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another wolf dog
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ithin the dog community, there exists a subculture of people who own wolfdogs.  Much like those who fall in love with Schnoodle, Puggles, and other designer breeds, Wolfies, (that is what I  call people who love Wolfdogs),  adore wolves.

Unfortunately for them, it is illegal to own wolves,  so to circumvent the laws that protect people from themselves, Wolfies have designed a multitude of breeding methods that influence something they call "content".  A Wolfdog with high content is more wolf than a dog, while low content is more dog than wolf.  

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Breeding for content has allowed the Wolfdog community to eschew a system that was designed to protect wildlife.  A high-content Wolfdog can be 90% wolf.  Scientifically speaking, this makes them pure wolves because not even wolves in the wild are 100%  pure these days.  Dr Malgorzata Pilot, from the School of Life Sciences writes: "We found that while hybridisation has not compromised the genetic distinctiveness of wolf populations, a large number of wild wolves in Eurasia carry a small proportion of gene variants derived from dogs, leading to the ambiguity of how we define genetically 'pure wolves'.   Because wolfdog owners can show that their pets have some doggy DNA, the laws that protect wolves are nullified, and in every practical sense people are allowed to own wolves. 

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High-content wolfdogs are praised in the Wolfdog community. The ability to manage high-content pets is met with great admiration.  Wolfdog Influencers often advise new comers to first buy low-content Wolfdogs and slowly work their way towards owning more pure wolves.  This advice often leads to people owning several Wolfdogs with wildly different behavioral profiles. Experience gathered from owning a low-content wolfdog often has nothing to do with understanding the basic requirements needed to keep a wild animal.  

Training information gathered in the Wolfdog community is messy at its best and deadly at its worst.   It is an odd blend of amateur zoo management combined with balanced training methods haphazardly pieced together .  Woefully inadequate wildlife skills land thousand of wolfdogs in shamefully small encampments where they are expected to rise to the level of pets. Abrasive training methods that should be reserved for the strongest of temperaments are often used to address the shy temperaments found in many Wolvedogs, resulting in serious behavioral problems. 

Wolf Dog Husky

Can things be as bad as I've described?  Yes!  In fact, they are worse.  Thankfully there are a small handful of rescue workers that have taken the lead in effective Wolfdog education.  Georgina De Caigny of Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary is one of them.

another wolf dog

When talking about the problems in the Wolfdog community one cannot help but be impressed by Georgina's understanding of freedom and the need for animals to express themselves.  This understanding of freedom is what rests at the core of the Freedom Method of dog training, and it is also what makes the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary so successful.  Although we have not worked with Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, we cannot help but be impressed by them. Please take a moment to watch their amazing video below. 

All Dogs Need A Sence Of Freedom

A dog, no matter how much wolf resides in its soul, is a sentient being that often needs to express itself without interruption.   Dogs need to speak, and when they talk they need to do so in full sentences.  The great myth that plagues all dogs is our failure to recognize that they feel the call of the wild with the same fervor, often more so than their wild counterpart.  There is a reason why millions of dogs sit in front of windows, looking out, daydreaming about their next great adventure, they want to feel free.   Dogs don't get lost, they run away.  Why?  They are running away from captivity.  Dogs were not domesticated to minimize natural instincts, the opposite is true, wolves were shaped to fine-tune and exaggerate what mother nature gave them.

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Dogs can be faster, stronger, more resilient , sometimes larger and far more difficult to control than wolves.  Most breeds were not domesticated to be pets, they were shaped to be solid working animals that need to withstand conditions far more laborious than wolves encountered.   Many breeds are aloof, distant and shy because these characteristics are needed for them to do their jobs.

Behind most canine beauty rests an ancestry of remarkable endurance, strength and wanted savagery.  Dogs have been bread to hunt wolves, making many of them apex predators, and for every battle a Wolfdog owner has experienced, there are domestic dogs that cause the same struggles with their people.   The #1 mistake that people make when buying a dog is their inability to recognize the working history of the breeds they purchase.  Dogs are formattable, this is why Bloodhounds track, Collies heard and Rottweilers defend, they are exaggerated examples of their ancesity. 

Wolfdogs aside, the need to be unapologetically expressive is essential for earth's most domesticated species, human beings.  Imagine a politician who told the world that we, people, don't need our freedom because we are domesticated.  Crazy.  Yet that is precisely how most people feel about dogs. 

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Humans believe that domestication somehow acclimatized our dogs to captivity, oppression and unfair treatment.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and when you consider the myriad of serious behavior problems dogs experience, many of which have to do with them trying to break away from their owners,  it becomes clear that dogs and wolves share some things in common, the most obvious of which is their need to be comfortable in their own skins.  Some truths about animal behavior are universal and apply to us all. 


How Use Of Freedom In Dog Training Is Changing The World

Dedicating one's life to the betterment of Wolfdogs is not a simple task.  The popular online opinion would have the world simply turn its backs on these amazing animals, labelling them unpredictable, dangerous and without merit.  At best, some say, a Wolfdog is nothing more than an overpriced designer breed, at worse many call for the immediate ban on owning them. 

Moving Away From Balanced Training Methods And Towards Freedom 

Countless people are introduced to dog training with methods that micromanage dogs.  We all became proficient in the use of clickers, halters, e-collars, chains, extendable leashes, toys and whistles.   Some of us find comfort using tools to manage our dogs, while others seek more natural ways to co-exists. 

Common training supposes that everything we do to our dogs is what makes or breaks them.  While most trainers recognize the need to address the inner workings of the canine mind, the fact remains that most training attempts to manage our dogs with force and food.  You will be hard-pressed to find a trainer that does not teach control with treats and/or tools.  This greatly limits the training options for all dog owners and ignores much modern science.  We don't pour life onto our dogs, their lives grow from within. 

amazing wolfdogs

The Freedom Method of training takes a drastically different approach when shaping wanted dog behaviours.  We avoid outdated science and bring a modern, cognitive, approach to teaching.  We do not believe that a dog's mind is a box to be programmed with simple input.  Life is more sophisticated than that. 

The Canine Freedom Center takes the most advanced theories in cognitive science and uses them to shape every aspect of our dog training programs.   The Freedom Method is what empowers many pro trainers with the knowledge needed to transform their dogs into some of the most well-mannered in the world.  Yes, you can retire retired your e-collars and chains and do away with trying to control your pets with dominance.   Like all great dog trainers, you can evolve.  By embracing all the inherent graces found in freedom, You can removed the struggle from your life with dogs and enriched yourself with the most beautiful ideas in the world of dog training. 

The Freedom Method works because it uses the inner workings of the canine mind to establish cooperation. Dogs train themselves and discovers discover their own paths. We help animals learn in freedom, not confinement, eliminating pent-up frustration and resentment, which leads to a beautiful training experience. Training strong enough for a wolf also offers sensitivity needed for the most delicate breeds.

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