We strongly opposed to the breeding of wolf-hybrids or Wolfdogs as they are also known. The Club is dedicated to the preservation and protection of the Alaskan Malamute as a pure breed of dog. Furthermore, the Code of Ethics dictates that:
"No member shall be involved in the breeding or selling of wolf-hybrid dogs, and no member shall knowingly sell an Alaskan Malamute or provide stud service to any person known to breed Wolf-hybrids or Wolfdogs."
ALASKAN MALAMUTE + WOLF =
WOLF HYBRID (Wolfdog)
+ = OR
ALASKAN MALAMUTE + WOLF = WOLF HYBRID (Wolfdog)
Dog in Wolf Clothing by
Margaret A Cleek, Ph.D
wolf hybrid is an exotic wild/domestic cross. It is a mixture of one or more
types of wolf with any combination of domestic dog. Nowhere in the World is
there a recognized breed standard of type and temperament for wolf-hybrids.
dog is a domesticated animal whose genes for appearance, temperament and
behavior have been manipulated through selective breeding by man for tens of
thousands of years. It is so far removed from its wild instincts that it has
lost all fear of humans and in fact is no longer capable of existing without the
care and stewardship of human beings. It has been selected for its ability to
adapt to the demands of human society and is able to cope with a wide range of
wolf is a wild animal, the product of natural selection. It has an innate fear
of humans and is cautious of all unfamiliar situations. It is capable of hunting
and fending for itself without the intervention of humans. It has a well-defined
social order and behavioral pattern and is not adaptable to situations which
deviate from this social order.
wolf-hybrid is a cross of the domestic dog with the wild wolf and thus a blend
of wild and domestic genes. There is no way to predict or manipulate how these
diverse genes will combine to express themselves in terms of appearance or
behavior. One animal may look dog-like but be wolf in terms of behavior. The
exact opposite may be true of another animal. Since one cannot calculate how the
genetic mix will express itself in a given animal, the terms 75% wolf, 50% wolf
etc. are meaningless. Some gene combinations are potentially dangerous: for
example the predatory instincts of the wolf combined with the dog's lack of fear
FAMCSA is dedicated to the welfare and
preservation of the Alaskan Malamute as a pure breed of dog. We are committed to
education of prospective Malamute owners and development of responsible
ownership of the Alaskan Malamute. We are strongly opposed to the adulteration
of the Alaskan Malamute through cross breeding with wolves, and are committed to
education to discourage hybridizing.
the Alaskan Malamute is one of the preferred choices for crossing with wolves
and it is often difficult for the non-expert to tell the difference between some
wolf-hybrids and some Alaskan Malamutes. We are concerned that Malamutes are
being implicated in incidents involving wolf-hybrids. We are also concerned that
legislation enacted to control the wolf-hybrid may include the Alaskan Malamute
if it is erroneously believed that the Alaskan Malamute is part wolf.
To the untrained eye the Alaskan Malamute may look like a wolf. This confusion
is natural when one considers that Malamutes are often used in movies to play
the part of a wolf. But the Malamute is not a wolf or even part wolf.
unreliable sources report that the Eskimos routinely crossed their dogs with
wolves. Given that they had to trust their dogs with their very lives and that
crosses were known to be unreliable and untrainable, this is highly unlikely.
The Eskimos knew to avoid hybridizing and so should we.
Malamute may seem to some to have wolf-like behavior. As a natural dog it is
more in tune with pack behavior than some other breeds, and they have a
well-developed hunting instinct. It also tends to howl and "woo-woo"
rather than bark.
Malamute is a natural dog domesticated for thousands of years. It is a
recognized breed by the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, the States
Kennel Club, and the Kennel Union of Southern Africa as well as other
registries. It has a recognized standard for type and temperament and reputable
breeders strive to maintain this standard.
Alaskan Malamute is a domesticated dog that has lived in the company of the
Malhemut Eskimos for thousands of years. The survival of the Malhemut people was
dependent upon their dogs. The Alaskan Malamute dog is independent, yet loyal
and hard working. It is responsive to discipline and direction from people and
is highly trainable. Since the Eskimos shared dog teams among members of the
village, the Malamute did not develop as a one person dog. Thus they are
friendly to most people and unsuitable for guard work. It is very stable in
stressful situations and adapts easily to changes in routine and living
conditions. It is generally good with children and is an excellent family
companion. Because of its size, it may be a handful as a pup, but with
consistent kindness and discipline it can become a model citizen upon maturity.
Yet the Malamute is not for everyone. Reputable breeders screen potential puppy
buyers to make sure that they can provide the proper care and training that the
Because there is
no standard for the hybrid, and because the wolf component varies from animal to
animal, (some so-called "hybrids" are pure dogs), it is difficult to
discuss the "typical" wolf-hybrid.
