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Are German Shepherds Related To Wolves

Eight: Differences In Population

German Shepherd Attack vs Wolf | Real Attack & Fight

The GSD is the second most popular dog breed, according to the American Kennel Club. This means there are millions of GSDs and part-GSDs just in America. The future of our partner, this descendant of the wolf, is secure.

Not so for wolves. Many species teeter on the brink of extinction because they have been hunted ruthlessly by people. According to Wikipedia, only about 300,000 wolves remain in the entire world.

Is A German Shepherd Closest To A Wolf

Not quite. In a project termed CanMap, a collaboration among Cornell University, UCLA and the National Institutes of Health, scientists gathered DNA for nearly 1,000 dogs across 85 breeds for analysis. They found that the four dogs closest to their wolf ancestors are the Shiba Inu, chow chow, Akita, and the Alaskan malamute. However, this study was done on 85 breeds.

How To Keep You And Your Dog Safe

Besides in the case of a few particularly strong species, the use of dogs as protection for livestock is now generally discouraged because they are at such a high risk of death or serious injury.

When hunting, be careful about using baits for bears or other animals and notice whether there are wolf tracks near a baiting site.

If there are, relocate to another hunting area in order to protect your dog.

You should also learn what your own dogs tracks look like so that you can differentiate.

When camping with your German Shepherd or living in the country, avoid leaving your pets unattended outside.

Also, consider installing motion sensor lights that will help scare predators like wolves away.

You should never feed wolves or other wildlife, or feed your dog outside.

Additionally, make sure that any food garbage is stowed away in a can with a secure lid.

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Breeds That People Think Look Like Wolves That Really Don’t

Belgian Malinois

Norwegian Elkhound

There are some clear, distinct differences between pure wolves and domesticated dogs. Some of these include:

  • Wolves and wolfdogs have one breeding season and give birth once a year. Dogs can breed at all times of the year.
  • Dogs are somewhat more omnivorous than wolves, possessing a gene for the digestion of grains and starches.
  • As a consequence of domestication, all domesticated dogs are associated with humans and to some degree have less fear of them and stressful novel situations.

What other differences are there? While it’s simple to point out the differences between a wolf and a toy poodle, things become more difficult when you compare wolves to dog breeds like huskies. For instance, wolves and Huskies both howl, it just sounds a little different. Wolves and Huskies both have ‘primitive’ features such as pointed ears and bushy tail, although a wolf’s might be smaller and thickly furred and huskies tend to have a tail that curls.

The common theme with these differences and similarities is that wolf features and characteristics differ by extent. To some degree, at least one dog breed or individual can match up with a wolf’s trait.

Wolves And Dogs: Relatives With Big Differences

How are German Shepherds related to wolves?

Wolves are the ancestors of domesticated dogs and used to inhabit most of North America until they were widely hunted by humans and destroyed their habitats. Now, they occupy only about 5-8% of the lower 48 states.

North America is home to red wolves and gray wolves, which can be broken into six distinct categories:

  • Arctic Wolves
  • Northwestern Wolves
  • Great Plains Wolves
  • Mexican Wolves
  • Red Wolves

All of the above are fierce predators and can pose a risk to their dog relatives, although they generally will not attack a dog unless their territory or food source is threatened.

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German Shepherd Vs Wolf

Even though German Shepherd looks like a wolf, they are still different. You might be asking the questions, how German Shepherd Dogs are related with wolves? or will it be possible that a German Shepherd and a wolf be cross bred? This article will give you clear understanding about German Shepherd vs. wolf.

What To Do If You Encounter A Wolf

Before entering the backcountry, take precautions like researching wolf activity in the region and packing a whistle in case of an encounter.

If you encounter a wolf, the first rule is to keep as calm on the inside as possible.

This will not only give you the ability to think clearly, which is a absolutely necessary in this situation, but it will keep your dog calm as well.

Keep direct eye contact with the wolf and back away slowly, waving your arms and doing what you can to make yourself appear larger.

Throw objects at the wolf and make loud noises in order to scare it away, and blow through your safety whistle so that it produces loud, sharp, and inconsistent tones.

Following these guidelines will greatly increase the chances of successfully diffusing a dangerous wolf encounter.

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What Is A Wolf German Shepherds Personality Like

German Shepherd Wolf mix is the outcome of cross breeding of German Shepherd and a wolf known as wolf dog or Wolf Shepherd. The wolfdog can be grey, black, sable, white, or a combination of above these colors. Meanwhile, wolf dogs have thick fur, pointed ears, and long face. German Shepherd wolf mix has an average weight of 54 cages or 120 LBS. Its height is around 24 inches. They are intelligent and very strong. It is challenging to point to the temperament of the German Shepherd Wolf. It all depends on the background of its parents. But when they become Mature, you can easily judge their temperament.

