The Game of Thrones fever has fans of the hit series on the hunt for their own mystical dire-wolves. The show has long ended, but there’s still an uptick of interest in the next best thing: the husky wolf mix.
Crossing a Siberian husky and a purebred wolf is an attempt at creating the perfect wolf-dog. However, because of its controversial pedigree, getting the mix is no picnic. Local restrictions make it difficult for interested owners to buy or adopt a wolf-dog because of safety issues.
After all, it’s hard to predict whether the hybrid will have wild animal tendencies. Yet, even if you have the legal documents to own one, husky wolf mixes need experienced hands and solid fences.
In this article, we’ll demystify the intriguing husky wolf mix to help you decide if it’s the right breed for you.
Origin of the Husky Wolf Mix
There’s a general notion that wolves have been copulating with tamed huskies in the polar wilderness for many years. In the U.S., it wasn’t until the 1940s that the first known breeding of husky wolf mixes came to light.
That was when they were still prized for their fur or service as guard dogs in mink farms. Today, husky wolf mixes are exotic pets that have been the subject of much debate and controversy. Are they dogs or are they wolves?
The Siberian Husky
The husky’s wolfish good looks and crescent-shaped tail are proof of a romance between the wolf and the moon. That’s according to a Chukchi folktale! The Chukchi people, which is an ethnic group native to Siberia, are the first to breed huskies.
A Siberian husky can perform sled-pulling duties in brutal climates and frozen landscapes. The phenomenal speed and cold hardiness of this arctic breed resulted from crossbreeding two ancient sled dogs: the Laika and the spitz.
Before they gained prominence as pets in the U.S., Siberian huskies first figured in historic events, including:
- The 1925 Great Race of Mercy in Alaska
- The U.S. Navy expedition in Antarctica called Operation Highjump
- Search and rescue operations during WWII
The wolf is the largest canine member of the family Canidae, along with dogs, foxes, jackals, and coyotes. Wolves are keystone species, which means their ecosystem could collapse or shift without them.
They travel and hunt games in packs, consisting of mom, pop, and their offspring. Essentially, the parents train the rest of the pack on how to survive in the wild. Depending on their place in the hierarchy, the other members may display aggressive or submissive behaviors.
Wolves can easily run down large prey with their speed and then chomp on their flesh with their sharp teeth. They use their spine-chilling howls to communicate within their pack or confront other groups.
Once the offspring reaches sexual maturity, it separates from the team to form its own nuclear family. Expanding pack size and thinning food supplies can also cause strife and split up the pack.
The Husky Wolf Mix Appearance
There’s probably no other dog that resembles a wolf more than the husky. You might even think that they’re close cousins. The fact is that huskies aren’t any more closely related to wolves than a goofy Frenchie or a fearsome chihuahua.
That’s because all modern dogs are descendants of the ancient Eurasian gray wolves, according to a recent study. To the untrained eyes, the husky wolf mix may even look like a full-blooded wolf with its graceful silhouette and nimble gait.
Additionally, the breed has pointy ears, almond-shaped eyes, and a tapered muzzle.
The male husky wolf mix tips the scale at around 150 pounds. Meanwhile, the female weighs no more than 135 pounds.
The breed is 25–33 inches at the shoulders, with females usually shorter than males. Oftentimes, the adult mix has an athletic build that may be larger than either of its parents.
The husky wolf mix is likely to have a thick, double coat of medium length. It can also have facial markings, which are the same dominant color as its coat.
It’s common to see the mix in a black-and-white combo or an agouti shade, which gives its fur a salt-and-pepper look.
Some dogs have coats that can be any two combinations of gray, brown, sable, and white. Meanwhile, husky wolf mixes with pure jet-black or snow-white coats are rather rare.
The husky gene can pass on the dominant icy blue stare to the pup. Other eye colors range from amber to dark brown. The stark contrast of these warm hues against the pale face of the mix softens the breed’s fierce look.
It’s not unusual to find a husky wolf with heterochromatic or different-colored peepers—one blue and one brown!
The Husky Wolf Mix Life Expectancy
You can enjoy the company of a husky wolf mix for about 12–15 years if you give him the best care.
The Husky Wolf Mix Temperament
Huskies are wolf-like, but they have much more in common with certified social butterflies like poodles and Samoyeds. They’re pretty terrible as guard dogs as they’ll goof around strangers to grab their attention.
Wolves, on the other hand, are a shy bunch. Their long-standing feud with humans has made them terrified of us.
Huskies eat what their owners prepare for them, or they can satisfy themselves with human leftovers. Meanwhile, wolves see animals of all sizes as food. They’re deadly hunters that can easily gang up on a much larger animal, like an elk or a moose.
All these differences make the temperament of husky wolf mixes even more unpredictable than the typical crossbreed. In fact, the same litter of husky wolf mixes can be a genetic stew of different traits and personalities.
Husky wolf puppies can look like tiny wolves but act like cuddly furballs. They’re like any charming domesticated dogs at their toddler age. The thing is, their inner wolves don’t come out until adolescence. As they mature, they’ll become even more unstable.
It’s crucial to understand how much more dangerous a wolf hybrid is than a typical dog. You simply cannot kill their aggressive tendencies with kindness and affection. So, approach each breed with extreme caution.
