Wow – you really are looking for some interesting info! The Wolf dog is a spectacular, but pretty controversial animal, too. Since this article covers all the necessary information you should take into consideration before getting one, you are definitely in the right place!
We can say that these large canines, which you can easily mistake for pure wolves, are certainly not for everyone.
First, your neighbors (if there are any) will probably hate you for owning it because great chances are that seeing a wolf-resembling dog wandering around the back yard will make them feel uncomfortable.
In fact, some people are even terrified of common breeds – imagine their reaction when they spot a wolf dog near them!
Secondly, the price and costs are high, and not everyone can afford it. They are quite pricey as you will see.
Thirdly, extensive experience is required from the owner because this crossbreed has specific and challenging characteristics.
Now, it is high time we checked the wolf dog price, and everything else that is important before getting one.
2022 Wolf Dog Price
As mentioned earlier, the price is everything but cheap.
Usually, a wolf dog puppy costs between $1000 and $5000 (with additional transportation cost if necessary). But, there are more affordable options since older dogs are cheaper (around $350 to $500), and there may be an opportunity to adopt one.
Although the AKC does not consider them as an actual breed, that means nothing to wolf dog breeders because costs are simply high for these dogs.
It is also interesting that there is no official term for this breed. It is, in fact, a cross between a wolf and a domesticated dog. Basically, it is a crossbreed, but in terms of price, it is more expensive than some purebred dogs!
If you are still interested in getting one, you should know that with the initial cost of paying for a puppy (or an older dog) comes many other expenses because these canines are not cheap to maintain. A special/exotic dog requires lots of cash you need to prepare.
Given the fact that their lifespan is 13 to 16 years, you need to carefully check all the relevant facts and details to make sure you can afford one.
Keep reading to find out more about ownership costs.
Ownership Costs – What To Expect
Owning a wolf dog is like owning an exotic animal.
They are not like typical domesticated dogs since they are large – just watch any YouTube video showing them near German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, or Alaskan Malamutes.
You will see that you were wrong if you thought that these breeds are very wolf-like. Well… they are, but when compared to wolf dogs (the real thing!), they look like teddy bears.
A wolf-dogs’ size and appearance are important because they tell you that wolf-like features will affect the costs in many ways. Now, we shall see why.
Give That Beautiful Beast Some Space (And A Fence, Too!)
As you can see, these dogs require space. They are very energetic, and they need to run a lot. But, this is not all – they are also known as escape artists, which means that you need a fence, too, and not a regular one! What were we expecting? :))
So, a heavy chain-link fence is a must (one that is at least eight feet high, and angled), but there is the additional cost of erecting it. In other words, imagine a large fenced-in area, and how much that would cost. While you may have enough room for a wolfie, you may not have the required fence.
Wolf dogs should be kept in a big enclosure… to be more specific – at least one half to a full acre is necessary so that they can roam freely.
Another important thing here is that they often try to dig out of their enclosure (escape artists, remember?), which means another possible cost.
That is why it is suggested that you ensure buried concrete barriers with mesh that is reinforced. They should be placed along the base of the fence.
As for gates, you will need double gates that are at least six feet tall. You will also need ground drainage so that they can find dry areas when needed (during wet weather).
A Dog House And Vegetation
Yes, your wolfie needs a dog house, too. It should be big enough, and with a shelf so that it can sit up high when the weather is bad. Such a dog house would cost around $210.
As for vegetation, the enclosure needs to include grass and trees (but not near the fence – you can guess why). It should resemble a natural habitat so that the dog does not get bored and prone to becoming destructive.
Not A Typical Dog Diet (Plus Pricy, Too)
A wolf dog’s stomach has not evolved to digesting commercial dog food (no surprise). Carbs and preservatives found in such food are not good for these beasts.
Wolfies will not thrive on dog kibble for sure. Not even the best food for Rotties or Cane Corso food will be enough. They should be fed raw meat and raw whole bones, to be specific – at several pounds a day. This is quite expensive in the long run.
