need help with wolf hybrid

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silverfox98a
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need help with wolf hybrid

Post by silverfox98a » Wed Oct 09, 2013 1:33 am

Ok so I have recently rescued Jake my wolf hybrid from a basic neglect case, he was un-socialized around other dogs but told he did well around the previous owners mothers female dog.... I've had Jake for just over a month and he has already shown great promise but also shown he does not get along with other males.... I've gotten a 3.5 month old Shepard female and the initial greet went we'll but this morning he was laying with me and Jessie the female pup jumped up with us and he instantly jumped on her and had her pinned, how should I handle this situation so as not to make him dislike her permanently?

Swanny1790
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by Swanny1790 » Wed Oct 09, 2013 11:07 am

Could you provide a few more details?

How old is your wolf X dog? What is his reproductive status (intact, neutered?)
What is the percentage of wolf versus dog in his breeding? (half and half, 25% wolf, &c)
How much experience do you have working with wolf dogs? Have you handled similar hybrids or worked with captive wolves in the past?
What do you mean by "basic neglect"? Was he near starvation?
Please describe his socialization and habituation in as much detail as possible. Please describe the environment in which he was whelped and raised.
Please describe his (your) current living situation and environment (rural with room to run, suburban home, urban, &c)
Has he been examined by a veterinarian? How is his health generally?
What are you feeding your wolf X dog? Specifically, is either corn or corn products, or maize listed among the first 5 ingredients?
How much exercise does your wolf X dog get each day?

That should help give us a start.
"Once infected with the mushing virus, there is no cure. There is only trail." - Sven Engholm

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Wes
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by Wes » Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:38 pm

Also, are you sure he's absolutely a wolf hybrid? I know many people who have shepherd crosses or husky crosses that look "wolfish" (like Tamaskans, for example) and insist they're hybrids when they're not.

emmabeth
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by emmabeth » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:43 pm

We really do need the answers to the questions Swanny asks.

Lots of people think they have a wolf x dog - unfortunately there are a lot of people with some silly ideas and a lot of folk willing to sell them something purporting to be a wolf crossbreed, and a lot of these dogs are not.

On the other hand depending on where you live (I am guessing in the US), there are far more wolf crossbreeds around than there should be (there should be NONE).

IF your dog IS a wolf crossbreed, your first step is to understand that he is NEITHER a wolf NOR a dog. He is his own thing.

By that I mean, depending on how the genetics played out (and percentages are not an accurate indicator of this!), your wolf x might LOOK wolfy and behave like a dog, or he might look like a dog and behave like a wolf, or most likely, he looks a bit like both, and behaves a bit like both, and you won't know in which situation he is going to give you the wolf reaction and in which he will give you the dog reaction.

For now, I would not be introducing him to other dogs at all, whilst it might be nice for you if he can play nicely with strange dogs, it is not necessary even for a dog, if his mindset is more wolf than dog, its actually quite unnatural for him to play as an adult, and want to play with total strangers (particularly strange males). Instead avoid them, and work on building a rock solid relationship with you, where he learns that you are a source of brilliant things, are trustworthy and worthy of his respect.

This could take months and probably will, the good news is that you will learn a huge amount about him in that time and be MUCH better placed to decide what is worth attempting, and what probably won't ever be 'his thing'.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

jacksdad
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by jacksdad » Wed Oct 09, 2013 9:38 pm

Some resources for you, Nicole Wilde wrote a couple books on working with wolf/dog crosses and even has a Dvd on them. check them out here http://www.nicolewilde.com/store/

Swanny1790
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by Swanny1790 » Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:49 am

In the absence of additional information, I'll recommend a couple of resources.

As Jacksdad noted, Nicole Wilde has a great deal of experience dealing with wolf X dog crossbreeds and her books on the topic are invaluable.

I would also suggest you read the entire presentation on wolf X dog crossbreeds available on the Wolf Park website. (http://wolfpark.org/animals/hybrids/sloan-poster/)

A interview with Nicole Wilde that provides some good insights is available at http://www.nicolewilde.com/wp-content/u ... etShow.mp3 It runs somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 minutes.

I am inclined to encourage you to become involved with a wolf X dog crossbreed (hybrid) rescue organization if one can be found in your area. Spending time as a volunteer and learning more about these animals under the guidance of an experienced mentor can help you learn to assess your own animal's behavior and decide appropriate intervention or management strategies.

Even dogs with a very low content percentage of wolf in their lineage can be difficult to evaluate, and content is not necessarily predictive of wolf-like behavior or traits. There is a considerable amount of variability even among litter-mates.

Here's an example. I have two dogs in my kennel that could be considered very low content wolf dogs. There is 1 wolf-dog listed in the fourth generation of their pedigree, 3 in the sixth and either 4 or 5 in the seventh. Phenotypically, both Rose and Nels are identical in all ways except sexual characteristics, and nothing about their appearance would hint at wolf ancestry. They have spent their entire lives in the same environment together so there are very few variables in their background that might explain differences in their behavior.

