Although Scotts Valley is located just ten miles from Santa Cruz, the valley it sits in traps hot air, making it nearly as hot as the scorching Sacramento valley during the summer. I worked at a pipe and sprinkler supply company selling thousands of dollars worth of product a week. Not getting a commission, I was paid a decent wage to offset the cost of living in that popular area. I enjoyed dealing with a variety of customers, some rich setting up three thousand gallon water tanks on their properties, some just wanting to set up a sprinkler system for their lawn, and some, were the very offbeat, the very eclectic that lived in the Santa Cruz mountains. The woods are very dark and deep there, and it would be easy to cut yourself off from the world if you wanted to.
One day, a customer came in from that area. He was friendly and definitely looked like mountain hermit material. But that wasn't what caught my attention. Standing next to him was a tall mountain of a dog, with subdued tiger striping you might see on some Greyhounds or Pit Bulls. Mostly dark colored, its long legs carried a large but lean torso, upon which sat a massive head that sat at about equal height with my navel. I am 6 feet and 4 inches, so I can tell you that was one big dog. The face belonged to a Labrador with the gentle eyes to match. It was definitely not a Labrador, but some Frankenstein mix. Although its eyes were sweet and friendly, they bore an intense gaze you do not find on ordinary dogs.
The Bark that Echoed
I took a closer look at the surprising animal, taking note of its long legs and large paws. I knew instantly that it was a wolf mix. In amazement, I asked the owner about it and with a shy grin he confirmed it was a hybrid. Then, awkwardly, he said, "he can't bark, well sort of." I figured he meant the wolfdog was completely incapable of barking. That's when he told the dog to speak. The owner urged the animal several times until the gentle demeanored creature became eager enough to resist its own shyness, and lifted its head and burst out a tremendous WOOF! It was a single-beat, heavy-as-lead bark that must have echoed for miles, and could only have come from the throat of a wolf. And yet no wolf can bark, at least not like this.
The sound was so deep, that it reverberated through the pavement and through the soles of my boots and into my legs and chest. It was the most awesome natural experience with an animal I had ever encountered. What made it so profound was the animal's disposition. There was a half smile left on its lips like you would see on a friendly family dog after pleasing its masters, and yet its very form was one that bespoke of wildness and power. I went back to work and never saw them again but never forgot that day.
I have had a fascination for the wolf for a long time. It has had two different histories. One of historical European and Pioneer American days when wolves were feared and men shot wolves on sight to protect their families and their livestock. Before the days of gun powder, there was even more reason to be terrified of these pack predators. Each wolf is its own creature, and sometimes a group or lone wolf will turn to easier prey, some even yearning for the taste of human flesh. But this is not the norm. There is another side to the wolf. One that sheds light on its unquantifiable nature.
I am not sure when my obsession with the wolf started, but I believe it had something to do with the book White Fang by Jack London. In White Fang, the wolf was a sympathetic character, longing for the wild and freedom. After that, I read any books about wolves I could get my hands on, especially throughout high school, (I buried myself in books during those years, needless to say, I was not a social butterfly), and learned too much about this magnificent creature. When I saw the movie Never Cry Wolf, it left an indelible mark on me. A researcher lives in the artic for the winter season to study the completely white wolves of northern Canada to ascertain their effect on the declining Caribou population. There he discovered that wolves only kill the weakest animals, most often those that are sick and dying.
It has become common knowledge that this is typical wolf behavior. These hungry predators were designed by an awesome creator to bring balance to nature, and it is only man's ignorant interference that might upset it. The plot outlines the researcher's observations that wolves are a highly family oriented animal, not only in establishing pecking orders, but also in organizing care for the pack's young. For example, aunts and uncles take turns watching over newborn pups when the rest of the pack goes out to hunt. It is no wonder then that the completely domesticated version of the wolf, man's best friend the dog, forms a complete attachment with its family, even watching over children in some cases. Some breeds even form an exclusive, permanent bond with one member of the family.
Wolves are Wild
Some people, myself included, then wonder about having a wolf as a pet. After all, wouldn't it be natural for a wild animal so closely resembling its domesticated cousins in looks and behavior also be a great candidate for being a pet? Not only that, it would be a great watchdog right? I'm pretty sure it would be a great watchdog, but it takes generations of domestication and breeding to get the right temperament and dilute the wild streak enough for a wolf not to be a danger to its owner.
A real wolf is scary. Where I grew up, a neighbor had several wolves in a pen, as mandated by law. What struck me most was their restlessness and even more, the intense gaze that burned holes through center of my being. At night, I would listen to their wolf howls and all at once, I felt a rising primal love for that sound, and a great sadness for their state of habitation. These howls were the sounds of animals that needed to roam the wilderness. Wild wolves can cover about 15 to 20 miles a day, in a territory of 200 square miles. They are meant to roam free, and should not be left in a cage unless the owner is completely involved in the domestication, exercising and proper care of the animal.
Wolves are extremely territorial and even domesticated wolves in rescue centers have been known to kill their caretaker because of a misstep that the wolves interpreted as movements similar to prey. Some caretakers that have been fatally attacked were merely sick, which the wolves probably smelled and most likely observed as well in the movements of the victim. Wolves are magnificent animals, but require as much respect as riding a motorcycle, flying a fighter jet or working with other predatory animals like tigers and lions. Wolves can be domesticated, but require a large living area and the owner needs to be constantly on guard for signs of domination by the wolf of its perceived pack. As with humans, when you've got family, you have to take them with all their faults.
Being a Part of the Pack
The wolf-dog hybrid is an animal that also requires a great deal of care, but most mixes exhibit many of the more desirable dog characteristics that owners love. There is no way to predict the outcome of cross breeding as even sibling pups can differ in behavior, some leaning to the more wolf like state, while another from the exact same parents lean toward very dog like behavior. Nevertheless, this is one of my choices for the breed of dog I want to own. The more wolf leaning hybrids are fiercely loyal, but often extremely shy of strangers, and have been known to hide when visitors come to the house. It seems a little silly, but that could also make an owner feel special because the owner is part of the pack and "on the inside," something other people cannot be a part of. What a powerful feeling, to know you have the love and loyalty of a primal beast that it shares with no one else. The Australian Cattle Dog shares some of this shyness or aloofness toward strangers while reserving complete and total devotion toward its owner, the one it has attached itself to. This breed is also derived from a wild canine - the Dingo.
In the movie Never Cry Wolf, the researcher eventually befriends the pack as they become more and more accustomed to him. If a wild wolf is capable of allowing a human to get close to its pups, then how much more love can a domesticated wolf give to its owner? For me, a wolf-dog is the answer, as its dog traits bring some balance to its wild restlessness, while yet retaining the physical traits of its wolf side, and along with it, loyalty and devotion. I would love to get the same type of hybrid I met that day in Scotts Valley, but finding an exact match would be difficult. When the time comes and I decide to get a wolfdog instead of a Border Collie or Australian Shepherd breed, (also on the top of my list), I will make sure I have the time to give it the care it deserves, just as we all should do with any animal.
A Magnificent Animal Deserves Magnificent Care
There are many unscrupulous breeders of that take advantage of poor romanticists who think that owning a wolf will make them special, and think they can treat it like a dog. Too often, these breeders falsify information by inflating the percentage of wolf the hybrid contains, or even sell the hapless buyers pure dogs that resemble wolves. They'll keep two wolves on site as proof that they are using them as breeding stock, when in fact they are not. Often, the buyers have no clue about what they're getting into, and end up abandoning the wolfdog or bringing it to the SPCA that turns the wolfdog over to a rescue center. I do not want to support the mistreatment of these beautiful animals, so I will not be seeking a breeder, but instead going to a wolf rescue center so I can give at least one animal a good home. Perhaps I will find a wolf-lab mix and get a wolfdog that can bark so loud it will shake the shingles off the roof and clear the area of criminal activity for miles around.
