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Top 10 facts about german shepherd wolf mix (+ Health Problems)

Last Updated on February 20, 2022 by Dogs Vets

A Complete Guide to German Shepherd Wolf Mixes

Introduction: What is a German Shepherd Wolf Mix?

German Shepherd Wolf Mixes are a mix of the German Shepherd and the Wolf. They can be bred with either parent or both parents to create different combinations.

German Shepherds are often used as working dogs, such as military and police dogs, guide dogs for the blind, and search-and-rescue dogs. They are also used as service animals for people with disabilities.

Wolfs have been living in North America for centuries before European settlers arrived on the continent. Today they live in various habitats across North America but their numbers have decreased substantially over time due to human interference.

Why You Should Consider Getting a German Shepherd Wolf Mix

We all know that owning a dog is a lot of work. But the benefits are worth it. And while there are many different breeds out there, the German Shepherd Wolf Mix is one of the best choices for families.

German Shepherd Wolf Mixes are intelligent and loyal dogs that make for excellent family pets.

They have a high level of energy and require daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. German Shepherd Wolf Mixes also have great senses of hearing, sight, and smell which makes them excellent watchdogs for your home!

The German Shepherd Wolf Mix

It is believed by many that dogs were domesticated by wolves over 15,000 years ago. But what happens when the non-domesticated wolf is bred to a dog? The German Shepherd Wolf Mix is known to be a fine example.

Sometimes known as a wolf shepherd, this powerful breed is not for newbies. They will need a lot of exercise, training, and companionship.

wolf mix puppy
german shepherd wolf mix puppy


German Shepherd Wolf Mix  Breed Characteristics

Size: 20-26 inches
Weight: 50-100+lb
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Coat: Double coats, medium length.
Color: Black and tan, sable, black, white, mottled gray, red or brown.
Do They Shed: Yes – two shedding seasons a year.
Temperament: Mischievous, playful, loyal, and reserved.
Intelligence: Intelligent.
Socialization: Unpredictable around other dogs and will need a lot of early socialization.
Destructive Behavior: Loves to howl at anything and will chew when bored.
People Skills: Can be shy and reserved around strangers.
Good with Children: Not good with small kids.
Activity Levels: Very energetic, will need at least 1-2 hours of exercise.


Like the name already says, this hybrid dog consists of a German Shepherd and a wolf. These hybrids (crosses) are often referred to as wolfhounds or wolf shepherds.

While there are many types of German Shepherd Wolfhound mixes, the Saarloos Wolfhound is the most notable.

They were created in 1935 by Leendert Saarloos when he crossed a German shepherd with a Eurasian wolf. The goal of this cross was to bring back the natural characteristics that the GSD had lost during domestication.

not a good family dog

This breed is recognized by the UK Kennel Club, but not by the American Kennel Club. Other common types include the Czechoslovakian Wolfhound, the Kunming Wolfhound (Chinese), and the Lupo Italiano (Italian).

You should also keep in mind that they are illegal in several regions of the United States. So do your research before keeping one.

See also: Top 10 best dog breeds for seniors in 2021

Before adopting a pet, research is important, but especially for German Shepherds (GSD) and wolves. If you are reading this article, you are probably either considering or have just adopted a GSD-wolf mix, also known as a wolfhound.

The full extent of personality traits and training, as well as the legal and health implications of owning a GSD-wolf mix, are beyond the scope of this article. However, hopefully, this will give you a starting point for further research. One of the best resources is to find others who own or have owned wolf mixes and GSDs.

This will help you understand the unique characteristics of these two bloodlines and what your new puppy may need. Another good resource is wildlife education groups that can provide information about a wolf’s natural instincts and habits in the wild.

Training and Activities for GSWMs

GSWMs need to be trained in order to be able to cope with the challenges of their profession. They need to have a good understanding of the environment, culture, and history that they are working in.

Activities for GSWMs can range from learning about the culture and history of the country they are working in, to visiting different places and taking part in activities that help them get a better understanding of how people live there.


