Articles from the Wolf Hybrid Dog Ranch

The Balance of Love and Discipline

By Seth Marin, Trainer for Wolf Dog Ranch


When buying a new puppy, many people have questions about how to bond with and discipline their wolf dogs. Over the years we have gathered a great deal of experience in this matter. The one recurring theme we have noticed is that you cannot have one (love or discipline) without the other. You spoil your pet and wonder why it won’t obey even simple commands, or you only yell at your pet anytime you see it and wonder why it won’t come when you call. Both of these environments are unhealthy for a pet.

This will not be a guide to training your pet to roll over and play dead, this is a guide for new pet owners to inform them on what we have discovered, and what they can discover from their relationship with their new puppy.

I considered writing this in a chronological manner, but every animal has its own personality, and its own rate at which they mature.


When you first bring your puppy home, the balance will favor love. This is the time when you’re forming your bond with your new puppy. This puppy will be your best friend for better or worse. This time is fundamental to your puppy.  Typically I tell a new owner that an average of a week of constant attention and love is important for their new puppy. Depending on their socialization from birth, it could be more or less than a week. We very intensively socialize our puppies from birth, and typically they form new bonds in just a few days. For those first few days, I recommend that people refrain from chastising their puppy. You want to build a trust first.

The puppy will have to reach a certain age before it understands the concept of “mine” anyway. “Mine” is a word we’ve used with our puppies to signify things that are off limits to them. Even animate things like our cats, are ours, not theirs. As they get closer to adulthood they will better understand this principle and respect it.

The concept of “No” is the same. Although we typically don’t use the word “no” with our dogs. We instead use a sound, like “ah!” with a strict tone of voice. And in some cases I will growl at my dogs if I adamantly want them to stop a behavior. But you should do what is most comfortable for you.

Discipline is important to maintain your position as the alpha in your pack. Not only will this make you safer with any dog you own, but it will also make your wolf or dog feel safer. When there is a noise out in the darkness, my wolfdogs hide behind me. When the puppy is still small, after they’re bonded to you, you should put them on their back on the ground. This will let them know absolutely that you are the alpha. It will also ensure that when they are too large to easily be physically dominated, they will still be submissive to you. Another sign of submission is their ears pulled back against their head. The importance of being the alpha in your household is that this will give your wolfdog a sense of security and stability. That is why this balance is so important, on both sides...

Last and certainly not least, Love. This is even more important than discipline. Many dogs around the country and the world each year are treated with no love. That is a tragedy. Before you consider buying any pet, you should search inward and consider if you have the time and energy to give them the love they need. I’m happy to see my dogs every time I see them, whether it’s been five days or five minutes since I last saw them. They return this love to me equally, just as they will for you. Love also extends to how you care for your animal. Make sure they have fresh, clean drinking water everyday. Make sure you give them the proper diet (Evo, Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, etc), these are examples of foods with no unhealthy fillers. Your dogs looks and attitude will be reflected by the quality of their diet. Make sure you always nestle away money for surprise veterinary needs, this is important, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

In summation, if your only reason for buying a wolf dog is to have a trophy pet to show off to your friends, DO NOT BUY ONE. If you’re looking for a loyal friend who will always give you unconditional love, then a wolfdog may be just right for you. And don’t sweat this training too much, we are always willing to help those who buy wolfdogs from us with any issues they may have. We’re just a phone call away.


All wolves on our ranch are Continental Kennel Club (CKC) Registered.
For more information about the wolf dog puppies for sale, visit www.wolfhybridpuppies.com. You can reach the Wolf Hybrid Puppies For Sale Ranch at 530-990-2308 or edyemarin@gmail.com



When You Get Your New Wolf Dog Puppy
By Edye Marin, Wolf Hybrid Breeder

Before you pick up your pup examine your house and yard.  Check for poisonous plants and shrubs. (like Oleander - a complete list can be found by clicking here)  Also check your perimeter fence for holes where your pup could escape.  If there is an opening the puppy’s head would fit through, they can escape.  Your wolf pup will probably want to dig, as most pups.  You can either set aside an area where they are allowed to dig or stay with them when they are outside and teach them not to dig.  I encourage all new wolf hybrid owners to give their wolf a place to dig, as it is innate in their nature. Part of the reason they dig is to get to cooler dirt when they are hot.  I have always kept either a kiddy pool or a large water trough for them to get into and cool off.  


