‘Temperament Test/Behavior Evaluation’
FOR THE WOLFDOG
All wolfdogs are not the
same, there are so many variables in their makeup. This includes what they are bred with, socialized, temperaments, biology, precentages, ect. This all plays in to the pooch. Before considering taking any animal into responsible placement into your realm, please do your own qualifying. These article will help empower you with the tools do this, and this information should assist in making the wolfdog behavior evaluation connection, so you can have a clue at what you are looking for. It should be a good fit...not perfect, but comfortable. You are looking to be realistic in you own lifes' personal inventory. This includes your lifestyle, knowledge of breed type and yes your personality coupled with time and resources ect, you have to plan with a wolfdog and it's care.
The WOLFDOG overview: For your personal pets...or for the rescue person, will this animal be a good fit...or a good candidate for being able to rehome.
1. Define exactly what you want in your companion wolfdog pet, can you care for it properly? This includes also feeding, and housing, socializing ect.
2. Define exactly if the wolfdog will fit into your current lifestyle (consider your living space, schedule, activity level, ability to be a leader, and more.). Be realistic. How a check list for local, state laws.
3. Write out your answers to both points above. Yes, write it out. No, you cannot skip this
4. Print the wolfdog check list. Bring it with you to meet your two most important sources of information: 1) the wolfdog, 2) and the person who knows the dog best (the current caretaker for the dog, breeder, rescue, ect).
5. Use the checklist to evaluate the wolfdog you are considering. Interact with the wolfdog in every way listed. If needed, take pics and notes on what you see.
6. Now go over every item on the checklist with the person who knows the wolfdog best (rescue worker, breeder ect). Listen to their experiences and opinion. Take notes again if needed, document....document.
7. Trust your own impression, your redflag, or knower, just as much as that of the rescue worker, breeder, or current caretaker.
8. Take your time and be honest with yourself about the results of your evaluation, dont make it happen if it is not a good fit. If in doubt, dont do it, as it rarely works.
9. Make a choice. Wait a sec. Take a deep breath, think about both your futures. Now, look at numbers 1 through 8 again carefully. Okay, now make a choice, can you live with this type of companion that is before you????.
(By the way, your choice could be to wait until you meet another wolfdog or dog ect.
"How to Choose a Great WolfDog behavioral Checklist"
it is your go to guide for placement with a new owner.
This could be done thru private sell, adoptions, purchase, fostering, rescue ect. It does not guarantee success, but it will help as your compass in choosing THE BEST PLACEMENT/FIT.
Each item below will give you a characteristic to evaluate, then a
listing of example responses to help you “see” the different reactions
the wolfdog is displaying, remember to keep in mind, it is not always completely accurate as the animal maybe stressed, ect. (The entire range of possible responses is not
Two things to remember
If you are uncertain of a wolfdog’s response to being touched/examined/hugged, or to being disturbed while eating or playing – do NOT perform those components without the aid of a professional, as you can be placing yourself in harm's way...you may not know how to read the subtle cue's of wolfdog body language.
(the rescue worker or
breeder should be able to help); Remember you are a stranger..and not their pack, sometimes they are nervous, and they see you as not having proper pack manners.
2. If you are unsure how to interpret the behaviors you are seeing in the dog, hire an experience impartial animal professional or consultant in wolfdog behaviors, they will help assist in the behavior evaluation....And… trust your gut, on everything, if it does not vibe right...stick with your decision
Okay, here we go, we had to prep you first!!!
. Let’s have some fun and get down to the business of knowing your canines, and get to know some new canines.
Look at your candidate wolfdog in all of the following categories: that apply!
Interest in people (you), some wolfdogs are friendly, some can be shy, it could be due to many factors such as not be properly socialized, or a high content. remember you are not their pack, so what is their reaction to....
Reaction to strangers.
Friendly, shy, disinterested, scared, aggressive?
Style of approach to you, then others, when it comes to a wolfdog, threatening is a real back off situation and can be dangerous. Animals like this, need very special handling, as they are very difficult to work with. A good canidate is going to be respectful, gentle, maybe a little jumper, as they can get excited. A mouth lick great is typical.