Top 10 facts about german shepherd wolf mix


1. German Shepherd Wolf Mix Personality

For anyone who has ever owned a GSD, they can tell you that they are literally a breed unto themselves. German Shepherds have a rich history of interacting with people, especially in the context of protecting and doing a job as a first and a pet.

They are highly intelligent, energetic, and very powerful dogs. Many are shy when it comes to meeting strangers and prefer the company of one or two special people in their household.

Wolves are very similar in some ways. They are less adept at being guard dogs, as they are even more shy and fearful of people, but they are still very intelligent and powerful, and pack-oriented.

german shepherd wolf mix black
german shepherd wolf mix black

Because of the characteristics of both sides of the bloodline, your puppy will likely require a special understanding of pack mentality and socialization training, regardless of how much “wolf” is in his bloodline.

2. Legal

One of the first things you should consider before getting a GSD wolf mix is the legality of owning such a dog. Many states have banned the ownership of wolf mixes altogether. Others have left the legality up to local governments.

While some localities do not prohibit the ownership, many have stricter requirements for owning these dogs than other breeds of domestic dogs. Some require special licensing and registration and may even set habitat requirements.

See also: Can Dogs Eat Apples? Top 10 Fruits dogs can and can not eat

Even if your state or local government has no laws or requirements regarding owning a wolf hybrid dog, you can still get into trouble.

Wolf hybrids are often banned from residential areas such as apartments or communities managed by homeowners associations. Investigate these areas as well before acquiring a pet wolf hybrid.

Do your research and make sure you are prepared to take on not only the emotional, but also the legal responsibility of owning such an animal.

3. German Shepherd Wolf Mix Cost and Fraud

A major part of the decision to get a GSD wolf mix is the cost. These pups don’t come cheap and if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is a fraud.

Expect to spend between $700 and $3000 for a German Shepherd Wolf Mix puppy or a
wolf cross puppy.

Keep in mind that many breeders advertise their pups as wolf mixes, but they are really GSDs mixed with Malamutes, Huskies, or some other “Nordic” breed.

Often these breeders are breeding wolf look-alike puppies rather than wolf cross puppies. If you really want a GSD-wolf mix, do your research properly before buying.


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A post shared by Wolf Of The Week (@wolfoftheweek)

Ask questions: 

  • What is the generation of the puppy (F2, F3, etc.) relative to the original GSD wolf mix (F1 generation)?
  • Does the age of the pup match the natural breeding season of a wolf?
  • Does the breeder have the parents and other generations on-site?

Note that there are no official registries for wolf breeds, so registration certificates are probably only worth the paper they are printed on.

4. German shepherd wolf mix size and weight

A German Shepherd can weigh about 65-90 pounds (male) and 50-70 pounds (female). Males stand at about 24-26 inches and females between 22-24 inches.

Of course, being wild, the wolf has no breed standard and can range from 70 to 100 pounds.

Depending on age, sex, diet, and genetics, the mix of German Shepherd and Wolf can weigh between 50 and 100 pounds. You should expect them to be between 20 and 26 inches tall.

5. Colors

Typical German Shepherd Puppies can come in a variety of colors, as the classic German Shepherd has 11 different official colors, with black and brown being the most common.

However, they can also have colors like sable, black, white, and gray.

Wolves can be mottled gray, but occasionally they can be almost pure white, red, brown, or even black.

The color of a shepherd-wolf mix depends on what colors their parents have and which gene is dominant – it should be said that no two puppies in a wolfdog litter look alike.

6. Coat and Grooming

German Shepherds have a thick double coat of medium length. They have a dense outer coat with smooth hair that lies close to the body.

The coats of wolves are also very dense, they can become very fluffy in winter. They have short undercoats and long, coarse outer coats.

See also: All you need to know about Great dane bull Mastiff Mix (Bull Daniffs)

The GSD and wolves have very similar coats, so it is quite likely that their mix has a double coat and a medium-length coat.

They will also shed annually and get rid of their winter coats as the days get warmer. It is safe to say that this cross should not be kept in warmer climates.

For the German Shepherd Wolf mix, regular brushing is required due to their beautifully thick fur!

