Saarloos Wolfdog – A Really Wild Pet
The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog (Sárloška říbrina) is a member of the Canis lupus genus, which includes wolves, dogs and coyotes. They are native to central Europe and northern Russia. There are approximately 400 species of these carnivores, with the largest living specimens measuring up to 20 feet long! These animals have been hunted to extinction throughout most of their range due to human greed and ignorance. However, they were reintroduced into the wild in the 1980’s after being bred from purebred stock.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are very similar to their North American cousins, but differ greatly in appearance. Their coats vary from light brown or even white, to black or grayish brown depending on the individual. They tend to have large heads, sharp teeth and powerful jaws. Their ears may be set high on their head, giving them a “wolf” look. Their eyes are dark brown or black with slits for pupils, like those of a wolf.
They do not grow much larger than 40 pounds (18 kg), though some individuals reach 50+ lbs (23-27 kg). They usually live between 5-10 years old, though some survive longer.
These dogs are very fast and agile, able to leap great distances or climb tall fences in a single bound. They can sprint faster than most breeds of their weight. They are intelligent and loyal, which makes them great guard dogs; however, to own one you must be prepared to train it and give it lots of space. They are not recommended for the average pet owner as they require special attention.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are very rare in the United States. They are a relatively new breed and, as such, not very well known. There are currently no kennels in the United States that breed this dog. Their popularity is rising though. Due to their rarity, these dogs are expensive.
A puppy can cost up to $2000! Most wolfdog owners recommend buying a young wolfdog, as they are less likely to have the aggressive traits of an adult.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs have special needs that must be met in order for them to reach their full potential. They need much more space than a normal dog. They should have a large, securely fenced yard or even acreage to play on. They are pack animals, and need the company of other wolves or dogs. They cannot be alone for long periods of time.
They are not well-suited to urban living. Also, while they can be trained, they do not respond well to harsh discipline. If you want a pet that is mild mannered and easy to handle, get a Border Collie.
They are very protective of their territory and Make good guard dogs. They will bark to warn you of intruders and can easily scare off thieves and burglars, simply by their appearance. They are also natural hunters, and will chase and tree small animals or rodents instinctively. If you do not allow them to exercise their natural tendencies they may begin to display aggressive behavior toward the objects of their chase, including family members.
The primary concern with owning a Wolfdog is that people will mistake it for a “normal dog” and not know how to act around it. Wolfdogs need to be introduced into new situations slowly and must be taught to accept Handling. They are not like normal dogs, they do not have the same instincts, so you can’t just assume that because Fido lets you rub his belly, Wolfy will too. Most Wolfdogs are very “dog-reactive” meaning they get very excited around other dogs and want to play or make them their Pets. It’s important to teach your Wolfdog that other dogs are not his Pets.
Most people get Wolfdogs because of the mistaken impression that they are just “big dogs”. While it is true that Wolfdogs may be slightly larger than German Shepherds, they have much more in common with a predatory animal than a household pet. They are wild at heart and their ancestors are Wolves, not dogs. Never forget that.
They are escape artists of the highest order, which means secure fences are a must. Many Wolfdog owners find 6ft chain link adequate, although they will sometimes jump it if they feel the need. A Wolfdog never forgets its escape artist roots and the smarter ones will revisit favorite jumping off points (over or under the fence) until they reach their goal. Don’t be surprised if your Wolfie finds a way to dismantle your locking mechanism, they’re very ingenious that way.
The latest trend in Wolfdog ownership seems to be the “PACK”. People who insist on keeping more than one canine animal seem drawn to these “new”, hard to find dogs. While it may seem like a good idea to own more than one, most people cannot provide the time and attention needed for more than one dog. Wolfdogs require a great deal of attention and exercise. When they are not getting enough they become destructive, a behavior which is then pinned on the breed when in fact it is simply the lack of attention that causes it.
Are wolfdogs for you?
That is a question only you can answer. But be forewarned, if you are not prepared to meet their needs, do not bring one into your life. These lovely creatures deserve our respect and dedication. While they may seem “cool” at first, that wears off once you experience the work involved in sharing your life with one of these animals.
This care information is copied from the website: wolfpark.org.
We highly suggest that you read it and learn as much about the animal you want to adopt before doing so.
Sources & references used in this article:
Wolf outside, dog inside? The genomic make-up of the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog by R Caniglia, E Fabbri, P Hulva… – BMC …, 2018 – bmcgenomics.biomedcentral.com
From wolves to dogs, and back: Genetic composition of the Czechoslovakian wolfdog by M Smetanová, B Černá Bolfíková, E Randi, R Caniglia… – PloS one, 2015 – journals.plos.org
Human complex relationships with dogs, wolves, and wolf-dog hybrids by N Lescureux – … Biosocial Approaches to Domestication and Other …, 2018 – books.google.com
Comparison of minidogfiler and” ASCH” STR multiplex systems for preliminary estimation of variability within wolf´ s like dog breeds by R Štikarová, J Vašek, E Kubinyi, D Čílová… – Forensic Science …, 2019 – Elsevier
Wolf-dog hybridization in Croatia by J Kusak, E Fabbri, A Galov, T Gomerčić, H Arbanasić… – Veterinarski arhiv, 2018 – bib.irb.hr
Wolf-like or dog-like? A comparison of gazing behaviour across three dog breeds tested in their familiar environments by V Maglieri, E Prato-Previde… – Royal Society open …, 2019 – royalsocietypublishing.org