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Winter Wolf Syndrome

Wolf hybrids or other exotic species crossed with domestic

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RabbleFox
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Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby RabbleFox » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:48 am

I didn't see a previous post about this so I thought I'd make one. I have read about this on a few different sites and was wondering if anyone else has heard of it, experienced it, or just has a general opinion on it.

Winter Wolf Syndrome (WWS) is a seasonal hormonal behavior change that apparently occurs in high content wolf dogs (will be just called "wolf dogs" from here on out in this post) and captive pures. It has not been documented in every single high content or captive pure but in rare (how rare, I don't know) cases it rears its ugly head. A wolf dog or wolf is raised from birth, you do all the things right. You bottle fed him, raised him up, and gave him a beautiful enclosure with lots of fresh meat and attention. He respects you and gives you lots of kisses when you come out to play. But then, as the wolf dog or wolf reaches sexual maturity, he challenges his owner/master. Growling, hackles raised, bites. Often times WWS includes an unexpected attack, from what I have read. The attacks are not to kill, just to establish dominance. But we all know wolves are powerful animals so sometimes the master is injured. The master is caught off guard by his generally lovey dovey wolf dog or wolf and their relationship can be damaged.

Michigan doesn't allow wolf dogs or wolves to be kept as pets so I probably will never own myself one but its still kind of concerning for anyone considering a high content wolf dog or wolf. The wolf dogs and wolves featured in the articles are hand raised and everything was done right but they still ended up with a temperamental winter wolf. Neutering/spaying can prevent this somewhat but hormones are produced in many places in the body so their is still a chance for an issue to arise.

Thoughts in general?

Male Neutered at 4 years, WWS: http://science-research-canid.itgo.com/wws.html

WWS in general: http://www.wolf-to-wolfdog.org/Chapter8.pdf

Female Spayed at 6 months, WWS: http://www.ls1gto.com/forums/archive/in ... 44551.html
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Cindy23323 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 8:27 pm

From what all I've heard its not too rare. It has not shown in either of my two highs as of yet (knock on wood) who are 4 and 5 years old. I've heard of it showing up and once breeding season is over they go right back to they're normal loving selves usually. I dont think its a dominance thing but more of the hormones are going crazy at that time of year, and they dont want you around they're mate.
Here is a story written by the owner of the wolfdog forum, who had it show up in his male.
http://www.wolfdogforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=84
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby RabbleFox » Tue Dec 25, 2012 10:41 pm

Thanks!

It a very interesting phenomenon. Something to keep in the back of your mind with your sexually mature wolf. Glad to know that neither of yours have shown symptoms. Are they intact? I'm sure you've said that somewhere else but I haven't browsed all the threads in this forum!
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Cindy23323 » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:04 am

yes both are still intact.
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Splashstorm » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:51 pm

This was what scared me when I first thought about getting into high contents/pures. Neutering/spaying is supposed to help though.
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby RabbleFox » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:23 am

It helps but it won't stop it completely. Hormones come from a lot of different places in the body. The last link I shared tells about a female who was spayed at 6 months who is still aggressive during the wintertime.
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Cindy23323 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 6:08 am

That female is owned by Ken Collins here in Va. She's a mid content from Southern Breeze.

Normally getting them fixed does curb it but there is the rare chance it can still happen afterwards. Seen the story of another female that had gotten it also. I'll try and see if i can locate where i read it
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby caninesrock » Sun Dec 30, 2012 11:46 pm

So is this similar to the October Crazies that people talk about happening to foxes in the fox forum except for wolves it's in the winter instead of in the fall?
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Cindy23323 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:04 am

Sorry, I have no idea what the october crazies in foxes is.
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Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby sarajeku » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:29 am

WWS can happen every year, not at all, once, twice, sporadically throughout a lifetime.. You get my meaning. It's based mostly on hormones and mating pairs, etc. and so can happen any time in a lifetime, but usually during mating season, hence word "winter" in the term. (Cindy, please correct me if I'm way off base)

Whereas the October crazies happens once in a fox's life. From what I understand, this would normally be when the mother runs the kits off in the wild, so the kits need to "wild up". After they go through this change, I don't believe they go through it again.



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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Cindy23323 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:09 pm

You're right, it could happen every single breeding season. Not just once.
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby caninesrock » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:06 pm

Oh. Ok. So it's a change that has to do with breeding season? Is it less likely to happen in neutered and spayed wolves then?
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Cindy23323 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 6:20 pm

You can't say likely happen. Because you dont know if it will or not ever happen. Wether the animal be fixed or not.
Its just something thats not that uncommon in the wolf / high content wolfdog world. It's more common in unaltered animals, but seems to be much rarer in fixed animals. Fixing animals has taken care of the problem usually in animals that is has showed up in prior to them being fixed. But this doesnt mean it will ever show up in an animal. But anyone thinking about getting a wolf or high content wolfdog needs to be aware of "What could possibly happen"
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby Splashstorm » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:39 am

sarajeku wrote:the October crazies happens once in a fox's life. From what I understand, this would normally be when the mother runs the kits off in the wild, so the kits need to "wild up". After they go through this change, I don't believe they go through it again.


Are the foxes permanently changed after the October crazies?
Past Pets: Sea-monkeys, 7 Cottontail rabbits, a Wakin goldfish, 2 cats & a betta fish.
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Re: Winter Wolf Syndrome

Postby sarajeku » Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:03 am

Splashstorm wrote:Are the foxes permanently changed after the October crazies?

That's a question for the fox forum. As most of my experience is with wolf-like animals that go through a hormonal change yearly (limited experience with wolves, wolfdogs, Totem) I can't answer your question any more thoroughly than a fox owner could. Sorry. :shrug:
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