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The German shepherd Wolf Mix is a crossbreed of a German Shepherd and a wolf. It is popularly known as a Wolf-Shepherd or a Wolf-dog. Some studies stipulate that the breed is an ancient breed that existed in Teotihuacan approximately 12-14 years ago. Nonetheless, the more recent experiments by Leendert Saarloos in 1932 is what constitutes the Wolf-dog that we know today. The main reason for this cross-breeding is that you would want to get a dog with the best qualities of both the dog and the wolf.

What is a German shepherd wolf mix?

German Shepherd Wolf Mix is a German Shepherd dog that has been crossbred with any of the three types of wolf species. It is difficult to fully understand the Wolf Mix dog without understanding the characteristics of the parents themselves. As such, there are no two wolf-dogs that are exactly alike. To understand what a German Shepherd Wolf Mix is, you will have to have an understanding of both the German Shepherd and the Wolf as singular units.

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The German Shepherd Vs the Wolf

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German ShepherdThe Wolf
The German Shepherd dog breed was developed by Captain Max von Stephanitz in Germany in the late 1800’s. His major aim was to produce a herding dog that had high intelligence, had immense physical strength and was fiercely loyal. Suffice to say that he was successful at that because these are the character traits that define a German Shepherd in the world today (over hundred and twenty years later).In fact, the German shepherd is regarded as one of the most popular families of working dogs and here in the U.S. it is second only to the Labrador Retriever.The German Shepherd is typically very aggressive towards strangers and very protective of members of its family.It has a wolf – like appearance and has a long snout with pointed ears. It also has a medium or long neck with a very thick coat.With regards to the color, the German Shepherd is typically black and tan with fewer variations of a complete black or complete white color among some breeds. These colors among German Shepherds are hard to come by as they are as a result of the recessive genes from the canine’s genetic makeup.The German shepherd is also known to have various mixes due to its excellent ability to exhibit the qualities that you require in a dog for various functions. Some of them include: The German Shepherd Pitbull Mix, the German Shepherd Husky Mix, the German Shepherd Rottweiler Mix, the German Shepherd Labrador Mix as well as the German Shepherd Border Collie Mix.The Wolf is a wild animal that is very difficult to domesticate. However, it has dog-like properties that would make it an excellent dog if it was predictable. Similarly, the resulting Wolf mix of the German Shepherd and the wolf is also very unpredictable and makes it hard to train.As the wolf is a natural predator with great hunting skills, it is much preferred for breeding with dogs to produce stronger and fiercer dogs, excellent for hunting and hardy work.Just like other dog families, the wolf has various species and a variety of these species can be bred with other dogs. (I will get into more detailed explanations of these two species in a later section of this article.)Different types of wolves have different characteristics and personality traits based on their predisposition to their immediate environment. Therefore, this means that in order to have the best quality wolf mix, you need to identify the specific characteristics that make it suitable for breeding with other dog types. So far, It is The Saarloos Wolfhound and the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog that are much preferred as a result of breeding with the German Shepherd, due to their high compatibility index.

Breeding history

For many years, people have tried to breed dogs to create the perfect dog with the best characteristics suited for specific functions. As such, man has gone to great lengths to make this a reality. So much that men like Leendart Saarloos decided to breed a dog with a wolf, just to see if the resulting hybrid would exhibit the desired characteristics.

While Leendert might have been among the first to try cross breeding a German Shepherd with a Wolf in 1935, many other individuals have tried crossbreeding various dog species with varied wolf species to create the perfect canine for their respective uses. In this article, I will focus solely on two popular Wolf Dogs that are as a result of wolf species that have been bred with a German shepherd:

  1. The Saarloos Wulfhund
  2. The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

The Saarloos Wulfhund

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The Saarloos Wulfhund is a German Shepherd Timberwolf Mix that was created in 1935 by Leendart Saarloos in the Netherlands. Leendart was looking to create a hybrid dog that had more natural traits that would make suitable as a hardy working dog.

Unfortunately, the results were completely opposite of what he expected as the Saarloos Wulfhund is reserved, very cautious and lacks the ferocity that you would expect from a wolf-like animal. It is therefore more suitable as a companion dog.

