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A wolfdog, also known as a wolf-dog hybrid, is a canine resulting from the mating of a domestic dog with a gray wolf.

Ingram Publishing

These hybrids can vary widely in their appearance, behavior, and characteristics, depending on the percentage of wolf and dog genetics they inherit. The breeding of wolfdogs is a controversial practice, and it is important to note that they may not make suitable pets for everyone.

Police lights by night

Vestavia Hills Alabama Police report hearing rumors of wolf hybrids spotted in their Alabama city.

A social media post featured a photo of a wolf-dog hybrid in the Altadena, Alabama area. The animal threatened a family chicken coop. The  wolf-dog  was reportedly put down.

James Senn Facebook
James Senn Facebook

These animals can pose a threat to other dogs, cats, chickens, small animals, and small children.

James Senn facebook
James Senn facebook

Wolf-Dogs, while potentially dangerous, are actually considered legal pets in Alabama.

AL.com’s Carol Robinson reported the death of a 3-month-old boy in Chelsea, killed by the family’s wolf-dog hybrid.

If you spot a stray wolf-dog in your Tuscaloosa, Alabama area neighborhood, contact the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department. Animal Control can come remove the animal.

Here are some key points about wolfdogs:

  1. Appearance: Wolfdogs can exhibit a range of physical characteristics, blending traits from both wolves and domestic dogs. Their coat colors, patterns, and sizes can vary significantly.
  2. Behavior: The behavior of a wolfdog is influenced by genetics, early socialization, and individual temperament. They may display a mix of wolf and dog behaviors, such as pack-oriented instincts and heightened senses.
  3. Temperament: Wolfdogs can be challenging to handle and train. They may retain certain wild instincts, such as a strong prey drive, which can make them less predictable than typical domestic dogs. Proper training and socialization from a young age are crucial.
  4. Legal Considerations: In many places, there are legal restrictions or prohibitions on owning wolfdogs. This is often due to concerns about public safety and the welfare of the animals. It's essential to research and comply with local laws and regulations before considering a wolfdog as a pet.
  5. Containment: Wolfdogs may have a strong urge to roam and explore. Fenced enclosures must be secure and tall, as wolfdogs are known for their ability to jump and climb. Providing a safe and enriched environment is essential to prevent escapes and potential conflicts.
  6. Care Requirements: Wolfdogs may have specific care requirements, and owners should be prepared for the challenges associated with their unique needs. This includes providing a proper diet, veterinary care, and opportunities for mental and physical stimulation.
  7. Ethical Considerations: Breeding wolfdogs raises ethical concerns related to the well-being of the animals. There are debates within the animal welfare community about the appropriateness of breeding hybrids with potentially conflicting needs and behaviors.

LOOK: Longest-living dog breeds

To find out the longest-living dog breeds, Stacker examined data from the journal Genetics and American Kennel Club's 2023 breed popularity rankings. 

Gallery Credit: Sophia June

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