In general, the wolf-hybrid is a ten-thousand-year step backward in the development of a canine companion to human beings.
It is a genetic
and behavioral unknown who’s wild and domestic nature are always at odds.
It has a limited
capacity to bond with humans and is often not able to transfer that bond to a
It operates under
wolf rules and will not accept the discipline of humans.
It is extremely
intelligent, but does not accept direction and is therefore difficult to train.
It is not equipped to handle the stresses of life in the company of humans and suffers from a vast array of emotional and behavioral problems.
Wolf hybrid behavior is unpredictable. The animal may appear domesticated but something may spontaneously trigger throw-back wild behavior.
They are not
capable of handling the stress of life in the company of humans and may not
accept the direction and leadership of human companions.
characteristics include: hyperactivity, compulsive pacing, chewing, scent
marking, digging and climbing, howling, fear of strange people and objects, fear
biting and diarrhea when stressed, and extreme aggression toward other canines.
instincts coupled with domesticated characteristics make for extremely
unpredictable and sometimes dangerous behavior.
It is almost
impossible to kennel and may become highly destructive.
As with many wild
animal "pets" it may be appealing as an immature animal, but becomes
increasingly difficult to control and unappealing as it reaches maturity.
issues may come into play here. Some so-called wolf-hybrid owners have good pets
because their pets are not wolf hybrids at all, but are pure dog. There is no
way for a purchaser to tell what he or she is getting. Many unscrupulous people
are selling mongrel pups as wolf cubs. It is estimated that of 500 000 so called
wolf-hybrids in the United States, 200 000 are not wolf mixes at all.
issue to consider is that like many wild animal "pets", wolf-hybrids
may be suitable pets as puppies but upon maturity may become untrustworthy and
uncontrollable. "Puppy" may be the operative word here and your friend
or this person may experience increasing problems as his animal reaches sexual
maturity at age 3.
should also be noted that wolf hybrid behavior differs greatly depending on the
percentage of wolf, the combination of genes, the age of the animal, and the
conditions under which it is kept. In short, wolf- hybrid behavior is highly
unpredictable. It is entirely possible that one animal may be capable of limited
adaptability as a pet, and another littermate may be totally unsuitable. Even if
your friend or this person does indeed have a "great pet", the
exception never proves the rule. Due to factors such as stress, escape and
subsequent accidental death, and destruction because of owner's inability to
handle a sexually mature animal, 90% of wolf hybrids do not make it to their
point exactly...there is a need for education concerning the care and ownership
of dogs and wolf -hybrids.
FAMCSA wishes you to consider carefully the duties
and obligations required of any pet owner. Being a responsible owner means
providing a healthy and safe living environment, adequate socialization and
training, and a lifetime of care and love. And all
pet dogs should be
neutered or spayed. Breeding is a lifetime commitment to the welfare of all
animals produced and should only be undertaken by those willing to assume this
ownership of an exotic or wild animal carries obligations far in excess of those
of the domestic pet owner. The owner of an exotic has to understand and cope
with wild instincts and dispositions. Potential liability is great and the
hybrid owner has an obligation to protect the public from a potentially
dangerous animal. Laws of the Country are in place to have people prosecuted and
jailed for incidents involving injury or death caused by their animals. The
breeder of the wolf-hybrid must consider if buyers can properly meet the needs
of the animals he or she produces.
romantic appeal of the wolf-hybrid is undeniable; to control and be loved by the
wild and uncontrollable has a real appeal to some people. But the reality is
that the wolf-hybrid is nothing like the romantic fantasy you imagine. Zoos and
refuges are swamped by desperate calls from people trying to unload an animal
that is nothing like their fantasy. Hybridizing is perhaps the worst of a long
list of abuses man has heaped upon the wolf.
FAMCSA would like you to be aware of the following
is very difficult to tell the difference between some dogs and some
wolf-hybrids. There are morphological and behavioral differences between
Malamutes and hybrids which experienced breeders and students of canine behavior
can identify. But since some purebred Malamutes can look wolf-like and some
hybrids may look like a dog, it takes a skilled observer of both body type and
behavior to tell the difference.
are techniques being developed to distinguish dogs from hybrids, but these
techniques are not yet available to the public. We would caution anyone to be
sure before calling any animal of unknown origin an Alaskan Malamute.
are committed to working with Animal Control and Humane Societies to further
define the distinction between our breed and the wild outcrosses.
*Article adjusted for our Club and South African reading – displayed with permission of the author, Margaret A Cleek, Ph.D
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