Different from the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog in many ways, they are the only two officially recognized real wolf dogs. Although he looks more like a wolf, the Saarloos Wolfdog is more of a dog at heart, possessing many exceptional canine abilities, making him extraordinary as life companion. He is a canine specimen possessing the soul and heart of a dog in a wolf's frame.
Quick Overview of the Saarloos Wolfdog
- Curious and affectionate
- Indulgent and sociable
- Distrustful of strangers
- Resemblance to the wolf
- Built in harmony
- Fairly long limbs
- Powerful silhouette
- No particular pathology
- Some cases of dysplasia
- Generally in excellent health
Temperament of the Saarloos Wolfdog
Curious, affectionate, forgiving, sociable and trustworthy, the Saarloos Wolfdog is also suspicious of strangers, he lives in packs and usually runs away from danger.
He is independent by nature and rather stubborn. He needs a good, firm and rigorous education.
This strange specimen has no special aptitude except that he is an excellent companion dog worthy of the title.
Even if the attempt to make him a working dog failed, the genetic mix still resulted in a superb dog with extraordinary innate qualities.
This dog, with a very special wolf's physique, has an assertive temperament and is relatively stubborn.
He needs a firm hand and a good education that commensurates with his temperament. The master must be the leader of the pack to control his strong character.
He is very intelligent, but keeps his puppy's spirit for a long time. During this period, his socialization is indispensable.
He can live indoors as well as outdoors, and since he needs exercise, a garden, where he can run around freely, suits him perfectly.
The Saarloos Wolfdog is a strong-constituted dog with an exterior appearance reminiscent of the wolf, including his coat, gait and morphology.
Harmoniously built, he has fairly long legs without being too high on his feet.
Despite his powerful silhouette, his gait is still very light. Even though he is classified as a dog, his gait is typical of that of a wolf.
Physically, he resembles the wolf much more than his ancestor, the German Shepherd Dog.
Between 65 and 75 cm (25.59 to 29.53 inches) for the male
Between 60 and 70 cm (23.62 to 27.56 inches) for the female
Between 36 and 41 kg (79.37 to 90.39 pounds) for the male
Between 30 and 35 kg (66.14 to 77.16 pounds) for the female
The color of his coat can vary from yellow, light to dark red, grey, light to dark auburn, and cream to white.
The coat of the Saarloos Wolfdog is abundant in summer, but in winter the undercoat predominates.
His head has a flat skull and a slight stop. His eyes are generally yellow and almond-shaped.
His mobile, triangular, medium-sized ears are set high. His nose is well pigmented. His tail is hairy and reaches almost the hock.
According to the FCI breeds nomenclature, this breed belongs to group 1, section 1 and is #311
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Health of the Saarloos Wolfdog
Robust, the Saarloos Wolfdog is not affected by any particular pathology, except for a few cases of hip dysplasia.
In general, he has excellent health and appreciable life expectancy.
His care is not too time-consuming, and even if his fleece is abundant, a brushing from time to time is sufficient for health and beauty of his coat. No other special care is necessary.
History of this breed
Originally from the Netherlands, the Saarloos Wolfdog was created by Leendert Saarloos in 1932. Loving nature and more specifically dogs, Mr. Saarloos had the idea to cross a German Shepherd Dog with a Siberian Wolfhound in order to obtain an improved utility dog thanks to this strange biological combination.
The basic population obtained had more than a quarter of wolf blood. The next step in genetic experimentation led him to create the European Wolfdog through strict selection.
The European Wolfdog was to be used as a guide dog. With time and with the increase in wolf blood brought to the breed, the dog lost some of his hereditary usefulness and it became clear that he was not fit for the job.
It turned out that Mr. Saarloos' work didn't generate a working dog but more a new kind of dog with beautiful innate qualities making an extraordinary and trustworthy companion dog.
In 1975, the breed was officially recognized and given the name Saarloos Wolfdog in honor of his creator.
To this day, the interests of the breed are defended by the "Nederlandse Vereniging van Saarlooswolfhonden (Dutch Association of the Saarloos Wolfdog)" and it's this association that drafted the new standard for this companion dog.