We recommend brushing your dog every other day. You should try to groom every dog from a young age. This is especially important for a wolfdog mix, as wolves are not used to human contact or grooming.

7. Feeding and nutrition

Deciding what to feed your Wolfhound is not an exact science, but you should give your dog a high-protein diet.

Avoid buying traditional store-bought dog food, as it is high in carbohydrates and artificial ingredients.

You need to research what type of meat-based diet your dog would prefer. Your dog will want a diet that is at least 50% protein.

Some diets that might be worth a look at include raw dog food. This diet has potential risks (transferring bacteria), but can be very beneficial to your dog’s health.

Be mindful of how much you feed your dog. Too much food can lead to obesity. Keep track of their weight by using a body condition score.

8. German Shepherd Wolf Mix Health Problems

Wolfhounds are generally healthy animals, but they are still prone to certain health problems.

Health concerns for wolf hybrids are no different than those for any other breed of dog. Wolves and domestic dogs are susceptible to the same diseases and parasites.

Age-related changes are also similar for both. It is important to know the health and conformation of as many of your puppy’s lineages as possible to predict what problems may occur later.

german shepherd wolf mix white
german shepherd wolf mix white

GSDs have medical problems that seem to be common in the breed. Hip dysplasia is probably the most well-known, but there are a number of other problems that are common.

GSDs are prone to certain types of cancer and neurological problems. Talk to a veterinarian or reputable breeder about common medical disorders to get an idea of what to look for when choosing your puppy.

Preventive health care is as important for GSD wolf hybrids as it is for any other dog. Routine exams and parasite screening are important.

Your veterinarian will make recommendations for routine care as your pet gets older.

Vaccination of wolves and wolfdog mixes is controversial. Most veterinarians recommend vaccination, although it is considered off-label because there is no research or evidence that dog vaccines work in wolves.

There is evidence from wolves kept in captivity, such as in zoos and other wildlife parks, that vaccines provide protection.

Again, the biggest concern is the legality of vaccination status in wolves and wolf mixes. This is mainly for the rabies vaccine.

Typically, the legality of rabies vaccination is considered in your local wolf-dog mix ownership laws.

9. Training and Exercise Requirements

This is a well-known energetic dog as wolves can travel up to 30 miles per day.

They need about 1-2 hours of exercise a day to stay fit and healthy. If they do not exercise, they will destroy your furniture and anything else they can bite.

It is also recommended to let them run around in a fenced yard so they can play, dig and explore.

You should not take your wolfdog to dog parks and keep them off a leash and harness.


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It is important to know that GSD wolf mixes are not just mixed breed dogs.

Despite the similarity of their genetic makeup, wolves are very different from domesticated dogs. Dogs are genetically hardwired to live with humans and adapt to their social norms.

Wolves, on the other hand, are hardwired to be wild animals – constantly alert to danger and searching for food.

A wolf hybrid is an unpredictable blend of these two opposite dichotomies. As mentioned earlier, GSDs have their own personalities.

Just as there are differences between the personalities of siblings within a family, there are differences between individual pups within a breed or even a litter.

See also: Top 7 most popular dog breeds in the united states 2021

The importance of this is that when training your puppy, you must understand the characteristics of both sides of the line and interpret them into a training approach. Both “breeds” are highly intelligent and capable of learning, but their motivation to do something is very different.

While dogs have an innate desire to be drawn into them for hundreds of generations, wolves have a short attention span and often stop listening when they become bored with the task.

The challenge is to keep your pup intellectually stimulated and interested. If you have limited experience training dogs, it is a good idea to find a reputable trainer early on to help you before your puppy develops bad habits that are even harder to correct.

A good idea is to find a trainer who specializes in working with GSDs or Nordic dogs, or a trainer who works with military or police dogs. It wouldn’t hurt to consult with trainers and handlers of wolves as well. If you find someone who knows about training wolfdog mixes, ask them for advice and tips.

10. German shepherd wolf mix lifespan and energy

Your puppy is energetic and intelligent. This is a dangerous combination for a puppy that is bored and left alone. Puppies that lack proper mental stimulation and physical exercise can be a destructive force on your home.

