Dog Breed Info Center(R) DBIC

Non-Wolfdogs

Wolf / Domestic Dog Hybrid Dogs - Mistaken Identity

Close up head and upper body shot - A black and tan German Shepherd mix is laying across from a big tub outside. It has a thick coat and brown eyes.

Shiloh the German Shepherd mix

A lot of Nordic type dogs crossed with breeds such as the German Shepherd are often mistaken as wolfdogs, but actually have no wolf in them. Another popular cross often mistaken for a wolfdog is the Alaskan Malamute mixed with a Husky (Alusky). This section shows examples of non-wolfdogs that are often mistaken as part wolf. If you look carefully at the dogs, comparing them to the dogs pictured on the wolfdog page and then study some of the pictures of the Nordic dog types you will begin to pick up on the differences in appearance.

It is important that people learn the difference. There are many dogs in shelters that are killed because they look like wolves when they are actually Nordic type dogs, such as Husky or Malamute mixes. Falsely labeling animals as wolfdogs in shelters can be detrimental. Nordic dogs are being killed and wolfdogs are not going to the proper rescues where there are people who know how to deal with them.

If you own a dog that is often mistaken as part wolf and would like to share, send in a picture(s).

The left side of a black and tan German Shepherd mix that is laying across a dirt surface. It is panting and there is a bucket of water behind it. It has brown eyes and small perk ears.

Shiloh is a very timid German Shepherd mix that spent approximately 6 months chained outside. When the owners no longer wanted him they turned him loose and he spent months on the street. When he was finally caught and impounded by animal control he was emaciated and flea infested. However, he looked part wolf in the eyes of animal control and employees were too afraid to interact with Shiloh. In fact Shiloh was more afraid of them in reality. Shiloh does NOT have any wolf content and is mostly GSD. His fearfulness can be attributed to the neglect he suffered but if you take the proper time Shiloh will slowly gain trust in you. He is very happy with his female companion Ellie who is a mid-content wolfdog. Both Shiloh and Ellie are fixed.

A German Shepherd mix and a mid-content wolfdog are playing with each other in a dirt field inside of a fence. They both have their mouths open and they are biting at each other's faces.

Shiloh the German Shepherd mix (right) with Ellie, a mid-content wolfdog (left)

A German Shepherd mix and a mid-content wolfdog are standing adjacent to each other in a dirt field. The wolfdog has brown eyes and the dog has yellow eyes.

Shiloh the German Shepherd mix (left) with Ellie a mid-content wolfdog (right)

The left side of a German Shepherd/Malamute mix that is drinking water out of a tub in a field. It is holding its tail down low and it has small perk ears.

"Meet my brat Cheyenne, shown here at 3 years old in her summer coat. Chey is a German Shepherd / Malamute mix that is frequently confused as having wolf content. I have yet to show someone a picture of her who does not ask if she is wolf or part wolf. Chey has no wolf; she just looks like she might. Cheyenne is currently 5 years old and the biggest, most spoiled baby ever. She still thinks she should spend all of her time in my lap even though she is far too big for that these days. Cheyenne was sold to me when she was 3 weeks old by a ’breeder’ that told me she was full blood. Her mother, father and grandmother were all on site and although I never believed she was full, I didn't realize what I was looking at when looking at her father and grandmother and believed her to be half. I had Cheyenne phenotyped when she was 3, only to find out that she has no wolf content in her. Had I done my research before I bought her, I wouldn't have been fooled. I don't regret getting fooled though; if not for that ‘breeder’ I wouldn't have Chey and I wouldn't have learned so much about wolfdogs."

The back right side of a black and tan German Shepherd/Malamute mix that is standing in front of a gate and a yard covered in brown leaves. It has small perk ears.

Cheyenne the German Shepherd / Malamute mix at 4 years old in her winter coat

The right side of a German Shepherd/Malamute mix that is laying in a dirt hole and it is looking forward. It has small perk ears and slanty brown eyes.