Hybrid Laws in the States
- HybridLaw.com - State laws regarding Hybrid cats, wolves, dogs and other animals
laws by state regarding hybrid cats, wolves, dogs and other animals
Wolves are Dangerous
- Wolf Attack and Comments
Wolves are still dangerous, no matter how many coffee table books about wolves say otherwise! Take heed.
Domesticated Wolf Video
- Beautiful Domesticated Wolf
Very docile animal, the flip side of the coin to all the fierceness and wildness we are warned about. Completely domesticated.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 14, 2013:
You're an excellent conversationalist!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 13, 2013:
I think so too. It is natural for a dog / wolf to see a human as part of their pack, and hopefully as the alpha, but with the spitz breeds and I would guess the wolves especially, it is more intensely so. I suppose owning a wolf hybrid in India is unheard of, I wouldn't be surprised you think we westerners are a little crazy for having such an animal! I looked up your city and was surprised to learn that Chandigarh was partially designed by westerners and that it also serves as the capital for two states! Is this true? I bet if you wrote about that, you find some interest in your hubs in addition to what you're doing. Thanks for visiting SamitaJassi, I hope my early shortening of your name was not offensive.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 12, 2013:
Thanks Sam, what did you find interesting about it?
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 02, 2013:
Jrollz, I didn't mean to ignore your comment. I appreciate your point of view as not every wolf-hybrid story is a good one. But even a beloved dog might turn on you one day, or chase children. When I was growing up, we had a Doberman that had been abused. She was a wonderful animal but one day I was riding home from school and she ran after me and bit my leg. As soon as I stopped, she realized who I was and was completely friendly. In her mind, I was a moving target and this made her a danger to others, so she had to be put down. But I will never let my experience with her, stop me from seeking a friend in a half wolf. There is risk, but I am very comfortable with animals. I would say for you, you're better off with a cocker spaniel or golden retriever. Remember that someone in Earth's 6000 year history had to domesticate the first wild dog, and deal with the associated dangers. And that is why you have so many wonderful breeds to choose from today!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 02, 2013:
Nyree, thank you so much for your story, that just warms my heart. I had a Siberian Husky for a week I had to give up because of the apartment pet policy, but I saw her a week later with her new owners and she not only remembered me, but by the way she was leaning on me and then later gently nuzzling and licking me through the fence, I knew she missed me as much as I missed her.
But she needed my company all day long as well and I think because I wasn't working, this made our relationship special. These sorts of dogs need that absolute closeness and you have that with your wolfdog. I love to hear that and I can't wait till I have a home business going to get a dog I can be with all day (in a new place of course). That's what it's all about.
My husky was such a handful, I thought I defnitely didn't want a spitz breed, let alone a wolf mix, but after that week, living without her feels like part of my heart is missing. After reading your comment, I am reminded that I need to consider getting a wolf or wolf mix. Thank you.
Nyree on October 02, 2013:
I have a 9month old hybrid wolf (male). I have had several spinal surgeries and am disabled but a stay at home mom. My Loki has been the best thing to my family. I have two boys, 3 and 7. He is so gentle with them and very protective over them. When it comes to me... He is my shadow, my protector and my best friend.
If ANYONE thinks of getting this kind of "dog" PLEASE make sure you have the time to invest in them. Loki and I are together 24-7, at most I have had to be away from him for 8 hrs and I had my mother stay with him. When he saw me come home it was priceless!!!!!
Jrollz on August 22, 2013:
yall crazy and rist too much. kids/children meet wolfs on an eye to eye level and make prey like squeals and noises that provoke natual dominance or hunting instinks that will always bring natural predator like instincts
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 23, 2013:
Yes they are special. I think it's that piercing gaze, like there is much more going on behind those eyes...
Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on May 22, 2013:
I've always loved reading about wolves and hybrids and I found this hub fascinating. There is something about the wolf that commands respect. Awesome creatures.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 27, 2012:
Although I don't agree with your overall sentiment, I really appreciate your comment and shedding light on how very difficult some hybrids can be. It is really unfortunate that you have been hampered so much by your friend's wildness and your example is a sobering reminder that a wild animal is still a wild animal and those of us considering getting one have to be very aware of that fact.
However, I have NEVER heard of wolves attacking a human or prey by using their claws to eviscerate. Every bit of behavior you are describing (the scratching of your body and torn shirts tell me he is jumping up to your face and also the stealing of your food) illustrates a canine who does not know who is the alpha. Many dogs must be taught that their owners are the boss, and when they aren't, will walk all over you.
That element mixed with your particular animal's more pronounced wild traits is a deadly mixture. It is very evident Woof does not respect you and you are afraid of him. You state that if he is involved in a confrontation, he is likely to team up against the losing side - even if it's you. My opinion is that again, he does not see you as the alpha, and his emotions are out of control. Woof is a danger to your neighbors and unless you are able to get a handle on him, I suggest you give him to someone who can.
Sorry to be so blunt, but I am worried for you and your wolf. Your love and dedication to Woof is admirable. I hope the best for you.
45 Mike on July 24, 2012:
I started my relationship with my 75% wolf hybrid in April of 2000, He weighs about 90 lbs and appears to be huge, (because of his long fur). I don't think he is really all that big. He has the long legs, big paws and lean body that shouts WOLF. I got him from Montana, when I lived there. He is registered as a wolf hybrid.
I will never own another wolf-dog. The responsibility of being his one and only packmate is crushing. I have no social life to speak of, My house is constantly being destroyed, My yard looks like a cross between a prison and a war zone, high fences, multiple gates, holes like bomb craters. He sheds year round, (his winterfur is soft and I spin it into yarn), he terrorizes other male dogs in the area. Basically owning this monster is a nightmare. I love him, but I won't ever have another. When Woof passes away, I expect to get a nice fur. I will treasure the memories of forest runs in the Montana Rocky mountains, the lakes, streams and meadows. The nightly howling at 3am that woke up my neighbors they say they got used to. The time he first saw a cow, and hid behind my legs, the time he first saw a deer and almost tore my arm off trying to chase it. What I won't treasure is the time he got loose, jumped a fence and almost killed two of my neighbors dogs. The time he tangled a small child in his leash and almost killed him when the rope snapped tight.
I hope you get my intention of convincing you and others to NOT get involved with owning a wolf hybrid. Wolves are dangerous destructive predators. They look great, majestic and magical IN THE WILD,
In captivity, they become at best a shadow of the spirit you imagine, and at worst a nightmare of social and legal problems that can end your life as you know it.
A wolf, in the wild is fairly predictable, a wolf hybrid in human proximity is an unstable, unpredictable carnivorous predator. DON'T DO IT!
With all that said, after having spent the last twelve years with the Woof, I will never own a dog again, Woof is smarter, meaner brighter and more fun to be around than any dog I have known.
Wolf hybrids are NOT suited for guard duty or protection, they may, or may NOT be inclined to participate in any violent confrontation, however it is certainly LIKELY that if they do participate, they will choose to side with whoever appears to be winning. If someone attacks you, your pet may join them in that attack against you. As for property guarding, forget it. They don't care.
