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Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Wolf hybrids or other exotic species crossed with domestic

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Laughing Hyena
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Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:58 pm

I'm starting to want a Wolf Dog now ever since about a month ago when a old High School aquaintance of mine posted a pic of his brothers Wolf Dog on Facebook. It was 1/4 Wolf and 3/4 Siberian Husky it had the black and white coat colors of a Siberian Husky and had the Husky blue eyes but the tail was like a wolf and there were whitish grayish colors on its back that looked wolfy that I never seen before in a regular Husky. It was a beautiful creature and after seeing that it makes me want one now too. :red-face: So what I'm doing is gathering as much information on Wolf Dogs as I can and if I feel if I can't handle Wolf Dog ownership after researching a ton then I just won't get one. lol. But my first priority is trying to move out of the state I'm in now because Wolf-Dogs are completely illegal to own in Illinois as I researched. What do you guys think I should do should I follow my dreams or is owning a Wolf Dog probably not a good idea?
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Juska
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Juska » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:45 pm

My honest opinion? Wait. Wait until you have excess funds put away to get one, wait until your life is stable. Don't jump into it.

Moving out of state is a huge, expensive ordeal. You'd also (unless you have already) have to find a place to live, find another job and get settled in, and KNOW that you're going to be staying where you are for a very long time. Because you can't just pick up and move around freely with a wolfdog in tow, regardless of content. It's hard enough to find places that let you live with your dogs and cats, let alone an exotic.

Back in 2008 when I first joined, all I wanted in the whole world was a pet skunk. I thought for sure that I could handle it. But I stayed on here, learned things that research just doesn't teach you, and came to the conclusion that I'd rather wait on an exotic rather than devote all of my time and energy into something that big.

I'm 22 years old now, and getting a skunk when I was 18 would have prevented me from moving out of my parent's house completely, taken away all the money I had and more, and put a huge dent in my social and personal life (what little I have). It's literally like having a baby. From that moment on, their life and happiness is the most important thing, above all else. And you will have to sacrifice for that. If you don't think you're ready for that...wait.

I've now settled into the idea that, maybe some day, if all goes well and I live in a house that I own, and I have a secure job that provides more than just the bare minimum, I might get myself a baby skunk or fox. But now is not the time, and it won't be for a good period.

You need to be completely committed to wanting an exotic before you get one. I've done over 6 years of research on skunks and foxes as pets. I know [mostly] all the pros and cons, health problems, behaviors, diet, housing, training and rearing of them. But nothing compares to that day when you bring one home.

Yet, I still want a skunk, someday. That's what I think someone needs to be truly dedicated to owning an exotic pet, or any pet for that matter. Drive and commitment. And the perseverance to keep them happy and healthy at any cost.

I hope my post helps. Of course this is all just my opinion, you don't have to take any of it as fact or let it influence your decision negatively icon-smile
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:25 pm

Juska wrote:My honest opinion? Wait. Wait until you have excess funds put away to get one, wait until your life is stable. Don't jump into it.

Moving out of state is a huge, expensive ordeal. You'd also (unless you have already) have to find a place to live, find another job and get settled in, and KNOW that you're going to be staying where you are for a very long time. Because you can't just pick up and move around freely with a wolfdog in tow, regardless of content. It's hard enough to find places that let you live with your dogs and cats, let alone an exotic.

Back in 2008 when I first joined, all I wanted in the whole world was a pet skunk. I thought for sure that I could handle it. But I stayed on here, learned things that research just doesn't teach you, and came to the conclusion that I'd rather wait on an exotic rather than devote all of my time and energy into something that big.

I'm 22 years old now, and getting a skunk when I was 18 would have prevented me from moving out of my parent's house completely, taken away all the money I had and more, and put a huge dent in my social and personal life (what little I have). It's literally like having a baby. From that moment on, their life and happiness is the most important thing, above all else. And you will have to sacrifice for that. If you don't think you're ready for that...wait.

I've now settled into the idea that, maybe some day, if all goes well and I live in a house that I own, and I have a secure job that provides more than just the bare minimum, I might get myself a baby skunk or fox. But now is not the time, and it won't be for a good period.

You need to be completely committed to wanting an exotic before you get one. I've done over 6 years of research on skunks and foxes as pets. I know [mostly] all the pros and cons, health problems, behaviors, diet, housing, training and rearing of them. But nothing compares to that day when you bring one home.

Yet, I still want a skunk, someday. That's what I think someone needs to be truly dedicated to owning an exotic pet, or any pet for that matter. Drive and commitment. And the perseverance to keep them happy and healthy at any cost.

