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jakal Offline
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wolf for a pet - September 22nd 2014, 07:15 PM

So in into hiking alot and I'm planning a one month trek through the superstition mountains so I am considering getting a wolf for companionship and protection. I've never dealt with a wolf before(though I am a bit of a dog whisperer)
I'm wondering if anyone had any advice on befriending a wolf where it might differ from a domestic dog.


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Re: wolf for a pet - September 22nd 2014, 09:00 PM

Hi there Jakal,

First off, you should check laws in your area as well as where you are travelling to regarding wild animals (‘exotic’) as pets. In some areas, wolves may be illegal to keep as pets.

Secondly, wild wolves may be dangerous or may be afraid of humans. Like most wild animals, their reaction can be unpredictable, so trying to befriend them may be difficult, and personally, as much as I love wolves, I wouldn’t recommend it. Also, remember wolves are pack animals, so I’m not sure how they would respond with only 1? other (human) ‘pack’ member.

If you have checked the laws, and it is ok to get a wolf, I would suggest looking for a reputable breeder. I’m assuming that wolf pups would be easier to socialise and get used to humans, rather than an adult wolf. Just like dogs, you should be asking the breeder questions about how their pups have been raised, any health problems, diet etc. Also, be aware that some breeders may sell you a wolf hybrid, or a dog that looks like a wolf, rather than a full blooded wolf, so always ask to see its pedigree.

You should do some general research on both wolves and dogs. Ask yourself whether you can own an animal that requires a lot of simulation. Are you only after an animal for your trek, or would it be for life? Do you have the time, space, money and energy for a high maintenance animal? You say that you are a bit of a dog whisperer, but have you owned many dogs before? Wolves are much more powerful and stronger than dogs, and usually only experienced handlers can manage them.

Remember that when approaching a strange dog, you should let the dog sniff you before you touch it. I’m not sure about wolves, but I’d assume the same would apply. Perhaps do some research on body language, to pick up on when a wolf might be feeling stressed out and not wanting contact.

When it comes to training, you may need more patience than when training a dog as wolves may be stubborn to training. Find out if your wolf is food driven or play driven. Be careful though- since wolves have more powerful jaws and bite than dogs, I’m not sure if dog toys would last very long. Since wolves have a high prey drive, they may tend to get distracted by things that move. Try to socialise it with other animals it may come in contact with, to stop it from chasing and attacking other animals. I would recommend keeping a wolf on a long retractable lead at all times, when out. As with dogs, wolf pups may nip and bite, testing the boundaries. You should aim to stop this as soon as possible, but if not, I would suggest finding a muzzle. Wolves, like dogs, may become destructive if left alone, bored or in a small space. Ideally, wolves would be living in a wide open space and you would have to replicate this. Make sure that the space where the wolf spends it’s time when it is not with you, is very large and any fencing is very deep (to stop it from digging out), tall (to stop jumping over) and strong (to stop it biting/chewing the fence). I doubt wolves would do well in a house, even a big one, but I don’t know. You would also need to find out what is best to feed your wolf, as it may have different dietary requirements than dogs.

Wolves are very able at trekking long distances, and would offer some protection, but personally, I think that trekking and keeping a wolf in check would be difficult. What if it runs off? Or hurts other wildlife? Would you be able to handle a full grown wolf?

Are any other people trekking with you? You can’t replace the protection and companionship offered by other people, especially in a mountainous region. Trekking on your own may be dangerous otherwise.

If you want a pet, and want to take it on a trek, have you thought about other dogs that might be suitable? You could get a wolf hybrid (if legal in your area), which is generally a wolf and dog cross, and may be a bit easier than a full blooded wolf to handle. Other dogs that are high in stamina would be working dogs such as breeds that herd and protect livestock, and depending on where and when you are trekking, ‘spitz’ breeds such as the husky (depending on climate, but whatever animal you decide, would need plenty of fresh water available when travelling). A list of purebreds, crossbreds and hybrids are available here: http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/abc.htm

I think you should do more research before making a decision.

Good luck with the trek- I would love to go hiking!

Last edited by Celyn; September 22nd 2014 at 09:35 PM.
   
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Re: wolf for a pet - September 22nd 2014, 10:34 PM

Not to be blunt or anything, but it's a wild animal, so no, it's a bad idea no matter how cool it may sound.
Unless you have it from the time it is a baby, it will not have imprinted on humans, at all. It will be dangerous to be around because of it's wild nature. It could react out of fear over things you do not understand or become unnecessarily aggressive (ex. biting to resolve issues of dominance) because it was never trained not to like a normal domesticated dog.

I feel like if you even have to ask then you really shouldn't be trying to get a wolf because you should know all about them before you really think it's a good idea.

If you want protection and a pal, then get a "normal" dog that has been around humans since it was a baby - a husky or rottweiler could be 2 good choices given what you have said here.




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Re: wolf for a pet - September 23rd 2014, 01:25 AM

Wolves are not domesticated animals. That means they have no history of training with humans. They are wild, and it would not work to try and train one without any form of training yourself. Please don't try this. They belong in the wild, not to be your companion or protect you.