They are much more intelligent than many credit them, They are individual thinkers and extremely opportunistic. Woof constantly tries to trick me into letting him loose, he also is always ready to snap and grab anything he thinks might be edible, and actively plots to cause me to drop stuff so he can snag it. I spend much of my mealtimes standing up with my plate or bowl against my chest to keep him from knocking it off a table to sample what I have.
He is quite capable of ripping through any wall less sturdy than brick and mortar, his claws are almost prehensile, and are easily capable of disemboweling any human not wearing thick winter garments. I have scars and t-shirts ripped to shreds to prove that. Woof tore off a door and most of a wall at my mothers mobile home, when I left him to go to the store.
DON'T DO IT.
Leave the wolves in the wild, and do NOT support anyone who breeds hybrids.
Thanks, 45 Mike
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 11, 2012:
Thanks so much Lynn, my head is so big from your praise that I am not sure I will get through the door tomorrow when I go to work! (this would be a good thing because it would allow me to do some more writing). Thanks for the well wishes on the future dog hunt, I may not get a hybrid after all, I'm thinking of getting a Border Collie, but hopefully something from the pound - rescue a companion from a dismal fate. You sound like you have a big heart, I hope some animal is benefitting from your love. Thanks for also for reading and commenting.
Lynn on July 10, 2012:
Alexander Mark, I think you are remarkable. I can't imagine the effort you've put into this hub over the years, not to mention the article itself! It was beautifully written and a joy to read. Thank you so much, and good luck with your future dog, no matter which breed you choose!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on June 23, 2012:
In high school, I read and reread White Fang numerous times, and I almost never reread a book. I wanted very badly to be a wolf. Thanks for the praise suzettenaples, very much appreciated.
Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on June 20, 2012:
I love this article! It is excellent with great information and tips for owning a wolf dog. My maiden name is Wolf and I have always had a soft spot in my heart for them. I have done some reading about them and everything in this article is spot on! I have read a lot of Jack London stories and novels, " White Fang" being one of my favorites. Thanks so much for sharing this with us! Well done!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on June 15, 2012:
anna harvey on June 15, 2012:
never no the Hybrids had blue eyes
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on June 05, 2012:
Mayo, thanks for commenting and the obvious promotional link, but I'll let it stand because readers might be interested.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on June 05, 2012:
Mike, a Rott / German Shep mix? Wow. I recently visited my brother and he has a Rottweiler, very sweet but with a streak of aggression. I think you like the difficult animals! But it is neat all of your animals get along.
mayo on June 05, 2012:
These animals are awesome. I finally found the list of the cutest hybrid dogs on Ranker. http://www.ranker.com/list/the-cutest-hybrid-dogs/...
Mike Flores on June 05, 2012:
Thank you Mr. Mark, like you I have a big heart towards these animals and I think its extremely important to know what your going to be dealing with. Kiba is a inside animal because hecouldn't survive this Texas sun. But I don't mind and neither does my German shepherd rot mix, along with my Chihuahua and cat :)
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on June 05, 2012:
I'm glad you liked it cclitgirl. I recently met a hybrid wolf dog, and he was very alert and twitchy, but also very sweet. Labs are awesome too. Thanks for coming by and commenting.
Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on June 02, 2012:
Wow! What an awesome hub. I once visited a place in Colorado called Mission Wolf. They rescued wolves from people that had abandoned them. That's also when I gained true respect for them. They are so beautiful - and so wild. I had a wolf-hybrid and he commanded respect, too. I don't think I would do well with another hybrid, though - I get "run over" by my crazy lab. Yes, he's quite insane and keeps me busy chasing him all over the place. :)
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 04, 2012:
crazyhorsesghost, I love the stories you share here - I too would love to howl at the moon with a wolf, I can't imagine what that would feel like but it would be awesome. I very much appreciate your comments.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 04, 2012:
Mike, thanks for chiming in and helping to reiterate the fact that any wolf or wolf hybrid owner needs to be ready for what they're getting in to. I can't add any more to your comments and thank you Kiba also.
Thomas Byers from East Coast , United States on May 03, 2012:
Your very welcome Mark and I will tell you and everyone else I had one I kept for 14 years that was a female and until she got very old you could not have asked for a better animal. The only bad thing about her was the fact that she was afraid of thunderstorms and she was coming in the house when there was a thunderstorm. She would even come through a window. So you had to know where she was when a thunderstorm would come. But she taught me more about wolfs than any other animal I ever worked with. She died at 14 years of age and I still miss her.
You have not truly lived until you have set in the wilderness with a full grown wolf and howled at the moon.
The one I have now is a very excitable young female who will be one year old in a few days. She is fun to be with but can change on a dime. She hates female dogs with a passion. I have seen this in other female wolfs. But three minutes later she can be loving affectionate and wanting to come in the house. Incidentally she loves cartoons. Mark I did really enjoy this Hub Page. Again thank you for it. Peace everyone.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on May 03, 2012:
Thank you crazyhorsesghost for the praise and the vote up. We have slightly different philosophies about owning wolf hybrids and pure wolves. You obviously are a qualified person for wolf ownership since you understand the volatile nature of the beast.
I now have two recent comments that talk about the sudden and unpredictable change in posture and that IS a scary situation. The wolf obviously has deep instincts that cannot be completely broken in one generation. But there are also stories of wolves that are completely domesticated.
I think it is safe to say that if someone wants to own a wolf, they need to ask themselves what they will do about a wolf who is more aggressive than they would like - such as having proper facilities for containing the animal, spending lots of time with this highly social and energetic friend, always being on guard if it shows that unpredictable behavior and so on - or a plan B to give the wolf to someone who can take care of it.
It's a sticky situation for sure, thanks for highlighting the facts and sharing your experiences here.
Mike Flores on April 30, 2012:
The gentle crazyhorseghost said hybrids are dangerous, which they can be but if the owner does the research and learns how to handle the dog it can be the best experience you may ever have. By all means though as long as the wolf has dog in him he can be controlled. But if its pure wolf they should absolutely never be owned as a pet. But please please please do the right's research because if you don't know hoe to handle these hybrids they could be a nightmare. But like I do know what I'm doing he is the best dog I've ever owned and its a amazing feeling to have such a bond with this majestic animal
Mike Flores on April 30, 2012:
I loved your article but I have a little advice for you and your readers. Wolf dogs are great to own and can completely be tamed down you just have to know what your doing. And never forget to quickly discourage hunting because any little animal can turn the prey drive on and if its not corrected it will kill what its hunting every time. Cats to small dogs even said sheep someone said earlier. It's not fair to put these majestic animals down just because we the owners don't know what were doing. Please educate yourself before getting a wolf dog. I have one he's named Kiba and he's a grey wolf mix. One of the greatest dogs I've ever owned.
Thomas Byers from East Coast , United States on April 30, 2012:
You have done a wonderful Hub here with lots of great information. I work with wolfs and have for a number of years. I currently have one that I am working with but I would not advise any one to get one as a pet. They are a dangerous animal and you never know what will set them off. And your not going to easily stop a determined wolf. The one I have now is a year old and she pretty much does what she wants to. She is in a enclosure with a top on it but she is a wolf and I watch her to see what she is going to do. A wolf and most wolf hybrids are dangerous for the average person to deal with.
The one I have is so strong it is almost impossible for me to walk her. She can pull me along and her strength is amazing. She weighs just above 200 pounds and is currently shedding her winter coat.
At times she is one of the friendliest animals you could ever want to see. But if a female dog comes around she turns into a aggressive animal and you know she would kill if allowed to.