What Was The First Breed Of Dog

German shepherd dog howling like a wolf

While many believe the Akita Inu is the oldest breed of dog, some scientific studies suggest that the Basenji emerged first. Prehistoric cave paintings dating back as far as 6,000BC show images of Basenji, but these are far more modern than the Akita remains discovered at the Kamikuroiwa Rock Shelter site.

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German Shepherd Genetic Origin: Related To The Wolf

Maybe youre interested in German Shepherd breed in general

Or, maybe youre looking at buying a German Shepherd and you want to know a bit more about the German Shepherd origin.

Either way, the bloodline in terms of how the original German Shepherds were bred is pretty interesting.

We discuss the dogs used to breed the first German Shepherds, and whether wolf genetic material was involved.

Lets take a deeper look into the origin

Which Dog Can Kill A Rottweiler

Pit bulls are faster and more athletic then Rotties. They also were breed for dog fighting so they have the edge there. However Rottweilers are far bigger then pitbulls and have a stronger bite force. While pound for pound pitbulls are stronger the Rottweilers massive size would give it the edge in overall power.

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A German Shepherd Dog/wolf Fight Who Will Win

You might be asking yourself how a fight between a wolf and GSD can be like, and who will emerge the winner?

The wolf is naturally trained in the wild and possesses high intelligence. And with that, it demonstrates a high survival rate and thrives in an adverse wild ecosystem.

On the other hand, a German shepherd is a dog that has been trained by people to perform different tasks. They are also intelligent and strong, just like wolves.

However, it is generally difficult to judge who will win if by chance the two met for a battle. Nevertheless, wolves have strong stamina than German Shepherd Dogs and demonstrate a wild-based instinct.

One advantage of a German shepherd is that it can endure a lot of physical pain, suggesting that it can survive wolf attacks. However, unlike the German shepherd trained to attack based on circumstances solely, wolves attack in packs.

Asian Dog Breeds Closest To Wolves

German Shepherd Vs Wolf â 9 Differences â Urban Dogs Life

This is the fun part. Looks can be deceiving and that certainly goes for some of the breeds on this side of the fence. When you think of dog breeds closest to wolves, youre most likely picturing larger dogs with thick fur and sharp teeth. Well, youd be right on two of the three. One of the most genetically matched domestic breeds was actually the Shih Tzu, which is a tiny little dog from China that doesnt get bigger than 11 inches. I guess you shouldnt judge a book by its cover after all.

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The Interbreeding Of Dogs And Wolves

The fact that dogs and wolves are essentially the same species means that they can interbreed. More than that, they can interbreed and create fertile offspring, unlike some different yet related species that can interbreed and produce sterile offspring. This is called being interfertile. While Wolf-dog hybrids sometimes occur naturally in the wild, natural occurrences are extremely rare due to the territorial nature of wolves. Wolves are quick to protect their home territory from other intruding canines like coyotes, other wolves, foxes, and dogs.

So this means that German shepherds and wolves could interbreed to create viable wolf-dog hybrids. However, there are issues with breeding wolves and dogs together. Wolf-dog hybrids do not act just like regular domestic dogs. The process of selective breeding for the thousands of years that humans and dogs have maintained a relationship with one another have altered the physiology, lifecycle, and behavior domestic dogs.

Domestic dogs and wolves mature at different rates, and this different rate of physical and mental growth makes the development of a wolf-dog hybrid difficult to predict and manage. When wolves reach sexual maturity, a shift in their balance of hormones triggers behavioral changes in them. This may also be true of hybrids.

Are Coyotes Dangerous To German Shepherds

German Shepherds have strong protective instincts and will defend their territory. Coyotes are also territorial and often encroach on German Shepherd territory, but they don’t attack unless necessary.

9 other answers

Lets face it German shepherd dogs and coyotes do look a lot alike. Many German shepherds have been killed because they were mistaken for coyotes. If you take the time to really look, that big canine wandering about may just be a lost GSD and not a wild coyote.

The German Shepherd dog is the 2nd most popular breed of dog in the United States. They are part of the herding group, which makes them naturally inclined to try and control other animals.. They were used in Germany to herd sheep, guiding them through the fields, and protecting them from predators, like foxes, wolves, and yes, coyotes.

Crossbreeding German Shepherd vs Coyote will result in what is likely known to be as Coyote German Shepherd Mix or German Shepherd Coyote Cross. Some called this hybrid creature to be a coydog which refers to the spawn of a male coyote and women canine or if the male is a canine and also the lady is a prairie wolf is called a doggie.

For the record, German Shepherds also fall into the Canidae classification, a family of carnivorans with similar dog traits. Coyotes share many physical similarities to a wolf, except they are smaller and not as aggressive. Other animals related to the Coyote are foxes, jackals, and domesticated dogs.

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How Cute Are They

Wolf and German Shepherd mix are definitely unique and extremely cute when puppies because of their small stature and playful nature. As they grow they tend to have temperament issues that can be controlled through intensive training from birth. Kids, adults, as well as other animals, cannot always be around them unless they are well trained. However, with training, the wolf hybrid dogs can be amazing pets.