Respectful, gentle, fearful, jumper, physical, threatening?
Response to petting and touch. Hopefully the animal will be responsive...as it will be very workable. You want them to seek this out, as a natural way of bonding and reward system for training.
Loves it, wants more, could care less, doesn’t like?
If safe, give the dog a hug. This is very much a in your space concept. Does the dog tolerate it well, or whale eyeing you???
Then try restraining the dog in your arms.
Tolerant, not tolerant, fusses then relaxes?
Response to body examination.
Tolerant, not tolerant, fusses then relaxes, threatens you?
Chases a toy, grabs the toy, no response to toy, knows how to fetch,
response to squeaker, wolfdogs have strong prey drives...they should respond to a high pitched squeeker...and want to seek it out.
Mouth control and bite pressure.
your hands/clothes, allows you to open mouth easily, bites hard, bites
soft, takes treats gently, takes treats hard, has no care for where her
mouth goes, controls her mouth precisely? Some wolfdogs are very food oriented...they can get real excited by the treat. Let them know you have it...but say gentle or easy, easy...and slowly have them respond to you handing over the treat.
Holding a Toy Over a wolfodogs Head to Test Play Drive and Mouth Control. Have them Waiting Patiently.
Relaxed about the removal of food and toys from his possession, shows signs of anxiety or aggression if food or toys are approached or touched?
Signs of possessiveness may be subtle. These include: Tenses up, direct stare, turns/runs away, growls, shows teeth, snaps, eats faster, escalates intensity. Non-possessive dogs will be indifferent, relaxed, have a loose body and facial expression.
Response to stern voice/verbal correction.
Interrupt an action with your voice.
Stops for a second, stops completely and looks at you, cowers, hides, no response, barks at you, growls at you, the latter of the two is not the best choice.
Sensitivity to noise.
Drop your clipboard on a hard surface or bang a food bowl.
Stops for a second, stops completely and looks at you, cowers, hides, no response, barks at you, growls at you...or maybe just curious, and waiting.
Reaction to you running.
Run away from the wolfdog to invite a mild chase.
Chases you, grabs you, jumps on you, barks at you, ignores you completely?
Interaction with children (children or small animals should never be left alone with any woldog or dog, to be proactive for safety)
If you have any, bring them. If not, try to see the dog with other children.
Respectful, gentle, fearful, jumper, physical, threatening, mouthy?
Dog to dog interactions.
See 3 different types of dogs if you can.
Social, non-social, friendly, knows how to greet politely, does not know how to greet, knows how to play, does not know how to play?
Dog to cat interactions.
This is a tough one that is not always available. I would still ask and find out as much as you can, especially if you have cats, wolfdogs can have a strong pray drive...all animals should be considered in the home before bringing in a wolfdog.
Respectful, gentle, fearful, chasing, grabbing, injuring, obsessed, can’t distract?
Walking on leash/outdoors
History of going potty in the owner’s chosen place? History of accidents in the wrong places? this info may be not available if the animal is a young pup or a rescue as a clear history has not been established.
Any involuntary urination such as submissive or excitement peeing, or submissive peeing, this is normal in young animals or pups?
Response to being separated in their own area such as crate, pen, or separate room?
Response to separation.
History of response to being left alone in the home? What happens when someone leaves the room? Has there ever been any separation from littermates or other dog she may have been boarding/living with? (If not, initial transitions are tough, be prepared to work on this.) Wolfdogs do best with a companion animal to keep them company.
By the time you’ve done all of the above, you should have an idea of this. What kinds of vocalizations did you hear in your evaluation. As always, you will also ask the person who knows the dog best in order to learn about other situations where vocalizations may occur. Some wolfdogs yap, bark, howl. Can you handle the possibilities of all the above?
Barker, whiner, howler, bayer? Loud or soft? High-pitched or low-pitched? What triggers these vocalizations? Attention-seeking barking? Excitement barking? Territorial? Separation? Etc.
Now that this all has been compiled...be realistic and fair to yourself and the animal...is it going to be a good fit? Or are you trying to fit a square peg into a round hole!