Many dog breeds have recently sprung up around the world claiming to have achieved the wolf look without using any wolf content. Some of these breeds even admit their recent wolfish roots, but claim to no longer be breeding in wolf content of any degree. All of these breeds have claimed to achieve a domesticated dog-like temperament, downplaying any wolf-like temperament issues that one might experience. Several wolf look alike dog breeds have even been placed into the foundation stock service of the American Kennel Club (AKC) and others have achieved recognition through the American Rare Breed Association (ARBA). However, with recent DNA testing advancements and the new ability to tease out the genetic components of the breeds within a dog, all of these so-called wolf look alike breeds have been shown to range from low to high wolf percentage within their genetic make-up except one, the American Alsatian dog.
"Wolfdog without the Wolf." - Tamaskan Dog Register*
Unfortunately, due to the persistent lies, misrepresentations and pedigree falsifying behind the wolf-alike breeds involved, many unsuspecting families have purchased illegal wolfdogs instead of the solely domesticated dogs they thought they were getting. As one Alaskan Noble Companion Dog owner summarized, "If it walks like a duck and acts like a duck, you should assume it is a duck." The sad and unfortunate reality is that many of these breeds continue to share false advertising, or certainly grossly under-represented advertising and/or continue to outright lie about whether their dogs have any recent wolf content.
What's worse is that each state has its own regulations regarding wolfdog ownership. If you were assuming the dog you bought was not a wolfdog and you live in a state where wolfdogs are under the jurisdiction of wild animal laws, you could be facing some serious penalties, including having your wolfdog euthanized. It is for this reason that many owners choose to remain anonymous about their wolfdog's DNA results. This is a very serious matter. But, who should really be punished? The unsuspecting owner, or the breeder who misrepresented or outright lied about the wolf content in his/her dogs?
Here is a .pdf document showing wolfdog regulations by state.
So which wolf look alike breeds are we talking about? All of the following breeds have been proven to have wolf content through DNA testing and are therefore considered wolfdogs of low to high content.
Please note that many official articles regarding these dogs do not mention any wolf content whatsoever. In fact, many of the official articles regarding these wolfdogs go to great lengths to convince the reader that only domesticated dogs were used in their development. And, in the case of the Czech Vlcak and the Saarloos Wolfdog, many articles state that only the initial wolves in the 1950s were used and all other foundation dogs were German Shepherd Dogs, giving the illusion that the wolf content would be completely lost over the years when, in fact, the opposite is true, according to DNA testing.
"I believe these dogs should be capable of living anywhere in the world that their human counterparts live." -ANCD founder, Ann Dresselhaus
For more information regarding wolfdog ownership, please visit: Texas Wolfdog Project
Let's be clear. We are not saying do not purchase one of these dogs because they are wolfdogs. What we are suggesting, however, is to be informed before you purchase. Responsible wolfdog owners have very productive and happy lives with their wolfdogs, but they must make accommodations for their wolfdog's unique temperaments. When someone decides to purchase a wolfdog, the decision should be a well-thoughout one. Do your research. Find out from other owners what some of the temperament issues are surrounding the breed and be prepared for the most wolfdog-like temperaments in case you happen to acquire a puppy that behaves more like a wolf than a dog. If it does not end up behaving any different than a dog, then at least you can say you were prepared for anything. Mixing wolves and dogs, especially under the table instead of openly, can mean a few surprises. Be prepared for them and you will enjoy a lovely relationship with your pet.
"The Wolf is not a domesticated animal, it is a wild animal. Dogs are domesticated and no one should breed any domesticated animals with wild animals, it defeats the purpose of being domesticated." - Dire Wolf Project founder, Lois Schwarz
However, if you do not want to worry about the good, the bad, and the ugly of wolfdog ownership, but you still want the look or appearance of the wolf, there is one wolf look alike dog breed that has never used wolves or wolfdogs in its entire thirty year history. This dog breed may not be as wolfie as some of the more wolfish looking wolfdog breeds as it is still a breed in development, but you will know that your dog has no chance of possibly acquiring any wolf-like temperament traits that can be overwhelming to some families. The Dire Wolf Project has DNA tested many DireWolf Dogs and as our public online pedigree database attests, no DireWolf Dog has ever shown wolf content of any degree and we aim to keep it that way.
"There is NO wolf blood in our dogs as I would NEVER breed a wolf into any companion dog." - Dire Wolf Project founder, Lois Schwarz