taupe nails

Wolfdogs - Comparing Different Contents

No copyright infringement intended! The following pictures are being used for educational purposes only. Please contact me if there are any problems.

Below is some information about genotypes VS phenotypes, followed by the three major categories of wolfdog content, low-mid-high, and their characteristics.

Wolfdogs are referred to as low, mid, or high-content. There are also more specific terms such as a lower mid-content or upper mid-content meaning the animal falls closer to the lower or higher end of the mid-content spectrum.

Please keep in mind that you should never used percentages as a solid way of explaining how much wolf content an animal has because percentages are never truly accurate but rather an easier way of explaining the three main content categories.

Dealing with percentage can be a tricky and very inaccurate subject, especially when dealing with misrepresented animals (see picture below).  Percentage alone is not going to tell you how many wolf/dog genes were actually inherited into each individual animal.

For instance, from one littler you could have a pup that might physically, behaviorally, or biologically express a greater number of wolf-like characteristics than others, but might produce doggier looking and acting pups when bred back to another wolfdog. You could have another sibling from the same littler that is is more dog-like, but when bred back to another wolfdog could produce much wolfier looking and acting offspring.

However, that does not mean that the content of that individual animal is going to change because of the resulting offspring. This is where knowing the difference between a genotype and a phenotype comes in handy.

Pictured above: top left - a claimed 98%/pure with “documented” lineage, top right - a verified 87% F4(fourth generation) with actual documented lineage, bottom left - a mostly Siberian Husky and German Shepherd mix with a little Malamute, bottom right - a pure wolf.

In the above image, which of the top two animals has more wolf in it? Why is it important to know? It might be hard to believe but those two animals are siblings from the same litter. On paper, their genotype 74% wolf. This is the result of breeding a 50% higher first generation male wolfdog to a 98% lower first generation female wolfdog. While their % on paper is 74 (which is considered an upper mid content) not all of the pups will phenotype as upper mids due to the traits (or lack thereof) that were inherited and or expressed. That is why using percentages is a bad idea.

The same thing can happen in all content litters. Say, for example, someone wanted a low-content wolfdog and there was a litter between a low-content(20%) and a mid-content(45%). This litter should, theoretically, produce low-content pups(32%). Now, from just the image above, it’s clear that all the genes are not passed on equally between all the pups. Some pups from that litter may actually be solid mid-contents even though they are low on paper. This means that someone looking for a low-content wolfdog could then be comfortable buying one of these pups because, on paper, they are low. This leads to unprepared people bringing home higher content animals than intended and sometimes this leads to animals being abandoned or neglected.

This is why it’s so important to know how to phenotype, at least to some degree, or know someone who can if you are interested in adopting/rescuing a wolfdog.

Go into the situation with all the information available and don’t fall into something you’re not ready to handle!

      High-content Wolfdogs - These are going to be roughly 75-99% wolf.

High content wolfdogs should be nearly impossible to tell apart from actual wolves and yet they are the most misrepresented “class” of wolfdogs out there. A true high-content will display many, if not all of the behavioral, seasonal, and physical characteristics/traits of a pure wolf. This will be the most thorough list as there are countless things you look for in HCs.

A true high content will only breed breed one time a year(the males start becoming fertile from mid- late December to early March). Puppies are only born during the spring months (March-May). Even if a pure or high content male is around fertile females during off season, they will not be producing any viable sperm, meaning they will be shooting blanks until their real breeding season.

Before someone tells you that their wolfdogs are different because they were raised in captivity, just know that breeding cycles/fertility do not change just because a wolf/wolfdog was:

  • born and raised in captivity
  • raised in a home/family environment
  • raised indoors as a pet
  • is exposed to weather changes
  • looses its pups during birthing
  • is around different and intact males/females.


High content puppies are pretty easy to spot as they look nearly identical to actual wolf pups:

They will always be born a dark solid color, such as brown, black or grey, with little to no white markings at all and change colors and phase out as they get older. They are born with black paw pads, noses and pigmentation (such as eye liner and lip liner). They are born with dark blue eyes (all high-content puppies are born with blue eyes) that will lighten to gold or yellow as they age.

High content wolfdogs with have a solid black nose, light colored eyes ranging from amber/gold to lemon yellow and pale yellow, with hints of pale green and grey.

They will have a proportionately thick and long muzzle with a smooth stop, large head with a pronounced cheek ruff. They will have solid black lip and eye liner pigmentation.