I have worked with at least 15 different wolfs and no they should never be pets. I am doing research and will have her for at least another year but she can become aggressive at times with little or no warning.
Voted your Hub up across the board. Thanks for a great Hub.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 30, 2012:
Destiny, thanks! Congrats with your wolf/lab, I think that might be a great mix for a hybrid, the lab side will hopefully temper the wolf side. He sounds beautiful. Hope that he will keep the thieves and burglars at bay, maybe one deep bark from his wolf side will scare them off!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 30, 2012:
Theophanes, I can't deny your experiences, but I do believe there is much more to hybrids than the unfortunate events you experienced. There are more success stories out there than unhappy stories, it's just that we need to always be mindful that we are dealing with wild animals - and that is where people run into trouble. They want a wild animal, but then for some strange reason don't understand the responsibility that goes along with it.
For most of us, a domesticated dog or cat is the best bet, we can be 99% sure we are getting a well behaved or domestic-adapted animal. But we have to remember that our domesticated pets came from a wild animal at some point, and generations of humans struggled to mold those animals into the loving friends we can buy today.
Just because we have been softened by civilization, doesn't mean we can't choose to connect with the wild. Should we stop camping because we might get mauled by a bear? Of course not! What a sad way to live. Same thing with wild animals is my opinion. There are many people who benefit greatly from connecting with a wild animal in their lives, those of us who want one need to consider the special needs of such an animal and be responsible for it.
Destiny on April 22, 2012:
This was a cool article.. I have a wolf/ lab puppy.. All black with a white chest plate he's a great. I got him for safety reason because some broke into my house.. So I went on Craigslist and searched for the biggest dog I could find. He looks like a lab but his fur is fluffy like a wolf and his giant paws and legs. He's very loyal and listens great. Very smart dogs.. And we got him for free.
Theophanes Avery from New England on April 16, 2012:
Back when wolf dogs were legal in the state I live in the neighbors had two. They let them loose to run around, never had them enclosed or chained. One day our lab greyhound mix got off his own chain and went up into their yard. Eye witnesses say they all looked like they were playing normally when for no reason at all they turned on the dog and ripped him to apart. He was a breath away from death when we were called to pick him up.
We lived in a very forested rural area and I had a coyote dog mix that happened naturally. She was not a pet. She was... small but dangerous. She would twist her chain over and over again until it snapped and then run off to hunt rabbit and beavers, dragging them home. She also chased deer but I don't know if she caught any. In any event she was FIERCELY territorial and nearly attacked a neighbor for coming into our yard and she HATED to be indoors. We'd let her inside from the time she was a tiny puppy but she'd pace nervously and pant, wanting to be outside. These are not appropriate pets... they are beautiful but their breeding is WAY complicated. I know from raising two rescued pit bull litters that even 100% dogs can have severe temperament issues from birth on, even when their parents are sweet as can be. If you ask me it's tragic these animals are being bred at all (and I'm a usually pro breeder! On nearly everything!) They've got the anxieties of a wolf and the sad dependance of a dog. It can lead to too much trouble.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 02, 2012:
Wow, juliiette, YOUR story is heartwarming. What a tragedy that you had the misfortune of killing a wolf, but out of it came an incredible blessing.
Thank you very much for visiting and sharing your and thor's story. For me, this helps to prove that there are many cases that a wolf hybrid can be a great companion. I would love to have what you have but it sounds like you needed him and I think God gave that puppy to the right person.
juliette and thor on March 29, 2012:
I read your artical while surfing the web, and i gotta say it was very heart warming. I own a wolf hybrid named thor. He saved my life when i got him just got out of a nasty realtionship and his company and eager to make me feel better gaze really helped warm my heart and heal my wounds. I found him in flint MI while going to school there during a bad winter a wolf (hybrid?) Mother ran in front of my car and i had no time to swerve. When i got out above the winds i heard the cub yelping so i put in in my lap and drove away. A exotic pet vet took a blood sample and comfrimed my guess. Wolf hybrid . I named him Thor because of his blue eyes ,i found him in a storm and the first thing he chewd up was a hammer. I really do think that maybe just mayyyybe he was a gift from the gods to a lonely young woman in much need of his friend ship.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on February 04, 2012:
LOL, I was referring to the snobs that live here, but yes, the mountains and the ocean beaches are extraordinary. I pretty much love the entire US West Coast - the Pacific ocean has a mysterious draw that I'm afraid I can never leave. A few days ago, as I was standing at my post, I got a terrific view of some of the mountains to the east, snow capped wonders, I gazed at them for half an hour before I had to get back to work.
stessily on February 04, 2012:
AM, Those country stops exert their charm on everyone! I actually had intended to write that "it looked as though you did a country stop" but the computer was being so temperamental that when it arbitrarily deleted that phrase I let it have its narrow-minded way.
From now on, "California stops" replaces "country stops" in my vocabulary! Yes, I can see how it would be easy for California to think they're the only state in the union; there's so much natural beauty, the climate, the surfing; everything seems so legendary there.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 25, 2012:
Thanks stessily! It was rainy and stormy in the valley, and then I drove up to the mountains where it was snowing. Ironically, I filmed the rain and the snow on two separate days, but the rainy weather was exactly the same on the day I filmed the snow drive. Sorry it didn't play that well. Fun to know I have that Midwest wince.
Honestly I did stop, but I think it looks like I didn't because that's the exact moment I sped the video up. It was an experiment in movie making, not my most popular video but I am glad you like it. I enjoyed putting it together.
And for the record, I do float through stop signs now IF there is no one else around - the need for safety is eliminated if no one else is around to benefit in my opinion. Out here, we call them California stops, because California thinks they are the only state that exists in the union!
stessily on January 25, 2012:
AM, Thank you for the link to "Snowy Day on 80." Unfortunately this computer kept freezing every 5 to 9 seconds so the flow is disrupted. The music is perfect. What is it? It's unexpected to go from rainy, wind-tossed residential views to snowy wet highways, which look very much like scenes from my life in the Midwest. I felt that I was either driving or a passenger! Nice mug, AM! I like the way you turn to the side at the end of the shot, almost in a wince; that's actually a typical gesture in the snowy Midwest.
Interestingly, "Trance Drive" played smoothly for me. I love it. Haddaway's "What is Love" fits perfectly. It's possible at the first stop sign, where you turned right, you did a "country stop", a favorite in the Midwest, where you slow down but don't actually come to a complete stop.:-) It's great where, even though the speed limit seems to be 35, those cars appear to be speeding faster than that, and then everything speeds up before the smooth transition to journeying in space. Really fantastically well done!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 25, 2012:
Yes, Sunday is Friday and today is Monday, waaaaaaaah. I have never heard of that book, but I avoid the classics like the plague, I prefer more commercial fiction :-) It isn't easy to always find quality fiction in that area, but I can't stand long winded prose very much either, which is why I will probably never reread Lord of the Rings - I know I'm missing out, but I always feel like I'm missing a train somewhere.
Maybe when I move to a rainy, stormy place, then I will finally be able to sit down and open a book with lots of description and heart.
Here's a video I created of the weather around here you might enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfH7B2VtdZc . I'm not trying to promote myself or anything, but I get the feeling that you will "get it". You'll see my mug in there too. Thanks for your always wonderful comment conversations.
stessily on January 23, 2012:
AM, You are not slow! Any time you find those images is fine, because in the interim I can visit your hubs to view them. My ideal art/quilting/writing study is in my heart, seeking expression in the physical world. Things happen when they happen.
