GENERAL APPEARANCE OF THE BREED:
The Saarloos Wolfdog is a strongly built dog whose outer appearance (body build, movement and coat) are reminiscent of a wolf. His construction is balanced and he has quite long limbs without giving the appearance of being long-legged. The different secondary sexual characteristics are more pronounced in dogs than bitches.
A lively dog, bursting with energy, with evidence of a proud independent character. He obeys only of his own free will. Towards his owner he is devoted and reliable to a high degree. Towards strangers they can be reserved and somewhat suspicious. This reserve and wolf-like wish to flee in unknown situations, are typical for the Saarloos Wolfdog and should be retained as typical qualities of the breed. When strangers approach the Saarloos Wolfdog, they should have some understanding for the behaviour of this dog as a forced, undesired approach by a stranger can lead to an overwhelming desire to flee. However, when trust and respect are applied these are wonderful, loving, family animals who crave nothing more than their owners affection. Deeply loyal and trustworthy, the Saarloos Wolfdog is a natural companion dog.
The Saarloos Wolfdog is a dog with special behaviours. It is important to appreciate this dog not just for its good looks but also to appreciate this dog for their temperament before thinking of adding one to your family. Here are some main characteristics that are important to know.
The Saarloos Wolfdog can be reserved towards strangers;
This behaviour has been retained as typical quality of the breed! A forced or undesired approach by a stranger can lead to an overwhelming desire to flee. This characteristic can be frustrating for strangers, friends or family. If you do not like this behaviour, you should consider choosing another breed or learn more about our Lupine Dog development breeding. Some Saarloos Wolfdogs are not reserved towards strangers, due to early and continued socialisation by experienced breeders/owners. Breeders should work hard with positive training methods to socialise all puppies from an early age.
The Saarloos Wolfdog needs another dog companion. Although his or her “human” make part of his pack, he (she) cannot replace a dog buddy (it will preferably be similar in size for a real playmate). In addition, the majority of Saarloos fear loneliness and can suffer separation anxiety so the presence of a dog companion is often essential, especially during human absence.
This characteristic depends on the dog. But even if at first glance, the predatory instinct of your Saarloos is not marked, you must always be on guard to avoid a disaster. If accustomed since puppy hood to small animals, it is possible for the Saarloos Wolfdog to obtain a good relationship with them (cats, ferrets, rodents, rabbits). Even if your Saarloos is good with your small animals, it will most likely not be the case if the neighbour’s cat is in the garden so vigilance is always required. For children, there is no particular risk. However, commons sense dictates you should never leave children and dogs unsupervised, regardless of the breed.
Usually, you will need a lot of patience to educate a Saarloos Wolfdog in this regard. You will have to lengthily repeat exercises and maintain this throughout his life. To gain good toileting etiquette, it is not uncommon that the Saarloos Wolfdog be 8 – 10 months old before this is successfully achieved.
Finally, from a general point of view, the Saarloos Wolfdog is a dog for company, but never a guard dog. However, they do also make companions in sporting activities such as CaniX, Scootering or Agility, Obedience, Heelwork and all are practiced by owners of Saarloos Wolfdogs around the world.
The key to success is positive reinforcement training and a commitment to early and ongoing socialisation. Above all be patient. “Patience” seems to be the keyword when deciding to a Saarloos Wolfdog to your home.
Generally speaking Saarloos Wolfdog is a very hardy breed, however some genetic diseases have been identified and no two parents dogs carrying these gene faults should be paired.
Known genetic faults;
Degenerative Myelopthy – DM
Progressive Retinal Atrophy – PRA
Hereditary Cataracts – HC
Pituitary Dwarfism – PD
And as with all large dog breeds;
Ethical breeders of Saarloos Wolfdog will ensure that no two carriers of a genetic fault are paired together and therefore all offspring will be unaffected.