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Character of Saarloos Wolfhound

Although over 300 seeing-eye-guides would be used, trained at his seeing-eye-guide-school in Dordrecht, and some also worked as a rescue dog, the Saarloos wolfdog is not qualified as a workingdog. Saarloos' efforts to instruct his dogs as police dogs, failed just as due to the shy wolf heir as well as the other educations. The stampede had totally displaced the sensual attack. It possess neither sharpness nor pugnacity and therefor this breed is completely unsuitable as a protection and police dog. (Certainly at least one wolfdog had passed the policetest.).

Because some chosen dogs probably nevertheless could be well trained (at the beginning of the '50s the first wolfdog had graduated successfully the seeing-eye-guide-dog test), this breed had the nimbus to be especially qualified to a seeing-eye-guide dog. In the top of the education there became instructed up to 24 seeing-eye-guides within a year. At the beginning of his efforts L. Saarloos had in the proximity neighbour a blind woman and L. Saarloos trained one his wolfdogs as a seeing-eye-guide, this succeeded in doing. The intelligence and the rule of the jungle of his wolfdogs seemed to be suited especially for that. His favorite dog "Yro" passed moreover at the end of '60s the rescue-dog-test.

But the wolfish origin made oneself conspicuous, the dogs were still always very carefully and shy like wild animals. (The task as a seeing-eye-guide the Saarloos wolfdog in the current street traffic would absolutely not suitable for. Therefor at the beginning of the 70 years the training was abandoned.).

Nothing changed today. Working dogs are the exception nowadays. Indeed L. Saarloos had created no excellent using dog, which he wanted to create, but probably however a new breed, that embodied much of its wolf ancestress, as well as its external shape and also its manners. With its gentle character and its natural type, they speak for itself and Saarloos' successful breeding. Unfortunately after his death some years followed of the unsupervised expanse breeding, so that some good characteristics wiped out. It is supposed that at that time even other breeds would be crossed, for example Alaskan Malamute. Only when the "Raad van Beheer op kynologisch gebied in Nederland" this breed ackownledged on 5th July 1975 the uncontrolled breeding could stopped. Years of the registration followed. 1981 this breed was ackownledged by the F.C.I. .

Today the Saarloos Wolfhond is a pleasant family dog, a companion to enjoy and a big friend of the children, but not a dog for anybody. In care, health and feeding, they are conceivably unpretentious, but you must know to go around with them. They want consistently to be educated. Although it does not suit itself as „use dog,“, it is yet trainable. With extraordinarily much patience and love (next to consequence) it lets itself be raised to the obedience over positive motivation. It is suitable also for the work within an agility- or tournamentsports-program. It does NOT price itself through slavish obedience, but rather sooner through stubbornness and independence. More than each other dog the Saarloos Wolfhond needs its bunch order. The boss must be the boss and to be appreciated by the dog as such. Otherwise this large, strong dog is scarcely controllable. That requires already a little studies of the wolf- and dogpsychic. Because these dogs have a distinct mien and an expressive body language, you can read them very well.

A first, substantial feature of adult wolfdogs is that they possess less youthattributes in the behavior-repertoire than other dogs. These youth features enable a simple handling at most dogs what concerns obedience and "the will to please". Wolfdogs behave therefore rather more submissively than obedient.

A second, very important feature with wolfdogs, that advanced is the retention about all unknown. On variation of their accustomed life circumstances, the Saarloos Wolfhond reacts highly sensitive. Their sharp senses face nothing. Quite reserved they behave each strangers. For the wolf in his natural environment, this characteristic is essential rather annoying for the domesticated animal, it is sure rather more troublesome. („Rather 100 once cowardly than once dead!“).