Other than an enhanced prey drive, Nels behavior is typical of most of the Alaskan huskies in my kennel. He enjoys and frequently seeks out interaction with both familiar and unknown humans and in terms of 'trainability' I consider him average. Sister Rose, on the other hand, is very skittish and shy even with people she knows. She rarely seeks affection and when she does it is almost always while another dog is present and seeking affection. In spite of that, Rose is much quicker than her brother at associating behavior to reinforcement, so she is more easily trained than her brother and is an excellent command leader on the team.

Swanny and the Stardancer Historical Sled Dogs.
"Once infected with the mushing virus, there is no cure. There is only trail." - Sven Engholm

GabriellaHart
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by GabriellaHart » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:26 pm

First of all it is not wise to adopt older "wolfdogs" let alone one that was abused or had poor socialization training as a pup. I have raised over 8 of these animals in the last 24 years and would not take them on unless they had practically fallen out of the uterus. In order to obtain optimal success with such animals you need to initiate training/bonding/respect as early as 3 weeks to 6 weeks. And when I say bonding I mean constant, close, experienced interaction (far more than most people would call a "pet" and more like an obsessive commitment). Even when trained early it is a never-ending task to assert your dominance with a delicate balance of authority, mutual respect, enough freedom so that they do not become frustrated but enough dominance so that they don't think they have a chance to take over the "pack".

The fact that he adjusted so quickly to a new environment makes me think that he may not indeed be a wolf mix or a high percentage mix. Usually even the most adapted wolfdogs will always retain their sensitivity/fear of new environments, new people or new dogs. The behavior that you mentioned regarding him lying close to you and your female pup approaching on the couch which caused him to pin her down is really predictable behavior even in domesticated dogs. Dogs and especially wolfdogs have a keen sense of hierarchy. Attention is respect and if you were giving him attention and a "subordinate" animal interferes with that attention/respect it is a normal reaction for him to assert/confirm his place in that hierarchy. You have two options. Either train him firmly but gently and most patiently to realize that you are the one who determines who gets attention and respect while slowly increasing your attention with the female in his presence or you can choose to ignore your female in his presence. The best way would have been to teach him this early in his life. Depending on the content of wolf it may even be dangerous to try to teach him this at his age, again, especially if he was abused. Whatever you do it might be wise to muzzle him if you attempt to assert your dominance over him. It's a very tricky balance to do this without stimulating his instinct to challenge you.

Although I have devoted my life to these creatures, I would passionately discourage 99% of the population from raising/adopting wolfdogs. Unless you have OCD, extreme devotion/patience, understanding, able to deal with risk/trepidation, time, money and a thick hide for societal prejudice, you would be better off putting your head in a lion's mouth. I wish breeders would realize this and stop making these really sensitive, special need animals suffer in Sanctuaries, Shelters or being Euthanized.

jacksdad
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by jacksdad » Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:45 pm

Gabriella, I know you mean well and were just trying to help, but there really isn't any reason that someone couldn't take over the care of an older wolf/dog mix. Assuming worse case abuse and/or no socialization or poor socialization the wolf/dog X can still be worked with. you won't be able to think of it as your typical pet dog, and proactive thinking to avoid possible bad situations will need to be the norm, but you can still work with such a dog. in short, you would need to think in terms of "it as taming or working with a tamed wild animal" and all that goes with that realization vs I have a pet dog who happens to have some wolf in it.

As for "maintaining dominance for control", that is actually dangerous advice. Dogs do not need us to be "dominate" aka take extra steps to show who is in charge. That is actually an incorrect use of the word dominance. In addition, we have through selective breeding made dogs docile, biddable, and domesticated. Resulting in dog social structures are NOT hierarchical and almost flat. in fact that is one of THE defining differences between dogs and wolves. Dogs have practically a flat social structure characterized in part by their HIGH tolerance for strangers (humans, dogs, cats, horse etc) being "in their space". In addition to having an animal (dog) the has a very high dependence on us to simply live and with breed variation, a natural "look to the human" for direction in comparison to a wolf.

Wolves do have a more hierarchical social structure, but it's not as dictatorial as people think and one that is generally NOT based on being achieved through force/aggression. Wolf packs are almost exclusively made up of a breeding pair and their off spring. Making the hierarchy Dad, Mom, children, sometimes 2 to 3 different seasons of offspring still living with them. they do NOT have to violently take authority because they already have it being that they are the adults aka "mommy" and "daddy" to the other wolves. Unlike dogs, wolves are very INTOLERANT of strangers such as other wolves, people, coyotes etc "in their space". Sometimes even people they know. which is probably where people think they are challenging them, but in reality they just want space and for you to go away. it's the more logical explanation verse them "trying to take over the pack". There is no reason to believe dogs or wolves see us as pack members. there is actually ever reason to believe they KNOW we aren't dogs or wolves. And not being a dog or wolf, we actually are not physically equipped to try and behave like a dog or wolf and we don't know enough about their social structures and norms or how to apply dog or wolf like behavior in a way the dog or wolf find meaningful.

