Reminder: The selected responses presented below are a reflection of the collaborative effort of Hybrid Wolf Mailing List aka. Wolfdoglist members to share opinions / information about wolf x dogs, responsible "ownership" and breeding practices. This FAQ is not a scientific or veterinary resource. Some responses have been edited for brevity.
Wolfdog FAQ - Question # 8
If you release a wolfdog into the wild, will its instincts allow it to survive?
Any animal that is domesticated [or socialized] in any form should NEVER be released into the wild. Feral animals are not a natural predator. They wouldprey on anything that they could catch.
People that release WD's or any other type of dog are doing the breeds agreat injustice. They will further the untruths about real full bloodedwolves. This could prevent further release of wolves anywhere!
People who think releasing them into their natural habitat are fallinginto romantic thinking. There is nothing romantic about a trapped,shot, poisoned, or run over animal. If you love and respect youranimals, do what is truly best for them. Keep them in a clean and safeenvironment. They were not born in the wild, so why would they want tobe put back into the wild.
I have studied Timberwolves for five years face to muzzle, and I know for a fact that hunters and ranchers would "Shoot, Shovel, and Shut Up" if they saw anything that even looked like a wolf. If you were to release a WD into the wild in an area with true Timberwolves, the likelyhood that the wolves themselves would attack and kill it are very high. They are very intolerant of unknowns in their territory. eg: bearhunting dogs, unless supported by their gun toting owner, usually don't stand much of a chance against a healthy pack.
I would not ever recommend releasing then into the wild. My suggestion wouldbe to try and contact a WD sanctuary.Beekerwolf
I may be missing something but dumping (and thats just what it is) wolfdogsin the wild is among other things against the law. Just like it is if youdump a dog-dog. I don't think a person can get any lower than to dump anyanimal!
There was a video many years ago, I think it was called "call of the wild"It was about a man who raised a wolf pup or two. Can't remember allof the details. Anyway, when the animals got older, he decided they neededto be set loose to live "normal lives" and so he crates them up, andsets off on an airplane to take them out far away from people so thatthey will be safe, but free. He stays, I think 3 weeks waiting andwatching to see that they will be all right, learn how to hunt forfood, etc.
At the end of the time, he is having to share his food with them, afterall, he was their caregiver all their lives, and they depended on himto feed them. They never did get the hang of hunting for food, so heended up taking them home with him, as he was convinced they wouldstarve to death if he left them there. That made an impression on me.I was just starting to "get into wolves" at that point, and I nevermuch thought that wolve s would have a hard time getting a meal. But afterwatching this video, I was absolutely convicned that if an animal thathad been raised in captivity, it would not know, nor "instinctively "possessed the skills to hunt down and kill its prey for food.
If my wd's were to be set free in the wilderness they would certainly have noproblem catching small game. There are two major problems with this scenerio. First, they trust humans and would surely be killed. Second, they wouldprobably be killed by another pack. They could never differentiate betweenthe two worlds because they have been sort of domesticated in the humanworld. Perhaps this happened to the wolf portrayed in the Reader's Digestarticle. He came to a sorry end for approaching humans. One can conclude thatthe wolf was obviousy abandoned to fend for himself.
Is it not the mother that "Teaches" the pups to survive in the wild? Since awolfdog pup would not receive the same teachings from his/her mother that awild wolf pup would receive from his/her mother, it is highly unlikely thata wolfdog released would survive very long. Granted there are some dogs thatjoin into a 'pack' and are able to survive when dumped off in the middle ofnowhere but the odds are not very high for survival. Around here on thelogging roads we see alot of cats dumped off... if they are dumped off inthe spring or summer they have a better chance of surviving but still, thereare not many can openers and cans of food or bags of kibbles out there inthe wild......
Sorry, but I think that anyone that "releases" a wolfdog into the wildis a callous moron that should NOT have had the animal to begin with. This isn't a release. This action is a blow to all that have wolves orwolfdogs and strikes another blow for legislation for the animal, IMHO.
If anyone wants to release an animal into the wild, do it with doves.The nature of the wolfdog can lead to serious problems when released inthis fashion. As in any canine, it's instints will allow it to survive.
About 2 months ago Animal Control called and said they had a wolf they caught running loose in a farm/wooded area south of us. They said they had been trying to catch it for 3 to 4 months. They finally got it with a big Hav-A-Hart trap.We went to see her, and she looked to us to be either a very high percenter or one helluva wolfy looking dog. The only thing non-wolfy about her were her eyes - - they are brown. Anyhow, this big girl had been surviving in the wild for some time, running with a small pack. AC said they had seen them, and they all looked the same. I know we don't have wolves occuring naturally in northern Ohio, Coyotes, yes, but no wolves, so she may have been running with a pack of WD's, or a mix of WD & DD's.
Anyhow again.... we spent about 15 days sitting with her in her tiny cage at the pound, and we could see she was scared. We could touch her and pet her, even take her out of the cage, but had a heck of a time putting her back. We have her here now, and nobody but Carol can get close enough to touch her, and then only lightly.
I go in the kennel and she reacts with abject fear. When I clean the kennel, she fear poops & p's and tries to get as far away from me as possible. She probably was abused by a male sub-human somewhere along the line. We are still working with her and hope to get her reasonably settled - at least I hope we can.
Maybe it depends on where and when any animal is "thrown out" that determines its survivability in the wild. She was living in a hollow log (resembled her doghouse?) so she adapted somehow to her suroundings. She is healthy and trim, not fat, not skinny, so she was eating. No collar, naturally.
I think any animal still retains some of it's instincts, regardless of it's suoundings that MIGHT allow it to survive in the wild, provided it never again ran into another human being. If it were able to survive for a few weeks, it might have a chance - maybe....
The general thought here though is if you can't deal with something that will have to depend on you for the rest of it's life, DON'T get it!!! Someone got this poor frightened critter and tossed her out when she got big... and she is big. She survived somehow. How, I don't know. All I know now is, I can't get near her and it REALLY makes me angry that people do stuff like that. I've got this beautiful full grown creature in my kennel and she won't let me give her the belly rubs and scratches she deserves................... :(
Do not assume that just because your animal has some recent wolf inheritance that it could survive "in the wild". Do NOT abandon your animal. If you absolutely can no longer care for your wolf-dog cross, please read FAQ # 7, "What do I do when I can no longer keep my wolfdog ?" for alternative suggestions.
See Copyright information on main FAQ listings page.
Go to the top of the page