I hope my post helps. Of course this is all just my opinion, you don't have to take any of it as fact or let it influence your decision negatively icon-smile
Thank you I think I will wait this is what I wanted to hear. icon-smile I may not get one until 30 years from now even. lol. Yea I def got to get my life together first. I do have one exotic pet though a Reptile.. a Bearded Dragon. But the good news is unlike owning exotics like a skunk or a Wolf Dog my Dragon isn't very time consuming. Just a morning and afternoon feeding and he then wants to be left alone under his basking light the rest of the day. Also I hear most apartments are more open to the idea of owning a pet that stays in a tank like a Fish or Reptile rather than a Dog or Cat.
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Juska » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:38 am

A lot of landlords consider fish, small animals, birds and smaller reptiles furniture and not pets, so you're pretty safe there. I was able to keep my rats when we moved since landlords seem to be under the impression that people don't take rats out of their cages. Obviously I never let them run free except on my lap or on our bed, and not leave them to destroy the house or anything. So I went along with it. I also kept fish. I don't think there are any landlords that would object to someone having a fish tank, with the exception of maybe an incredibly large, cumbersome setup that shouldn't ever be moved or could possibly do serious damage if overflowed or broken.

Reptiles like Beardies aren't considered "threatening" by most people (whereas they might fear a snake or lizard with bigger teeth), so there's that fact going for you with landlords, and they live in a glass tank and aren't prone to escaping.

Keep doing research, volunteer at wildlife centers and anything else you can do to prepare yourself in the meantime. It definitely won't hurt anything, and it's very enriching just to gain knowledge on your own. You don't have to give up your dream, just give yourself time to settle and get things in order before investing the time, money and effort into such a thing.

I'm glad my post helped you :)
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:02 am

Juska wrote:A lot of landlords consider fish, small animals, birds and smaller reptiles furniture and not pets, so you're pretty safe there. I was able to keep my rats when we moved since landlords seem to be under the impression that people don't take rats out of their cages. Obviously I never let them run free except on my lap or on our bed, and not leave them to destroy the house or anything. So I went along with it. I also kept fish. I don't think there are any landlords that would object to someone having a fish tank, with the exception of maybe an incredibly large, cumbersome setup that shouldn't ever be moved or could possibly do serious damage if overflowed or broken.

Reptiles like Beardies aren't considered "threatening" by most people (whereas they might fear a snake or lizard with bigger teeth), so there's that fact going for you with landlords, and they live in a glass tank and aren't prone to escaping.

Keep doing research, volunteer at wildlife centers and anything else you can do to prepare yourself in the meantime. It definitely won't hurt anything, and it's very enriching just to gain knowledge on your own. You don't have to give up your dream, just give yourself time to settle and get things in order before investing the time, money and effort into such a thing.

I'm glad my post helped you :)
Yup def got alot of research ahead of me! :lol: Would you recommend starting out with a regular full bred Siberian Husky before taking the dive into a Wolf Hybrid? To see how well I can handle a Husky if I can't handle a Husky too well then a Wolf Hybrid may not be for me? Huskies seem to have similar traits to a Wolf Hybrid they are escape artists, also have a prey drive and goes after smaller animals and they need somewhat of a big yard to run around in. I think a Husky or Malamute sounds like an introduction to Wolf Hybrid ownership maybe. lol
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Juska » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:16 am

You can get other high-energy dogs, too. Ones that don't shed so terribly :P

I've groomed enough Huskies, Mals and other dogs in my time that I implore you, if you do get a Northern/Spitz-type breed, PLEASE brush it every day. Or you're going to be swimming in hair o.o

Having almost any type of dog can prepare you for a bigger challenge. You could get something like a Shepherd or a Husky, or you could get something a little less "work-bound" like a retriever or even a Terrier breed. You've still got the energy there, but less of a chance of developing OCD or another condition if you're not familiar with the breed or don't have a terribly active lifestyle. Maybe consider adopting a Greyhound?

Not to sound harsh, but I've met way too many Huskies with generic Northern names for a lifetime. Having something unique is more of a challenge. A mystery mutt is the ultimate wild card, and probably the most rewarding...like my Emo!

My first dog Max (forgive the generic name, I was 6 when I got him so give me a break, lol) was also a rescue; and he was a Malamute mix. But he turned out to be more of a couch potato than a worker, so who knows :icon-wink:
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby sarajeku » Wed Aug 07, 2013 6:21 am

I'm about to write a book, so be forewarned.

My golden was a couch potato. As is my rough collie. If you want a dog that will test you, get a border collie, or northern breed (sorry Juska). But DO NOT get one if you live in an apartment. They can be destructive. Some landlords won't even allow northern breeds because they are notoriously destructive, much less wolfdogs.
*Note: there's no such thing as a wolf hybrid. Wolves and dogs are the same species. Just different subspecies. To be a hybrid, they need to be different species.

