Wolfdogs need trust, guidance and respect.
Wolfdogs can make very loyal, beautiful and unique pets for the right family but they do not make good pets for everyone, they are a challenging breed.
Wolfdogs require owners ideally experienced with large breeds, they need strong leadership (Do not confuse this with harsh or violent treatment!)
Wolfdogs are an active breed that require mental stimulation as well as physical exercise Wolfdogs are very intelligent, they can open doors, cupboards etc. Nothing is out of bounds!
Wolfdogs can be very good escape artists, they are physically capable enough to find a way out of enclosures that most breeds could never hope to and require a very carefully secured garden if left alone.
Wolfdogs are very quick to learn, however as they are so intelligent they will get bored easily so keeping training fun and new is essential.
Wolfdogs are very communicative; you can expect a howl or two which can be a problem for some neighbours.
Wolfdogs can be destructive when left, even with the company of other dogs, crate training is essential.
Wolfdogs generally have a sense of ‘prey drive’ therefore should never be trusted around livestock such as sheep. Only a few are able to live with cats.
Please take the time to read through the following items, it has been designed to give you an insight into what owning a wolfdog will involve and a little of what we will expect from all new owners. There is basic information on dog crates and behaviours that will be relevant to all breeds.
Remember, we are here to support you and your dog. We will offer lifetime support and advice for our dogs.
On arrival your new companion may be stressed and confused.
Dogs, like humans, will express their fears in different ways, common stressed dog behaviours include:
- Tail tucked between back legs
- No eye contact
- Aloof behaviour
- Lack of appetite
- Boisterous excited behaviour
- Protest urinating
- Raised energy levels
- Fear aggression
- Excessive shaking
- Excessive licking of the lips and turning head away from you
Each of these behaviours will get better as trust is formed and a mutual respect is established. Giving the dog time to process the new surroundings and information is very important. Over stimulation in the first few days is not recommended. A quiet, calm and peaceful transition will be best for everyone. Allow time and build up on the stimulation and new encounters slowly (this may even be over several months). Wolfdogs are a very sensitive breed and have very subtle communication. They need to have trust in you, they need to know you will make the correct decisions that will keep them safe.
Allow time for a form of trust to be established before you introduce visitors to the home, do not overwhelm your new addition as he will be asking questions of you and more importantly working out if you are able to keep him safe. Just because your new wolfdog may be several years old, s/he will be starting from scratch with you – a dog does not come with a pre‐arranged understanding about who you are and s/he is going to live with you. For the wolfdog, everything will be new.
Depending on the level of trauma a dog has suffered it can take three to seven weeks to see the true character of the dog, much longer in some cases.
In all cases as much background information as possible will be given to the fosterer / adopter.
We will always do our best to support you and your wolfdog, however we also highly recommend a course on dog behaviour, wellbeing & communication by Dr. Isla Fishburn. There are various courses available with each one guaranteed to teach you something new, we can almost guarantee that by attending this course it will not only benefit you as a person and your outlook on life but more importantly (for us) it will have a great impact on your relationship with your beloved canine family member. For more information please visit her website www.kachinacaninecommunication.com
Please download and read the document below for advice on the best way to approach dog introductions.
We will only ever support positive training methods. The wolfdog is sensitive and needs trust. We are well aware there are so many trainers and behaviourists out there now that seeking a professional can be a daunting experience. If you do wish to seek professional help, we may know of someone in your area that we can recommend so it is always a good idea to ask us first. Not all dogs will respond to the same form of training, so if you feel your dog is not responding to the training methods used, stop, reflect and change techniques. Some wolfdogs are ‘treat’ orientated; some are not making training that little more difficult. If a Wolfdog is stressed when out, you will find they will not take treats. Try ‘Primula cheese’ in a tube, this sucking action causes a calming effect too. Wolfdogs enjoy mental stimulation as much as physical exercise. They are a very clever breed and can get bored rather quickly so training needs to be varied and stimulating. They require a strong leader who can make decisions that they will trust.
