Wolves as Pets/Watch Animals

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RightHand, Dec 18, 2005.

  1. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Many wolves and wolf hybrids end up in rescue kennels because they make neither good pets nor are they a good watch breed. Although amazingly intelligent (they have a brain on an average of 30% larger than a dog) they don't bark and tend to be fearful of strangers. Wolf-dogs consider you to be the alpha wolf of the pack. As far as they are concerned, it's YOUR job to protect them. Wolves and hybrids are rambunctious and often destructive if kept indoors. "Generally, animals with a higher percentage of wolf DNA have more wild traits - they are adept at escaping, destructive to households and hard to housebreak. They usually make poor watchdogs because they are shy of strangers."

    Although I would love to have a wolf, I don't think it is fair to the animal to expect them to perform as a domesticated super dog.
  2. raiderofthelostcrotc

    raiderofthelostcrotc Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I posted on the links...

    I have visited this kennel and met the owners, seen the animals. They are beautiful and highly intelligent (the animals, for the literalist in the peanut gallery!) They are very trainable.
    The kennels are extremely well run, all the animals are vet certified. The owners will take back animals if the new owner cannot handle them. They do NOT give refunds for such circumstances.

    Now on to tthe issue of wolves or hybrids as pets or guard animals...

    Wolves were the first *house pet*. All dogs were bred down from wolves. All dogs still recognize *alpha* behavior and have the pack instinct. Just because your teacup poodle , Miss Prissy, has apricot curls and goes to a groomer twice a month does not mean that she is devoid of wolf DNA.

    I have raised/trained guard and attack dogs. Mainly Dobermans back in the 70s and 80s. I had some that would rip the head off of a rampaging tiger if they had the chance. I had some that would run and hide if a kitten hissed at them. Same bloodline, different personalities. But I NEVER had a bad dog. The Dobies, Pits, Rotts, etc that you see in the news that have attacked their owners or people on the street are almost always the result of BAD OWNERS and poor training.

    I know several people that own animals from Youngwolfs and the ones I know are well-trained, well-behaved animals. They are incredibly loyal to their owners/family. They are excellent watch dogs. Then again, the folks that own them realize the animal is happier and better off being well-trained and properly cared for. I also have known folks that had pure-bred wolves as house pets, cougars as family pets and other non-domesticated animals as companion animals. Some situations were good for family and animal, some were lousy. But a situation can be lousy for any animal...even a hamster, depends on the owner.

    But have fun...and google what dog is the worst biter in the US...

    If you can't handle an animal, don't get it. Bottom line. Give Miss Prissy a milk bone from me. :D
  3. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I certainly agree than any dog can and will behave in a way that fits their temperment and training. I just personally disagree with taking a 'wild' animal and turning them into a pet. I'm sure many people have done this successfully but this is just my opinion on the subject. As I said, beautiful, intelligent animals whether in the wild or any other circumstance.
  4. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  5. raiderofthelostcrotc

    raiderofthelostcrotc Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Cool study...would be interesting to see them DNA test a few purebred mutts and see how the DNA comes out...

    All of what I have read and researched still points to a proto-type wolf being the genetic parent of the modern dog...like your quote says,[iMost dog breeds have been created by humans over the past 300 years...][/i]

    One dog breed...the Dingo, wild dog of Australia may be an exception to this...there is some paleo-evidence of the Dingo being present in Australia 10,000 years, I think.

    Asian wild dogs are a cousin to the wolf...they are smaller, more compact and usually with a shorter coat...which may or may not be double dependent upon the regional climate. The European wild wolves of our favorite fairy tales were actually a smidge larger than the North American variety for the most part. They were exterminated because of the rabies factor and also because they generally found sheep herds and unattended medieval villagers easy prey. There are still wolves on the Russian steppes and in the Causcaus (sp) Mtn.s, I understand, but protection for the animals has been slow in coming.

    Finland and Norway have tried to repopulate their wolf population, but it has generally been an unpopular program with the human population. Programs in the US to repopulate the wolf packs have recieved a lot of support from environmentalists and a lot of resistance from ranchers...we will just have to see how it goes.

    I do NOT endorse taking animals of any type from the wild for pets. All of the animals I noted in my first post were captive bred...usually for 3 or more generations. The family I knew that had the cougar...the cub was rescued from a petting zoo type place that tanked. Mama cougar was in such bad shape and this was the only survivng cub..Mama Cougar died when the cub was a bare 2 weeks old and the cub was bottle raised by this family...the dad was a vet tech at an animal facility that raises animals for zoos. The cub bonded with the family (imprinting) and it was decided to keep her with the family unless she exhibited behaviors that would necessitate removing her to a zoo or other properly run animal facility. When I met her, she was happily swimming in the creek behind their house with their 6 year old...she was 5 years old at this point.
    When last I heard, she was still there, still well-behaved, and still happy. At that point she had lived with this family 8 years without a single incident..
  6. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yeah I know the hybrids at least can be well trained and even if they may not be attack dogs they make good guard dogs just because they scare people away from comeing in. My dad has 2 that are half german sheapherd and half timber wolf. He can leave the gate open all day and they wont come out the gate, (unless maybe a yappey dog comes up the road and barks at them) which they will still go out if there is a hole in the fence. Like smart ass kids, 'we didnt go out the gate'. Which most of the traits have a lot to do with how they are raised, if when they are pups you socialize them and get them used to people then they arent afraid of strangers. While I wouldnt want to bet a stranger would be safe to go in there if none of the humans they knew were with them I also am not at all sure they would bite anyone unless they saw them say attacking a member of their pack like dad or whatever, then the person would be puppy chow. I know though that they are big and intimidating to people and dads shed and stuff had been getting broken into about every month or 2 before he got them but since he has had them (about 4 years now) he hasnt had a single problem. A guard dog is generaly sucessful against a burglar for the same reason that knowing a person (especialy an armed person) is there, while the burglar may be able to win he may also loose there but if he goes to the empty place with no dog he dosnt have to worry about it and so will generaly move to an easier target.
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I almost bought a half wolf, half German Shepard afew yrs ago. The owner had both. He told me that I would need to keep the wolf pup in a fenced in enclosure, (My other dogs run loose) as it would naturally go out to roam and hunt. I'm sure this could be corrected/taught but we passed as we didn't want to have to create a pen for the dog.
  8. 155gunner

    155gunner Monkey+++ Founding Member

    My brother owned a 90% wolf/10% German Shepard bitch for 15 years (from puppy to death). She was the gentlest dog I had ever known. Everyone was concerned when the kids came along a few years later but there was never any problem. She looked out for the kids just as a lower (non-alpha) wolf would care for the young of a wolf pack. I think it all boils down to care and breeding. If you maintain your alpha status you shouldn't have many problems, as long as there is good breeding and genetics in the animal. The same holds true for any dog, you need to be the alpha, not the dog.
  9. BRONZ

    BRONZ Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I too looked into hybrids, after seeing how they act even in large enclosures I came to the decision that it was just not fair to the animal.
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