Echo is mostly husky and shepherd with a very small amount of wolf in him, and he has done so much damage to the house, it's unbelievable. He has torn the banister down off the side of the porch, scratched up the door (trying to get in), ripped ALL the lattice off the front of the porch (had to be replaced with metal fencing), tore the fence down (we had to put up a whole new fence), and chewed the carpet off the stairs. Oh, and he ate mom's antique curtains. And he has adequate exercise- we go hiking almost every day- and he IS trained. This all happens in 30-odd minute spans of time that I don't get to supervise him, such as having to run to the store.

I got Echo after some very unfortunate events in my life, and he was very influential in getting me through them. But after his initial vet visits, neuter, microchip and first toys, I started running out of money. I had no job, and when he was about 7? months old? I think? I had to move home and out of richmond. I managed to live in an apartment with him while he was young, but I kept him tethered to me during potty training, and that also cut back on the destruction as well. He became very destructive at around 6 months though, and it became apparent that he needed more space. Fortunately the house I'm living in now has an enormous yard (that we can't really take advantage of because he can either jump the fence or chew through it.. he has to be supervised).

Northern breeds and wolfdogs both are notorious escape artists and are well known dashers. The majority cannot be let off the leash. There are a few exceptions.. Echo used to be good when he was tiny, but he grew up and now I'd never catch him if I let him go off leash. I shop the leash out of all of my photos.
He has a high prey drive, so if he sees even a butterfly, he'll dart off like a little fuzzy rocket. And a cat? You'd never see either again. He wouldn't hurt the cat.. not on purpose. Just be very mouthy and slobbery and you'd have a very wet cat.

With all of Echo's quirks, craziness, destruction, etc.. I wouldn't change a thing about him. I love him like my child. He's beautiful, sweet, sensitive, and I recently found out, protective (a rare trait in wolfdogs and northern breeds). He's very much a one person dog. He likes other people, but at the end of the day, I'm the only person he wants to be with (I can't say the same about my collie.. she's a little turncoat if you have food). Echo can tell when I'm sick or upset, and he turns off crazy mode and turns on cuddle mode. He'll lay with me for hours, no matter how badly he wants to play, if I'm sick.

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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Nicophorus » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:07 am

As with any animal, you have got to have the facilities in place for it before getting it. For a wolf-dog i'd say you'd need a large yard that it could not escape from, as a start.
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Wed Aug 07, 2013 12:56 pm

sarajeku wrote:I'm about to write a book, so be forewarned.

My golden was a couch potato. As is my rough collie. If you want a dog that will test you, get a border collie, or northern breed (sorry Juska). But DO NOT get one if you live in an apartment. They can be destructive. Some landlords won't even allow northern breeds because they are notoriously destructive, much less wolfdogs.
*Note: there's no such thing as a wolf hybrid. Wolves and dogs are the same species. Just different subspecies. To be a hybrid, they need to be different species.

Echo is mostly husky and shepherd with a very small amount of wolf in him, and he has done so much damage to the house, it's unbelievable. He has torn the banister down off the side of the porch, scratched up the door (trying to get in), ripped ALL the lattice off the front of the porch (had to be replaced with metal fencing), tore the fence down (we had to put up a whole new fence), and chewed the carpet off the stairs. Oh, and he ate mom's antique curtains. And he has adequate exercise- we go hiking almost every day- and he IS trained. This all happens in 30-odd minute spans of time that I don't get to supervise him, such as having to run to the store.

I got Echo after some very unfortunate events in my life, and he was very influential in getting me through them. But after his initial vet visits, neuter, microchip and first toys, I started running out of money. I had no job, and when he was about 7? months old? I think? I had to move home and out of richmond. I managed to live in an apartment with him while he was young, but I kept him tethered to me during potty training, and that also cut back on the destruction as well. He became very destructive at around 6 months though, and it became apparent that he needed more space. Fortunately the house I'm living in now has an enormous yard (that we can't really take advantage of because he can either jump the fence or chew through it.. he has to be supervised).

Northern breeds and wolfdogs both are notorious escape artists and are well known dashers. The majority cannot be let off the leash. There are a few exceptions.. Echo used to be good when he was tiny, but he grew up and now I'd never catch him if I let him go off leash. I shop the leash out of all of my photos.
He has a high prey drive, so if he sees even a butterfly, he'll dart off like a little fuzzy rocket. And a cat? You'd never see either again. He wouldn't hurt the cat.. not on purpose. Just be very mouthy and slobbery and you'd have a very wet cat.

With all of Echo's quirks, craziness, destruction, etc.. I wouldn't change a thing about him. I love him like my child. He's beautiful, sweet, sensitive, and I recently found out, protective (a rare trait in wolfdogs and northern breeds). He's very much a one person dog. He likes other people, but at the end of the day, I'm the only person he wants to be with (I can't say the same about my collie.. she's a little turncoat if you have food). Echo can tell when I'm sick or upset, and he turns off crazy mode and turns on cuddle mode. He'll lay with me for hours, no matter how badly he wants to play, if I'm sick.