Telling someone they need to "dominant" their wolf or wolf/dog X is VERY dangerous and as it happens unnecessary advice. Wolves do not have the selectively breed genes that GREATLY reduce the risk of them fighting back and seriously injuring their handler when you try and "dominant" them. Much of the dog world's advised ways to "dominate" are ACTUALLY attacks from the animals perspective. Done to a high content wolf/dog X, you are RISKING your life and limb trying to implement them as the wolf or wolf/dog X is far less likely to tolerate what they interpret as an attack.

Dominance isn't a role or trait, it's a description of an outcome when two individuals of the same species want the same limited resource. data must be collected over time as you observe multiple encounters to even have a hope of figuring out who is dominate over who. what the resource is, how much time the individuals spend together, different resource can render a different individual "dominate" and the whole data set can get tossed and need to start over if new individuals are added to the mix. while the basic concept of dominance is "simple", when you actually go out in the real world and try and apply it, things get complex very quickly.

Fortunately the concept isn't all that relevant if you are just trying to train/tame or otherwise work with a wolf or wolf/dog X or even a regular dog. Frankly applying it as you suggest actually can get in the way of success.

positive training methods really shine in this situation, it creates a safe an non confrontational environment for both the handler and the animal and sound training techniques can bridge the "language" / behavior differences between us and the animal.

GabriellaHart
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by GabriellaHart » Sat Feb 22, 2014 11:45 am

I guess 24 years of well-adjusted wolfdogs doesn't say much for my knowledge/success on the subject. Thank you for your reply.

jacksdad
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by jacksdad » Sat Feb 22, 2014 12:03 pm

I have no doubt that in 24 years you have picked up some good knowledge and observations. But that doesn't change the fact that the parts of your advice regarding dominance is incorrect and as such dangerous. Particularly when it comes to wolves and wolf/dog X.

I have actually personally seen the advice to dominant a wolf/dog X, advice from a professional, result in the wolf/dog X becoming uncontrollable and aggressive and resulting in the animal being put to sleep. While it wasn't my personal animal, if I had only known what I know today that animal would have had a MUCH better chance to live out it's life. wolf/dog X and I had a pretty good foundation to work with, much better than his owner. The biggest key thing I have learned since this situation over 20 years ago....you DO NOT need to "dominate" your dog or wolf/dog X or even a full wolf...actually again I would not advise it for your personal safety.

GabriellaHart
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by GabriellaHart » Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:02 am

You have misinterpreted the word "dominance" as aggressive or physical. That of course is no way to train a wolfdog. I don't advise or condone any type of violent force as that does make an animal more aggressive towards you. The way to show "leadership" is to let your animal know that you are the one in charge and the one that should be respected. That does not mean to do it in a forceful manner. For example, teach them to obey you with simple tasks such as sit, shake hands (give a paw) and reward them with treats (positive reinforcement is always more effective with these animals). Then make sure they respect you when you give them food and respect others when you give them food in their presence. Again, I was not suggesting force or negative types of punishment.

jacksdad
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Re: need help with wolf hybrid

Post by jacksdad » Sun Feb 23, 2014 10:51 am

It isn't me misinterpreting what "dominance" is that is the concern. If you read a few posts up I know what it means. the concern is the correct definition isn't widely known with in the dog world. There are still many dog "experts" that miss use the term. Dominance isn't about leadership and when people mistakenly think it is and do things to "show they are in charge" that is where things start to go side ways.

The NUMBER ONE thing dogs and wolf/dog X need from us isn't "leadership". Nor do we NEED them to "respect us". Leadership and respect are very subjective terms, very human terms. they get in the way of actually training and working with our animals.

The NUMBER ONE things our animals need from us is safety. for us to be safe to be around. Next is trust. trust is to not harm them, put them in dangerous situations and such.

The problem with "leadership" is "you" are assuming everyone has the same definition. what one person may think of as good leadership, another might think of as harsh, unbending, cold etc. you may think telling someone to be their dog's leader puts you on the same page, but I would argue it doesn't. And it assumes the dogs even look for a leader, indications are they don't.

Respect is an even more subjective concept. assuming dogs/wolves even have such a concept, we have NO way of knowing what it is they respect or how they would give it.

concepts like respect/leadership dip a bit too much into the re-helm of anthropomorphism and try and place human values onto dogs and wolf/dog Xs. I do not believe there is any solid ground for either of those concepts in training or the care of our animals.

building a sense of safety and trust are much more solid concepts and ones we are much more sure that dogs and other animals understand and get vs subjective concepts like leadership and respect.

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