If you are blessed with a young animal, please start crate training asap! Please note this is not as a lifestyle but a tool for when the animal has to be placed safely up when you are not around. It is great for older dogs too, remember to start with little increments of time, as younger dogs are learning to hold their bladder. We will not expound on the training itself, but talk about the importance of it as a tool, and how to utilize it to your advantage. We are talking about indoor containment.
Dogs are naturally den animals, they like to feel snuggled down and feel safe, it is not cruel to crate your animal in your home for small increments of time. It is however cruel to leave them there as a lifestyle, which means for the most part, they live there and rarely leave. With a wolfdog you have to be kind, have strong leadership skills, committed and be proactive! They are some work, but oh' so worth it! Containment of the WOLFDOG is two fold, indoor and out door.
If you are not going to be a good parent....this is not the companion pet for you. It is not a animal that you may ignore and leave in a back yard as a lifestyle.
Wolfdogs are highly social animals and you are the PACK!...THIS IS WERE THEY BELONG, with you and a part of you, when you are not around, they should have a companion pet to balance out separation anxiety. Start with good habits now to avoid frustration later.
Providing a kennel for inside your home is the first in a responsible step for proper indoor contaiment, or a gated corral for smaller animals..(pups). This is a safe place for small amounts of time, is wonderful and the animal can connect in a healthy manner with its need to den. It teaches boundries and helps with your alpha leadership, as you give directions, and the animal follows your instruction and it is being reinforced. If I have to leave the house and my pups are with me indoors, I say "in your yard"...they jump up and run to my back door, I open it, they run speedily to their enclosed area, waiting my arrival to open the door. If the door is open, they run in and wait for me to close the door. I always follow the closing with the door, GOOD BOY.....GOOD GIRL!..smiling at them. This is also works well with the crate. "in your house" followed with a goodboy or goodgirl. Your tone should be pleasing and smile alot. They are reading you!
While the wolfog is placed securely, make it a positive and safe place with rawhide and soft toys to amuse or occupy themselves with. Wolfdogs love to chew!..... It is not proper for your animal to roam around your house unsupervised. You must see them as a small child and plan accordingly as to be proactive to prevent problems that could be frustrating to you and the animal's relationship, especially as a young pup. My goodness, watch those cords!..not only can the trip and knock the items down, they can chew too as pups. When we are home, our pooches are indoors with us and we are enjoying each others company, certain places they are not allowed to roam alone in our home as adults (the kitchen). But when we leave, we like to place them safely in their play yard, or enclosure. We are in complete harmony, as we plan accordingly everyone know what to expect. Now this was not over night, but like children they like you to be predictable, but in a positive manner that will give them security in the expectations of both them and YOU.
The second security containment, should be a outdoor play yard should be constructed with care. Fencing should be at least 6 feet or more, chain or heavy duty wire or block. Note, WOLFDOGS a like to dig, a footer may have to be placed down, or a type of hog wire for the flooring. This is not always the case, but a huge issue for some high content animals. (note any animal, even dogs, can get diggy) We created our play yard with it directly facing us from our sliding glass door, so at a moment notice we can see them and know how they are, or what they are up too!
(Including WATCHING THEM catching birds right out of the AIR!!!!!)
The WOLFDOG CONTAINMENT should be large enough for running and jumping and playing. We have placed some stone benches that they can run on, lay on/perch and us to sit on, when we are in the area. Please note that these should be placed in the middle of the area and not near walls or fencing that could encourage the animal to jump on to and over the enclosure to say hello to your neighbors! Some higher content animals may need a cement floor poured down as digging can again be a issue in HC.
In our play yard we also have a covered area for shade, that gives them the den feeling. The floor is layed down with several feet of sand for the summer, that we water down and soak daily, that keeps them cool and provides the ability to dig to get their fix. Under the sand we have placed hog wire, so they cannot burrow to china! In the winter and fall we cover the same area with hay/straw, that again provides the need to nest down with it gets chilly. Our animals are highly socialized and we have raised them since birth, not at all wild, however wild and unsocialized animals do require different enclosers and yes, maybe a hot wire. Ours are companion pets and have been raised differently, as we are intimately connected to them. So please note that some circumstances are not a one size fits all for a animal, there are different variables here to be weighed. We don't even chain our animals accept to walk. Knowing what is proper will help you be a better owner and lessen the likelihood of you rehoming your animal out of frustration and unreal expectations. Wolfdogs require care and special attention. They are not for everyone, busy people need not bother, they are best with experienced dog owners who are willing to invest in all areas of their life. They make for great companions if a person is willing to nurture their nature and stay committed to their care.
Keep in mind, in any area, indoor or outdoor they are going to need mental stimulation, chews, toys ect. Be a good dog parent and roll with the changes, you will be glad you did.