Two days ago we brought home our second wolf/husky hybrid. Our oldest, Cal, is 4 months old and has been the world's best dog. He never cried or howled when we first brought him home, but Lucy (6 weeks) cried non stop unless she is being held. When we put her in her pen for the night she just starts crying, and continues all night unless we bring her in bed. What is the best way to address this problem, and make her more comfortable?
Thanks Therese for the advice, but when we did bring her in bed she ended up having an accident. It was not exactly pleasant to wake up to my husband cursing because he was sleeping in doggy poo! ;) We have her pen next to the bed, though, so she is rather close to use already.
She is very young to be away from her mom and litter mates. She needs time to adjust. You could try putting a stuffed animal in the pen with her. Try playing with her right before bedtime to tire her out. At this age she will still need to be let out during the night to potty.
Those are wonderful breed of dogs but like others have mentioned she is to young to be away from her litter. Wolves learn a lot of behaviours from the pack and she is still learning. Place one of your old tee-shirts that smell like you in the crate, also a stuffed animal will help. They make teddy bears that have heartbeats for babies you might invest in one to place in the cage. She more than likely calmes from yours and this will help her through the night. She will eventually adjust and you wont' have this problem anymore.
Thanks everyone for the input. I have placed a hot pad in the pen with her, which has helped a lot. Also, Cal (the 4 month old) has taken to hanging out right next to the pen to comfort her. The crying has gotten a lot better. Potty training is also moving along smoothly as she won't poop in her pen at all. Soon we will be able to let her roam the house.
my puppy did much better when it was allowed to sleep with our dog.....as long as the dog likes her. i know how you feel....mine pooped in the bed too. ha ha I let the dogs sleep in the bathroom on a towel together for a couple weeks until the potty training was complete. Tile is much easier to clean. good luck with the new baby.....it will make the 4 month old so happy.
Which parent of these puppies is the wolf? Is it the father or the mother?
If the father is the wolf, then six weeks is awfully young for a puppy to be away from its litter. The litter learns bite inhibition between the ages of 6 and 8 weeks, and oftentimes puppies who are taken away too early have problems with mouthing, chewing and jus biting in general because they have not been taught by their mom and littermates just how hard to bite is too hard. It's a lot more difficult for us humans to convey that message.
If the mother is the wolf, then unless these puppies were taken away from their mother by the age of two weeks and hand raised, it is going to be very difficult to get the puppy to adjust to the ways of humans, and it could grow up being quite difficult to live with.
Wolf hybrids are not easy animals to live with. Unless you have had wolf hybrids before, it would be a good idea to get these puppies into obedience classes ASAP. The wolf part of them makes the extremely dominant with regard to personality, and unless you show them right from the beginning who the boss is, you could be in for a lot of problems with them as they grow and mature.
You need to restrict your puppy's contact with your other puppy, otherwise there's a greater chance he will imprint on her more than you will. It's more important for humans to imprint on her, otherwise the pack of two could become quite difficult to handle, since they will see themselves as the pack, and the humans as the outsiders. One wolf-hybrid can interact successfully with a person or persons who have experience with how to deal with them, it's not a good idea to have two.
Do not raise your wolf hybrid as you would a regular dog. If you do, you could end up with a very unpredictable animal. Wolves are not dogs, even the hybrids are not dogs, and should not be treated as such. If you have children, it would be best to seek out the services of a very reputable trainer who is experienced with wolf-hybrids and enlist his services now, since even hybrids have a MUCH stronger prey drive than domestic dogs do. Wolf hybrids do NOT make good family dogs.
In some states it's not even legal to own wolf hybrids. Others require a special license to own them. I know it sounds like I am being completely discouraging when it comes to the ownership of these animals, and truth to tell, I do feel that way. I don't believe it should be legal to own them because their needs are so much more demanding than those of the domestic dog. You cannot take the training methods that are used on domestic dogs and simply apply them to the wolf hybrid, therefore it might be better for you to seek advice from a qualified zookeeper or someone else who has experience with these canids, since their needs ARE so different from those of the domestic dog.
Thank you for your detailed response. Both our dogs are low content hybrids, that is to say they are each about 35% wolf. Their father is 75%, and their mothers each pure husky. A lower content wolf hybrid tends to show less wolf like tendencies. In the state of Utah is is completely legal to own wolf hybrid dogs. If I may, I would like to address a few of the points you have made:
1. I did think that Lucy was too young to bring home, but only after we had already brought her there. So now we are just trying to make the best of the situation. We brought home Cal when he was 7 weeks and never had any issues with him.
