The Siberian Husky crossed with a Wolf is what is known as a Wolf hybrid or a wolfdog. Wolf hybrids are a relatively unknown entity as not many people successfully take this challenge on. This Wolf hybrid is undoubtedly stunning, but he comes with many difficulties, and only very few families would be suited to this animal. He’s nowhere near as tame or practical as are other Husky mixes.
Ultimately, what you need to remember is that the Wolf is not a dog, he is a wild animal, and therefore the Wolf hybrid is also going to be very wild in his character and needs. If you are interested in learning a bit more about the Husky and the Wolf, and a comparison of each of his parents, then be sure to read our Husky Vs Wolf article.
It’s also important to remember that owning a Wolf Hybrid can come with its own legal challenges, and it’s not recommended in most states for recreational pet owners. Many wolf-hybrid dogs end up in rescues as they can’t be integrated with traditional wolf packs when they don’t work out. You absolutely MUST check your state’s local laws around owning a wolf hybrid before owning one. Certain states restrict their ownership entirely depending on the percentage of wolf that the hybrid contains. Even then, we do not recommend them due to their wild nature.
Not only is there already a lot of debate within the canine community about mixing pedigree dogs, but there is an extra level of controversy surrounding the Wolfdog more so than any other designer dog. Despite the belief that all dogs have either descended from the Wolf, or that they evolved separately from a common ancestor, over thousands of years domesticated dogs have evolved so much that they are almost entirely different in their physiology and behaviours.
Therefore, mixing the Wolf, whose Latin name is Canis Lupus, and the dog, whose Latin name is Canis Lupus Familiaris, whilst possible, is frowned upon by the majority of those in the canine kingdom. It is also important to note that no matter what percentage, or ratio, of Wolf is in the Wolfdog, he will always be a wild animal at heart and not ideal as a typical family pet.
Even if the Wolfdog is claimed to be just 10% Wolf, he will display most, if not all Wolf traits, simply because their wild instincts are so strong. In order to understand the Wolfdog, it is important to learn a bit more about his parents.
The Siberian Husky is one of the most ancient dog breeds on the planet, and they were developed in Siberia as a sled pulling dog used to transport goods and people from tribe to tribe. Their companionship and affection traits were also utilized, and they were used to keep children warm and protect them at night. The first Husky was imported to Alaska in 1908, and they were put to work as a sled dog during the gold rush era.
The Siberian Husky is an energetic dog who craves companionship and being a pack dog, he needs to feel that he is part of the family pack. He needs a family that can invest and spend a lot of time with him, otherwise he will become very unhappy and destructive. The American Kennel Club (AKC) describe him as loyal, outgoing and mischievous.
Wolf (Canis Lupus)
Firstly, it is important to understand that there are 2 types of Wolves, the Red and the Gray, and it is believed that there are up to 38 subspecies of the Wolf, and they are named after the area that they live in. The Gray Wolf is the most common Wolf, and he is the parent of the Wolfdog, and so throughout this article we will be referring to the Gray Wolf.
Evidence suggests that the Gray Wolf is around 1 million years old, and it is thought that he comes from the Eurasian continent. After some time, the Gray Wolf was then found in North America, and he has since migrated across the world. They are very adaptable creatures, and they are one of the few mammals to have survived the Ice Age.
Across the last few centuries, there have been many attempts to domesticate the Wolf and keep him as a family pet. Despite being adaptable creatures, there is a lot of controversy regarding whether they are adaptable enough to be domesticated, with many people believing that they are wild animals who should never be kept as a family pet. There have been successful stories, however there has also been a lot of fatally unsuccessful stories. There are no statistics regarding their popularity as pets, however, it is a contentious issue that is undoubtedly gaining popularity.
It is important to understand that, with one wild parent, the Wolfdog will never be fully domesticated, and his natural instincts will never be fully suppressed no matter how well he is trained. Just like his Wolf parent, the husky wolf mix will begin to challenge the status quo at around the age of 2, as this is when he becomes mature enough to challenge the pack leader in the wild and assume the role of leader himself. If you show any signs of weakness, such as not being dominant enough, being injured or even tired, then the Wolfdog will likely see this as his chance to challenge you. It is important that any prospective owner masters the concept of pack mentality. Never let him into a power of position, for if you lose it, you will never get it back.
