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Guest Lead Dog

Living with Wolves

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Guest Lead Dog

I was fortunate to attend a lecture last night by Jim and Jamie Dutcher.  They are filmmakers who have studied wolves.  One of their specials is played on Discovery Channel every so often.  Last night they discussed the captive-born wolf pack they raised and studied.  They recorded quite a bit of social behavior in their study.  Interesting stuff.

 

Here is their web site for anyone interested:

 

www.livingwithwolves.org

 

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I had an ex-girlfriend who had a full-grown wolf as a pet.  He wouldn't let anyone close to him.  He would only let me sit next to him on the couch and pet him.  She was amazed.  I told her we were both just lone wolves in a screwed-up world.  She had the yard surrounded by an underground "shock" system, but he'd just run right on through it like it wasn't there.  He used to bring home neighbor's cats as trophies.  That's my kinda dog.

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Guest Lead Dog

Wolves and wolf-hybrids usually make poor pets.  The main difference between wolves and dogs is that dogs tolerate humans.  When you put an undomesticated animal (whether tame or not) in human surroundings, the animal becomes uncomfortable.  I've read of mushers that have tried to work with wolves and wolf-hybrids and they just don't work out.  While they love to run, they act like wolves and don't take direction from their handlers like a dog does.

 

Yeah, the underground fences don't work all the time.  They are to be used to train the dog boundaries.  Most larger dogs can handle the shock and will bolt if there is something really interesting (like a cat) across the line.  Plus, a lot of people misinterpret them as a fence when they are just a training tool.  If not used properly, dogs will just get shocked and not understand they crossed an imaginary line.

 

 

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We have had several Wolf Hybers in our area, and a few years ago, a 3 year old was killed by a large female hyber.

The child wandered away from a local daycare, and crawled under a 8 foot fence around the Wolf's yard. The Wolf had nursing pups, and she felt threatened by the child.

 

The State then went on a Hyber spree and had ever hyber in the area put down. :( The loss of both animal and human life was pretty appauling. I always wondered why the daycare never got anything more then a stern talking to.

 

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Guest Lead Dog

Sounds like a bad situation all around.  If that was my child, I would have been all over the daycare center.  It doesn't matter if the child was attacked by a wolf hybrid, hit by a bus, or whatever.  That child was in its care and should not have been allowed to "wander".

 

And what is someone breeding wild animals or wild hybrids so close to a place where strangers could interact with them?  I take care to make sure no one gets near my dogs when my wife or I are not present.  Why would anyone breeding wild creatures have a set-up a three-year old could penetrate?  Sounds like that breeder deserves to be put out of business too.

 

Other than the child in this case, the real losers are the animals.  Genetically, they are not designed to exist in human surroundings yet are forced to.  Poor things.

 

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Well.... I can't say that I blame the Hyber owners. They weren't NEAR anyone. They set aside a good sized fenced area for the Hybers, and put an 8 foot fence. It was posted.

 

Then the daycare opened down the road. It was within walking distance, but not close. The kid had to be gone a good 20 minutes or more before she made it to the Hyber pen. The hole dug under the fence was from the outside, and they think it was a Dog trying to get into the yard. It was under the fence. So the owners/breeders were actually trying to have everything properly set up.

 

I felt awful for the parents, and for the Hybers. Of course, if it had been my child, I would have run the Daycare providers thru a wood chipper....... slowly.

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I raised 14 Rottweilers at one time and had outdoor kennels for both dog and human protection.  Not only were they in 8 foot high runs that were huge, but the whole kennel had fencing on the top as a double security to the roof.  Then the kennels were surrounded by another 8 foot fence with locked gates.  No one in and no dogs out.  Responsibility is taken lightly these days.

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