Next check your house and look for wires or other items they can chew. Either remove them or cover them.  We have lost hundreds of dollars worth of satellite cable and hoses to wolf pups raised near the house, plus phone chargers and speakers where the wires were in their reach.  

In the best case scenario you would come to pick up your pup here at the ranch.  When you do it is important that you let us hand him/her to the new primary care giver/alpha of your puppy.  That gives them the understanding of ownership passing to the new owner.  The new owner should allow the pup to lick their face, if the puppy desires, as this indicates it sees you as the alpha.  It is best if two people come to pick up the young cub so that one can drive and the other hold the pup on your lap and reassure it on the way to its new home.  The first car ride is usually a scary experience for young pups.  Also bring and old towel or puppy pad (large size) to protect your lap as they frequently get car sick on their first ride.  It helps if you don’t allow them to look out the window as the moving scenery can accelerate the onset of car sickness.

       

Home at last.  You have arrived in territory that is familiar and comfortable for you - not your wolfdog.  Your puppy however has left his or her siblings, mom, and people he or she knows. They are now in a totally unfamiliar environment.  That’s why it is not only important but necessary to have a few days, or possibly a week, to spend with your puppy.  This is the time they bond with you and learn to trust you.  In this time your wolfdog learns to see you as its provider and pack leader.  You will be given, at the time of pick up, a stuffed toy with the scent of the litter and mom on it.  Give this to them when they get fussy or at nap time so they won’t feel so lost and alone.  This will also help with “separation anxiety”.  This is a condition where the separation causes them to feel sick enough to stop eating or to get diarrhea.  If they get diarrhea, cook them some hamburger and rice and when that cools mix mashed banana in it.   Feed the rice, hamburger, banana mix for 2 days and then gradually start mixing in their dry food.

       

Feeding:  Your puppy should be fed a quality puppy food that does not contain corn, wheat, or soy and has a minimum of 28% protein to start.  Later, your wolf-hybrid will need more protein.  I start them on Kirkland puppy chow and, finances permitting, I switch them over gradually to Evo which has 42% protein.  Otherwise they can stay on the puppy chow and supplement with raw meat and bones to chew.  Do not give them milk, unless you like cleaning up runny poop. Wolves are lactose intolerant.  For the first week I would recommend feeding them three times (3X) per day, as much as they can eat.  Then put the food up and wait for the next mealtime.  This will help your wolf see you as its “top dog.” A wolf-hybrids’ provider decides when it eats.  This also helps with house breaking as your wolf-hybrid won’t have food constantly moving through its digestive system, thus establishing a routine doing its “business” at about the same time every day.  Once house broken and bonded, consider keeping food in front of them all the time.  This will help to keep them from getting food aggressive.

       

Housetraining:  The method that has worked best for me is “crate training.”

This doesn’t have to be an actual crate.  Anything that will give them a small area to be in when they are napping is fine.  When they wake up, they will sniff around the small area and usually decide to wait to go out to do their “business.”  Frequently they will cry to let you know they need to go out.  When they are loose in the house, watch for them sniffing around on the floor as that’s what they do prior to doing their business.

       

What to chew?  Chewing is a problem with most puppies and no less with this breed.  They chew to cut teeth and to develop jaw strength.  I have found they enjoy chewing on pine fire wood.  At eight weeks, a stick two (2) inches in diameter is about right.  As they get bigger, the stick needs to get fatter.  They like pine because it is soft and their teeth actually sink into it.  They will chew the end off and leave pine slivers on the floor but hey it beats having them chew on the leg of the dining room table.  Do not give them old shoes or old socks to chew on, as they don’t know the difference between the lovely smell of your old shoes and your new ones.  Additionally, bones are good chew toys. The bottom line is, don’t allow them to do anything you don’t want a 100-pound-dog doing.