I appreciate your compliment that I'm "at complete peace with that magical part of yourself that seems so far away from me most of the time." Thank you. As for your magical spaces, they are evoked so clearly and poetically in your writings and your comments. They aren't as far from you as you seem to think.
I love the image of the wind blowing, rain "whirling around the street." That is wonderful to imagine (for me) and to behold (for you).
For some reason your imagery and your statement that "We don't get many storms down here" reminds me of an early story by John Steinbeck, "To a God Unknown." It's a powerful description of nature in the Salinas Valley, near Nuestra Señora, in an area unfamiliar with regular rainfall. I re-read that story last year for the sense of the so-called vagaries of nature which is conveyed powerfully throughout.
It's been raining lately here, but without the wind.:-(
Such a great way for you to start your Friday, with wind and rain. So Sunday is Friday for you?
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 23, 2012:
Stessily, you get where I am coming from - you seem to be at complete peace with that magical part of yourself that seems so far away from me most of the time.
I am annoyed because all those documentaries you and James mentioned are hard to find at Barnes and Noble believe it or not. I need to make a little time to hit the library and get them from there. In the mean time, I will definitely be checking out the youtube videos - thank you!
Right now, the wind is blowing and rain is whirling around the street - it's wonderful. We don't get many storms down here, so this makes me think of being in the wilderness with all its wonderful winter weather - it's my Friday so what a great way to start the weekend!
By the way, I am still working on finding those pictures of the clouds to send to you - hope my slowness isn't too slow for you :-)
stessily on January 19, 2012:
AM, Just to let you know that I've seen "Wolves at Our Door", and it is fantastic! I especially love Chemukh's story --- inspiring and kinda romantic!
I hope that you are able to view it in the not-too-distant future. It's available in 4 parts on YouTube:
And your childhood fantasy about wandering through "quiet snowy forests alone" and then returning to your "den at night to curl up and go to sleep" is one of the best childhood fantasies I've heard of --- such vivid, clear imagery that I had an immediate image of snowy forests as a backdrop to that lovely wolf coat and the gracefulness of the wolf's movements.
Surfer dude, inner Klingon, inner wolf, wearer of rose colored glasses, heavenly cigar smoker --- quite the profile there, AM!
Always a blessing to read your hubs and comments! Thank you for that.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 17, 2012:
Hello AliciaC, I'm glad you liked it. Neat that you have a wolf dog living nearby. I am sure that the animal's behavior is due to the owner's care, some hybrids can be unpredictable. Thanks for visiting!
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 16, 2012:
This is a very interesting hub with great photos, and it was also interesting to read all the comments. I sometimes see a man walking with his wolf dog (on a leash) near my house. His pet always seems calm and well behaved, but although I've talked to the owner I've never really got to know the animal. I don't think I would have the time and patience necessary to train a wolf dog or take care of it properly, but it's very interesting to read about these hybrids.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 16, 2012:
Wesman, thanks for the terrific comment and that scene you described is etched into my mind for the rest of my life - the interaction between the researcher and the wolves is awesome, but the image of the pilot going outside with his wrench is the most memorable part of the movie.
I'm definitely going to check out that site. Last night I stumbled onto some great sites advocating responsible wild animal ownership and watched a video that countered the arguments that the wild should be left alone to preserve the natural state of this world.
I take it a step farther and propose that the natural state of this world is for man to interact directly with nature and to get out of suburban living and packaged food. (Not endorsing tribalism, just responsible care of the environment and enough technology to improve our lives rather than overburden us).
This is not going to happen in this world, but I'm sure the next.
I like your statement: "but if I didn't bond with the critter, I'd still think it was beautiful." Absolutely right on. Can't get enough of that wolf stare in videos and looking forward to watching a few wolf documentaries soon. The lab/wolf hybrid in Santa Cruz had those eyes as well, yet it also had the sweet, loving disposition of the lab and completely approachable.
Hello Homestead! I think you are wise to consider your needs and the animal's needs. I wouldn't rule it out though, there are hybrids that are bred to have more dog genes and traits and very minor wolf traits. But I think it would take a lot of effort to find #1, a reputable breeder and #2 to find the hybrid with just the right mix of dog genes to create the right temperment.
I am still on the fence about owning a hybrid or even a purebred wolf, because I absolutely love Border Collies and they make excellent companions and depending on the temperment again, some of them are excellent watchdogs.
Wild animals and hybrids are just another option for us animal lovers. Have you considered a Bobcat? Just kidding :-)
Cindy Murdoch from Texas on January 15, 2012:
What a beautiful animal! I too would like to have one, but I fear that i would not be able to handle it. As I get older, the aches and pains are setting in and it make take that entirely wrong.
Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on January 15, 2012:
This is definitely some very well written stuff!
I lived for a few months at the old Fort Ord in Seaside, California, and so, of course, I visited Santa Cruz from there. It's definitely a cool place, and full of "alternative types," when compared to my area of Texas.
I've also seen that movie "Never Cry Wolf," and that's notable because ....I've almost never seen the movie that someone is referencing in something. The scene near the beginning where the plane stalls over the mountains and the guy pilot crawls outside onto a wing with a wrench or something in his hand....that was intense!
Oh I fantasized for years and years about owning a wolf. If you searched Google for "star crossed wolves" - the guy who does that site breeds wolves and doesn't live too far from here. He's an extremely non conformist type, and after talking to him on the phone once....there's no doubt he loves his wolves, and probably would rather be spending time with them than with anything else.
His neighbours seriously dislike the man, and they dislike the howling of the wolves at night. It's a very rural area....and I think that folks just try to cause the guy problems. Folks had claimed that he was fighting his wolves on his property and such...but I don't believe that.
Gosh I just love dogs....nearly all of them. I've never got to spend time with a wolf or a hybrid, but if I didn't bond with the critter, I'd still think it was beautiful.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 01, 2012:
Well, see, that proves my point about our inner Klingon I guess! We all have that inside. I have to admit there is a wolf in me, one that wanders through quiet snowy forests alone, returning to its den at night to curl up and go to sleep. That was a childhood fantasy anyway, but sometimes those thoughts stick with us don't they?
I will eventually get to those documentaries, I tried to find them online for free, but they are not there - so next stop is the library.
stessily on December 30, 2011:
AM, You never saw me as a wolf, not because I'm incognito, but because I'm unsure of my wolf associations. I think that they are beautiful and intriguing, and I'm fascinated with their magical status in legend and folk tales, such as werewolves, Romulus and Remus as founders of Rome Italy, Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Little Pigs, etc.
But I may very well have an Inner Wolf just as I'm discovering inklings of an Inner Klingon. What about you? A wolf in disguise? An inner wolf?
The problem with those remote havens is that oftentimes they have a creepy side to them, not necessarily emanating from them but because of who else has discovered them. Now that's where being a wolf whisperer comes in!
I think that you'll enjoy those documentaries; I know it's a bit much to drop on you, but I'm sure that you can handle it.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on December 29, 2011:
Aha! You caught my little aside about the woods. It's a very scary and beautiful place. When you hike in or go to a remote cabin, you feel like you're thousands of miles from civilization. It's kind of creepy too. In fact, I have stumbled on leftover witchcraft ceremony sites - it's disturbing to say the least.
Jack London is awesome. I think though that I never read anything else of his but White Fang and that is a book I wouldn't mind still having in my bookcase.
I never saw you as a wolf, I think you've been wearing a disguise!
So now I have three wolf documentaries to watch (sigh), thanks alot. Lol, it will give me good material ;-)
stessily on December 29, 2011:
AM, It is my hope that you will write another hub on these fascinatingly beautiful mammals.