Their ears will be smaller to medium sized as well as fully erect, well-furred, and extremely thick ears. They are usually more rounded at the tips, rather than sharply pointed like GSDs, and they are set moderately high on the head.

High-contents have very narrow chests with front paws pointing more outwards. Their back legs will also be noticeably cow-hocked. (see top right pic in the image below of young pup for the best example of the cow-hocked stance) HC wolfdogs also have disproportionately long legs, with their back legs having a longer stifle area than most dogs.

HCs have disproportionately large, elongated paws, with well developed digits and thick, well curved nails. Two middle toes will be noticeably longer. Paw pads will be black. They have black, dark grey or for Arctics, taupe/tan/skin colored nails(top left pic in below image). All of the nails will be the same color.

These wolfdogs have very straight tails - even when in motion or displaying dominance. The tail is usually shorter, ending just above or right at the hock, unlike some breeds (such as GSD’s) that extend well below the hock.

High contents will have one major shed every year in the spring. They will shed the majority of their guard hairs and all of their plush undercoat (in which they often shed large clumps and strings of fur, not little tufts like most northern breeds). Their summer coat may be fairly short for the first few weeks until they establish their full summer coat. The hair is often very coarse and does not have a fluffy, soft appearance. They will have thick and well-furred areas (especially in their winter coat) where most dogs do not, such as stomachs, ears, and private areas.

They also have a very noticeably thicker winter coat with very pronounced cheek ruffs and a pronounced v-cape. They may even appear to be significantly lighter then during the summer time. Many high contents will phase out and change color with each shed/re-growing of their winter coats. (Below images are of the same wolfdog showing its summer and winter coat.)

HCs have very well-blended (symmetrical) markings, including face masks, leg markings and overall body markings, not the stark black and white/tan you see in huskies and GSDs.

Okay, now that you know some of the traits that all high-content wolfdogs will always have, lets list some things that you will NEVER see in a true high-content:

  • short, blocky muzzle with a pronounced stop
  • small head or very blocky(such as a Malamute)
  • pink or pink and black spotted lip or eye liner pigmentation
  • large, pointed ears, tipped over ears or floppy ears, ears that are thin and not well furred. In addition, they will not be extremely high set on the head, nor will they be too wide set
  • a wide chest
  • short legs (in proportion to it’s body).
  • small, compact, or rounded “kitty” paws with short digits
  • rear dew-claws
  • pink or pink spotted paw pads
  • white, clear, or multi-colored toe nails (meaning there may be one or several black, brown and clear nails all on the same animal)
  • a long, curly, hooked, curved, or sickle tail
  • shedding heavily twice a year, constant shedding (even lightly) all year
  • noticeably contrasting markings or coat colorations like the husky
  • the same kind of coat all year round
  • “unintentional” bald spots(thin fur inside the ears, on the belly, or around privates)

     Mid-content Wolfdogs - These are going to be roughly 35-74% wolf.

Like the high-content wolfdog, only an expert would be able to tell that a true mid-content is not a pure wolf but they definitely cannot pass as just another Malamute/GSD mix.

They hold many of the same traits as high-contents just not to the same extent and they are mixed in with some dog traits

Their faces are long and narrow, with very pointed muzzles and fully-furred ears with rounded tips, and which are set high on their heads. They have smooth stops to their muzzles, and blended facial markings/fur patterns. They also have tight lips (no droopy jowls), and very small, angular eyes compared to skull size. They usually still have longer and thinner legs, and no wide chests. I have yet to see a curled tail in a true mid-content as well.

I know this list is no where near the same as the one for HCs but that is because these animals are pretty similar and it would be a lot of repeating traits.

For a mid-content, you should walk away knowing that they are still EXTREMELY wolfy in appearance and there is never a doubt whether or not the animal has any wolf content.

Here are a few more mid-content wolfdogs:

     Low-content Wolfdogs - These are going to be roughly 34% or lower.

  • *Due to the mislabeling of wolfdogs, low-contents are often mistaken for or represented as high-content wolfdogs*
  • This leaves someone wanting a high-content wolfdog because they met someone’s low/no-content wolfdog and all they did was brag about what a nice dog they are. This is how animals end up in inexperienced and unprepared homes.

This is where you start to see a little more diversity. Of course in every “level” you’re going to see some differences, a lower mid is not going to look quite as wolfy as an upper mid, but I feel a low/no content wolfdog looks very different from an upper low-content wolfdog. (the animal pictured above on the left is a low/no content while the right is just a solid low, not even an upper low, and you can see a very big difference in their appearance.)

