Posts Tagged ‘Wolf-dog hybrid’


Horand von Grafrath, the first German shepherd dog, b. 1895, d. 1899. Max von Stephanitz used to him to found the breed.



I’ve decided to open up another can of worms, but I found this article by Tina Barber on the Shiloh Shepherd website:

Anyone willing to do some INTENSE RESEARCH into the past will find considerable information linking the “ORIGINS” OF THIS BREED [German Shepherd Dog] WITH THE WOLF!!

On Page 13 of the Alsatian-Wolf Dog, reference to Mons. Otto Rahm’s regarding Hektor Von Wohlen was repeated by the well-known Swiss scientist — Professor Studer — that evidence was very strong that this dog had SOME wolf blood in at least ONE generation. Phylax Von Eulau was also suspected of having wolf blood when he raised a ruckus at a dog show in Germany, while passing a group of BORZOIS!! — (Dogs that were bred and used for hunting wolves!!) The most interesting dog is Woelfi Von Wolfsnest. On Page 14, you can read the entire account of her ancestry, describing her dam’s granddam, as a full SHE-WOLF! Yet, though Woelfi retained the appearance of her wolf ancestry, she had the temperament of a sheepdog — with the exception that she did NOT MAKE FRIENDS WITH STRANGERS!! Her son, Schalk, was not particularly shy, but when bred back to his mother, produced pups that reverted back to the temperament and characteristics of the wolf.

I don’t know if any of this has been verified.

The Shiloh Shepherd that is being promoted with this website is a very large shepherd-tyep dog with a very placid, though protective disposition.

I do know that this part of the article is correct:

MOST PEOPLE DO NOT REALIZE THAT THE “GERMAN SHEPHERD” BREED IS LESS THAN 100 YEARS OLD!!! The Breed Club VEREIN FUR DEUTSCHE SCHAEFERHUNDE (SV) was formed on April 22, 1899 in GERMANY. The original dogs bred to HEKTOR/HORAND consisted of VERY SMALL “SPITZ TYPE, COLLIE TYPE, WIRE-COATED AIRDALE TYPE, BLUE MERLES, etc, etc. The dogs were chosen for WORKING ABILITY — AS HERDING DOGS — NOT FOR LOOKS!! They come in ALL COLORS and SIZES!! What we would refer to today as the MONGREL — was crossed with the WOLF-HYBRID and eventually became the foundation for the German Shepherd of today!!

The old herding German sheepdog landrace still exist– the Altdeutsche Hütehunde.
I don’t know about the Bavarian dogs being long-haired and like big, gentle wolves.
The melange of dogs from which the German shepherd eventually evolved is just way too diverse and complex and nebulous to know the truth.
Maybe they are descended from the “wolfdogs” of the Germanic tribes.
Big-time speculation.
I know.

I’ve not seen any genetic evidence that corroborates any of this historiography, but it is interesting to consider.


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This female wolf has made a living for herself in Brașov, Romania– a major urban center.


I post this video to tear apart this poorly considered theory, which holds that domestic dog isn’t derived from the wolf.

The crux of that theory is that wolves cannot live near humans without causing trouble.

And while wolves can and do cause problems, not all of them do– as this wolf clearly demonstrates.

As for the genetic “evidence” in that theory, we have a very poor picture of the genetics of ancient wolf populations. Many ancient wolves have been found to have totally unique MtDNA haplotypes. The Alaskan bone crushers and the wolves that lived in Europe 30,000 to 40,000 years ago had unique MtDNA haplotypes that have not been found in living wolf populations.

That could explain why there is such a gap between dog and wolf MtDNA sequences.

However, the piece doesn’t discuss how big the differences are.

Wolf and dog MtDNA haplotypes vary at most by 0.2 percent.

Genome-wide studies have found that dogs and wolves are very closely related.   (See page 13.)

Knowing what I know abut wild canid behavior, it would make more sense that the dhole would have been the ancestor of the domestic dog. It is more socially tolerant than wolves are. In fact, it is not unusual for pariah dogs to run with packs of dholes.

But the dhole cannot hybridize with the dog.

The wolf can, and wolfdogs are quite fertile.

Wolf can and do attack people, but it’s not like this is a universal trait. To say that we couldn’t domesticate the wolf because some wolves consider us prey is a bit laughable. The truth is that wolves are intelligent animals that vary in their temperament and life experience. Some wolves may decide that people are prey. Others may decide to scavenge off of us.

With wolves, the worst thing we can do is try to make broad generalizations about them. So much of their behavior is learned that what may be true for one wolf or one population of wolves may simply not be true for others.

Dogs are derived from wolves that learned to work together and live with humans. They not derived from some unknown mystery canid that has yet to be identified.

We do not know the exact ancestor of the domestic sheep. We also don’t know one of the ancestors of the domestic donkey.

But we do know where dogs came from.

This alternative theory is full of gaps. Every claim in it can easily be refuted. The fact that is presented as if there is a great conspiracy theory to claim that dogs are wolves makes it even more annoying.

You may not consider dogs to be the same species as the wolf, but it is pretty clear that dogs was derived from ancient wolves.

It’s that simple.

The overwhelming evidence in the form of genetics, archeology, and animal behavior suggests that the wolf is the dog’s ancestor.

Not a conspiracy theory at all.

It’s a reality theory.

And in science, to refute such overwhelming evidence requires an extraordinary amount of proof that this evidence is wrong.

I’ve not seen it here.

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