Let’s talk about Odin, the loyal, playful fur ball that I often share on my social media accounts.
Although he doesn’t fall into a specific breed per say. He is known as a Wolamute, a cross between the Alaskan Malamute dog and Timber Wolf (Gray Wolf), they are actually considered to be one of the oldest domesticated wolf-dog hybrids in the world.
Before actually purchasing Odin, I had spent months researching different breeds of wolf dogs, low/mid/high contents etc. Here he is, a few weeks old.
Wolf Dog Research
What I found online, for the most part, seemed to be mainly horror stories. Looking back at them now clearly tells me that they came from people who didn’t actually own hybrid wolf-dogs. Maybe they had misread articles or just simply fabricated such articles due to their own distaste for owning such an animal? Who knows, regardless I either got really lucky, or they didn’t do their research.
Welcome to the Family
In the beginning, Odin at around 8 weeks old just wanted to sleep, constantly. He was flown into Phoenix Sky Harbor airport on the 27th May 2016, and as you can see, he was wide awake from the flight and the fuss he was receiving.
He became a baseball team mascot for a week, then went back to the quiet life of being a pup, a sleepy, Chihuahua tormenting pup at that.
Raising a Wolf Dog
Raising Odin has been a fun journey, the fact that he often behaves just like a dog, yet at other times not like a dog at all. He doesn’t bark when the doorbell rings, or when the other dog’s bark. He’s very polite minus a little jumping up at times, spank me not him, I enjoy hugs! He doesn’t snatch food, he’s ridiculously gentle when taking treats or food and he’s amazing on a leash. He get’s very excited to see and play with kids, he just likes to be around them I think.
So the not so perfect parts of owning a wolf-dog. First of all, wolf-dogs are known to suffer from separation anxiety. When it’s time for work, he has to be in a large crate for several hours a day. He soon learned how to break from his iron prison within a few weeks actually. After coming home to be greeted at the door by we decided to allow him that freedom.
A few weeks went by, what a great pup he is! Potty trained, he isn’t chewing or marking, he’s just an adorable fur baby. Not so fast, he decided to have a chew at the drywall in the laundry room, then a little of the door trim. Let’s just close that door and see what happens… Oh look at that little scratch on the carpet, well now it’s become a little 4-inch hole.
Then he decided to start marking here and there, because this was his house now, right? Right! He’s now 18 months old and decided he also liked the leather arm of the couch. Well, the nibble became several nibbles, and there goes the arm of the couch, but these have been the only flaws he has had.
I would say that’s common for most dogs, all the dogs I’ve owned anyway. Chewing is a part of life for dogs, they become bored they teeth, they want something in their mouths. You can’t reprimand any pet without catching them in the act, so it’s still work in progress for all of us.
He will mature around 3 years of age, his weight will range between 115-175 lbs (52-79 kg). Another aspect of wolf-dog ownership is the position of alpha, A dog, even a stubborn one can be mastered, a wolf-dog will always try to test the owner for dominance, like in a wolf pack, the owner must be the alpha and will have to dominate, if not you will have a constant battle.
Silly things you can’t ignore here, such as playing tug-o-war with toys, if you allow them to win, for me this means consistent reinforcment of my Alpha status, regardless of play or rest.
By taking a wolf-dog into your home, you and your family become your wolfdogs pack as do any other dogs you may have. It is your responsibility to establish yourself in the alpha position. If you fail to do this, your dog will do it. This is not a good situation for a such a strong-willed animal that has never had order, so by his nature, he will create it. It may not work well in your world, but it’s perfect for his, his natural behavior that is hard-wired.
Although many disagree (each to their own) – Odin enjoys a raw diet, much more than he does a dry diet, He gets’s a mixture of both, and I always make it a point to disturb him when he is eating, I will touch his food, take it away simply so he understands he cannot be aggressive with food, he is already well behaved with this. As he matures a little more, I will be happy to feed him natural pray that can be caught locally.
Here are a few more pics of Odin:
Feel free to follow me on Instagram: Lee Craven I share this guy’s mug shots more than I should.