They are also extremely territorial, and this is a trait that will never be trained out of them. His wolf parent will urinate and defecate around food in order to claim or protect it, and the husky wolf mix is known to display this behavior in the home from the age of 3 months. They are also very protective of items once they have them in their mouth, so do not attempt to take anything from the Wolfdogs mouth, otherwise you will likely get bitten.
However, if they are placed into the right home with strict training then they are also known to be friendly with their pack, similar to his Husky parent, but with slightly more reservation. Whilst this is great, the Wolfdog should not become accustomed to constant human comfort and interaction, as they will gradually need to spend more and more time outdoors.
Size & Appearance
The Wolfdogs looks will vary significantly, even within the same litter. They can either keep the wild look of his Wolf parent, or the domesticated look of his Husky parent. The male husky wolf mix will weigh between 85 and 155 pounds, and the female Wolfdog will weigh between 75 and 130 pounds. The male Wolfdog will measure between 26 and 33 inches tall, from paw to shoulder, and the female will measure between 25 and 32 inches tall.
The husky wolf mix will usually inherit the golden-brown eyes of the Wolf, and on occasion inherit the bright blue eyes of the Husky. They will almost always have large triangle shaped erect ears, and their teeth will usually be larger than the domesticated Husky. Their tail will also normally be straight and does not tend to curl up on excitement like the Husky.
Coat & Colors
The Wolfdog will have a medium length double coat, that is quite thick and dense. The Wolfdog will also enjoy a variety of colors including black, gray, white, brown and tan. Similar to his Wolf parent, the Wolfdog’s coat color will change until he is around 1 year of age, and whilst it might not change drastically, the tone and shading certainly will, so bear this in mind when you are purchasing him as a puppy.
Exercise Requirements & Living Conditions
The Wolfdog will need around 3 to 4 hours of intense exercise every day to ensure that they are kept occupied and happy. A restless dog is destructive, but a restless and bored Wolf hybrid is a completely different level of destruction that really cannot be put into words.
Firstly, you need a lot of land. It is suggested that each wolfdog requires 1 acre of land to roam, and if you have two or more then there needs to be ½ an acre of land for each wolfdog to avoid pack aggression. This is a minimum requirement, as it should be remembered that wild wolves roam around 20 acres of unconfined land every day. As your wolf-dog will be confined within the area, it is also advised not to own more than four wolf-dogs at any one time as this can lead to behavioral problems within the pack due to limited space.
The area must be enclosed with fencing at least 8 feet tall, with 6 feet of strong fencing with an extension of 2 feet at the top, either with an inward incline or with an electric wire. It is also recommended to get a second fencing close to the first fence as it will add an extra level of security, both to prevent an escape, but also to prevent humans and other animals having contact at the fence, as you will be liable for any mishaps. 2 foot of reinforced mesh wire should also be buried vertically into the ground to prevent them from digging out of the enclosure. There is other criteria so be sure to check this out.
When not outdoors that can live in the home, but it would be wise to crate train them so they cannot wonder or destroy your property at nighttime. You will need a large house with plenty of room to avoid cabin fever.
Whilst the husky wolf mix is very intelligent, do not expect him to pick up commands as easily as a domesticated dog. The concept of interacting with and listening to a human is relatively new to a Wolf hybrid and being trained by one is unfamiliar. Many Wolf hybrid trainers suggest the most effective way to train a Wolfdog is to teach him through the process of mimicking, as this is exactly how they learn from their parents in the wild. Standard dog training is very unlikely to be successful with the Wolfdog.
Of course, as much socialization is imperative to teach him to be confident in his surroundings with unfamiliar people and sounds. It is also important to introduce him to other animals of all shapes and sizes, including other dogs, so he knows not to attack or be afraid of them. If he is a puppy then he will do well with other pets, as he will grow up thinking that this is the norm, however, if he is an adult Wolfdog then you must introduce him to other household pets slowly, with barriers in place. However, the husky wolf mix may not accept unfamiliar animals as pack members which will cause difficulty, but it is something to be prepared for.
His parent, the Husky, is a very healthy dog and it is recommended that he is tested for Hip Dysplasia and to undergo an Ophthalmologist evaluation. Of course, Wolves aren’t required to undergo any health checks, but they are known to suffer from similar health issues of other large dogs such as joint dysplasia and eye conditions.
