irish wolfdog

anonymous asked:

In general it seems wolfdogs are spitz/husky mixes. Is this something that is always a must in their breeding? Obviously a lot of these breeds have vaguely similar characteristics and behaviours, more so than say a yorkshire terrier, and breeding with such extreme differences like that would host a whole range of problems. Are there mixes of others, though? Like collies, or wolfhounds, or sighthounds or dalmatians? would they still be classed in the wolfdog breed?

With VERY few (and well-known) exceptions, wolfdog breeders produce their animals using only three domestic breeds: Huskies, malamutes, and German shepherds (and often mixes thereof). These canines are already rather lupine in appearance (which is why they are also a favorite amongst misreppers), and lend themselves well to the creation of an animal that is literally defined by its wolflike characteristics.

Even so, a few oddball wolfdogs do exist out there, and most are well-documented in the wolfdog community given their uncommon nature, and the novelty of their appearances.

Crossing a wolfdog with a breed like wolfhound or Dalmatian would still make the resulting offspring a wolfdog, assuming that they exhibit physical, biological, and behavioral wolf attributes. 

Here are some examples of strange wolfdog mixes:

The strange little pups above are (I shit you not) F1 wolf/Jack Russel terrier mixes. They were bred outside the USA (though I forget their country of origin now) as an accidental pairing between a captive-raised wolf and the wolf owner’s pet terrier. The two animals were raised together, but it was assumed that due to their size and behavioral differences, that they would never produce offspring. Oops. 

Next is everyone’s favorite oddball pup, Horton, a low-content Irish wolfhound/wolfdog mix saved from a hoarder in Canada. The hoarder housed several wolfdogs with her wolfhounds and allowed them to breed unchecked. Horton here still clearly exhibits some wolflike characteristics despite his unique heritage. 

Then there’s this strange-looking critter, who I believe was also part of a rescue situation. His father was a Labrador, and his mother is the white wolf pictured in the background. 

Similar to the situation above, this lovely pupper came from a high-content female who was pregnant at the time of her rescue. No one was sure what her pups would look like, but since the person she was confiscated from had other wolfdogs in the pen with her, they assumed that her offspring would be classic wolfdogs, as well. After the pups were born, it became suddenly apparent that this was not the case. The rescuers did some digging and found that the previous owner also had several bully breed mixes (claimed pit bulls) on the property. One of them is evidently the real father. 

I’m sure everyone also knows about the F1 wolf/poodle litter created as part of a German experiment on domestication. Many people don’t know that there is also an F2 litter from these same animals, created when the F1 were bred back to another poodle to make F2 25% mixes:

There are some other strange wolfdogs mixes out there, too, but I don’t know the stories on them as well as I do the pups shown above. Many are created outside the USA, in countries where ownership of pure wolves is less restricted, but where the people producing these animals are also less likely to sell to the general public. So don’t expect to see wolf/JRTs running about at the local dog park or anything (I suspect they wouldn’t do do hot in a dog park environment anyhow). 

Hope this helps!

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Wolfdog Myth of the Week: “My wolfdog is crossed with (insert atypical breed here), and that’s why it doesn’t look or act like a real wolfdog!" 

When it comes to creating wolfdogs, most breeders chose domestic dogs that are already very wolf-like in appearance: Their go-to breeds are Husky, Malamute, and German shepherd. It is highly uncommon for wolfdogs to be intentionally crossed with any other breed, as most other breeds produce less wolfy-looking wolfdogs. And the wolfier a wolfdog looks, the more it’s worth to buyers and breeders alike. 

That said, there have been several accidental or experimental "odd” wolfdog mixes out there. They are typically well-documented due to the rarity and novelty of the event, and are absolutely not commonplace. The chances of an Average Joe dog-owner finding and housing one of these animals successfully are slim-to-none. 

For starters, let’s look at a couple of F1 (first-generation) wolf/dog crosses. The two used for this example are mixed with malamute and GSD. Note that F1 pairings are the only acceptable time to describe wolf content in terms of percentages/fractions, as an F1 puppy has received exactly half of his genetic material from his mother’s side, and exactly half from his dad’s side.  These animals are the true standard for “50%” wolf. 