You can feed them raw chicken or turkey (pork should be avoided since it can cause digestive issues).
As you can see, wolfies should eat what wild wolves eat in the wilderness… simple as that.
Many wolfies also enjoy some fruits and vegetables, but you should check with a vet if particular fruits and veggies are safe for them.
Supplements are also a great addition to their diet because they can prevent some common health issues such as digestive problems, skin issues, arthritis, and parasites.
It is suggested that you include the following supplements: vitamins (D, B, A, C, E), glucosamine, wheatgrass, and alfalfa.
Common Health Issues
Generally, wolf dogs are healthy animals. They do not get common genetic health problems like hip dysplasia, but they can get the following:
1. Rabies, parvovirus, distemper
2. Canine ailments such as ticks, fleas, heartworms (prevention costs $20)
4. Other illnesses such as coccidia issues, kennel cough, giardiasis, and so on.
Possible Vet Costs
As for vet costs, vet visits vary depending on the issue. It is not the same if your wolfie visits a vet for a routine checkup or for some serious reason.
You should ensure at least one or two routine checkups a year, which is around 100 to 200 dollars total. Routine vaccinations are a must, too, although there are no approved ones for them.
Another crucial thing here is that you should first check which vet will work with wolf dogs. Not every vet is able and willing to take care of a wolf dog (especially if it is illegally owned).
Take a look at these standard and other vet procedures, and approximate costs:
|Office visit||$50 to $60|
|Rabies shot||$24 to $26|
|Spay package||$380 to $550
|Neuter package||$350 to $460
|Tooth extraction||$40 to $400|
|Allergy testing||$200 to $300|
|Basic blood tests||$70 to $150|
|Basic urine tests||$20 to $50|
|X-rays||$70 to $150|
|Medication||$50 to $150|
|Hospitalization||$50 to $200 (per night)|
It is also important to check what pet insurance companies offer. Some policies cover only basic vet care or illnesses and accidents for $5 to $10 a month. Other, more expensive ones will cover more issues ($50 to $100).
Other Supplies For Your Wolf Dog
What else should a wolf dog owner prepare for this canine?
Well, check these suggestions:
1. An indestructible dog bowl ($10 to $27) – the name says it all
2. A no-pull harness ($25 to $40) – prevents pulling too hard, and makes walking easier
3. Stuffed animal toys ($23) – to entertain your wolfie
4. Bully chews ($13 to $20) – great, especially in their puppy phase because you do not want your dog to chew your shoes
5. A reflective collar ($12 to $20) – this helps if your dog gets lost because a flashlight will show where it is in the dark
6. Rake-style brushes ($12 to $36) – for grooming, especially handy in the spring when wolfies lose their winter coat (they have a double coat, and in that period, they lose their undercoat)
7. A collar ($20 to $25)
These are the basic supplies, but you can add more to this list. Other costs include grooming (around $75 per session), damage to your property (if it gets bored, it will definitely destroy some of your things), and all other unforeseen costs.
Where Can I Buy A Wolf Dog?
In case you were wondering where you can purchase one, here is a list of breeders and the price range:
1. Highland Farms (Hillsboro, Ohio) – $1,400+-
2. Bear Paw Farms (Rutherfordton, North Carolina) – $1,500
3. Rare Breed Exotics (Napa, California) – $3,000 to $5,000
4. Black eagle wolfdogs (Rocksprings, Texas) – $1,700 to $3,500
5. Wolf dog at Howling Hickory Hollow (Fort Payne, Alabama) – $1,500
6. North-Woods Kennel (St Ignatius, Montana) – $1,200
7. Heartland Wolfdogs (North Judson, Indiana) – $3,500
8. Wolf-dog hybrid puppies (Belington, West Virginia) – $1,275
Note that this is only the purchase price. Shipping (if you need it, and if the breeders actually offer it) is an additional cost.
