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So you bought a Wolfdog, now what?

10 Fun Facts & Tips for Owning High Energy Breed Dogs

Since the release of Game of Thrones, the popularity of wolf-like dog breeds and wolf hybrids has skyrocketed. While these dogs are stunning and interesting creatures, it is important that you do your research to make sure they are a good fit for you and your lifestyle. The good news is that we have started some of this research for you and have compiled together 10 fun facts and tips for owning your own version of a Direwolf.

  1. The type of dog that was used as a Direwolf in GoT is called a Northern Inuit Dog, and is crossed between German Shepherds, Alaskan Malamutes, Huskies and Grey Wolves. The intended purpose of this breed was to make a domestic dog that had more wolf-like features.
  2. There are breeders in the US that breed “wolfdogs”, by crossbreeding wolves with Malamutes, Huskies, and different types of Shepherds like German and Anatolian Shepherds. However, owning and/or breeding wolfdogs is only legal in some states and there are requirements you must meet to have one.
  3. There is a breeder in Oregon who has started “The Direwolf Project” and is selectively crossbreeding dogs to create a real life Direwolf!
  4. Northern breeds such as Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, American Eskimos Dogs, Northern Inuit Dogs and Wolf hybrids are EXTREMELY ACTIVE DOGS. They need space to run and need constant exercise, remember they were bred to pull sleds for long distances. The Northern Inuit Dogs used in GoT get 3 mile walks every day, at a minimum!
  5. It is very important to feed your little wolf cub a diet that is not only high in protein, but will also support their growth in the right way. Solid Gold’s appropriately named Wolf Cub has the right levels of calcium for good bone development and controlled growth. Adult large breeds can easily transition into Solid Gold’s Wolf King for the same great Bison flavor, superfoods, probiotics and omegas for gut health and overall immune support.
  6. While everyone would say their dog is smart, these northern breeds and wolf hybrids take the cake for intelligence. They love to “chat” and “talk” with their owners and while their intelligence can be great for understanding cues, it can be hard to train these guys as they are way too smart and stubborn for their own good.
  7. These dogs are SOCIAL. They thrive on that pack mentality that comes from their wolf relatives and work well in groups with people and dogs.
  8. While the Direwolf in GoT is FIERCE, Wolfdogs and Northern Breeds are actually shy by nature.
  9. Because of the climate that these dogs were first bred in, they all have developed double coats. They have a shorter undercoat and a longer top coat. So yes, that means double the shedding and unless you live in Antarctica, be prepared to be covered in dog hair all the time. A Furminator can help!
  10. While all dog breeds have some sort of pack mentality and look to their owner as the Alpha of the group, it is extra important in the case of Wolfdogs and Northern Breeds since they do have higher pack mentality. If the owner does not exert themselves as the Alpha, the dogs will decide who is.

Because of the rise in popularity of these breeds, there is also a rise in the amount of these dogs ending up in shelters due to owners not realizing what they were getting themselves into. Please remember that any dog is a long term commitment and they do become part your family. Really take time and research to see if they’re a good fit for you and if they are, enjoy!