Wolves, also know as Canis Lupus, are an ice age survivor and have been around for about 300,000 years. They are the largest group in the family of Canidae and share the exact same DNA as the dog. Wolves were a very common predator but were effectively eradicated in many areas due to human encroachment, lack of habitat, hunting, misunderstanding and territorial destruction. Now, wolves are slowly making a comeback. With the return of the wolf to Yellowstone in 1995, studies have shown that this top predator is actually a vital source to a healthy ecosystem. In March 1998, three new packs of Mexican wolves were released into the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Starting in 2007, wolves started to become de-listed from the Endangered Species Act in the mid-western United States and westward. The controversy over wolves is a continuing hot topic among ranchers, livestock owners, hunters and wolf advocates and agencies today.
What are wolf-dogs? Formally known as wolf hybrids, and now called wolf-dog hybrids, they are the result of the breeding between a wolf and a dog. There are estimates that wolf-dogs numbers in the United States reach over 500,000. Sadly, many of these animals end up in our shelter systems, rescue organizations, euthanized or abandoned. The highest number of cases of aggression between wolves, wolf-dogs and domestic dogs occur in wolf-dogs. Jennifer believes this is because some wolf-dogs are confused between what their domestic instincts and wild instincts are telling them to do. It also depends on what domestic breed is bred to the wolf. For example, a combination between a German Shepherd (high prey drive) and a wolf (high predatory drive as well) could be a lethal combination. Not all wolf-dogs are aggressive, but the majority of these animals do not make good pets — and many of them suffer as the result.
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