Animals are great companions for humans. Several studies have pointed out the positive effects of owning animals, including significant improvement in people’s mental and physical health. However, owning a pet comes with its own share of responsibilities.
When it comes to wolfdogs, it becomes more challenging as their needs are much more complex compared to regular domesticated pets. This is largely due to the breeds mixed in with the wolf to create the wolfdog and the lack of breed standards that exist in domestic breeds. All dogs, including wolfdogs, start as these cuddly manageable balls of fur. It’s impossible to tell at that stage if they will remain your devoted pet or display the more independent traits of their wolf heritage. Even low content wolfdogs, meaning the percentage of wolf in the dog, may act more “wild” by being unsocial and shy of people. They may not want to be house dogs, love to chew your sofas, or even try to open doors and windows. Some of the challenging traits like digging, climbing, and escaping are also common in breeds like huskies and malamutes, usually part of the dog mix.
If not prepared for a wolfdog’s personality, potential families may find these habits overwhelming. While some try to cope with these changes, others surrender and place their pets for adoption. Many wolfdogs are less fortunate as they get neglected or abandoned to shelters where there is little hope of reaching the adoption floor.
Before you bring a wolfdog into your home, make sure that you have considered the following:
Your state, county, and city must allow wolfdog ownership. Although with varying restrictions, it’s legal to own wolfdogs in several states.. Check state guidelines pertaining to wolfdog ownership, also called hybrids, before you decide on getting one. You might need to secure permits or comply with minimum requirements such as enclosure size. A state may allow wolfdogs, like North Carolina, but have county by county restrictions. Other states, like Florida, may regulate based on the wolf content in the animal. Sites to reference include Municode and your local domestic animal control regulations. Most statutes and restrictions will be posted online.
Prepare the proper enclosure. Wolfdogs are escape artists. They can jump over typical fences or burrow their way out if their enclosure does not have dig barriers. They also have enough strength to destroy fences or walls that are not designed to keep wolfdogs in. Adopting a dog that is a little older will allow you to find a friend that you know will work within your fencing and lifestyle. If acquiring a pup, you need to be prepared to meet that animal’s needs no matter what traits they exhibit. Fencing ideas can be found at Wolfdog Project.
Your property must have ample space. Wild wolves travel up to 120 miles in a day. Dog breeds like husky and malamute are designed specifically to pull and run long distances. Wolfdogs with these genetics need to move around and get a lot of exercise., Small apartments or properties with limited outdoor space are not ideal for these creatures. There are always exceptions, however, especially if older and this is why we encourage adoption as the best route.
Provide them with enrichment activities. Wolfdogs are highly intelligent animals, and they need to be constantly stimulated through various enrichment activities that help them develop physically and mentally. Shy Wolf offers daily enrichment that varies for all of the senses and includes visual, smell, audible, environmental, and even taste. Follow our pages for ideas on enhancing your dog or cat’s life.
You must have the capacity to provide for their basic needs. Owning wolfdogs comes with a cost. You need to provide them with the right types of food, regular veterinary care, supplements, and the like. Our animals are on a raw meat diet, but many adopted wolfdogs do quite well on a high-grade kibble that is grain-free. Spending a little more on the food will save veterinary costs later. We find that the raw diet also keeps teeth clean of plaque and tarter.
Every day, the Sanctuary receives requests for help for wolfdogs that have been abandoned, neglected, or surrendered. These wolfdogs are looking for a new family that can provide them with a new home. We screen all animals for adoptability and what type of home or family they will do well in prior to approving an adopter. We work hard to match up animals with families who have the skills and resources to provide a forever successful adoption.
So, if you think you have what it takes to be a wolfdog owner, consider adopting an animal in need today Check out Shy Wolf’s adoptables page under our animals tab and learn how you can qualify to adopt one of these loveable, albeit at times challenging, creatures.