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Wolfdog Woes

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The direwolves bound by HBOs game of Thrones sprang from the imagination of the author George RR Martin, who wrote the bestsellers on which the popular program is based. (Real wolves from the real world –Canis Dirusor “fearsome dog” – became extinct at the end of the Pleistocene and is not considered a direct ancestor of a modern breed of dog.)

In early 2015, media sources began blaming game of Thrones for the care of the possession of wolfhounds. Apparently, people trying to repeat a fictional experience at home were looking for dogs with wolf content. Too late, many of these people learned that caring for a wolfhound, as the guy is called, is nothing more than living with a domesticated dog.


A wolfhound is defined as the result of mating a domestic dog with one of four subspecies of wolf: gray, eastern wood, red, and Ethiopian; gray wolf is most common. While many states like California have banned first generation wolfdog ownership, others like Maine allow it as long as the owner receives appropriate wildlife permits. Regardless of its legality, many new owners find that wolfhounds are Allison Kern / Courtesy of Howling Woods Farm, too much work and responsibility to deal with. As a result, the number of wolfhounds being abandoned or forced into shelters and sanctuaries is increasing.

Nicole Wilde, who has the qualification as a certified professional dog trainer, has worked with wolves and wolfhounds for almost 20 years and takes care of them. Author of Life with Wolfhounds and some other helpful texts describing dog ownership and training, Wilde says she understands the enthusiast’s attraction to these animals. “For some it is a pure love for wolves; They just want to be close to these great animals. For others, it’s the lure to own something wild or exotic, ”said Wilde.



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