       

If picking up your pup at the ranch is not an option for you, and your wolfdog must be flown to you, they will be very nervous due to the flight and confined in a crate for possibly eight-plus hours.  Don’t take them out of their carrier at the airport.  Wait until you are in what will be their safe environment to take them out preferable in a small bedroom or bathroom where they can’t get too far away.  Sit on the floor and wait for them to unwind a bit and come to you.  Have some treats handy, at first they will be too nervous to eat.  As they calm down they will come to you for the treat.  If the flight comes in late at night, your wolf-hybrid may not take to you until the next morning. Our pups are well socialized, so they will be very friendly as soon as the nervousness wears off.

       

If you have paid to have your pup personally delivered to you by our Ranch Family, they will not be that nervous, even though they have had a long ride in the car.  They have been in the car with people they know and trust.  They will need help becoming accustomed to their new surroundings, but just keep them close for the first week or so. Your puppy will be fine.

       

Your wolf-hybrid will have had his or her first shots before you get your pup, so don’t rush out and get them more shots.  You will receive a shot record so you will know when the next shots are due.


For more information about our wolf dog pups for sale, visit www.wolfhybridpuppies.com. You can reach Edye Marin at our Wolf Hybrid Puppies For Sale Ranch at 530-990-2308 or edyemarin@gmail.com



You are the TOP DOG - Letting your wolf dog know you are the Alpha
By Edye Marin, Breeder for Wolf Hybrid Puppies Ranch

Your Wolf Hybrid Dog needs to know that you are the leader of its pack, thus giving it the proper perspective of its place and yours in the world.


You may find this list of rules helpful to ensure your dog understands your mutual places.


If you own a wolf hybrid, you should consider heeding these rules. Canines need to have a clear understanding of their place in the pack.  A wolf dog lacking that insight will not be happy or fulfilled.


Some wolfdog behaviors might not be what they seem.  For example separation anxiety may seem like your wolf dog is destructive when you leave the house. When in reality it is nervous being left home alone.  Wolves are social animals which live in packs, thus they do not do well being left alone for extended periods of time.  

  • The primary way to communicate with your wolf dog that you are its pack leader is to take it for a walk. Now, don’t consider the typical walk most humans take with their dog, where the dog is actually taking the human for a walk.  You are going on a pack walk where the wolf is made to heel beside or behind you. This is most important for all dogs, as in a canine's mind, the pack leader will always lead the way. A dog must not be allowed to sniff or eliminate anytime it wishes, but when you allow it. The dog should be concentrating on following you - the human pack leader. This pack type walk should be done daily. Not only will this release built up energy, but it will satisfy the dog's instinct to migrate, which all dogs possess. Dog's who have excess energy bottled up inside them and who do not have their migration instinct met will develop various instability issues that most people mistake for being breed traits.

  • All pack leaders eat first.  When you give your wolfdog its food, eat a small snack first while it is watching, lay the snack near the wolf’s food so that it thinks you are eating out of its bowl. Remember, the leader always eats first.  As it is eating push its face out of the food bowl and mix the food with your hand.  That lets it know the food is yours but you are done and it can have the rest. It also leaves your scent on the food, making it yours.

  • Don’t feed table scraps to the wolves during a meal, as tempting as it may be.  If there are leftovers you want to give it, put them in its bowl when you are through eating and ready to leave the table.  That way the alphas have eaten first and it eats last.

  • Feedings must be at a scheduled time, as you determine when those in the pack eat.

  • You should not let the dog go through any doorway first. The leader of the pack always goes first. If the dog does not stay behind the humans, the dog must be told to "stay" and given the command to "come" after all humans have passed through.  If the dog is allowed to go first it is then in the place of pack leader.

  • You should never go to the dog, it should always come to you.

  • A basic obedience command such as “Sit” or “Come” should be given before pleasurable interaction with the dog. The children should give the dogs commands at least once a day and reward with a treat when the command is followed. This builds a child’s position as the pack leader as well. A simple “Sit” will do. No treat should be awarded if the dog does not follow the command.  Show your dog it does not get anything for free. Its food, water, treats, even praise/love have to be earned by doing something. Even something as little as sit or  come. Make sure the dog takes the treat from your hands gently. Do not ever allow the dog to snatch the treat from your hand.

  • You should not lay on the floor to watch TV when the dog is around and no one should roll around the floor playing with the wolfdogs, as a human should never put himself in an equal or lesser height position than the wolf.

