Keeping a wolfdog (F1 hybrid) as a pet

Wolfdog

I have written extensively about keeping a first filial while cat hybrid as a pet which you can read by clicking on this link. There is a modern trend in keeping what I call first filial i.e. first-generation (F1) wild cat or wild dog hybrids as pets. They are exotic and people like the exotic. They are status symbols and interesting and you live close to the wild when you live with one of these beautiful animals. However, people should be aware of what they’re getting into.

Wolfdog

Wolfdog. Photo: PDSA website.

I would politely suggest that 99% of people, because of their lifestyle, are unsuited to owning a first filial wolfdog. This is a dog which is a product of a cross between a wolf and a dog. There are also legal issues to which you have to go into extensively depending on where you live. In the US, each state will have their own laws about adopting and owning a wolfdog or a purebred wolf for that matter. In the UK it is governed by the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. You will need a licence to own a first filial (F1) wolfdog. You will have to do your research on a state-by-state basis in America to check out the legalities.

In Britain there is a really good discussion about keeping wolfdogs on the PDSA website. You have to know what you’re getting into. You’ve got to make sure that you are able to be a first class companion animal guardian to a wolfdog before you dive in and adopt. They say they don’t make good family pets and the reason is that these dogs have a lot of wolf DNA in them. It’s something like living with a wild animal which will bring into your life a whole lot of behavioural traits that you might not have been aware of. They need more training and more attention from their owner. They are less inclined to relate to humans as friendly and be willing to please their human companion. You need to be an experienced dog handler to cope properly. The PDSA veterinarians recommend adopting a rescue dog rather than a wolfdog.

Look, this short post is simply a flag to put a break on the idea of adopting either an F1 wolf-domestic dog hybrid or an F1 serval-domestic cat hybrid (F1 Savannah). They both bring similar issues to the home. The coronavirus pandemic has opened up fresh possibilities for adopting these sorts of animals because it has left gaps in people’s lives. They want to fill these gaps with a companion animal. This is a temporary state of affairs. People should only adopt companion animals when they are in a settled state because it is for the life of the animal and they’ve got to make sure they can do it properly looking forward into the long-term future.