Cheyenne the German Shepherd / Malamute mix at 5 years old in her winter coat

A German Shepherd/Malamute mix is standing on a carpeted floor, it is panting and a person is touching its side.

Cheyenne the German Shepherd / Malamute mix at 10 months old

The left side of a thick coated black and tan German Shepherd/Malamute mix that is standing in a dirt yard next to a tree. It has a toy  in its mouth.

Cheyenne the German Shepherd / Malamute mix at 4 years old in her winter coat

Close up - A black and tan German Shepherd/Malamute mix is laying down on a carpet and it is looking forward. It has perk ears and a thick coat.

Cheyenne the German Shepherd / Malamute mix as a puppy at 3 months old

A black, tan and white German Shepherd/Malamute mix is standing in grass, it is looking up and its tongue is hanging out of the side of its mouth. It has large perk ears and a gray coat with brown eyes.

"This is my GSD / Malamute (or Husky) mix, Yazhi. He was sold to me as a low/mid content wolfdog. I had him phenotyped later and found out that he has no wolf in him, which was quite all right because I still love my baby boy! He is very sweet but a little shy with new people. Everywhere we go, people ask me (and sometimes argue with me) if he has wolf in him. I tell them no and explain the ways they can tell for future reference."

The right side of a black, tan and white German Shepherd/Malamute mix that is laying in the backseat of a vehicle. It has large perk ears and slanty brown eyes with a black nose.

Yazhi the GSD / Malamute (or Husky) mix at 7 months old

Close up - A thick coated tan German Shepherd/Malamute mix is laying across a persons lap in a vehicle.

Yazhi the GSD / Malamute (or Husky) mix at 7 months old

Close up - The right side of a pure white dog that is walking across a field. It is panting. The dog is a very clean white color with slany brown eyes and small perk ears that are slightly pinned back.

"I got Snow at 6 weeks old. She was a pure white fluff ball and reminded everyone of a little polar bear at that age. I was told she was 97% Arctic wolf and had I done my research and educated myself beforehand, three things right off the bat would've told me she was not. She was born pure white and was pure white at 6 weeks, and I learned even Arctic wolf pups do not phase out white until a couple months old. She was born during an off season of breeding for wolves and wolfdogs of that content. I learned they should be born ONLY during spring. And I was told a percentage of 97. Had I learned sooner, I would've realized you cannot pin an exact percent on a wolfdog; you can only tell how much wolf is in them through content: low, mid, and high. So as I learned, I came to find out Snow had absolutely no wolf in her. She has such wolfy features like a lack of stop, narrow chest, and walks in-line, however, breeds such as the German Shepherd can also display such traits. Still, to this day, I do not know exactly what Snow is. She could be a Samoyed, Malamute, Great Pyreneese, GSD, Husky mix or something along those lines. I may never find out for sure what she is, but never do I regret my mistake. She is unbelievably smart and willing to please and very loving. I found very quickly I would not have preferred to have her than a high-content ‘97%’ wolfdog anyway, at this point in life—I am just NOT ready for one. She has been a blessing to cross my path and I feel VERY lucky for making the mistake I did, but it is because of her that I finally learned about wolfdogs and got to dip my feet in the water with a Nordic breed mixed dog before going into the ocean with a true wolfdog."—Some believe Snow is a long-haired White Swiss Shepherd aka Berger Blanc Suisse.

A white fluffy puppy is laying at the top of a porch and its mouth is slightly open. It has thick long fur with golden yellow eyes, a black nose and small perk ears.

Snow at about a year old

A white fluffy puppy named snow is sitting on a tiled floor and it is looking up. It has thick fur with a black noes and dark eyes.

Snow as a puppy

The left side of a white fluffy puppy named snow that is standing on the back black couch. It has a large black nose, perk ears and dark eyes.

Snow as a puppy

Close up - The left side of a white fluffy puppy that is sitting on a couch. Its small ears fold over to the front in a v-shape.

Snow as a young puppy