2.We have, in fact, had a trainer since Cal was 8 weeks old. She often consults a friend of hers that is known as own of the foremost experts on wolfdogs in the nation. She is over at our house for an hour a week, and Cal has (while we were on vacation) spent a week at her house. She has also taken him on several play dates with other dogs so he is well socialized, and at 4 months old, treats my children with nothing but softness and love.
3. All the research that we have compiled, from reputable resources, claim that hybrids are much happier, more secure dogs when there are two of them. This is why we got Lucy.
4. I would NEVER have felt comfortable purchasing Lucy is Cal hadn't been absolutely the BEST dog I have ever owned. He is so amazing, actually, that our trainer happily claims that he could be the ambassador for his breed (as they have a bad reputation).
5. Rest assured, we are not irresponsible pet owners. We have done hours of research on this breed. I have read the definitive book about the breed, Wolfdogs A-Z, and feel confident with our decision to own two dogs.
6. On the advice of our trainer we do restrict contact with Cal. They love to play together, but are only allowed to a few times a day.
7. From what I have read, the belief that you must show a wolf hybrid "who the boss is" is incorrect. Though it is important, with any dog, to establish a dominant hierarchy.
8. Your points are very valid, but as we have low content dogs we have seen virtually none of the described, and feared, characteristics emerge.
I had a female wolf husky mix and she was a wonderful dog. She was very protective of the kids and not even a fly could land on them without her making dang sure it was off immediately. We did have a little trouble with her fighting other dogs but mostly female and mostly until the other female understood who led the pack. She was obetience trained when we got her. We did not get her until she was 6 months old and in very poor condition. The dog catcher in a town next to ours knows me and my DH very well and knew I took in animals all the time, he called and explained that she would be "put down" if not adopted immediately because of the breed. Of course me and DH went and picked her up right away.
She did have a very funny habit. When we first moved into our home she would steal everyone's welcome mats until I finally took one that she brought home and placed it infront of the door. Once I did that she stopped stealing welcome mats. Once day DH was complaining to me about needing new boots and how long it had been and so forth. Well much to our dismay we woke up the next morning with a pair of boots at our door. Both PAIRS!!! They werent' the right size and it was a heck of a time finding the original owner but we did. We figured it wouldn't happen again but sure enough that spring when I was working in the yard I was all cut up from pulling weeds and pulling these sticker vines so I looked at DH when he got home and told him I really needed gloves to work in the yard with. Sure enough the next morning I woke up to a brand new pair, with tag still on them pair of cow hide gloves!!! She would continuely escape the yard at night only bring us a present that we said we needed or sometimes things she felt we needed. Our neighbor behind us thought this was incredibly funny and said he had a dog that woudl do the same thing.
Anyway, what I am saying is yes you can get into trouble owning these breeds but not all of them are bad and some can be very commical. (sp) Oh I forgot to mention watch for winter times. Our female Cheyenne would dig a hole under our tree every winter and that is where she would try to burrow for winter. We would let her in but she preferred to be out.
Congratulations on being the most responsible wolf hybrid owners I have ever read about on these boards - or anywhere else for that matter.
Both your dogs are still very young, and as wolf DNA is extremely strong no matter how diluted, you may still see some difficulties crop up. That said, I suspect you're in good hands and are more than capable of handling anything they might get into their heads.
There are certain urges that wolf DNA demands to be satisfied. As long as you recognize them for what they are, you should be able to work around any problems. Digging a den is one major complain hybrid owners have. The entire property can end up looking like a war zone. LOL! If one of your dogs decides to make a den, one way to deal with it is to allow one den area only. Shoveling poo into the other attempts can help keep them out of areas you don't want them getting into. That technique has worked very well for keeping our dogs out of flower beds, etc.
Oddly enough, there was a recent Dog Whisperer episode that dealt with two wolf hybrids. One big problem was food aggression. The solution was for the owner to hold the food bowl while the dogs ate, and hold it high enough so the dog can't protectively crouch over it. That is normal behavior for a wolf to physically defend food from other pack members. Holding the bowl about head-high while they eat prevents that posture and establishes the human as the owner of the food. It also puts you into a position for doing exercises to teach them that you have the authority to remove anything - food included - from them.
I've met plenty of wolves and hybrids over the years. They can be fine companions for humans as long as we understand that certain behaviors may be impossible to change. That's when it's time to think outside the box and work with Mother Nature instead of against her.
Please keep us posted on your progress - and send pics! :-D
Lonelymom & Jaybay-
Thanks for your great responses!
What a funny dog! Smart too!
You are most definitely right about the food guarding. We buy those greenies and either have the kids hold one side or do it ourselves while the dogs are eating them. Our youngest is only 10 months old so the food guarding thing is something we worry about.
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