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My wolf friend Zoroastra is a mostly white
84% arctic x timber x malamute except for
her (sometimes upcurved) tail she looks
like a pure arctic wolf. I have trained the
way an alpha parent would train, lots of
love very little correction once she
decided that I was clearly alpha. When she
was young (~6 mo) it took several sessions
of 'pinning' her to the ground to exert my
dominance over her. I now only pin her when
we wrestle. I allow to use mock threat
displays during play, i.e. loud growls,
mock snarls and teeth displays etc. I am
careful to never show fear when I work
or play with her. Love is our favorite
and most used exchange.
Photo of Zoroastra flying through the air
Zory loves her weekly trip to the beach, so she can cool off in the ocean and run with the dogs. She keeps the mice and gopher population down in our yard. She is distrustful of strangers and will occasionally let out a almost dog-like 'bargk' at strangers at the door. She loves all young children and treats them like cubs.
She will not bother snakes and has taught the local skunks to respect her without getting sprayed. Before a skunk can spray her she has jumped four feet in the air and is on the safe (face) end of the skunk. She will repeat this process until the skunk has exhausted its spray, and left in frustration. I once even saw her use a lawn chair as a barricade to trap a skunk against a wall. She used her paws to push the chair against the skunk, trapping it in a position that prevented it from spraying her.
She is a wonderful, lovely intelligent animal.
Photo of Zoroastra and Amani
The puppy is Amani, the result of an accidental cross between a full blooded male Irish wolf hound and a 75% female wolfXhusky (who resembles Zory somewhat) . We adopted him since we thought that most people would be intimidated by the idea of a potential 150 pound wolf hybrid.
Amani seems to think that Zory is his mother (he tried to nurse several times, much to Zory's chagrin). Zory has accepted Amani into our pack. The interaction between these two, is really interesting to observe. The puppy is often seen with a large mouthful of fur, that he has torn out of Zory's more than ample coat. He will latch on to her lips with his needle-like teeth and Zory will produce an appropriate (but indescribable) vocalization. She is remarkably tolerant of this puppy behavior, but at times even she will have enough. She will correct the puppy by knocking him to the ground with a genle sweeping motion of her muzzle. She then holds him to the ground with a soft clasp of her jaws. The human emotional reaction to this behavior is fear for the puppy. My experience with Zory has taught me that she is capable of "ferocious gentleness". The puppy does not complain when being corrected this way. When I try to reproduce this behavior when Amani is too rough, he complains with a loud whine. I have found that if I am as gentle as possible I can use this correction but I am impressed that Zory makes it look so easy, even though she is using her huge teeth and I am using my soft human hands. Wolves have had millions of years to evolve these displays that are designed to evoke fear, but cause no harm to fellow pack members.
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