Benefits of crate training
- Housetraining your dog/ puppy
- Provides a safe way for transporting your dog
- Prevents your dog from chewing and damaging your home
- Safeguarding a puppy or dog from potentially dangerous household items such as poisonous cleaning chemicals and electrical wires
- Provides a place to keep your dog when he is recuperating from an injury or illness
- Provides a secure place to sleep, your dog will also use the crate as his ‘safe place’
We strongly recommend crate training or continuing to crate any dog you re-‐home through us. Being crated is not cruel it can actually benefit the dog. Crating overnight is acceptable but crating for long periods of time during the day is not acceptable. We will not re‐home any dog to a home that will crate their dog for more than four hours per day.
Some of the rescue dogs will have separation anxiety or demonstrate stressed behaviours, a crate can be used as a great place for the dog to feel safe and have some time to calm down whilst acclimatising to their new environment. Covering a crate with a blanket can make it more ‘den like’.
There are various types of crates on the market, if you would like any support or advice on type or size of crate please ask.
Crates are also a safe place for the dog to go when you have visitors, with the new dog laws now in place. You and your dog can be at risk if the dog shows any boisterous unwanted behaviour towards the visitors.
For further advice on crate training please get in touch.
Learn to read dog body language so that you can understand what your dog is trying to tell you.
A happy dog pants and wags his tail loosely. He may wag all over.
An anxious dog might show a half moon of white in his eye or he may lick his lips or yawn. He may turn his head away or walk away. He wants to be left alone.
A dog that suddenly goes stiff and still is very dangerous and might be ready to bite.
A dog with his mouth closed and ears forward and/or with his tail held high is busy thinking about something and does not want to be bothered.
We always fully assess our dogs before re‐homing them, we will always be open and honest about as much of their past that we ourselves are made aware of. We will re‐home to families with children, but the children should be aware of dog safety and have been educated on dog behaviour. Responsible ownership is paramount; children should never be left unsupervised with any dog. Introductions to children should be done in a relaxing environment and in a calm manner.
Due to their size and boisterous/excited behaviour we do not encourage wolfdogs to play with children, when excited the dogs will communicate using their mouth in a form of mouthing, to young people this can hurt and be seen as aggression by parents.
Children want to show love to dogs by giving hugs and kisses, because this is how they show affection to people they love. Hugs are not a natural form of canine interaction to show affection. To show your dog that you love him, learn to give him the things that he really does like and teach your kids to do the same.
Most dog bites are to children, by the family dog or another dog known to the child. Hugs and kisses are a major cause of facial bites to children
How to Touch Your Dog
Invite your dog to come to you for attention. If your dog turns away or moves away, respect his wishes and leave him alone. Many dogs like to be near you, but not necessarily to be touched.
Scratch your dog on the side of the neck or on his chest.
Avoid hugs and kisses. People enjoy this, but most dogs don’t like hugs and kisses. They might tolerate it, but few actually enjoy it.
VetsMediCover and Exotic Direct are the only 2 companies who offer insurance for Wolfdogs. When you take out or renew your policy please help support Wolfdog Rescue by mentioning the affiliate codes below -‐ it will not affect the cost of your policy but the insurance company will make a donation to Wolfdog Rescue.
- Vet Medi Cover -‐ affiliate code 1154
- Exotic Direct -‐ affiliate code 4961
It is law to have at least third party liability insurance, on our follow up call we will ask to see proof of insurance. Lack of insurance will be classed as a breach of contract and we will insist upon it. Please refer to the UK dog laws for more information. If you need to discuss this further please get in touch and we will do all we can to help.
New UK dog laws came into practice in 2014; all dog owners should be aware of the law and understand the consequences. We expect anyone wishing to re‐home a dog through us to ensure that they are familiar with the dog laws.
The following is a brief outline of the dog laws that apply to all dogs and all owners in England.
It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, eg:
- in a public place
- in a private place (eg a neighbour’s house or garden)
- in the owner’s home
Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:
- injures someone
- makes someone worried that it might injure them
A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if:
- it injures someone’s animal
- the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal
A farmer is allowed to kill your dog if it’s worrying their livestock.
Whenever out in public, an ID tag must be worn, with a contact telephone number.
In general wolfdogs do much better on a raw diet, and we recommend a completely raw diet to all our rescue wolfdogs. If you are uncertain about raw feeding there is lots of information on the web regarding the benefits of feeding a completely raw diet.
Please download and read our basic ‘raw feeding guideline’ below:
Many dogs suffer from Separation Anxiety, please download and read the article below by Dr Isla Fishburn (Kachina Canine Communication):