SOCIALIZATION OF THE WOLFDOG/
THE WOLFDOG COMMUNITY
How successful or on point a owner/trainer is with
socializing a wolfdog, including a wolfdog pup, will be determined by several factors, both physical and emotional, as well as environmental.
Many wolfdogs by their nature, do indeed ( have natural inherent instincts) the tendency to be shy do to their wolfish nature found in the blending of these two worlds they share, dog and wolf. Wolves are just hard wired to survive in their territories, and that is why they have always been the top predator in the wild, the wolf that is, aloof and mysterious.
When you bring your wolfdog into your home to share your life, remember it is not just a dog, but a wolfdog, it may be shy and if you leave it for a moment, it may howl for you to please come back. This may or may not happen..but dont be surprised! Wolfdog puppies require an incredible amount of attention and socialization
in their early age (from birth to 4 to five months old, that is the crucial window) If you want to narrow it down some more, its birth to 8 weeks.
Via wolf research for imprinting, remember a wolfdog is a blending/marriage of the two. It is very important to give the best socialization
possible to a very impressionable wolfdog pup, and early as possible! This has been our experience, and we have been very successful with raising wolfdog pups to adulthood. Our own personal wolfdogs are incredible sweet and affectionate. Details to the raising of these pups are paramount to desirable outcomes.
It is the process of introductions followed by positive reinforcements, this is what is imprinting on the wolfdog and wolfdog pups.
Some say it is crucial to remove the pups from the adult female and bottle feed, I disagree. Let the mother feed them, isn't her milk so much better with its antibodies than a formula or goats milk mixture!....If your wolfdog cubs are not born in your home, there the issues can arise, as they are most likely in a den and of course in need of the socialization towards humans, and thus the reason why they get pulled to be bottle feed. Now this can be turned around and less traumatic, by just whelping indoors with a highly socialized animal that will allow her human friends to help. The missing link, there is no need to bottle feed, and pups still get handled all day long with mom's permission! (WINNING!!!!)
WE having again, been very successful in raising ours, this is our personal experience.
Of course my approach is different (and so are my animals) It is my opinion and thus so far, I have been very successful in it and raising incredibly fine wolfdogs that are just lovers! This approach is to wolfdog pups, and our females that give birth in our home and highly socialized wolfdog. We have indeed assisted in her deliveries and help the dam thru her process, even tearing the sacks off and presenting her with her pups. Our animals allow us and it is relational, we adore each other. We monitor the pups day and night handling them switching them off her in rotations to make sure they are all well feed. The pups hear us, not yet see us, but yes smell us, as we lay old laundry down for them. We are always there near and our presence felt as part of the pack, which equal a wonderful bonding experience.
Our Dam does her part, and we are constantly assisting her and her whims. This allows our Dam to feed her pups until they are weened and healthy while we bond and touch the pups all during the day. Most people do not always have this approach or have the time to do so, so they prefer the dam to birth outside and pups acclimated to other dogs first. Here lies the issue... when a pup imprints too strongly on the other older animals (pack), as that is where they are spending all their time, it can become to pack orientated to those dogs and less to people. You only have a few weeks to turn this around and lots of hard work to do if you start out late.
It is recommended that when you have a pup, to spend more time with it than it spends with other animals, this is also important with rehabbing an animal for adoption to build the bond of trust. The key is balance. You must be the pack, not on the outside looking in. This is paramount for the foundation of a great relationship and a huge part for proper development for socialization that is well rounded. The beginning!
That means that you have to take them out as much as you can, but avoid contact with other dogs that you are not sure of (strange dogs) do to the vaccination issues that may arise be wise and pro active. After about a few shots the animal should be well on his way to good health and your focus then can change to hanging out more carefree, without so many troubles to worry about.
A wolfdog puppy has to see/experience thru the senses into the world – other people on the street, cars, homes, animals, car rides, leash training, other dogs than yours! Not to mention trains, buses, loud noises, children and schools, playgrounds, Plants, odors.......smelling they see as a portrait, and landscape shape etc. Life well rounded. Everything that they may experience in life, so we want to dispel the fear. The best age for socializing the puppy is from the moment you get him. Don't hog him to yourself, he must know everyone, love everyone! Someday you might not be around, they need someone besides you to take care of them.
You cannot miss the window! The earlier they see everything, the
bigger chance that your wolfdog will grow up into a calm and
self-confident wolfdog and exhibit winning behavior that will not get scared off by anything or regress to fear biting. This winning behavior makes for a good will wolfdog ambassador for the breed that is highly misunderstood.
Like a small child, they have to learn to become accustomed to new surroundings and the proper behavior in them, this also includes the feeding as a social event.
When meeting up with other animals, take note of other dogs, they will quickly try to establish pack order, this is normal but needs to be controlled.. Some animals play well with others, some do not. You want to watch for over aggression. A little nip here or there can be normal for a wolfdog. All dogs like to feel the other pooch out. Wolfdogs will always reestablish pack order upon entering into the pack again...a mild nipping and chasing/barking/or rolling of the animal entering back in. The severity/intensity has a lot to do with ranking...who is doing what to whom and the natural personalities of the particular canines involved.
When feeding your pooch aka wolfdog, he must eat
last. In the order he is in the house. For example if you just have
one pet him or her, you eat first, let him watch you, then feed him, you are sending a message....and hence reinforcing a boundary. With other pets, feed in the order they are in your house hold if he is
the pup. Feed the adults first, then the pup.
Try never to get out of
order, as it could cause an upset or jealousy. That is a whole different
subject. We just want to focus on the social order as a event. This
event can and will change over time with your animals. But as the
leader, you must reinforce the social order to promote harmony. Its not
cruel or being mean, it is just the way it is.
A quick note to point out in pups or
adults, they will naturally bond to who ever spends the most time with
them, and makes them feel secure by firm leadership. This is a
important issue in the levels of social development of the wolfdog, as
they are always DIALED IN.
Believe it or not, they want to have rules to follow, and orders to be
given, it defines them by their nature. Step up and be active.
Remember when bringing in an adult or a pup, slowly let them spend time together and always watchful, making sure there is proper order at all times. Maintain good energy, but let them feel your leadership, be strong and consistent. Mean what you say and say what you mean, but give them lots of love and attention in between. Remember to kiss and makeup quickly if they are naughty.
MOST OF ALL ENJOY THE TIME YOU HAVE TOGETHER, YOU WILL LEARN ALOT FROM YOUR WOLFDOG, MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ALOT ABOUT YOURSELF.
These are AHA'S
opinions....they are based on OUR cumulative personal experiences with
wolfdogs. One cannot discount a actual experience or experiences AND
how they have shaped our views.