With regards to its characteristics,the Saarloos Wulfhund:

  • Can reach up to 30 inches in height
  • It can weigh up to 100 lbs (approximately 45 Kgs)
  • It has a very thick coat of fur
  • Can be grey, red or white in color
  • Has a muscular athletic build

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

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The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is yet another interesting German Shepherd Wolf mix that was created in 1955 in Czechoslovakia. The mix is as a result of mixing the German Shepherd with the Carpathian Wolf. The Wolf mix was initially created to try and simulate the intelligence, trainability as well as the pack mentality of the German shepherd and add on the physical prowess and the stamina of the Carpathian wolf.

This breed was successful as these are the very characteristics that define the wolf mix today. In fact, it was so successful that it is used in military forces as an attack dog. It is also used for rescue operations, tracking, herding as well as hunting. In 1982, it was recognized as a national breed in Czechoslovakia and much later by the FCI in 1989.

It is confident and assertive and can be very aggressive towards other dogs and pets. In retrospect, it is very playful, temperamental and highly protective of its family. Therefore, early socialization is essential in order to soften its highly dominant nature.

The Czechoslovakian wolfDog has the following physical characteristics that make it ideal as a working or hunting dog:

  • It can reach up to a height of 26 inches (an equivalent of 65 Cm)
  • It can also weigh up to 57 lbs (26 Kgs)
  • It has a short and straight coat
  • It is typically yellow-gray or silver-gray

You should also note that…

It is not only the German Shepherd that can be bred with the wolf. There are various other dog types that can be bred with the wolf to produce dogs that look like wolves. Here are some of other popular wolf-half dog mixes:

  • Husky Wolf
  • Wolamute Wolf Dog
  • Kunming Wolf Dog
  • American Alsatian
  • Native American Indian Dog
  • King German Shepherd Wolf Mix

And so…

What does a German Shepherd Wolf mix look like?

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For starters, the German Shepherd looks like a wolf. You will then find the hybrid between the two breeds to be very large. Furthermore, even the facial features resemble those of a wolf: It has a long face, a very thick coat as well as pointed ears, just like those that you would see on a wolf.

In addition, the coat of the Wolf Shepherd can either be gray, sable, white, black, or any mix of these colors. In most cases, the Wolf Shepherd will inherit the thick fur that is found in both parents and due to this fact, it is known to shed its fur heavily.

Interestingly, it is tall but does not meet the extraordinary tallness found in the German Shepherd. It is approximately 24 inches, which is an equivalent of 60 cm. It also has a weight of 120 lbs (54 Kgs).

Does a German Shepherd mixed with a wolf make a good pet?

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The German Shepherd Wolf Mix will definitely make for a very good pet if well trained and cared for. Sadly, most pet lovers underestimate the work involved in raising a Wolfdog and end up discarding the pet altogether. Nonetheless, it can make for a very protective and affectionate companion with ideal characteristics for a family pet. 

Is the German Shepherd wolf mix dangerous?

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The Wolf Shepherd is very dangerous if not well trained. This is mostly because the wolf is a wild animal and thus very unpredictable. The German Shepherd Wolf mix behavior is mostly characterized by shy and skittish traits and thus can easily attack an individual out of self-defense. 

In fact, it is considered so dangerous that it is banned in several states here in the U.S. Furthermore, wolves build dens and roam in packs, such that they have strong predatory instincts. These predatory instincts are very destructive and might even end up resulting in bad character traits in your Wolf Shepherd such as digging holes in the garden or even chewing of wooden furniture.

The Wolf Shepherd is very dangerous such that it cannot be left with other pets. This unpredictable nature makes it very risky to leave with children. As a matter of fact, the Black Wolf Shepherd cannot be left with children as it is very well known for being less tolerant with children. It will tend to bite or shake the child, a character that it exhibits when correcting its own puppies.

Nevertheless, when well trained, these characters make it very ideal as a protective and loyal companion. The end result is being a strong, intelligent, affectionate and playful canine companion towards the family.

Are Wolf German Shepherd Mix Health issues common?