The return of the wolves to Yellowstone is available in the library so I'll be watching it, hopefully this weekend as one year morphs into another.
I'll also have a gander at a documentary I haven't seen, "Wolves at Our Door," which is set in the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho, concerns a three-year bonding with grey wolves --- should be interesting and probably photographically beautiful with the wolves and the pristine landscape.
I'm not able to locate a copy of the Timothy Dalton documentary; I remember it as informative, interesting, and well narrated. I'll keep looking.
I love your description of Scotts Valley:
"The woods are very dark and deep there, and it would be easy to cut yourself off from the world if you wanted to." Sounds like my kind of place, at least in my imagination.
Thanks again for this mesmerizing tribute. I don't know when I became intrigued by wolves --- definitely by the time I started reading Jack London. Before that time, I sometimes was on the side of the wolf vs. the little pigs and red riding hood!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on December 29, 2011:
Well now, you and James are forcing me to revisit the wolf, there is probably enough material there to write another hub.
I agree, wolves are beautiful, it's hard not to be mesmerized by their gaze.
Thank you much Stessily.
stessily on December 28, 2011:
AM, Timothy Dalton narrated a fascinating documentary on wolves, "In the Wild: In the Company of Wolves."
Wolves are so incredibly photogenic, and their calls are eerie, mysterious, and mesmerizing.
This is a really beautiful tribute!
Kind regards, Stessily
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on December 14, 2011:
Thank you for the recommend James, if I get a chance, I will definitely watch that. I am not up on the latest news concerning wolves and reintroduction to certain areas of the country, I'm curious to see what the conclusion was there.
Thanks very much for the compliment, this is an older hub that seems to be ever popular. You're making me feel guilty for not writing anything lately! It's great to "see" you :-D
James A Watkins from Chicago on December 14, 2011:
This is a fabulous Hub, my friend. I was captivated from start to finish by your words. Thank you for the good read.
Just recently, I watched a fascinating documentary entitled: "Wolves: A Legend Returns to Yellowstone"
If you haven't seen it, I think you would enjoy it very much.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on December 09, 2011:
CloudExplorer, thank you for coming back and reading the whole thing - I hope it was worth the effort, and thank you for all the votes.
I don't know all that much, but enough for this hub. I believe that Huskies have a more recent trace of wolf in their lineage, so that is closer to having a hybrid than a regular dog. That isn't a bad idea for a hub either.
I hope you plan to give your wolf pup lots of room to run and lots of personal attention. Huskies are pretty energetic, so I think you have enough background to deal with a wolf too!
Thanks again for the kind comments.
Mike Pugh from New York City on December 09, 2011:
This hub took a bit of time to read, but as I said I came back to complete the reading of it all. Wolves are dangerous indeed as are any predator for that matter.
So I definitely understand the necessity and interest in writing such a great illustrated & informative hub on the topic. Plus owning a wolf dog just seems fun, I had an Alaskan husky when I was a child, but I'm not sure if its part wolf. Many people have told me is was, but I'm sure you may know much better than me on the subject.
Thanks for sharing such a well thought out hub & its getting voted up for beauty, interesting, and useful for I to someday want to own my very own wolf dog as well. You have a new follower, cause you seem like the leader of a great wolf pack on hubpages.
Mike Pugh from New York City on December 09, 2011:
I'll be back to read this one in it's entirety, looks awesome. I'm loving the wolf imagery.
Janeen on September 28, 2011:
Thanks for the nice comments Alexander! But, really, I am not given any special gift; it is all how we interpret what has been put before us. We as humans forget sometimes that our companions (2 or 4 legged) are communicating with us, we choose whether we want to listen. This became so true with Shey's separation anxiety, and once again, I have learnt, he has taught.
Originally, Shey's crate had open sides to it, I had done this so that he would be able to see his environment when I was gone extended periods. In hindsight, one of my bad decisions again! A wolf, of course, would den and that den would have 3 closed in sides for the sole purpose to prevent predators from attacking from the back--makes sense. But my ignorance on the situation and placing him in a open crate or in the laundry room would have cause that innate fear to be heightened and it would have made him feel trapped and vulnerable--poor guy! Feeling like that, I would have jumped out the windows and busted the crate too! He is now in a fully enclosed crate and LOVES it--he will actually voluntarily sleep in it at night. The Thunder shirt and Rescue Remedy has helped tons too and he will lick my nose when I put it on him (this is a sign of respect as in the wild a wolf will lick the muzzle of the Alpha female in respect).
I think that this learning experience has concreted further for both of us that we are one in the same. I have found that he has calmed quite a bit when it comes to barking at guests---he knows that I will adjust and protect him just as he will protect me to the end.
I am blessed to have this opportunity in my life and your turn will come. Just remember that you are not also sure that you are ready for it--it was not the perfect time in mine to accept a new dog--but the chance sometimes comes when you need it as opposed to want it...
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on August 16, 2011:
Janeen, that is by far the most beautiful story I've gotten so far, and they are all pretty amazing stories already. I am impressed with your ability to understand the nature of canines and yet completely respect and love this animal. I could be jealous of your gift, but because you hold it so dear, I am not because Shey is so loved. I love that Shey is dangerous to enemies but completely loving with you and your family. Incredible. You make me want one all over again. Thank you so much for adding to this hub. It gets a lot of attention, and your story makes it all the better. I'll stop gushing now and hope I get the blessing someday that you have now. Hope the separation issue gets resolved soon.
Janeen on August 14, 2011:
I have a male grey-wolf hybrid (his name is Shey) and he is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever had the honour of being associated with. He has an incredible nature about him and is gentle and intelligent; he is now 9 and acts/looks as if he is a pup. They require a high quality diet with no fillers as they have some different physical demands.
He does have prey tendencies with cats and small creatures like racoons (we have a racoon incident yearly without fail--those poor racoons don't have a chance), but has never shown any agression towards people although he will alert me (and the neighbours) as to any "unknown' peoples wondering by.
Just over a year ago we lost his female dog companion who spent the days with him galloping through the backyard and basking in the sun. Since then he has started to suffer from extreme seperation anxiety. I am lucky enough to be home almost all the time with him, but when I do need to go out I must crate him in the house or he will spend the entire time howling and barking (yes, he has the wolf howl that is one of natures most beautiful songs). I orginally had placed him in the laundry room, but he very quickly learnt how to pop the locks on the window and escape through it and he would urinate due to the anxiety. I have just bought my second crate as he destroyed the first one from the inside out; he pants and sweats and really puts himself into a frenzy--it's awfully sad. It has been recommended to try a Thundershirt, which I purchased today, and to try Rescue Remedy, which has also been purchased as I really need to ease his discomfort.
When I'm home he relaxes completely and you would never know that he had just had a flip-out. I guess it shows how much these creatures truly love their human families and how much they rely on us for security--it really is a win-win situation as I know that he would protect us even if he died doing it (even when he rides in the car he crazy barks at anyone who get to close to the car). My daighter has been raised with him and he still allows her to climb on him and he just soaks her with licks.
