A wolf hybrid has a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.
The wolf hybrid or wolfdog is a mix between a wolf and a domesticated, purebred dog. The first documented breeding of a wolf and dog took place in England in 1766. There are many dog breeds in existence today that are thought to have some type of wolf in their ancestry. However, it was not until the 1960s when breeders began crossing dogs with the American Grey Timber Wolf with the purpose of creating a companion or pet. Most of today’s wolf hybrids are a combination of a wolf and the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute or German Shepherd.
A wolf hybrid typically weighs 70 to 125 pounds and measures 25 to 33 inches.
Wolf hybrids have few grooming needs, but it is important to start handling their coat, ears and nails at an early age to get them used to being touched. Wolf hybrids have thick, dense coats and tend to shed moderately most of the year, then more heavily during the change of seasons. They should be brushed once a week and more frequently during their heavy shedding seasons. Wolf hybrids should also have their ears cleaned and nails trimmed regularly. They only need one or two baths a year.
Wolf hybrids are generally more reserved and less predictable than domesticated dogs.
The temperament of a wolf hybrid is highly dependent on their breeding. Typically, a wolf hybrid is more aloof and shy than a purebred dog. Wolves are naturally skittish around humans and do not make effective guard dogs. However, with their families, wolf hybrids bond closely and are rather loving.
On average, a wolf hybrid takes about three years to mature and grow out of their puppy phase. During those years, they can be rambunctious. Wolf hybrids do not make the best companions for small children as they can mistake their screaming and running around as reason to chase after them. Likewise, a wolf hybrid should not be housed with smaller animals as they may regard them as prey.
A wolf hybrid requires an experienced handler along with lots of training and socialization. Wolf hybrids generally want to be dominant and need a strong alpha as a leader. Consistency is very important with wolf hybrids as is positive reinforcement. Wolf hybrids should never be treated harshly. Wolves are surprisingly sensitive and will lose respect for their owner if yelled at or abused.
Wolf hybrids are energetic and may be best suited to life outdoors. They tend to be chewers and diggers, and can be destructive if housed inside. Wolf hybrids also need room to roam. Wolf hybrids require a secure yard with a high fence or a comfortable pen. If a wolf hybrid does live indoors with their family, they need at least 60 minutes of outside time every day.