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Wolf dog or Lupine dog: Are they dangerous?

Wolf dog or Lupine dog: Are they dangerous?
Wolf dog

A wolfdog or wolf dog is a hybrid of a domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) and a gray wolf (Canis lupus), an eastern wolf (Canis lycaon), red wolf (Canis rufus), or Ethiopian wolf (Canis simensis). Well, at least that’s what the Wikipedia definition tells us.

But, let’s be honest, most of us aren’t really interested in a dry Wikipedia definition. We want the interesting facts, we want to know what makes a breed, or in this case hybrid special. How they are personality-wise, health-wise if they are high maintenance, and so on.

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That’s why we did some digging in the world of the Internet and found a few interesting facts about the wolf dog or also known as Lupine dog, we’d like to share with you!

So, let’s jump right in and take a closer look at the intimidating but majestic wolf dog!

Wolf dog – Everything to know

Wolves are incredibly charismatic, very social, and highly intelligent! It seems like having a wolf as a pet is very exciting, doesn’t it? Not really!

Wolves are wild animals and they belong in forests, not your backyard. Besides this, a wolves’ teeth and jaws are much more powerful than any dog’s!

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This makes them very dangerous, and capable of killing! So we would definitely not recommend getting an actual wolf as a pet.

But what about a hybrid between a wolf and a dog?

An image of an wolf dog
The wolf dog is quite intimidating and scary looking, but they are also majestic!

Legal or not?

Before we tell you more about the wolfdog, let’s first make it clear whether or not they are even legal! And the answer is, it’s not that simple! It’s very difficult to say whether or not these animals are legal. This is because the regulations are literally all over the map. It differs from state to state.

For example, it’s illegal to keep a wolfdog as a pet in Alaska, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, and Rhode Island.

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Now comes the complicated part. Even though it’s illegal in those states, in Alaska, Michigan, and North Dakota wolfdogs can be “grandfathered”.

Then we have Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Utah, which are states that don’t regulate ownership on a state level, instead, they leave it up to individual counties.

Lastly, even the states in which it’s legal to have a wolfdog as a pet, require the owner to obtain a permit, or mandate registration and/or confinement in specific kinds of cages. This means you will have to get a “dangerous animal” permit.


The wolfdog is a quite large dog. They are actually between 25 and 33 inches tall at the shoulders. When it comes to their weight, they weigh between 60 and 120 pounds! Of course, this all varies depending on the parents’ breeds.

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Their coats can be grizzled sable (agouti), white, or black phased. And their life expectancy is between 13 and 16 years.

List of Wolf dog characteristics
Characteristics of the wolf dog


Now, we don’t want to sugarcoat anything, and we’re going to be straightforward with you. The wolfdog is NOT for everyone.

It’s true that the Lupine dog is for the most part dog, but, they will definitely challenge you. The temperament among wolfdogs differs, so you don’t really know what you’re getting.

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Also, wolfdogs are one of those so-called “dangerous breeds”. And as it usually is with those breeds the opinions are divided. Advocates of wolfdogs say they can be wonderful pets. On the other hand, opponents argue that they’re unpredictable, untrainable, and inherently dangerous to not only their family but society.

The reality is, you don’t know what you’re getting! Some wolf dogs are lovely pets, while others are extremely difficult to take care of.

Care and exercise

It’s pretty obvious, but we’re going to state it as well. Wolfdogs have the capacity to be quite aggressive. This doesn’t mean they will get aggressive, but it’s very possible. This is why the wolf dog is definitely not the rich pet for a family with children!

If you decide to get a wolf dog know that early socialization and training is a must! They require a lot of care and attention too, so if you’re working a 9 to 5 job, this dog might not be for you!

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They don’t make good indoor pets, they can’t be confined in the house the whole day. The wolfdog requires an enormous amount of exercise! Three to four hours per day to be precise. If they don’t get the needed amount of exercise they will have serious health issues.


If you’re thinking of just feeding your wolfdog kibble, forget it! They will be miserable on your traditional dog food! They need to eat what wild wolves eat: raw meat. This means that you should feed your wolf dog several pounds of raw meat per day!

The wolf dog can’t live off of your regular dog food, they need raw meat!

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Besides this, you will have to get good-quality supplements for your wolfdog. Most wolf dogs benefit from nutritional supplements like glucosamine, vitamins C, A, B, D, and E, along with alfalfa and wheatgrass, garlic, and pumpkin.