At the same time they are extremely bond to their family. The Saarloos Wolfhond does not yield „his owner“ at his side. Well, one must already be able to bear it therefor to have the dog permanently around himself. From that also the fact arises that the Saarloos Wolfhond does not endure the solitariness! They got very angious at seperation so that can cause an incredible destructiveness. For a kennel maintenance, they are generally not suited, like actually all dogs: the bunch tie is too strong for that the Saarloos Wolfhond can bear more than some hours alone at his kennel. Finally in the wilderness it means death and ruin, therefore the cub (on this step of a young wolf all dogs stand in its intellectual developement) even can not furnish itself. A cub with healthy instinct will set therefor all in motion in order to be at its family (bunch) and therewith in security. Even so-called "outbreak neutralizing dog-kennels" are subdued in shortest time.

As a watchdog the Saarloos Wolfhond is not particular suitable. He hardly barks although he can do it. For defending he is not suitable at all. Any forceattack is missing.

Applies to wolves that they must be taken out of the cave at the 3rd life week, so that they can be socialized sufficiently and can be stamped on the person, it is much easier with a dog, and the time period is being stuck much further. Also for Saarloos Wolfhonden it is very important to socialize and stamp the puppies between 3rd and 16th life week very well. The puppy should have contact with as much as it can and of course if possible many different persons. At the same time it is very important that these persons are reacting positiv towards the puppy in order to mediate good experience to the young animal. Very helpfully here is visiting a good dog training school, that engage in puppy-shaping-day (to Weidt/Berlowitz, the inventors of the puppy-shape-days).

You can not see very often the shyness at the puppies yet because they develop their behavior of frighteness first after the 8th week. Even a Saarloos puppy, who was optimally stamped, can become then shy „all at once“, without an existing recognizable reason. The innate shyness comes be self-supporting now in this phase of the makeup in the expiration of development of the puppy.

If they are however previously already shy, they were badly socialized. Of these puppies you should take distance.

Saarloos wolfdogs behave reservedly in unaccustomed situations. So it is very important that you will bring the dog into such situations again and again, so that the dog will learn, that there are no threatening circumstances. At the same time the own appearance is important: quiet and determined! IN NO CASE the dog should get any mercy or stroked! The Saarloos Wolfhond would interpret this behavior only as a confirmation of its anxiety and would become softened. The behavior would be reinforced instead of muffled!

A second important phase lies between that 3rd and 7th life month, called sensitive phase. Here again shyness can appear. The Saarloos Wolfhond puppy must be already accustomed to situations, which represents nothing special for other dogs (lift, car, many people, noise etc.). Many Saarloos puppies have problems with the driving (sickness, to vomit, to make mud), later they usually „only“ slobber yet though intensive. (A Dogue de Bordeaux would be jealous). With the parlor purity, Saarloos wolfdogs also have their own point of view: it lasts more longer than by „normal“ dogs, until they are house-trained, and sometimes they mark special places in the house, above all, if you own several dogs. Sometimes they mark several places at home or the place, where they have eaten a very special delicacy.

Their distinct bunch behavior is incidentally, above all in the meeting with other wolfdogs. It is suspicious how quiet and kind the Saarloos Wolfdogs handling each other. They are very social. They get on with strange dogs very good, they usually aren't bullies and love it to play with all friendly dogs. It could be more difficult to have several adult bitches, which already have had puppies. This "allowed to have puppies" means a great advancement for this breed, a large ascent in the ranking; in this position no more bitches of equal rank will be tolerated. It is most inevitably to separate the bitches for ever. In pairs they behave fellowfaithfully, don't accept everybody couple-partner. Bitches often get in heat only once a year, usually in wintertime. For this the heat can last longer than „normal“ dogs. And also the males`fertile period is bound to a certain time. Therefor some planned copulations with strange partners remained unsuccessful.

Towards children the Saarlooswolfhond is very patient. However you should consider its size and corresponding power. Together with its powerful temperament showing his friends, it is able to throw down a man.

Playing games is reserved to dogs, that remained on the youth step. The adult Saarloos Wolfhonden become boring very quickly playing games. After three times throwing a ball they want to make something interesting else. On the other hand they can be led strongly of its senses and instincts: their distinctive huntingsense is not to be underestimated! And they are successful hunters! (Cats, sheeps, wild pigs, rabbits etc.) If there are several Saarloos wolfdogs together, they hunt organized in the pack. Incidentally is that they can divide their energy well.


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