepherd, which has about 12% to 16% wolf DNA, a Lycan Shepherd will most likely have a bit of wolf DNA as well! But a proper canine DNA test will confirm this.

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Do Lycan Shepherds Make a Good Pet?

Lycan Shepherds are not for everyone; they need lots of exercise, attention, and intellectual stimulation. If you are an experienced dog owner, they might be a good fit for you, but if you’re new to dog ownership, another breed would be more suitable.

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Conclusion

Lycan Shepherds are one of the latest evolving breeds of dogs in the canine world. With their gorgeous coats and wolf-like stance and appearance, they are uniquely aesthetically pleasing. As experts learn more about them, expect to hear much more about Lycan Shepherds in the future.


Featured Image Credit: PhotoSpirit, Shutterstock

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