Has A Gsd Wolf Hybrid Ever Attacked Anybody

German shepherd howling with wolves from Zootopia

All wolf hybrids, including GSD wolf mixes, have severely bitten or attacked people and pets in the United States.

Wolf-hybrids often attack children more than adults because children make noises resembling small prey animals.

More often, wolf-dog mixes will attack other pets than people. These are very territorial animals.

If any other animal is perceived as being on their turf, a GSD wolf mix may not only attack but kill a dog, cat, or other animal.

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The Mainstream German Shepherd Genetic Origin Max Von Stephanitz & Horand Von Grafath

So, we know that German Shepherds as domesticated dogs are distantly related to the gray wolf.

But, after that, where does the German Shepherd get its bloodlines and original breeding from?

If you do a basic Google search, youll most likely find that the breed creator was a man named Max von Stephanitz.

Youll probably also find that Max was impressed by a dog at a dog show that showed many impressive traits like the erect ears and working-like body that German Shepherds were known for.

He later purchased that dog, and named it Horand von Grafrath.

Horand became a sire of the original standardised German Shepherd breeding program.

The German Shepherd became officially registered as a breed in 1899, when Max also founded the Verein für Deutsche Schäferhunde .

However, what most people dont often hear is that whilst Horand was impressive, Max was not completely satisfied with the fact that Horand was as easy to train as he would have liked due to his unharnessed energy and high desire to play instead of being focussed completely on working.

Max needed to round out the breeding stock, so he looked to the other regional non-standardised Shepherds in the local German towns.

Some Famous Types Of German Shepherd Wolf Mix

  • Saarloos Wulfhund

This type of wolfdog came from the cross breeding of a German Shepherd Dog and a timber wolf. This was the result of Leendert Saarloos experiment in dog breeding. This is a very strong and large German Shepherd wolf mix which can be 76 cm tall and weighs around 36-45 kg. Saarloos possesses a pack mentality and actually enjoys being with other group of dogs. This breed is not advisable to be a family pet due to its demanding personality and high maintenance which requires cautious and professional training. Sarloos Wulfhund puppy price ranges from $800-$1000.

  • Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

This breed of dog came from the combination of a German Shepherd and a Carpathian Wolf. It is very athletic and energetic with thick coat. It is very effective as rescue and guard dogs because of its agility. It is also usually assigned as an attack dog for special military operations. Its height is around 60-65 cm. and can weigh 25 kg. If you are planning to buy a puppy of this breed you need to prepare $800-$1500. Owners of this breed need more patience because of its stubbornness and independent personality. Remember that it is very aggressive with other pets and dogs.

  • Lupo Italiano Wolfdog

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How Much Do They Shed

They have a lot of hair on their body and hence these fluffy wolf dogs need constant grooming done on regular basis. This can be done daily or once in few days depending on the growth. Shedding of hair also depends on various other factors like the environmental conditions, for example, shedding is likely to happen less during winters as compared to springtime where they tend to shed more hair. Overall though, these wolf dogs shed a lot as compared to others.

When Did Your German Shepherd Become A Dog

Can a German Shepherd Beat a Wolf? Know the Facts

The question of precisely when the wild wolf became a domestic dog and a companion to humans continues to be hotly debated.

Because dogs are so universally loved, every year it seems new research comes out disproving former theories or at least shedding additional light on the why and how of verified facts.

But there is still a ton of research left to do to sort out a theory from fact.

The most recent data suggests that all domestic dogs, including the German Shepherd, began to diverge from their wild wolf ancestors between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago.

Earlier research data points to the exact time period as being closer to 40,000 than 20,000 years ago.

This still seems like a pretty wide range of time, but not in evolutionary terms. To make matters even muddier, as this short YouTube video on the Origin of Dogs explains, conflicting studies continue to pop up suggesting wolves were domesticated more than once in more than one region of the world.

Maybe this is just an example of a great idea that was too good to limit to one time period and region.

But what exactly does this mean when we look at the German Shepherds genetic relationship to the wolf? Part of the confusion here starts with this dog breeds name!

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If It Looks Like A Wolf Is It A Wolf

As youve seen from the examples provided, a breed does not have to have similar wolfish looks in order to have wolf DNA. If we were going off that basis, we would assume that the German Shepherd, which is often used as a police and military service dog, would be closely related to the wolf. However, despite the Spitz similarities in size, fur type, facial structure, and bushy curled tail, the German Shepherd was less of a DNA match. If a breed has a strong match, does that mean they could be considered wolves? Wouldnt it be so neat if that were true? But unfortunately, no. Just because a breed is a descendant of wolves does not mean that it is a wolf. After thousands of years of breeding, any breed that might have once been mixed with wolves is now too far diluted to count. Unless, of course, youre breeding with a wolf, in which case, of course, the offspring will be part wolf.


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