Some low contents (more the low/no-content) can show little to almost no physical appearance of being part wolf to the untrained eye while others have a few noticeable wolf-like traits and behavior quirks that come with a well bred low content.

Many will cycle and breed like regular dogs (usually TWO times a year or every 6-8 months) however some may only breed ONE time a year, though with the possibility of it being an off time (like August).

Low-content puppies can be born with predominant markings such as black/white or all white. Low-contents can produce “wolfy” looking pups) depending on the dog breeds used (GSD’s/GSD mixes and agouti/sable animals often produce dark “wolf” colored puppies).

Most LCs will look more like the dog breeds in its background (Malamute, husky, German Shepherd or whatever breed they are mixed with) and will generally be easier to work with, usually doing well, with training, in a house type setting. Of course all animals are different so while some would be fine, others can be just as difficult as a mid-content.

Either way, wolfdogs are not wonderful pets and they do not behave just like a dog. They are a lifestyle. Some low-contents may still require secure containment, house supervision and/or an owner experienced with wolfdogs, northern breeds, or other hard to handle canines.

The first two images below are of a HC and a LC together for comparison followed by all LC wolfdogs.

As you can see, there are a lot of dog traits in low-content wolfdogs BUT there are still very easily visible wolf traits. Even in the oddity at the bottom. That LC is actually all white and believed to be leucistic(a condition in which there is partial loss of pigmentation in an animal resulting in white, pale, or patchy coloration of the skin, hair, feathers, scales or cuticle, but not the eyes. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in multiple types of pigment, not just melanin.) It has pink/liver skin and everything. This is HIGHLY unusual but, as you can see, is possible BUT it does not come with other still clearly visible wolf traits.

I hope this page helped you learn something about the different contents of wolfdogs! If you have any questions please feel free to send me a message on here or shoot me an email - yourdogisnotawolf@gmail.com

Again, no copyright infringement intended! The above pictures are being used for educational purposes only. Please contact me if there are any problems.

anonymous asked:

Hi, ah, I feel like someone has probably pointed this out, (because every detail gets noticed by fans), but I'm wondering about the end of "Angel Heart". Claire's fingernails are the exact shade of Castiel's coat. Do you think that's significant? I want to take it as a sign of her bonding a little more with Castiel emotionally. Also, her polish isn't chipped, which is an almost superhuman feat in my book, especially after having just ganked a Grigori, IMHO.

It’s so weird that I of all the meta bloggers on this site got an anon– but thanks! It really made me think…

I was just thinking this morning that I haven’t written any meta lately. I have a lot of reasons for this lapse, but maybe it’s also because I haven’t been asking myself any good questions lately.

So thanks, anon, for this one. I do think you’re spot on, and I haven’t seen anything written about it, so let’s go…

I noticed Claire’s nails, too, and didn’t think much about the color at the time (except that it was a change from the dark peacock she sported in The Things We Left Behind) but yeah, the fact that she’d just been in a huge fight and came out SO unscathed that her nails weren’t even chipped was impressive. And the taupe color is a change from her last appearance, what’s up with that? I haven’t come across anything about it so let’s have some fun…

Some of that perfect manicure probably has to do with the aesthetic of Supernatural. The ladies just rarely look bad. Just like the boys don’t ever sport permanent scars and always manage to get the bloodstains out of their clothes, the gals never have cosmetics issues. Unless they’ve just been beaten bloody, their lipstick never fades and their mascara never runs– some of this has to do with the fresh-faced semi-natural look that most females in this show sport, but even when Rowena turns on those waterworks she keeps those amazing lashes in line. IIrc Ruby in Season 4 had lovely nails, and if anyone should have broken tips and chipped paint it should have been her. The only exception I can think of is Meg in Goodbye Stranger, and to some extent Rowena when she’s chained up in Hell. So no chipped polish for Claire, either, even after having ganked the last of the “Sons of God.” Everything is magical on Supernatural.

It could be that this was Katherine Love Newton’s own polish that she wore in, but I don’t think that’s likely. Partly because if it did chip, that would go against that well-groomed aesthetic the show aims for, and they’d have to repair the paint on her nail, they’d have to match the color and so on (because if her nails were suddenly a different color there <em>would</em> be a lot of talk.) So I think it was likely a choice on the part of makeup, and I don’t know enough about television production to even be able to speculate if that color was mandated from above or was just a whimsical last-minute choice, much less who was involved in choosing it.

