Call of the Wild? Great pet with an independent spirit? Dangerous & illegal?

Question:

I know some people who breed wolf hybrids. I’ve seen these animals and they are magnificent. The breeder tells me that when mixed with a Malamute, they are protective but loving pets. They seem a little wild to me. What do you advise?

 

Dr. Nichol:

I have to admit that it’s kind of thrilling to think of owning a critter out of Call of the Wild. But there are some factors worth considering before you take the plunge. First, it is illegal to own a wolf or wolf hybrid in most states. They are classified as wild animals. This is especially important if you live within the city limits. If your neighbors complain or if this pet bites someone, the law will handle the animal very differently than a domestic dog.

 

This could be important. Wolf hybrids can be a bit “spooky” because by nature they are not highly socialized the way domestic dogs are. For this reason they are very hard to train and they tend to communicate with their masters very differently. If you, or a visitor to your home, makes a threatening gesture to a wolf hybrid out of ignorance, a severe bite could result.

 

Lastly, since it is illegal for a veterinarian to vaccinate a wolf hybrid against Rabies, those who have bitten someone are handled like wild animals who have bitten. They are killed and their heads are submitted for Rabies testing. Domestic dogs, on the other hand, are simply quarantined. Owning a wild animal, or a part wild animal, is a very bad idea.