Wolf Hybrids

Wolf Hybrids

The following information, which has been adapted for South Africa, has been extracted from the HSUS Fact Sheet titled "Wolf Hybrids” and we thank them for allowing us to use their information.

Are Wolves indigenous to South Africa?

  • Wolves, as wild animals, are not indigenous to South Africa and are, therefore, exotic animals. They are better left in the wild.

What is Wolf Hybrid?

  • A wolf hybrid is any animal resulting from the breeding of a wolf with a domestic dog.
  • Hybrids can be bred to other hybrids, pure dogs or pure wolves, to produce offspring whose genetic contribution from wolves will vary widely.
  • Why do people want them?

    • For most people it is simply the "prestige” of owning something different or exotic. For others, it is the desire to see themselves as somehow in touch with the wild nature of the wolf.
    • Some mistakenly think that they are getting an animal that will be a good watchdog or guard dog, when in fact most hybrids are extremely timid.
    • For an increasing number of people these animals are simply a "cash crop”.
    • Some owners mistakenly feel that they are helping wolves by raising hybrids.

    What is wrong with keeping Wolf Hybrids as pets?

    • More than 12,000 years of domestication have transformed the wild wolf into the dog. However, like many hybrids in nature, the wolf-dog cannot adapt well to the environment of either parent.
    • They cannot live as wild animals and their size, strength and often unstable temperament, make them generally unsuitable for life as companion animals.
    • Wolf-dog hybrids are frequently unpredic¬table, destructive, rarely train¬able and very adept at escaping from confinement.
    • Wolves are natural predators and resultant actions from their natural instincts can be in conflict with humans and animals. Hybrids often retain their instincts even if latent.

    Are these animals dangerous to people?

    • Too often the answer is yes – hybrids living in close proximity to people sometimes fail to make the distinction between people and prey, responding to small children as they might respond to small prey.


    Updated: 13 February 2010

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