These are animals that deserve our respect. It is awesome to have one in our family, but it is more of a hounor that Shey has choosen us to be his pack--he has the strenght and ability to harm us and that is something that I always must respect even though he has never shown it. As long as I respect his ability I will stay Alpha and have control; the day I forget about his ability is the day I leave myself open for him to dominate and that is the day that he would have to leave our human pack. I pray that day will never come!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 14, 2011:
Be careful rue! We had an abused Doberman Pinscher who was as sweet as honey. One day I was riding my bicycle home and she chased me down and bit my leg, sinking her teeth in. She really didn't realize what she was doing but my parents had her put down. Her instincts were too strong to override her love of family. I had never abused her nor anyone else in the family so it wasn't revenge or anger. God keep you and your family.
rue fraser on July 14, 2011:
our wolf hybrid is called kavik no probs till our teenage son threatened me and the little uns then he showed wolf tendencies
rue fraser on July 14, 2011:
our wolf dog just threatened our teenage son but he was a threat to my wife and young kids he has pack instinkts
Sunnie Day on April 21, 2011:
Thanks Alexander. :)
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 21, 2011:
I'll send you an email address :-)
Sunnie Day on April 19, 2011:
Thanks Mark I have a great Picture of him..still trying to figure out how to get it to you...it is saved on my computer..any ideas?
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on April 19, 2011:
Wow, what a story. You certainly did the right thing. I think I might have mentioned in the hub that one of our neighbors had wolves and they were locked in a fenced enclosure, it was a sad sight, but they were beautiful. My heart goes out to you.
Are Malamutes related to Huskies? I know a Husky mix that has the most stubborn spirit. I babysat him for a few days and he wanted to go out constantly. And once he stuck his nose on something interesting, it was as if he was anchored to the spot and I could not budge him no matter what. He was also sweet - would curl up next to me on the bed at night.
If you have any pictures you can either scan them or just try to take a picture of it with a digital camera- I don't know how well that would turn out. If you want him on the hub I would love to add his portrait.
I'm glad you found this hub, thanks for coming by and sharing too.
Sunnie Day on April 19, 2011:
I can't believe I came across this hub. I had to let my Sid go to someone on 30 acres as he would run. He hated cats and was definitely a hunter of small prey.I live in a subdivision outside of town but was so scared of him getting run over. He figured out how to get past the electric fence and I tried the collar too which I hated..he had it timed just right. It was not fare to keep him inside. Besides the running he was so sweet and I loved him so..I have got to find a way of showing you a picture..The vet said he was malamute with maybe a quarter wolf. He was the most striking dog I have ever seen. I miss him so much. It tore me up to let him go but I would have never forgave myself if he had got ran over. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and hub.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 30, 2011:
Thanks CMerrit, glad you liked it. They really are amazing, it's like there is something more to them than meets the eye.
Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on March 30, 2011:
This is a really cool and interesting hub...I very much enjoyed it. Wolves are amazing and beautiful animals.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 25, 2011:
Oh man that is profound. I believe in that wholeheartedly. Now you really got me interested.
jandee from Liverpool.U.K on March 25, 2011:
My favourite is 'People of the abyss' which you may have read, but, like all his books, can certainly take Two readings at least.
I remember the theme in one book of which I cannot remember the title. He was an impoverished writer and his girlfriends father was deriding him for being clumsy,unkempt, unpublished and poor. His response was 'I have done the work(writing)so what is the difference ??jandee
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 24, 2011:
I have to say I never received a compliment like that. Thank you so much. I used to read White Fang over and over many years ago, I don't know what it was about the story that intrigued me, maybe the idea that the wolfdog had a good end and that someone cared about him after all the abuse.
You've reminded me that I still need to read his other books, thank you.
jandee from Liverpool.U.K on March 24, 2011:
In your second paragraph I thought wow!he reminds me of Jack London(style) then later you mentioned him.
Lovely animal pics. Lovely writing and description.
(my kids were practically brought up on the great Jack London books)best from jandee
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 05, 2011:
Oh wow. I don't remember. But the owner was kind of subdued, sort of a backwoods character. Maybe he drove a Nissan pickup. He might have been from Ben Lomond, I'm not sure. Thanks for the visit Gil, good to meet someone from SV, I miss it.
Gil on March 04, 2011:
I think I knew the dog from Scotts Valley. Was her name Mystic? She used to live a few doors down from me. Absolutely beautiful animal.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on February 05, 2011:
Meg, I appreciate your visit, but I have to heartily disagree with your stance on the breeding and owning of wolfdogs, especially since you have one!
Also, every beast has a different personality and this is very true with hybrids since different personal accounts describe passive lapdog behavior while other wolfdog hybrids are aggressive. This is exactly why anyone interested in getting a wolfdog should be extremely cautious and try to pick an animal that suits their needs and wants - wolfdog behavioral traits are not consistent.
Yours likes to escape and I'm sorry to hear that. There are a couple of bad habits you're describing, you may benefit from a visit from a "dog whisperer". It's obvious you love your animal and want the best for all of them, thank you for your comments.
meg on February 05, 2011:
Wow... i have a wolf dog... and while is she is lovely, she is shy of strangers, can not be left in the house or else she will tear it up... lol.. a high percentage wolf will also come into season at two years of age not 6months or a year..... Wolfdogs imo should not be bred. Wolf and Dog took ions to evolve and for man to create. IF you think u have a wolfdog and say it makes a good pet, u are a moron. A wolfdog is not a pet, should not be a pet, and is a companion and .. just saying.. wolfdogs need enclosures because they will escape. I love my girl, but I wish soo badly that I could give her what mother nature intended.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 15, 2011:
Good point Silver Poet, thanks for commenting.
Silver Poet from the computer of a midwestern American writer on January 15, 2011:
I can see both sides of the issue, but it should be noted that wolf dogs should be watched closely around children. They have been known to see kids as prey.
Wolves in the wild are beautiful. Thanks for the hub.
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 14, 2011:
Happy birthday Sofia! I'm honored you came by to read my hub on this day, I enjoyed the stories about your wolves.
Hector sounds like a beautiful wolfdog, it's hard to imagine him. I'd love it if you sent a picture so I can post it here on this hub. That way we can all see Hector's golden highlights. The pictures on this hub have been seen 5000 times, I would love to add yours to the mix.
You can send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
And a happy birthday scratch behind the ears for Hector.
sofia on January 14, 2011:
I've had 2 white wolfdogs. The previous one, Nelson, died a few years back. He looked more like a wolf with his thin, long muzzle but he was the more dog-like in behavior of the two. The only time I saw him on wolf-mode (besides his howling, which happened more often when it was about to rain for some reason)was one day in the park. There was this little bump on the ground, like a small hill and while we were on one side of it, I saw him suddenly drop to the ground and start half-walking, half-crowling in a very predatory fashion. Turns out there was a poodle on the other side of the "hill" and something about it brought the hunter out of him. I managed to restrain him when I realised what the strange behavior was all about, and thankfully, for I suspect I would owe the owner of the poodle a new one :o/
After Nelson died I got Hector. He is awesome and I love him to pieces but he is a cunning SOB. While he is extremely friendly with the members of the family, and especially the children, he is attacking all "strangers" -and that includes friends of the family that he's seen many times by now. We always keep him restrained when we have company but if the visitor is brave (or stupid) enough and gets near him, he won't show any threatening behavior till that person is in biting distance. The moment the hand is close enough to his jaws, he'll snap them while up to that point he was just sitting there, looking curiously to the person that got near him, and being perfectly still. Now that I think about it, when a wolfdog goes perfectly still... watch out.
In appearance, he is magnificent but his muzzle is that of a dog and not that of a wolf. He's also a mix with colley, so while he's all white with a gorgeous fur, he has a mane like a lion and the hair on this back is a soft golden color, and so is the hair around his paws.
