CANINE CRUISIN': Moses Cone Park, Julian Price Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, NC
Recommended Reading: Inside of a Dog

The Fascinating Wolfdog

Wolfdog

Every so often, I'll be walking with my dogs in the NC Arboretum or in Bent Creek Forest, and there'll be an older gentleman calmly strolling along beside the largest, most magnificent animal I've ever seen.

Of course, the first time I saw this sight, I had to stop and ask the man about his unusual pet, which my two dogs observed rather warily. Turns out the animal is a wolfdog named, appropriately enough, Tom Wolf (unlike the famous author, this one is spelled without the "e"). Tom Wolf has been with his owner since he was a pup. Last time I saw him, a week or so ago, Tom Wolf was fourteen. This gentle giant is as nice and mellow as any big ol' dog could be.

Wolfdogs are not uncommon here in the mountains. We are fortunate to have a local sanctuary for these beautiful creatures, Full Moon Farm in Black Mountain, NC. Full Moon Farm says a wolfdog is a dog with recent wolf heritage -- an animal with a pure wolf ancestor within the last five generations. Interestingly, the domestic dog is thought to be a domestic variant of the gray wolf.

Wolfdogs, says Full Moon Farm, are "domestic animals with special needs." They were bred by humans and combine characteristics of both dogs and wolves. Most wolfdogs are a combination of wolf and German Shepherd, Siberian Husky, or Alaskan Malamute. They typically have a high prey drive, but they can certainly make good pets in the right household -- Tom Wolf is proof of that. However, owning a wolfdog takes a special breed of person, and these animals are not legal as pets everywhere.

For more about wolfdogs, visit Full Moon Farm's website, www.fullmoonfarm.org. Tours of the facility must be scheduled, but the next tour open to the public is Saturday, October 3 at 3 PM. Check their website or call 828-669-1818 for more information.

(Photo from www.thundafunda.com.)

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)