As of about 1990 the correct term for a mix of a wolf and a domestic dog is a wolfdog. The dog was reclassified as a sub-species of wolf (canis lupus familiaris) and as such, it is impossible to have a hybrid as they are two of the same species. Although technically incorrect, the term "hybrid" is still used by many, particularly when it comes to mixing two purebred domestic dogs.
It was brought to our attention by some wolfdog fanciers that there are many animals out there which are claimed to bewolfdogs but are actually nordic type dog mixes. Apparently some are pictured inside this section. We made the decision to keep this wolf hybrid section as a comparison with the dogs who have been proven to be true wolfdogs. You can see some examples at Non-Wolfdogs: Mistaken Identity.
The Dog Breed Info Center(R) is not claiming the dogs in this section are not true wolfdogs. We would like you to do your own comparison between the two, this wolf hybrid section and our proven wolfdog section. There are many dogs in shelters that are killed because they look like a wolf when they are actually an nortic type dog, such as a husky or malamute mix. Animals that are falsely labelled as wolfdogs in shelters can be detrimental. Nortic dogs are being killed and wolfdogs are not going to the proper rescues where there are people who know how to deal with them.
The wolf hybrid is not a purebred dog. It is a cross between a domestic dog and a wolf. The best way to determine the temperament of a mixed breed is to look up all breeds in the cross and know you can get any combination of any of the characteristics found in either breed. Anyone owning a Wolf Hybrid should read these two pages Top Dog and Establishing and Keeping Alpha Position and MUST understand dog/wolf psychology and willing to follow it. This hybrid is not recommended for most people.
"I first met Charlie, my Siberian Husky-Timber Wolf mix, at a homeless shelter for youth. Charlie needed a foster home so that his owner could focus on getting his own life on track (his owner has since reunited with his human family.) Charlie was born in Alaska and was brought to the southwest His paws are extremely sensitive to our heat. When I first encountered him he was a 4-year old male with the typical wolf-trait of timidity around strangers and had more of a nonchalant attitude towards people. He has the typical long legged body, a double coat that sheds constantly, and thick fur on his shoulders and hind legs that becomes very exaggerated when he is disturbed. He has one blue-eye that helps show off his Siberian Husky physical traits. His webbed-feet give him an agility that he displays over my other dogs when I take them up north to play in the snow--he seems to run on top of the snow (and loves to make snow-angels) while the rest must trudge through it."
"I had concerns of him becoming unmanageable based on what I knew of wolf-mixes but agreed to foster him (I have other dogs and cats.) He did not like mixing and playing with people in his first few months, only having an interest in our other dogs. It has taken a year of acclimation with his new pack and he is most definitely the alpha-dog. He defecates everywhere in the backyard (unlike our other dogs who keep their business confined to one area) and marks all the territory he can while on walks (which must occur 1 or 2 times a day or he becomes extremely restless and will pace and do a quiet howl.) He is also extremely possessive of one of the female dogs in my house that he considers his alpha-mate and will place himself between any other dog and his "mate." He does not bark (as the rest of our pack does) but will do a quiet sing-song howl when he wants attention."
"He is not eager to earn our praise or as trainable as the other dogs and I use a method close to Cesar the Dog Whisperer to work with him, managing him with a calm quiet voice command and my own body language which seems to work best with him. Loud commands or requests for tricks are not effective. Even though he is alpha-dog here, he will extricate himself from any loud noises or exciting situations and make himself scarce. He will also dig holes but this has been his only destructive trait that we have seen."
"Our biggest challenge with this hybrid mix is his eating. If he has not been sufficiently exercised he will decline meals, and while he will take dry kibble as a treat, he will lose interest in his food and a variety of meat is rotated with his meals to keep up his appetite."
"I have earned Charlie's trust, loyalty and dependence. But I always actively make sure that the wolf in him remains more of a mystery rather than let the wolf run free."
A Wolf-hybrid can be quite skittish and does not respond well to inanimate objects, fast motion, loud noises, or new people. They require much patience. Training is not for the weak and serious consideration should be given prior to obtaining a wolf-hybrid dog as they require firm, consistent training and ample space to roam. If there's something you find foul and offensive you can bet a wolf dog will roll happily in it and coat themselves in the funk! It is not until a Wolf Hybrid is about 18 months of age, that it will start showing signs of the wolf. Wolfs younger than 18 months of age are adolescents, they are playful and adaptable. They take directions readily and can bond with other species. Young wolves act more like the common dog as they have not developed into maturity. As a wolf grows out of its adolescents, its hormonal system reaches maturity and it will begin to exhibit all of the typical behaviors of the wolf.