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That is such a beautiful Wolf Dog! Thanks for the info I greatly appreciate it! Is this trait where your Wolf Dog senses your sick or upset is this something only Wolves and Wolf Dogs can sense or can Dogs sense it too?
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby sarajeku » Wed Aug 07, 2013 2:05 pm

That is such a beautiful Wolf Dog! Thanks for the info I greatly appreciate it! Is this trait where your Wolf Dog senses your sick or upset is this something only Wolves and Wolf Dogs can sense or can Dogs sense it too?


Dogs can do it too. icon-smile I think Echo is particularly good at it because I got him shortly after my brother's funeral, and I was dealing with that. There are certain breeds that are known for being extra sensitive (some sighthounds, like the afghan hound, are known for being sensitive to their owners' emotions- one reason I've always liked them). Every dog is an individual though, and I have heard from a few people that rescues tend to be especially in tune to their owners for some reason. Grateful maybe? Echo is a rescue. Maybe that's part of it. :mrgreen:
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:51 pm

sarajeku wrote:
That is such a beautiful Wolf Dog! Thanks for the info I greatly appreciate it! Is this trait where your Wolf Dog senses your sick or upset is this something only Wolves and Wolf Dogs can sense or can Dogs sense it too?


Dogs can do it too. icon-smile I think Echo is particularly good at it because I got him shortly after my brother's funeral, and I was dealing with that. There are certain breeds that are known for being extra sensitive (some sighthounds, like the afghan hound, are known for being sensitive to their owners' emotions- one reason I've always liked them). Every dog is an individual though, and I have heard from a few people that rescues tend to be especially in tune to their owners for some reason. Grateful maybe? Echo is a rescue. Maybe that's part of it. :mrgreen:
Thats pretty interesting.. icon-smile actually I do recall when I had German Shepherds as a kid they were kinda like that too. German Shepherds were very emotional Dogs they did not like to be left home alone for periods of time compared to the poodles we've had. And when my father yelled at them for causing trouble they seemed depressed for quite some time. They were excellent guard dogs too my grandfathers did not like strangers one bit and he had to give it up when he bitten a little girl. The good news is the parents didn't press charges they just asked if the Dog had its rabies shot and it did and the parents just forgot it happened. But my Grandfather didn't want to take a chance with him biting someone else so he gave the Dog up to a company who used German Shepherds as guard Dogs against criminals who would break in and steal stuff.
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Ash » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:17 pm

You can own a wolfdog if you're USDA licensed and get permission from the state in Illinois. :icon-wink: But if you want to keep it strictly as a pet, then you wouldn't be able to own it.

I would definitely say for something like a wolfdog you would have to own your own land. I can keep Fable on rental property because he stays in an enclosure and the backyard on leash. And it took FOREVER to find a landlord who would allow me to keep him on the premises as well as my four snakes. With something that is almost all dog and not much wolf though, you will want to keep that as a house pet, and it could do serious damage--which wouldn't be fair to the landlord and could also get you evicted.

Learn as much as you can about them. You're doing a good job with that. Exotics can be very rewarding if you know what to expect and if you get a routine down. Wolfdogs are beautiful animals.
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Talys » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:23 pm

I echo what the others have said. I was and still am interested in wolfdogs, however, it's more realistic to go for a husky and more than enough of a challenge for me. Whatever you decide though, we'll be here for that.
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Cindy23323 » Thu Aug 08, 2013 4:59 am

Beings Ash brought up damage done by wolfdogs I thought I would post this link to an album someone made up of damage done to her place by her wolfdogs.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/24269289@N ... 793533223/
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Re: Should I follow my dreams of owning a Wolf Dog or not?

Postby Laughing Hyena » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:10 pm

Ash wrote:You can own a wolfdog if you're USDA licensed and get permission from the state in Illinois. :icon-wink: But if you want to keep it strictly as a pet, then you wouldn't be able to own it.

I would definitely say for something like a wolfdog you would have to own your own land. I can keep Fable on rental property because he stays in an enclosure and the backyard on leash. And it took FOREVER to find a landlord who would allow me to keep him on the premises as well as my four snakes. With something that is almost all dog and not much wolf though, you will want to keep that as a house pet, and it could do serious damage--which wouldn't be fair to the landlord and could also get you evicted.

Learn as much as you can about them. You're doing a good job with that. Exotics can be very rewarding if you know what to expect and if you get a routine down. Wolfdogs are beautiful animals.
I was also reading just because the state laws may allow you to own a Wolf Dog doesn't mean the County laws will and County Laws will always prevail over the state laws?

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