Try to spend plenty of time with your puppy in a play and exercise situation, and give him an area where he can safely run and explore.

In addition, protect your home from puppies to protect your belongings from destruction and your puppy from picking up something dangerous.

If your puppy is to have unsupervised time in a yard, make sure the fences are high and sturdy.

GSDs and wolves are very adept at climbing and digging and if something outside the fence interests them, they will work diligently to get there. The german shepherd wolf mix lifespan is between 12-14 years.



Is a German Shepherd Wolf Mix a good family dog?

This is not a dog that should live with young children.
This dog should be kept by experienced pet guardians who are firm and disciplined with their pooch.


How long does a German shepherd wolf mix live?

A healthy German Shepherd Wolf Mix can live up to 14 years.

How much does a German Shepherd Wolf Mix cost?

A German Shepherd Wolf Mix costs around $800.

Are wolf dogs safe?

Officially, wolfdogs are not the deadliest dogs in the country, but that’s probably because there are fewer of them around than pit bulls and other dangerous breeds at the top of the list. … Don’t let anyone convince you that a wolf-dog hybrid can be safely owned in any capacity.

Is it illegal to own a half-wolf dog?

It is illegal to own a purebred wolf in the United States. They are classified as endangered and restricted species. While the federal government has made it legal to own 98%/2% wolf dogs, many states, counties and cities have outlawed all wolves and wolf dogs. Any wolf or wolf-dog found within these areas will be killed immediately.

In which states are wolf dogs illegal?

At the time of publication of this article, it is illegal to keep them as pets in Alaska, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Dakota, and Rhode Island.

Can a German Shepherd mate with a wolf?

The fact that dogs and wolves are essentially the same species means that they can interbreed. … In other words, this means that a German Shepherd and a wolf can interbreed to create a viable wolf-dog hybrid.

However, there are problems with breeding wolves and dogs together. A wolf-dog hybrid does not function like a normal domesticated dog.

Are wolf-dog hybrids dangerous?

Some wolf hybrids are docile and non-aggressive, but the higher the percentage of wolf hybrids, the more dangerous they are and the more likely they are to attack humans and other animals.  Wolves in the wild rarely attack humans, but wolf-dog hybrids kill an estimated 12 people every 10 years.

Are wolf-dogs aggressive?

Fact: Because wolves are shy, hybrids usually result in dogs that are poorly protected. If hybrids do have aggressive tendencies, it can be caused by fear, and thus can be unpredictable and difficult to control.

Fact: The lifespan of a captive wolf is 12 to 14 years, the same as a large domesticated dog.

Dog Breeds Closely Related to Wolves

The Saluki Dog Breed. The Saluki was originally a dog from the Middle East and is one of the oldest dog breeds, dating back to 10, 000 BC.

Afghan Hound. This breed is very similar to the Saluki in the sense that it is one of the oldest breeds in the country.

  • Alaskan Malamute.
  • Siberian Husky.
  • Shih Tzu.
  • Pekinese.
  • Lhasa Apso.
  • Shiba Inu.

Are Huskies part of the wolf?

Although they look like wolves, huskies are not as closely related to wolves as poodles and bulldogs. They are all dogs, but some huskies are crossed with wolves, producing wolf hybrids. This is a very different animal from the purebred Siberian Husky and its cousin, the Alaskan Malamute.



The German Shepherd Wolf mix is a beautiful and rare breed.

If you are thinking of adopting this mix, make sure you can provide them with the socialization, training, exercise, and patience they need. This dog is illegal in many states and should be reserved for experienced owners only.

In return, your dog will be loyal, protective, intelligent, playful, and of course, a little unpredictable. Their unpredictability may make them attractive, but it creates a lot of work for owners.

What do you think about mixing a domesticated dog with a wild wolf? Give us your thoughts below!


See also: See pictures of All Dog Breeds pictures and their names from A to Z


Fact Check

We strive to provide the latest valuable information for pet lovers with accuracy and fairness. If you would like to add to this post or advertise with us, don’t hesitate to reach us. If you see something that doesn’t look right, contact us!


Reference: perfectdogbreeds and Allthingsdogs 



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