Almost exclusively, odd breed mixes are the result of wolfdog/domestic dog pairings, and rarely involve a pure wolf parent. It is highly uncommon for breeders to even own a pure wolf in this day and age, as in many places, doing so is illegal. Those who rare few individuals do own pure wolves for wolfdog breeding purposes will virtually never cross their animals with pure domestic dogs. This debunks claims of “my dog is half wolf and half beagle, mastiff, rottweiler, etc.” right off the bat. 

The only exception to this rule exists in the case of a Russian experiment in canine genetics which saw biologists crossing purebred wolves with purebred poodles. The first-generation offspring share some wolfy characteristics and some doggy ones, too. And while the animals may not look as wolfy as an F1 wolf/malamute cross, the wolf content is nevertheless present and unmistakable. Nobody could pass these animals off as “just” dogs. 

Next, we see an F1 lab/wolf cross. If memory serves me well, this animal was the offspring of a pure wolf being illegally-kept by an exotic game rancher, who raised it with one of his Labrador retrievers. The animals mated just before the original owner was forced to surrender his canines to a wolfdog sanctuary. Note the similarities in skull structure and gait between the lab/wolf and the pure wolf parent in the background. 

Following the wolf/lab mix are two rescued pups which were being bred intentionally by an irresponsible private owner. They are husky, malamute, wolf, Irish wolfhound mixes in the low to low-mid content range. 

Below them is a super low-content collie/wolfdog mix also bred by a breeder who didn’t really know what he was doing. From my understanding, this breeder is now out of business and no longer works with wolfdogs. 

Last, we have one of my personal favorite “oddball” wolfdogs, Buku, who was born at a sanctuary under similar circumstances as the wolf/lab cross above.

Buku’s mother, a high-content black wolfdog, was confiscated along with another male wolfdog from irresponsible owners who couldn’t handle their wild nature. The rescuers knew she was pregnant at the time they took her in, and suspected that she had been mated by the male wolfdog, but were surprised when her pups ended up looking nothing at all what they expected them to!

Further inquiry lead to the discovery that the wolfdogs’ original owners also kept a bully breed dog on the premises who was likely the father. Again, these oddball pups still display some wolfy traits, even if they are harder to identify on account of their doggier appearances.

In conclusion, most claims of “my wolfdog is crossed with pit bull, mastiff, doberman, etc.” are false. The exceptions known are listed above, and are usually widely-discussed in the wolfdog community on account of the novelty factor, but breeders and breed fanciers alike all agree that intentionally breeding wolfdogs with anything other than Northern breeds and GSDs is irresponsible and serves no purpose. 

Geordex’s/Twan’s dog Gijs (:

Gijs is a mix between an Irish Wolfdog and probably a Galgo etc…
He is from Spain and was used as a racing dog, but since he wasn’t fast enough, the original; owner wanted to put him down, but a rescue center rescued him, along with other racing dogs that aren’t qualified anymore and are thrown away or just being killed.
Gijs had several owners before and he wasn’t a family dog, until he met my mom-in-law and family. He found his place in their home and is an easy-going dog. Twan raised him, trained with him and is really attached to the dog and the dog is really attached to him.
Since Twan has his trucker-license and had his job with flowers, he was gone alot, for days and Gijs just couldn’t help himself, but walk upstairs, look in his room, in the hope he would be there. And when he gets home again, he is always really excited.
Also when visitors come over, he always greet you, excited. Somehow, he also has gotten really attached to me aswell, since he sometimes follows me, while his head leans on my leg, while I walk and cuddles with you when you sit on the couch.
Not only I just give a lot of affection to him, I think he also knows, now I’m with Twan, he just knows that and also gets attached to me. Wich I don’t mind at all (:

In the future, we hope to get a full blood Irish Wolfdog or something similar to Gijs, since Gijs is also a beauty. That is also a reason why I reblog Irish Wolfdog pics xD
They are just handsome dogs <3