Very often, it is almost impossible to trace breeds history and ancestry, but that is not true with the Saarloos Wolfdog, whose origin is well documented. In the official FCI breed standard, we can find out, that the breeds development started in the first half of 20th century. The father of this breed, mr. Leendert Saarloos felt, that the German Shepherd is too domesticated and he wanted to breed back the more natural properties in order to derive a better working dog. That is why he decided to cross a male German Shepherd with a female Eurasian gray wolf.
The offsprings were bred with German Shepherds to create a dog with one quarter of dog blood. Some of those dogs showed a good skills to become good working and service dogs, which was the goal of the breeding. But these abilities were gradually lost and it became obvious that the breed was neither well suited to being a working nor a guide dog. Today, the Saarloos Wolfdog is not used as a worker, but it is an amazing companion that is close to nature.
And indeed, the Saarloos Wolfdog is amazing companion for active people who likes outdoor adventures in nature. This is a highly active dog, that will love to go on any hike or walk with you. It is also pretty curious breed that loves exploring. The Saarloos Wolfdog is known to be very devoted to its owner and family.
4) Around strangers
It is very hard to see a wolf in a nature on your own eyes. It is because they are avoiding any confrontation with people. And this is similar with the Saarloos Wolfdog. They are not trusting around strangers, but they are almost never agressive towards them. They will rather avoid any confrontation or unknown situation. Which is very wolf like. Of course, this can be vastly influenced by early socialization.
5) Other pets
As you can probably expect from a wolf dog, this is a dog with higher prey drive and they will chase smaller animals, if you allow it. Because of that, they are not the best companions for other smaller household pets. But again, this can be vastly influenced by early socialization and there are some examples of Saarloos Wolfhounds happily living with other pets, especially if they are raised together from the puppyhood.
6) High energy
If you buy or adopt a Saarloos Wolfdog, you should be prepared for a highly energetic companion. They definitely need daily longer walks to stay healthy and happy and because of their higher intelligence, you must occupy their mind as well. You can try some task oriented playtime, making them solving some problems or just simple longer training sessions are great way how to spend some time with your Saarloos Wolfdog.
7) Not for novices
Because of the higher prey drive, high activity level, independent temperament and aversion towards strangers, this is not the best dog for novices. Acutally, no real wolfdog, is good for novices, because all of them need proper early socialization and patient and firm trainer.
The Dutch kennel club find out, that the population of Saarloos-wolfdogs was very closely related to a degree, that further interbreeding could damage the breeds health and that it is needed to increase the genetic diversity. The scientists advised a controlled and extensive outcross program, to increase the breed's vitality. Today, in 2020, Saarloos Wolfdogs are crossed with Siberian Huskies, White Swiss Shepherds, Ibizan Hounds, Northern Inuit dogs and Norwegian Elk Hounds.
This is a strong, athletic and tall dog breed with average height between 60-75 cm which is 24-30 inch and with weight up to 45 kg, which is 100 pounds. The females tend to be little bit smaller than males.
The average lifespan of the Saarloos Wolfdog is around 11 or 12 years, which is pretty normal for dog of this size. This is generally quite healthy dog breed, but they can suffer from hip dysplasia, eye problems, dawrfism or Degenerative Myelopathy