The animal world is quite amazing. In nature, there are a huge number of animals that are not purebred, but are a kind of hybrid of several animals. For example, the so-called wolfdogs, which, in essence, are hybrids of a wolf and a dog, deserve special attention.
Consider the distinctive features of this animal, get acquainted with the history of its origin and learn about what varieties of wolfdogs exist.
Features and history of origin
A cross between a wolf and a dog is an unusual animal that, according to many scientists, arose several thousand years ago. For the first time, the remains of a hybrid were discovered by archaeologists during excavations. Due to the fact that the first found bones of such animals are of ancient origin, it is believed that wolfdogs are animals that have evolved naturally. This conclusion was made due to the fact that ancient people did not have the knowledge and capabilities to carry out the selection procedure.
Later, in the 15th century, an experiment was conducted in Germany to cross a wolf and a dog. Scientists have tried to crossbreed the wolf with a variety of dog breeds.
The offspring obtained as a result of such work had a large number of shortcomings: they did not make contact with a person, showed aggression, and did not lend themselves to education and training.
Some time later, in 1766, English scientists tried to repeat an unusual experiment. This time, a wild wolf was crossed with a dog, which was a representative of the shepherd breed. As a result of crossing, 9 puppies were obtained, which ended up in the homes of English aristocrats.
An attempt to reproduce wolfdogs was also made in Holland. The well-known at that time Dutch scientist Lander Sarlos crossed a wild wolf with a German shepherd. It was this animal that after some time received official recognition and lasted 19 years. After this period, the hybrids were recognized as dangerous to humans and overly aggressive.
Multiple failures of his predecessors did not stop the Czech scientist Karel Hartl, who was able to surpass his colleagues and produce a wolf hybrid that was recognized by the cynological community.
Domestic scientists also did not stand aside. The creation of domestic wolfdogs was carried out by order of the government of the Russian Federation on the basis of the Institute of Internal Troops in Perm.
In appearance, the hybrid of a dog and a wolf resembles a wild animal. With regard to such an unusual animal, scientists have developed and adopted official standards.
With regard to the mixed breed, the standards relate to the anatomical structure of the animal. Metis has rather large dimensions, respectively, large numerical indicators of growth and weight. So, the weight of a wolfdog is usually in the range from 30 to 50 kilograms, and the height is from 60 to 70 centimeters.
It is important to note that the weight and height of females will be lower than those of males.
The anatomical structure of the body of the cross repeats the outlines of the body of the wolf. However, this repetition is not absolute; there are differences in outlines. In particular, the wolfhound has a pronounced muscle mass, due to which the animal is quite strong, fast and capable of jumping long distances. The front and hind legs of the hybrid are quite long. However, the hind limbs, which are parallel to the front, have more developed musculature. The wolfdog is endowed with a long and fluffy tail.
The cranium of the animal has a wedge-shaped outline. The jaw is quite powerful and converges in a scissor bite. It has been scientifically proven that the grip of hybrids is much stronger than that of ordinary dogs. The wolfdog’s ears are triangular in shape. It is also important to note the fact that animals have exceptional hearing, which reacts even to minor noises. The eyes of animals are traditionally painted in a light brown color.
The hairline of the animal deserves special attention. In general, the colors repeat the coat colors of wolves, however, some deviations can be observed. So, the most popular shades are:
- white and others.
Moreover, the coloring of the wolfdog can be either uniform or spotted or even patterned.
A hybrid of a dog and a wolf is an animal that is not widely used. However, despite such a small popularity, scientists and veterinarians have identified several varieties of the so-called wolf dog:
- the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, which is a cross between the Central Russian Forest Wolf and the German Shepherd;
- the Russian Wolfhound, whose parents were the Canadian black wolf and the Alaskan Malamute;
It is important to note that the first 2 varieties are considered officially accepted and registered, while a wolfdog is a wolf crossed with any dog.
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog originated in 1955 thanks to the efforts of Czechoslovak breeders. This animal was bred for a specific purpose – to participate in military activities, in search and rescue work, as well as for protective and guard duty. Officially, at the international level, the wolf dog was registered in 1999. Thus, this species is considered quite young.
The Russian Wolfhound is an animal that has the distinct features of a wild wolf. The animal calmly endures even adverse environmental conditions. Such a dog is not adapted for living in cramped conditions of small apartments – it requires a lot of space.
The animal, which is a mixture of a wolf and a dog, can be purchased on the territory of our country only in one official nursery – the Wolf Center Russian Wolf Center Park. When purchasing a wolf dog in any other place, you cannot be sure that you are purchasing a hybrid animal.
When choosing a particular puppy, you should take into account all the same features as when choosing a dog of any breed. So, make sure that the appearance of the animal is well-groomed and neat, and the behavior should be active.
The cost of an animal depends on its pedigree. In our country, a hybrid of a wolf and a dog can be purchased for an amount of 50,000 to 120,000 rubles.
Pros and cons
Wolf dogs, like any other animals, have both negative and positive traits. Therefore, before acquiring an unusual animal, you should familiarize yourself with all the characteristics of a wolfdog.
One of the main disadvantages of this animal is aggressiveness. This character trait is especially manifested if more than 25% of the total blood volume of the hybrid is wolf. With skillful training, the aggressiveness and anger of the animal can be reduced, but a professional dog handler should be involved in training and educating the animal.
As for the positive character traits, pet owners most often highlight such characteristics as endurance, courage and fearlessness, loyalty and devotion, as well as a developed instinct.
Conditions of detention
Due to the fact that wolfdogs are rather unusual animals, there are certain principles for their maintenance, which are mandatory.
First of all, it is important to consider that you cannot keep wolf dogs on a chain. Instead, the animal can live in enclosures or booths. But the size of such rooms should be very large so that the animal can safely move around its home without experiencing additional difficulties.
Inside the booth or aviary, which serves as the dog’s home, there should be no drafts and wind. And also keep in mind that direct sunlight should be avoided on the dog, as they have a negative effect on the body of your pet.
In the autumn and spring, wolf dogs experience a molt. At this time, the hybrid should be combed regularly.
Bathing animals is allowed infrequently – only 1 time per year. At the same time, care should be taken that the water temperature is not lower than room temperature, and in the process of water procedures, only detergents specially designed for animals are used.
In hygienic terms, you need to monitor the condition of the ears and eyes. Ears should be cleaned of sulfur and hairs – this can be done with cotton swabs dipped in water or vegetable oil (for especially intense pollution). Eyes should be cleaned with cotton pads. It is also important to monitor the condition of the oral cavity and teeth of the animal.
In order to maintain the health of a wolf dog, it is important to periodically show the animal to the veterinarian (at least once every 6 months).
The basis of a dog’s diet should be meat and offal. This diet will provide your dog’s body with the protein it needs. And also in the menu you can include cereals (buckwheat, rice), fermented milk products (cottage cheese, fermented baked milk, natural yogurt), as well as boiled vegetables.
The story about the breed in the next video.