You made the connection between Castiel’s trenchcoat and Claire’s nail color, so let’s run with it.

Women don’t just think of nails as things to adorn with crazy lacquer or enhance with sweeping acrylic tips. Nails are also tools and even weapons. I pry open boxes of mac n’ cheese with my nails. scrub dried food off of plates with them, use them to tweeze out splinters. Pantomime a “cat fight” between two women, and what do you do? Probably put your hands out in front of your face as though you’re clawing the other person. Nails also defend the juicy tips of our fingers.

The taupe color on Claire’s nails is pretty, but is very utilitarian. Pink would have been girlish, red too sexy. He hair is less fussy, too. Unlike the dark nails and braided hair in TTWLB that screamed “confused angry teenager,” Claire is starting to express her practical side, and maybe has a desire to be more mature emotionally in order to cope with the adult situations she finds herself in every day. She’s outgrowing emo.

By matching her nails to the trenchcoat, Claire is maybe unintentionally identifying the catalyst for her internal changes– Castiel.

Castiel, who gave her Grumpy Cat for her 18th birthday. Grumpy Cat taps into Claire’s emotional needs. So you’re absolutely right that she has bonded closer with him. She is no longer a child, mentally or legally, but she is still young and in many ways inexperienced. She’s lost both of her parents, and is being sent off to a stranger. She kept Grumpy Cat side by side with the Grigori sword– pairing the emotional with the angelic. Castiel has provided her with both tools and weapons to survive and defend herself on the road ahead of her. The color becomes almost like a shield.

At the end of the episode, Castiel says that it isn’t up to him, ultimately, whether or not he sees or hears from Claire ever again. But she’s put his number in her phone’s emergency contacts list. She kept his gift, even though she could have tossed it as being underaged and inappropriate for an adult. Whether she realized it or not, she painted her nails the color of her father’s– now the angel’s– trenchcoat. She shares genetic material with Castiel’s vessel, but now she has adopted this iconic color from him to integrate Castiel into her self-image. She’s made Castiel a part of her life, now. Whether they ever see each other again remains to be seen, but he has left his mark on her and his influence will persist as she continues to grow.

So thanks for the discussion, anon, did I get your drift? It was a lot of fun thinking about this from such a tiny detail. Good spot!


Identifying content in a wolfdog isn’t always easy, and being able to truly tell the differences between low, mid, and high-content wolfdogs takes a lot of dedicated practice. Thankfully, there are some excellent side-by-side comparison photos (used with permission from their owners!) which can help to illustrate those differences more plainly.

1) Low-content (background), and a mid-content (foreground): Note the larger, more-rounded eyes of the lower-content animal. The muzzle is likewise shorter and blockier in appearance, and even the coat texture of the low differs from the mid. Proportionally, the low has a smaller head compared to its body than the mid, as well. 

2) Pure husky (sitting), and a young (9-month) high-content wolfdog: Feet of the high-content animal are much more splayed, and toes are very defined. Nails are taupe in color vs. white, as seen on the husky. Husky has clearly-defined facial mask, pointy triangle ears which are set further apart on the head, and has a very wide chest.

3) Low-content (foreground), and upper-mid content (background): The low has a shorter, blockier muzzle with larger eyes compared to skull size. He also lacks the pronounced cheek ruffs of the upper-mid, his ears are set further apart on his head, and his eyes are larger and more rounded compared to the higher-content animal’s. Even the fur texture differs between these two wolfdogs varies.

Nails of the moment: Essie #730 Merino Cool 

Taupe with a hint of purple. Essie’s Merino Cool was a shade I picked up on my recent trip to Hong Kong, and I’ve been loving it with a little China Glaze Crown Me Already! on top of random fingers for serious sparkle.

I’ve been gravitating towards slightly more plum or violet taupes recently, just as an interesting update on last year’s “it” shade, greige (grey-beige).

ZOYA’s Caitlin is a slightly more blue-hued version of Merino Cool, and equally beautiful, but also a bit more expensive, but if you like more natural ingredients in your polishes, definitely check that out. 

This past weekend I flew out to Colorado for my cousin’s wedding. I matched this mani to what I wore to the Toast the night before, the pattern of my skirt is pictured below. These polishes are neon, which are impossible to photograph color accurate, but I think I did alright. In certain light the colors matched perfectly but this is probably what it looked like most of the time. I still really like it though! Very proud of how it turned out!

Color Club East Austin
China Glaze Flip Flop Fantasy
Essie Sand Tropez
Mundo De Unas Taupe