Therefore, you can expect the Wolfdog to experience these two health conditions. It would be wise to seek a Veterinarian that has an understanding of Wolf hybrids. The lifespan of a Wolfdog is 12 to 14 years, so it is a long commitment to undertake just like any other dog.
Wolfdogs should be fed raw meat, except for pork as it is dangerous for them to consume. Wolfdogs will not reap any benefits from being fed dog kibble, and they will become quite unwell if they do not get the nutrients they would otherwise get in the wild. They should be fed several pounds of raw meat every day. It is also advised that they should be given nutritional supplements such as vitamin A, B, C, D and E, glucosamine and wheat grass to name a few, all of which can be hidden in the raw meat.
What should be noted here is that this diet is much more expensive than any other dog diet, so you must take this into consideration. Unfortunately, however, their diet is non-negotiable and this is not something you can scrimp on, otherwise they may start to look at family pets or begin hunting themselves.
The Wolfdog has a double coat that is dense and thick, and he is a heavy shedder throughout the year, especially during shedding season. Being a pack dog, the Wolfdog will enjoy a grooming session with his pack as pack members clean each other in the wild, but just be sure to groom him from an early age so that he can get used to it. Brush him several times a week to keep his coat manageable, and only bath him around 4 times a year when he gets very dirty, as they are self-cleaning dogs.
The average price of a Wolfdog starts from around $1,000. Whilst they might seem like any other dog puppy, as soon as they reach about 3 months they transition into the wild animals that they are, so remember that a Wolfdog is for life, not just for it’s cute puppy period!
Additionally, many breeders will claim that the Wolfdog is a high percentage of wolf, just because this appeals to many owners and therefore they can charge a premium price. However, the percentile of the dogs lineage is often very difficult to prove, so unless they have the paperwork to back their claim up, do not pay extra!
Before searching for puppies you need to look at your local laws, as many states have implemented laws and rules regarding Wolf and Wolf hybrid ownership. In some states it is outlawed entirely, and in some states an exotic license must be obtained by the owner, and this is not always an easy license to obtain.
As Family Pets
- The husky wolf mix is not like a domestic dog, so do not expect him to be.
- He is a completely different species that may not even be legal to own in your state.
- A Wolfdog requires a very large home, with a yard that is at least 1 acre, along with other criteria.
- This breed is not suited to a family with children, be that younger or older.
- Only an adult family home is recommended here due to his unpredictability and wild tendencies.
- This breed craves companionship, but finding another breed to pair them with is a challenge.
- The husky wolf mix is a sensitive dog who will not take well to changes in circumstances.
- He may not accept other people into the home or family, including other animals.
- The husky wolf mix is very active and he needs 3 to 4 hours of exercise a day.
- The Wolfdog needs a formidable leader who will never back down to him.
Finding A Wolfdog Breeder
You can search online for wolfdog breeders, and they come up on the first page of most online search engines. It is important to read reviews and speak to others in online forums if you can, for they might know which breeders are great, but also which ones to avoid.
Once you find a breeder that you like, then be sure to meet them, as you will have just as many questions for them as they will for you regarding your suitability. Additionally, ‘Mission: Wolf’ have an incredible amount of information and resources for prospective owners, so be sure to check them out.
Rescue & Shelters
A lot of Wolfdogs are sent to rehoming centers simply because their families were not prepared for the challenge that they took on. The Wolfdog Project list names and contact details for rescue centers in each state, and these guys are the best people to get in contact with who will be able to help you find the most suited centers to begin your adoption journey.
With his wild looks, the Siberian Husky Wolf Mix is undeniably a visually striking dog. However, the Wolfdog will not be a puppy forever, and as he grows, if he is not trained adequately as a puppy, he will also be undeniably difficult to keep as a family pet. Not only must you seek professional dog training from someone who has Wolf hybrid experience, but you must commit your life to training him and looking after his needs. He is an unpredictable pup who needs a knowledgeable master.
According to ‘Mission: Wolf’, 9 out of 10 Wolfdogs will die as a result of escape, neglect, euthanasia and misunderstanding, the one surviving Wolfdog will end up homeless because his owners cannot look after him. So, this challenge is not for the fainthearted.