What is a wolf dog?
When a gray wolf and a domestic dog mate, their puppies and grandpuppies are known as“wolfdogs.” In fact, a “wolfdog” can be any dog with wolf heritage from the past five generations.
Wolfdogs have their own unique personalities, which make them less predictable than either wolves or dogs, but they are very trainable.
Wolfdogs are NOT guard dogs. Wolfdogs, like wolves, tend to be more shy of strangers and need to be exposed to people at a young age to overcome this. However, once socialized, wolfdogs have a tendency to be extremely loyal, treating their owner like a member of their “pack.”
Wolfdogs need a tremendous amount of time from their owners or canine companions from the moment they’re brought home throughout their entire lives. Any interruption of this companionship can be seen as a destruction of their pack and cause a lifetime of adjustment problems for a wolfdog.
Wolfdogs howl much more than domestic dogs, which can be a challenge for some neighborhoods or neighbors! Because of their size, a wolfdog also needs at least 6-foot fencing in yard areas, which may not be permitted by all homeowners associations. If you’re thinking about raising a wolfdog, make sure you talk to your neighbors about your decision beforehand.
More than other domestic dogs, Wolfdogs are highly curious and love digging. Wolfdogs will often dig dens in backyards, but do not respond well to harsh training methods. When raising a wolfdog, owners have to be very cognizant of the effects that their training will have on their animal.
Wolfdog Ambassadors are specially trained to be highly social animals so they can educate their communities on the dangers that their wolf ancestors face today! An ambassador works long hours and often travels to events for public appearances.
Learn more about how you can hire Journey to appear at your event here.
Why train your companion? Your relationship will be much stronger, harmonious, and life expectancy likely longer. An untrained companion can be a stressful pain in the neck, as they haven’t learned proper manners, socialization, or behaviors. They may dig up your beautiful roses, chew on the couch, bark too much, bite the mail carrier, and just are not a pleasure to be with or around. These animals often wind up in shelters and rescues, because their human companion failed to teach them proper manners – just the same as we teach our own human children.
Journey is extremely intelligent, loves to learn new tricks, and is a very quick learner. He started learning clicker training at 5 weeks of age. He learned to sit and down his first 2 minutes of training with a single click, petting, praise, and a meat treat. Didn’t have to teach him a second time, which is often true with many canines. I find with these furry guys and gals, you always have to be a step ahead of them, as they can out think you, if you’re not careful. One of the things I love about Journey and others like him, they keep you on your toes!
He has always learned with positive reinforcement training. This means he gets a reward (food treat, toy, game, and/or petting) when he does the trick asked of him via hand signal or voice command. Incorrect behaviors are not reprimanded, but simply ignored.
Journey has never worn a choke chain, prong collar, martingale collar, or electronic collar. He wears a custom made front clip Walk in Sync harness.
He still loves, enjoys, and looks forward to his fun daily training sessions. He will often offer behaviors voluntarily in hopes of a click, treat, toy, game, or petting. He’s like, if I do this, will I get a click? If I put one paw on this box, 2 paws on the box or maybe I should just get inside the box? He is excited and so enthusiastic to learn and get a reward for new tricks learned as well as the ones he already knows, unlike old fashioned traditionally trained dogs who get reprimanded for behaviors and are afraid of doing the wrong thing, so they don’t willingly offer up behaviors on the chance it’s not right. Not the optimum way you or I would like to learn or be treated.
To a large degree, Journey wants a “paycheck” just the same as we do. Sure, he’ll sit, down, wave, etc. when he wants to, but if you want assurance he’s going to perform as requested, you need to have the right paycheck or he may just decide he’s not working, just like us! Just note, he knows the difference between T-bone and prime rib treats! If your paycheck was a bag of fresh yummy worms, you likely wouldn’t choose to work that job, but birds on the other hand would consider worms a great payday.
Respect is key, not dominance. Treat your companion, regardless of species, with the same respect, love, and kindness that you would give to and expect from your very best human friend. A well trained and socialized animal is a joy to be with, whether at home or when traveling. Positive reinforcement/clicker training is the most fun, rewarding, and effective way to accomplish this.
My Diet & Nutrition
So, you want to know what I eat? The foods I love and dislike? You may be surprised to know I do/will NOT eat junk food. No pizza, salads, chips, or pretzels! Most people would think that wolves would eat absolutely anything, but that’s definitely not true. You should see the surprised look on people’s faces, as they back away from me, when my mom tells them we’re at the shopping mall looking for my lunch…and is it YOU that’s going to be my lunch? Much to everyone’s relief, they discover I just love to give people kisses, but I would surely never consider them a nutritious lunch!
I am a carnivore with teeth designed for ripping and tearing at meat, as all canines and felines are. I eat Species Appropriate Raw Food (aka SARF) or Raw Meaty Bones (aka RMB’s). I eat a prey model diet, according to Dr. Tom Lonsdale’s book, “Raw Meaty Bones”. I love raw chicken, turkey, duck, beef, rabbit, organ meats and I love the infamous green tripe from Mary Voss at Green Tripe.Com. Not sure if I love my organic eggs or bone marrow better, but those are my favorites.
Mom supplements my daily food with organic food grade diatomaceous earth as it eliminates intestinal worms and parasites, provides 15 minerals, detoxes heavy metals, cleanses the bowels, great for bone and joint growth, arthritis, and sweeps some bacteria and viruses out of the body; organic Icelandic kelp because it provides over 60 vitamins, minerals, and amino acids; Flea Free Food Supplement makes sure I don’t bring home any traveling flea and tick hitchhikers and protects me from mosquitoes, mites, etc. (mom gives me double the normal daily dose during flea/tick season, cuz she says we travel to so many places, she wants to make sure I don’t bring unwanted guests home!); and 100% New Zealand Colostrum another yummy favorite of mine. Mom also rotates Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids – Cod Liver Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, etc. and of course special prostate herbs for me, because I am a male, and special herbs for the females to keep their female parts strong, healthy, and disease free.
I refuse to eat dry dog food or treats. All the people we meet and stores we go into try to tempt me with dry treats and my mom tells them if I’ll eat it, she’ll buy it, but no, I don’t like that stuff. Mom makes or buys me real meat treats, like medium rare bison patties, In-N-Out burger patties, cooked chicken, prime rib, corned beef, etc.
Sure, every once in a while, my human family and friends will share a couple of licks of ice cream with me, but mom knows ice cream (dairy and sugar) is not good for me. No animal in the wild gets dairy past weaning age. Many feed yogurt to their canines and felines, often for the probiotic benefits, but I don’t really like yogurt and I get all the naturally occurring probiotics I need in my favorite daily green tripe.
I am blessed and proud to be filling the shoes of mom’s 17 year old 24/7 traveling companion. My grandmother, Atalla lived to be 19. My human mom is hoping I will be with her this long or longer and she knows raising me naturally with the best possible nutrition, exercise, training, TLC, holistic vets, etc. will keep us together in this life for as long as possible.
If you’re looking for information about feeding a raw diet to your canine(s) or feline(s), please check out this great Animal Nutrition Information. And NO, eating raw food doesn’t make me want to eat people!
Are wolfdogs legal to own in your State, City, and County?
States like Florida require class II permitting for wolfdogs while other states don’t allow them at all. Even if your wolfdog is legal to own in your area, do some research on the political culture in your area to make sure it’s safe for a wolfdog.
Although your wolfdog is only part wolf, many hunters cannot see the difference. Are hunters targeting wolves in areas around your home? If so, it may not be safe for a wolfdog to live there.