  • You are the one who greets newcomers first, your wolf-hybrid is the last who gets attention (the pack leader is the one who greets newcomers and lets the rest know when it is safe to greet the newcomer)

  • If your wolfdog is laying in your path, do not walk around the wolf, make it move.

  • During the time you are establishing your higher pack position, no hugs should be given to the dog by you, as a dominant dog may consider this a challenge of power.

  • If you establish eye contact with the wolf dog, the wolf must avert its gaze first. If the human averts first, the wolf will feel like it has a higher power position. Tell the children not to have staring contest with the wolf, as if they avert or blink first, it will only reinforce, in the wolfdog’s mind, that it is pack leader.

  • Ideally, wolfdogs should not sleep in your bed. In the wolf world, the most comfortable place to sleep is reserved for the higher members of the pack. If a wolfdog is allowed to sleep on the bed, the dog must be invited up and not be allowed to push the humans out of their way. Making them sleep at the foot of the bed rather than, for example, on your pillow, is best.  The wolf-hybrid should never be invited to get on the bed before the human.

  • Wolfdogs must never be allowed to mouth or bite anyone at any time, including in play.  

  • Any attention given to the wolf dog, including petting should be given when the human decides attention is to be given (absolutely no petting when the wolf nudges or paws you or your hand. This would be letting the dog decide and reinforcing, in his mind, that he is higher on the scale than the human.)  

  • You, not the wolf, must start and finish all games of fetch or play with toys.

  • Wolfdogs should not be allowed to lie on your furniture, except by invitation of the leader of the pack who always gets the most comfortable spot. Dogs belong on the floor. If you do decide to allow your dog on the furniture, you must be the one who decides when it is allowed up and you must be the one who decides when it is to get off, by inviting it up and telling it to get down.

  • No tug-of-war, as this is a game of power and you may lose the game giving the wolf a reinforcement (in its mind) of pack leader (not all trainers agree on this).

  • Wolves need to be taught a “Drop it” or release command. Any objects the wolfdog has in its possession should be able to be taken away by all humans.

  • Wolves own no possessions, everything belongs to you. They are all on "loan" from the human family. You should be able to handle or remove any item at all times from the wolfdog with no problems from the animal. Even if you are taking a chicken bone out of the wolfdog's mouth.

  • Wolfdogs should not be allowed to pull on the leash. When they do this they are leading the way and it is your job to lead the way and show that you are higher up in the pack order. (In the wild, the leader of the pack always leads the way; the pack leader leads the hunt.)

  • When you put its food dish down, it must wait until you give the "OK" to eat. Place its food on the ground and tell it to wait. If it darts at the food, block it with your body. You can point at it and tell it, "No, Wait" They read each other’s energy by reading body language, and your dog can read yours. Yes, your dog can read your emotions. So stand tall and think "Big" and stay confident. Do not be nervous, your wolfdog will sense this and assume you are weak. It is this weakness that triggers a wolf to try and take over (for the good of the pack, the pack needs a strong leader). Give the wolf-hybrid a previously taught command before giving them their food. If a wolfdog does not follow the command (i.e. to sit), he does not eat. When he does respond to the command, you invite him to eat his food.  
  • Wolfdogs should never be left unsupervised with children or anyone who cannot maintain leadership over the dog.  Sometimes family members also need to be trained.

  • Last but certainly not least... when you are around your wolfdog avoid emotions such as fear, anxiety, harshness or nervousness. Your wolf can sense these emotions and will see you as weak. This will escalate your problem as your wolf feels an even stronger need to be your leader. Think Big and Powerful and be calm, assertive, and consistent. Remember, there is no hiding your emotions from your wolfdog. They can in a sense, read our minds, in reading our body language. Picture yourself, in your own mind as big, powerful and very sure of yourself. Pull your shoulders back and stand up straight. This is your number one resource when it comes to communicating with your wolfdog. Your wolf-hybrid will be happy and secure knowing he has a strong pack leader to care for him or her.

For more information about our wolf dog pups for sale, visit www.wolfhybridpuppies.com. You can reach Edye Marin at our Wolf Hybrid Puppies For Sale Ranch at 530-990-2308 or edyemarin@gmail.com