In general, you can expect the husky wolf mix to possess the following personality and social traits shared by its parents.
High Prey Drive
Husky wolf mixes are quite territorial, so they can snarl at other pets and strangers. With the breed’s high prey drive, this can lead to hot pursuits with unimaginable consequences.
Unfortunately, smaller pets can end up as dinner after a high-speed chase. This predatory nature of the breed makes it unsuitable for families with kids as well.
Because both parents are pack animals, husky wolf mixes do well with canine companionship. Introducing other large dogs into your family will keep them happy and content in the long run.
It may take a while for them to accept a new dog into the pack. When they finally do, you may find that they get on better with their ilk than with their human companions.
Just think of how much acreage wolves cover in the wild to track down their prey, or how much work huskies put in on the daily as a northern breed. Together, they make the husky wolf mix a powerful athlete.
These dogs need plenty of enclosed outdoor space and hours of active play to release all balled-up energy.
If they get super bored, their destructive behavior can get ugly, especially inside the house.
How to Care for a Husky Wolf Mix
Husky wolf mixes are high-maintenance, making them the Porsches of the canine world. Here’s a quick guide on how to give the best care to this breed.
A high percentage of wolf genes in the mix means the breed needs more than commercial dog food to get by.
In the wild, wolves enjoy a high-protein diet of different meat, from rodents to large hoofed animals. In fact, an adult wolf can scarf down 20 lbs of raw meat in one sitting.
When game is in short supply, they also consume grass, fruits, and nuts. Or they’ll scout the fringes of human dwellings to hunt for livestock.
A diet that resembles what wolves eat in the wild will keep a husky wolf mix beefed up. The breed will benefit from small amounts of fruits and vegetables as well.
However, if the dog comes from a shelter, it’s important that you know what he has been feeding on before. If his previous meals consist mainly of store-bought dog food, you can slowly introduce him to a raw meat diet.
Husky wolf mixes have lots of energy to burn, so they need wide open spaces where they can play. The area should have a secure and sturdy enclosure, too. That’s because they can easily pull a Houdini by digging an escape tunnel underneath flimsy fences.
This could be dangerous, as they can chase after people and animals out in the streets.
In addition, they need spacious indoor spaces where they can saunter around. Needless to say, city living and tiny apartments don’t suit this breed.
Hours of daily exercise are crucial to the breed’s physical and mental development. If these dogs don’t get to flex their muscular legs, they’ll express their frustration, to some disastrous results!
Husky wolf mixes need an equally active owner who can keep up with their adventurous streak. When going out for a hike, you need both a strong arm and a leash to rein them in. They can take off in a heartbeat when they spot a small animal going about its business.
Because of the husky wolf mixes’ history of aggression, early socialization and obedience training can do wonders for their temperament.
Wolf-dog trainers recommend training your dog through imitation because that’s how they learn from their parents in the wild.
While they’re an intelligent breed, they’re not the easiest dogs to train. They can exhibit stubbornness during lessons, so you need copious amounts of patience.
Remember to reward good behavior with praise, pats, and treats!
Luckily, this is the least demanding part of the breed’s care requirements. Husky wolf mixes are self-cleaning and only need a few baths a year.
They shed twice a year, so you can brush off their old coat regularly. You can set a weekly brushing routine to keep their skin healthy and their fur shiny.
Common Health Issues of the Husky Wolf Mix
Check out the most common health problems that the husky wolf mix is prone to:
- Eye and ear infections
- Hip dysplasia
- Corneal disorders
Legal Aspects of Owning a Husky Wolf Mix
If you’re interested in owning a husky wolf, it’s necessary that you check your locality’s legal requirements first. Odds are you’ll have to jump through hoops before you can bring one home.
That’s because many cities prohibit or restrict the breeding and possession of wolf-dogs, including husky wolf mixes. They’re classified as wild animals and, therefore, a potential threat to humans.
Adding to the complication of husky wolf ownership is the lack of approved rabies vaccines for purebred wolves and hybrids. Some vets administer regular rabies shots, often with a signed waiver of off-label use from the owner.
This means that if a husky wolf bites someone, he’ll still be impounded and potentially put down, regardless of vaccination status.
In areas where it’s illegal to own the mix, finding a vet who’ll treat your pup is nearly impossible. Again, it all boils down to liability reasons.
These states have a widespread ban on the ownership and sale of wolf hybrids:
- New Hampshire
- New York
Where to Get a Husky Wolf Mix
Husky wolf pups retail for $1000–$3500 each. However, a hybrid with plenty of wolf DNA can fetch up to $5,000!
Unlike other designer breeds, husky wolf mixes are harder to find because of the legal hurdles of owning them.
A little Internet sleuthing can connect you to a reputable breeder online.
Sadly, a lot of husky wolf mixes end up in rescue shelters because of the complex needs of the breed.
They may also get abandoned simply because the previous owners were not ready for their semi-wild instincts. Thankfully, you can give them a second chance at a better life through adoption.
The husky wolf mix is a majestic but complicated hybrid. There’s a reason local authorities make it difficult for people to get their hands on this breed.
If you are a first-time owner or have kids, you may instead opt for a gentle wolf-looking dog, like a Tamaskan or German Shepherd.