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High Content Traits

There is no one breed standard for the wolfdog so depending on the animals in the mix you will see a wide variety of physical traits.  However, the high content should display a large number of wolf-like traits.  An extremely high content will be almost indistinguishable from a pure while those on the lower end of the high content spectrum may display some slightly doggie features and possibly some watered down behavioral characteristics.


It is hard to pinpoint specific behavior characteristics of a high content because each animal is an individual.  Canine behavior is canine behavior, but the reactions and the intensity of the behavior is what make a high content wolfdog much different to work with. As a general rule a high content will follow many of the traits we find in pure wolves that have helped them survive in the wild.  They are typically very sensitive to their environment. They come across very stubborn and aloof with a lack of a willingness to please that we see in domesticated dogs.  They can be very shy and fearful of anything new or different.  They are very direct animals with strong will and the full predatory motor pattern.


These wolfdogs are so intelligent that they must have a lot of stimulation to keep them from boredom and the inevitable destruction that follows.  They are very affectionate and bond strongly to their family.  They love attention on their terms but prefer to live outdoors as they mature rather than sharing the house with you.  


Contrary to myths, they can be trained but you must find the right methods to entice them to want to please you.  You just have to do a lot of trial and error to find it, and once you do remember to train in short periods to avoid boredom.  They can excel in learning basic manners, but obtaining 100% recall will aggravate the most patient owner.


A high content wolfdog should be owned by very experienced people with the proper containment, a thorough understanding of canine body language and of canine behavior.  These animals are not for everyone!

 

What do they look like?

 

As we stated above, a high content should be almost indistinguishable from

a pure.  Here is a quick checklist of a small portion of what we look for when

phenotyping a high content wolfdog:

 

  • Large wedge shaped head

  • Long, wide muzzle

  • Slight stop

  • Adult Eye color will vary from amber, gold, yellow, pale yellow to green and pale never Blue

  • The Nose, lips and eye liner are black

  • Ears are a medium size, fully erect with thick cartilage, rounded tips and set moderately high on the head

  • The large, muscular body has a flat back, a narrow chest and a long powerful neck

  • The long, oval shaped front legs rotate outward slightly

  • The rear legs will have a slight cow hocked look with a long stifle

  • Each of the paws are very elongated with well furred, webbed toes, thick paw pads and broad black toenails (arctic wolfdogs will have taupe or opaque toenails)

  • The tail will hang down loosely with the tip reaching just below the hock

  • Their coat is made up of a thick, dense creamy colored underfur and long, coarse guard hairs that are multi-banded in color.  They have a well pronounced cheek ruff and cape and the inguinal region is heavily furred.

  • Their markings should be well blended around the face.

  • They will shed only one time per year

  • Both males and females have a monestrus breeding cycle .  Females go into estrus from Jan-late Feb (as late as early March for arctics) and males become fertile in December through March.  Sperm will peak in late Jan-Feb and testicle size will fluctuate throughout the year.  They will begin to enlarge in October and be walnut sized by late Nov or early December.  By May they will begin to shrink and once again become more of a peanut size

  • Puppies will be born late March- May (up to June for arctics)

  • They are born dark brown, charcoal or black with little/no markings other than an occasional white star on the chest.

  • As the eyes open between 10-14 days they are a blue color