First off, the average lifespan of a Wolf Shepherd is 14 or 15 years. This is a very long life span, and resembles those of dog and wolf species alike. Nevertheless, the German Shepherd is prone to many diseases, a genetic trait that can be passed on to the resulting hybrid. Therefore, this means that a Wolf Shepherd is also most likely to contact any or a combination of the following critical diseases:

  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a painful hip joint deformity that can cause loss of mobility and even lameness in some cases
  • Elbow Dysplasia: This disease is similar to the Hip Dysplasia and even exhibits the same symptoms. Elbow Dysplasia is a joint deformity that affects the elbows and will cause joint pain and loss of mobility in extreme cases.
  • Bloat:Bloat might seem like an ordinary stomach discomfort but for the Wolf Shepherd, it is very deadly. Bloat will cause the Wolf Shepherd to have gas in the stomach, which might cause it to twist and even lead to shock or death if unattended.
  • Cancer: As a consequence of the German Shepherd’s susceptibility to diseases, the Wolf Shepherd is also prone to cancer, and can result in the abnormal growth of cells throughout the body.

Feeding time

As the Wolf Shepherd is prone to Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, it is important to keep your dog on a strict diet and regular feeding times to avoid the risk of being obese. I would advise to feed your Wolf Shepherd approximately 2 – 3 cups of meat-based dog food at regular intervals. If you are not sure about the diet or how to feed your Wolf Shepherd, then you should consult a veterinarian for further advice.

Exercise time

Again, to reduce the risk of contracting Hip or Elbow Dysplasia, it is important to keep your dog on a strict exercise regimen so as to keep it physically fit. A house with a large – fenced compound is the best for the Wolf Shepherd as it will have a large area where it can stretch its legs. Furthermore, you can include a few toys that will help them burn the extra energy. You can even help it to burn this extra energy by playing fetch with a ball or tugging games which can keep the chewing habit under control.

Can you train a Wolf Shepherd?

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It is absolutely essential to train a wolf shepherd in order for it to have a good basis for the dog.  Otherwise, the German Shepherd wolf mix will end up being very wild. This being the case, training a Wolf Shepherd can [rove to be very challenging and will require a lot of patience and consistency.

Subsequently, training should start in the early weeks as it is almost impossible to train adult Wolf Shepherds. They will have already adopted the wild instincts inherited from their wolf parents. Training essentially helps to reduce the tendency of the Wolf Dog towards aloofness, fear, as well as an unpredictable temperament.

To effectively train a Wolf Shepherd, dominance is the key.  You will inherently need to assert dominance through issuing firm commands even when they seem to ignore you. You have to prove to the canines that you are the leader of the pack and nothing less of it. You absolutely cannot let them dominate you under any circumstance.

Furthermore, socialization is advised and especially during the early stages of the wolf dog’s growth and development. This will enable it to be able to relate well with other pets within your household. You might even go as far as taking your German Shepherd wolf mix for walks in the park. Always remember to keep the dog on a leash as well as keep them under close supervision when close to other dogs.

Where can I buy a German Shepherd Wolf Mix?

If you have the intention of purchasing or acquiring a German Shepherd wolf mix, then worry not for you can get a puppy at just $800 USD only. Even though I should warn you before you make this decision; you have to understand the level of responsibility attached with owning a Wolfdog.

In addition, in order to get the best breeds of the German Shepherd Wolf mix puppy, you should make contact with reputable breeders only. These breeders will be able to direct you on the relative medical histories as well as the parents of the puppy before purchase. You should be able to visit the parents and be provided with the appropriate health clearances such that you will be sure that you have the right Wolf Dogs for you.

Alternatively, you can also get a Wolfdog at the appropriate rescue centers. It is sad that there are a lot of Wolf Dogs in animal shelters and rescue centers. This mostly happens because the owners are usually attracted to the general looks of the Wolf dog while underestimating the immense work that it takes to raise one.

I have listed some of the top Wolfdog rescue centers that you will find a German Shepherd wolf mix, or any other Wolfdogs that you may please:

  • Howling Woods Farm
  • Never Cry Wolf Rescue and Adoption Center
  • Dark Forest Kennels
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