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September 23rd 2014, 03:28 PM

I have a 640 acre farm where the wild will stay with plenty of wildlife to hunt when is not with me. As for imprinting it I plan to get a pup newly weaned. And keep it in the house with me until it learns to hunt effectively. The wolf will mostly hunt for its food. I will only feed it to maintain or relationship. As for where I will get it, my friend breeds Mexican wolves that suit my purposes in Montana. They are free range with a great relationship with humans. But they will attack anyone they're not used to who approaches them. Of course, this suits me fine as they will only be kept in wilderness areas. As for the wild nature, that is exactly why I'm interested. This is not to be a house pet at all. And as for the dog running off, the only time he could do that will be in national parks where wolves are free to roam and hunt.

As for the upcoming trip, I plan to use my boyfriend's wolf. He is full grown and considers me the beta dog of his pack with my boyfriend being alpha.


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Last edited by Eternal; September 24th 2014 at 12:08 AM. Reason: Double post.
   
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Re: wolf for a pet - September 23rd 2014, 04:34 PM

Iím supposing you mean that the wolf will go off on its own in search for food? Wolves hunt in packs and travel for miles, when searching for food. How do you know it will come back? What if someone sees it, mistakes it for a wild wolf and shoots it? What if it ends up on someoneís property and attacks livestock? It wonít get much food on its own if it hasnít been taught to hunt by the pack, and also without a pack member wonít be able to take on large prey. This means it will end up living off small prey, which is not the ideal diet.

As for national parks, that will not happen. Most park areas are protected, which means that if you are allowed to take pets, they must be on a leash at all times. Even if it were off leash, it would probably be attacked by other wolves, as it will be seen as a threat or end up attacking park wildlife, and you will be held responsible.

Also, Mexican wolves are endangered, so the only humans that should be involved with these animals, are professionals.

You like the wild spirit of the wolf, like I do. But you know itís not a house pet. So why try to take one away from its pack, and natural environment? I love wolves, but honestly, itís not fair on them to be like this, and may be dangerous for you. You would be much better off with a dog.
   
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Re: wolf for a pet - September 24th 2014, 12:12 AM

Holly is right. Wolves are meant to be in packs, and they don't do well alone. Taking it out of its environment where its ancestors were still bred to be alongside others would make it vulnerable and extremely unlikely to take down more than small prey on its own. Wolves aren't meant to be pets.


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Re: wolf for a pet - September 24th 2014, 01:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchWelshWolf View Post
[size=3]I’m supposing you mean that the wolf will go off on its own in search for food? Wolves hunt in packs and travel for miles, when searching for food. How do you know it will come back? What if someone sees it, mistakes it for a wild wolf and shoots it? What if it ends up on someone’s property and attacks livestock? It won’t get much food on its own if it hasn’t been taught to hunt by the pack, and also without a pack member won’t be able to take on large prey. This means it will end up living off small prey, which is not the ideal diet. [/SIZ
As for national parks, that will not happen. Most park areas are protected, which means that if you are allowed to take pets, they must be on a leash at all times. Even if it were off leash, it would probably be attacked by other wolves, as it will be seen as a threat or end up attacking park wildlife, and you will be held responsible.

Also, Mexican wolves are endangered, so the only humans that should be involved with these animals, are professionals.

You like the wild spirit of the wolf, like I do. But you know it’s not a house pet. So why try to take one away from its pack, and natural environment? I love wolves, but honestly, it’s not fair on them to be like this, and may be dangerous for you. You would be much better off with a dog.
Perhaps you have a point there. Though my boyfriend's wolves are undoubtedly fine where they are as he keeps them on a 50,000 acre ranch and they're a large pack.what would be a suitable hybrid then?
I know his wolves regularly kill cows and buffalo he keeps on the ranch as well so they do have a taste for livestock though as they don't roam beyond the ranch and he doesn't mind, it hasn't been a problem.


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Re: wolf for a pet - September 24th 2014, 06:21 PM

I canít really recommend a suitable hybrid, since it depends on your situation and how much experience you have with dogs. If you got a hybrid, it wonít like being left alone to roam, and it should not be trained to hunt (in fact, they recommend you try to stop it from hunting as puppy and instead socialise it with other animals/humans). You would either need a companion hybrid, or make sure you are there to play with it and keep it from being bored and destructive, as hybrids are still more powerful than other dogs.

Registered hybrids arenít very popular, so you may have trouble finding one. I assume that from this, they would be expensive too.
   
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Re: wolf for a pet - September 25th 2014, 03:02 PM

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Originally Posted by DutchWelshWolf View Post
I canít really recommend a suitable hybrid, since it depends on your situation and how much experience you have with dogs. If you got a hybrid, it wonít like being left alone to roam, and it should not be trained to hunt (in fact, they recommend you try to stop it from hunting as puppy and instead socialise it with other animals/humans). You would either need a companion hybrid, or make sure you are there to play with it and keep it from being bored and destructive, as hybrids are still more powerful than other dogs.

Registered hybrids arenít very popular, so you may have trouble finding one. I assume that from this, they would be expensive too.
That might be a problem as I would like to introduce it to the wolf pack my boyfriend owns. I'm sure they would get along but I can't have it be destructive and the ranch is 50,000 acres so it could easily get away from me


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