“To look into the eyes of the wolf is to see your own soul- hope you like what you see”
This quote is really accurate in a way. Wolves and wolfdogs are extremely sensitive creatures, and their expressions and behavior are a direct reaction of how they’re treated. Wolfdogs are naturally fearful of humans and of novel things, and need an incredible amount of kindness, patience, encouragement, and love to help them interact with the world in a positive way, allowing them to slowly build confidence. So many people seem to think that because wolves and wolfdogs can look intimidating, it means they are animals that need a heavy hand, strong correction, or to be “dominated” in order to fit into the world properly. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Wolves and wolfdogs are amongst the most intelligent, sensitive, and easily impressionable animals on the planet. They are innately curious, silly, loving, nonfighting animals. But they have an incredible survival instinct, and are “single-event learner,” meaning it just takes one encounter for them to make up their minds forever about something. Any negative experience associated with a person, place, thing, or action can be enough for them to become fearful of it forever! Raising a Wolfdog through adolescence is all about guiding them to have as many positive interactions with the world as possible, and about building a strong bond based on trust and kindness and respect. Any cruelty, intimidation, violence, or harsh discipline with these guys will only result in an animal that is fearful, and may lash out because of it. Despite the common myth that wolves and wolfdogs are viscous and violent, the truth is that they are sensitive, emotional, and innately peaceful animals- they will defend themselves or lash out it desperate and given no other option, but such behavior is not the norm. So, in short, if you want a strong, bombproof, “tough guy” dog, then a Wolfdog is actually the opposite of what you’re seeking!