Oh and it's his birthday today along with mine! He turns 5 years old! :D
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on January 11, 2011:
Hi oliversmum, glad you liked it. You have a Dingo!? Awesome! I don't know the rules about owning a wolf in Australia, but a quick Google search shows you might be able to own a hybrid. I've replaced a bad link above with one about hybrid laws in the states. I also found a website specifically relating to importing Czhechoslosvakian wolfdogs to Australia: http://www.wolfdog.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1575... and here is some more info on that breed: http://www.wolfdogdownunder.com. Hope that helps.
oliversmum from australia on January 11, 2011:
Alexander Mark. Hi. I was enthralled and intrigued reading your hub on these magnificent Wolf Dogs.
What a beautiful animal and a great companion dog as well.
Do you have to have special permission/license to keep one as a pet, as we do with our Dingo.
All the photographs are wonderful.
Thank you for sharing all this great information, they are one animal that I knew very little about, until reading your hub. :) :)
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on November 06, 2010:
It sounds like you have a great wolfdog Crystal and he understands how to behave and also how to treat you. I like how he is your medicine for your condition. Usually the natural remedies are the very best, and you can't get much better medicine than a beautiful, loving wolfdog companion! I am envious.
CRYSTAL on November 05, 2010:
I HAVE A MALE WOLFDOD NAME CHRISTIAN AND HE IS THE BEST YES, HE IS TRYING AT TIME BUT MOSTLEY VERY LOVING, HE LOVES PEAOPLE WILL GO UP TO THEM ( NOT SHY) AND WILL REMBER THEM ANYWAY HE WILL MEET YOU THAN GO ABOUT HIS BUISENESS AND PRETTY GOOD WITH KID ( NEVER LEFT ALONE ) BUT ALL AND ALL HES A SWEET BOY WHO ILL ADMITT IS SPOILED BUT VERY LOVING, I HAVE BIPOLAR AND HE IS MY MEDS AND CAMPAION AND MY HEART. HES NEVER BITTEN ANYONE AND IS 2 YEARS OLD BUT WITH OTHER ANIMAL WHO STAIR HIM DOWN HE WILL TRY TO PUT THEM IN THERE PLACE WITHOUT HURTING THEM. YEA HE KNOWS IM ALPHA AND I NEVER HIT HIM I ALWAYS USE ALOT POSITIVE PRAISES FOR HIM. NO DOES NOT LIKE TO BE LEFT ALONE.SO SOMEONE IS ALWAYS WITH HIM HE WILL BE GETTING A MATE ( HES FIXED) AND SO WILL SHE
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on October 08, 2010:
jaimie, your comment touches my heart too, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I hope it will be as you say when I finally do look for a canine friend.
jaimie on October 08, 2010:
I had a GSD wolf hybrid as a kid and he was the greatest. I saw his dad, and most of the pack, a few times growing up. They would come to our fence once in a while and the alpha would nose mine through the fence and they'd run up and down the fence line while the others just watched. It was strange, but I grew up in the country in Texas, so who knows? You described his bark to a T! So much so that it brought tears to my eyes! I was 6 when he found me (literally, he wandered up to me in a daycare parking lot) and 21 when I lost him to cancer. As an only child, he was my constant playmate, big brother, protector and everything else. I lost him 10 years ago and it still feels like I lost a brother. Every dog/hybrid is different, so I wish you the best of luck in your desire to rescue one. Just remember, the animal will pick you, not the other way around.
misty on September 11, 2010:
i have 2 german shepherds and a 50/50 mix shepherd and wolf they all are great dogs and i wouldent trade them for anything but they all have there faults ,my male GS
can not be left alon in the house at all or he will tear it down trying to get down! my female GS realy realy wishes i would give her the ok to eat the cats(although she knows shes not allowed) and my wolf mix destroys everything inside and out even stuff you dint know could be destroyed! she just lived for destruction! she seen a left over paper plate on the ground and pounced on it and tore it to shreds in like 30 seconds and she loves loves loves to put her 2 front feet in a bowl or bucket of water and just paw at it like shes digging a hole in the ground! but all 3 dogs are super loving and protective of me and my 3 kids!
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on August 23, 2010:
What a heartwarming and encouraging story. I like how you approached the whole idea by understanding the dynamics of pack behavior and simply teaching them their place in the pack. It sounds so much better than, "teaching them who's boss." I hope to have what you have someday, and especially the confidence you feel with your pack and your kids.
Chris on August 22, 2010:
Hey I have 2. a grey one (dief), and a red one (thunder), (litter brothers) both recognise me as pack leader and that was installed right from the word go, and they are both extremely protective of my 4n half yr old daughter, it amazes me when I watch er playing with them, it's as if they are nurturing an infant pack member of thier own.
One thing I have found (to my own detriment) was that letting them off leash in any kind of public area was a big no no, it was only a seagull but shreadded in seconds plus it took me 8 hours to get the grey one (dief) back on leash as all he wanted to do was run and run and run, but I wouldn't have any other than them around me, it's the sense of family that I have from them, from the excited lick on the chin first thing in the morn to the squashing cuddles on the sofa last thing at night.
Hope you get lucky with your addition
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on July 10, 2010:
Kacey, I'm sorry to hear about your hybrid's bad habits. It sounds like she is more dog than wolf, but the wolf part is making her too wild. I don't know what others do, but I think a lot of love and rewarding would maybe help. She needs companionship. This is one reason I am waiting to get a dog/wolf until I can ensure that I am with the animal nearly all day - I can't bear to leave a dog at home while I go to work. Maybe a companion dog?
Kacey on July 10, 2010:
We just rescued a wolf dog - beautiful shepherd malimute wolf X. Not sure on her age or her past as she was a runaway. She is an escape artist, always trying to get loose. When we go out, even for a few hours she will do everything in her power to get out of the house. She has torn down door frames, dug into the drywall, etc. We will now have to crate her (which breaks my heart - she is SUCH a good girl) But she is just causing FAR too much damage in the house. We have tried leavingt on music or the tv for her, tried to make her space comfortable, but she gets such bad seperation anxiety, that she only thinks of escape. Anyone know anything else I can try to ease her anxiety?
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on March 26, 2010:
Thanks p.stephen, I find that helpful too, I often wonder about the wisdom of even having a dog and leaving it at home when I go to work.
p.stephen on March 25, 2010:
In response to Tracy. I have a fairly decent size backyard. I leave him outside when I go to work and he's pretty good about being alone till I get back. I must say it will vary from dog to dog.
Tracy on November 21, 2009:
This question is for anyone who owns a wolf dog; can you leave your wolf dog hybrid home alone, or does it suffer from extreem separation anxiety? Wolves are hard core pack animals and I was wondering what peoples experiences are with separation anxiety, if any?
Alexander Silvius (author) from Portland, Oregon on November 14, 2009:
I think sometimes parallels can definitely be drawn between humans and animals, but my opinion is that humans are the only creatures that can control themselves. Animals on the other hand are sometimes too dangerous.
We had a Doberman that although sweet as could be, had been abused in the past and couldn't help herself when she saw me on the bicycle and ran after me and bit me. She had no clue it was me but acted instinctively.
I just saw something about a woman whose face and hands had been destroyed by a chimpanzee on a rampage. I already don't like any kind of monkey or chimpanzee (on the fence about apes), but this lady had always been afraid of the chimpanzee and that is enough for me to say, stay the heck away from it!
Your story, her story and mine are enough proof for me to say that if an animal displays that kind of aggression, it's a good bet that it is dangerous and should be dealt with accordingly.
In the end, this is true for humans too, because once set in our ways, it is very unlikely we will change even though we can. Interesting thoughts Timothy - thanks for the story.