Also, a wolf hybrid puppies’ average purchase price is $900, while top-quality ones can be from $2,500 to $5,000.
Wait… Are Wolf Dogs Legal?
This is a very good question because there are no consistent nationwide laws – not even at the county or city level!
This is really confusing, and it is best to check with your state’s different regulatory agencies before trying to buy such an exotic animal.
Wolf-dog Illegal States
These are the states that do not allow wolf dogs:
Wyoming, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York, District of Columbia, Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut.
Remember that wolfies can get confiscated and euthanized in these states! Breeders will warn you of this, and if you live in any of these states, they will refuse to sell you a puppy.
Wolf Dog Breed – A Brief Overview
Wolves and dogs share the same ancestry, and it is interesting that they date back to around 30,000 years. Historical evidence shows that it was 10,000 years ago when their natural breeding occurred in Europe.
So, the first prehistoric wolf dogs were documented then, but intentional dog and wolf hybridization began around the 18th century.
However, BCSPCA says that dog-wolf crossbreeding counteracts 12000 years of the process of domestication. This is the reason why they are not officially classified as a dog breed.
While the AKC does not recognize them, the FCI recognizes the Czechoslovakian wolf dog and the Saarloos wolf dog.
To continue, wolf dogs are hybrids – a mix of a domestic dog and a gray wolf. Their looks are particularly interesting because the arctic wolf (or a timber wolf) is mostly used for breeding. But, for some people, their appearance is intimidating.
They are known as strong, intelligent, loyal, and very active dogs.
The following section deals with general characteristics.
Wolf dogs are a crossbreed whose adult size varies from 25 to 33 inches. Their weight can be anywhere from 60 to 120 pounds. There is no particular scientific name for them, and their lifespan is from 13 to 16 years. They mostly come in black, white, and grizzled sable color.
They retain the instinctive behavior of their wild relatives, and that can be challenging.
Wolfies generally do not stand as easy-going pets, and they can often be aggressive. They are not considered as a good choice for a family with small children because of that. Plus, they are not good watch dogs.
As far as training, standard dog training is not adequate for them, which is another challenge.
Their exercise needs are high, and owners need to be well-prepared for that.
They also have a high prey drive. No surprise!
Now, check the following distinction which shows how wolfy this dog looks and behaves.
Low-content Wolf Dog (1-49%)
Low-content dogs should have some wolf-like characteristics. They are better suited to domestic life than high-content dogs. But, it is still like a wild animal in many ways!
The evidence of wolf ancestry is seen in their independence, behavior, and temperament.
Mid-content Wolf Dog (50-74%)
These are also easier to handle than high-content wolfies. They resemble actual wolves better than low-content dogs since they show a high level of wolf behavior. They are also very energetic.
High-content Wolf Dog (75%+)
These are almost indistinguishable from pure wolves. They have very few dog features – no more than three. Their behavior and appearance are very similar to those of a real wolf. It is really easy to mistake a wolf dog pup for a wolf pup, and an adult wolf dog for an actual wolf!
Note that only a DNA test will confirm the actual wolf content. Also, the price does not vary much regarding the wolf content.
To sum up, it is far from cheap to purchase and maintain this canine. A wolf dog’s price can be between $1,000 and $5,000, but that is just the initial cost. Other costs mentioned earlier are quite high in the long run, and not everyone can afford such an exotic animal.
Another extremely important thing here is that this dog is nothing like a typical retriever or a Poodle. It is questionable whether they make good pets, and if you want to purchase one, it is advisable that you make sure that your family members agree with it.
Next, wolf-like aesthetics do continue to fascinate people, which is obvious if you know how popular the German Shepherd dog, the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky, and some other breeds are. But, remember that these dogs are different from wolf dogs, and they are purebred, too.
Finally, if you want to own this beautiful beast, make sure that you really can – not only in terms of money, but also regarding all other challenges discussed in this article.
I hope that you have found this article helpful, and good luck with your wolfie if you become a future owner!