Raising wolves and hybrids as pets: this is important to note

Wolves are wonderful and beautiful animals. A number of fairy tales, epics, feature films and, above all, the fantasy series “Game of Thrones” fuel the hype around wolves. Keeping graceful creatures like dogs as pets seems to be an attractive idea to some. But is it possible to keep a wolf as a pet in Germany? What about the wolf hybrid?

Can you keep a wolf as a pet?

The short and succinct answer to the possibility of keeping a wolf as a pet is no. Not only in Germany, but also in many other countries, keeping a wolf is forbidden and rightly so. The wolf has been included in the Washington Convention on Endangered Species since 1977, and is therefore part of it Species of animals that must be strictly protected. Once one intentionally disturbs, hunts, or kills animals, the person is liable to prosecution. Implementation of wolf protection status is regulated at the European level under the Berne Convention. In it, the contracting parties undertake to provide full protection for the wolf and its habitat.

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Situation: This must be taken into account with the wolf

If you still want to keep a wolf as a pet, you should first contact the responsible veterinary office. There it is clear in advance whether wolves can be kept. If the permit is granted, there are strict requirements that the holder must meet. Among others are the following:

  • The wolf should not remain in the apartment. There should be a large, secure outer container. This should provide a sufficient number of trees and retreat options, as well as a high fence.
  • In addition, wolves are considered herd animals. He suffers from loneliness because it is not in his nature. The wolf must never be alone!
  • It takes a lot to raise wolves – even if they have the same grandparents – Wolves are not dogs.

How similar are dogs and wolves?

Dogs are descended from wolves – yes, even a tiny Chihuahua. However, the paths that the wolf and the dog took 10,000 years ago are completely different. While wolves remain wild, shy and inaccessible animals, dogs have forgotten how to be independent. Or rather, they were bred precisely for this dependence. So over 10,000 years, the dog has evolved into “man’s best friend,” socializing through it and learning to live with us.

On the other hand, a wolf follows only its primal impulses. This also includes avoiding people whenever possible. Wolves are very shy and therefore can become dangerous if they feel threatened. The wolf does not understand human language. He can’t do anything with our facial expressions and gestures, while the dog has learned to “read” to us.

What are wolf hybrids?

The noise surrounding the wolf was not broken. In order to get as close as possible to the appearance and behavior of the wolf, people began to breed hybrid wolves. Wolf hybrids are crosses between a wolf and a dog. The first generations are referred to as F1 wolf hybrids. The letter F stands for the breeding generation or subsequent generation. The higher the number after the letter “F”, the further away the animal is from its wolf ancestor.

Therefore, strict species protection regulations for wolves also apply to wolf hybrids of the first four generations (F1 to F4). They may only be kept with official approval and must be placed in large containers.

Find out here how expensive it really is to keep a dog and whether it is worth getting insurance for your pet.

Breeding hybrid wolves as pets

Only fifth-generation wolf hybrids are allowed to be kept. However, there are two breeds of exceptions: the Czechoslovakian wolf and the Saarloos wolfhound. They are hybrid wolves, but they are recognized as dog breeds in Germany. Their origin from the wolf goes back ten generations.

Because of the wolf’s genes, later generations not only look very similar to their wild ancestors. There are also similarities with the behavior of wolves. As a wild animal, the wolf naturally avoids contact with humans. It is shy, fearful and suspicious of noises and people – characteristics that a wolf hybrid could also adopt. The closer the hybrid is to the wolf, the stronger the family bond. In other words, the animal suffers from the pain of separation and cannot live on its own. So good socialization should take place. For the welfare of the animal, but also to protect the owners and their neighbors, for example. Conserving these animals requires a lot.

Animal Welfare: Keeping Hybrid Wolves Critical

Under the hashtags #wolfdog and #wolfshybrid, you can find many photos and videos in social media where the attitude of mixed breeds like “Game of Thrones” looks like child’s play and romance. This is why the World Organization for Animal Protection criticized her: “In our opinion, the distribution of videos and photos that depict non-critically should be refused to keep wolf hybrids as pets. This can increase the demand for animals and lead to animal suffering.”

Wolf as a pet? not better

From the organization’s point of view, anyone who wants to keep their wild animal should ask themselves exactly what is the motive behind it. Maintenance is very expensive and complicated. Professional sanctuaries or wildlife parks are better off making a donation than having to take in the animals later because the owners are overwhelmed. Plus, local animal shelters have been full of animals looking for a new home since the coronavirus pandemic. Starting with active live animal care!

Image source: Imago Images / Mario Plechaty

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