F: Isn’t Saarloos Wolfhond and Ceskoslovensky Vlcak wolfhybrids and illegal?

S: Both Saarloos Wolfhond and Ceskoslovensky Vlcak are dog breeds, acknowledge by both FCI and SKK(The Swedish Kennel Club). Wolf hybrids are illegal in Sweden but it’s only generation 1-4 since mixing with wolf that is considered to be hybrids. So a F5 is legal.

F: You often read that Saarloos Wolfhond’s are shy and reserved, can you work it off?

S: If you REALLY don’t want a shy/reserved dog why buy a Saarloos? You don’t buy a Border collie and then hope that you can get rid of the herding instincts? The shy and reserved behavior IS typical for the breed and even if you can reduce it a little bit with a lot of social and environmental training it will still be there. Of course it varies a lot from individual to individual and because it is largely hereditary it may well be that the Saarloos you’ve bought simply do not have the necessary conditions to be a very outgoing and brave dog.

F: I’ve been told that these dogs have to eat raw meat, is that true?

S: No. Every dog, no matter what breed, shall be given good and nutritious food and since they are carnivores it’s not hard to figure out what that means. But to say that a wolfdog demands raw meat to a greater extent than a German Shepherd is a myth.

F: Can you leave a Saarloos alone?

S: A Saarloos probably suffers more often from separation anxiety then other dogs, but if you start training in early age and in small steps it usually works. If you know however that you will be forced to leave the dog alone for several hours a day, maybe you should ask yourself whether it is right to get a dog at all, regardless of breed.

F: They say Saarloos get along just fine with other dogs, is this true?

S: From my personal experience I would answer yes and no to that question. Young dogs and dogs who meet on neutral ground usually get along just fine, yes, but when it comes to adult dogs (from 2-3years), at home and/or bitches that’s been having puppies, it is another thing. I would not advise anyone to get two SWHs (or CsVs) of the same sex unless you are able to have them separated late on IF it turns out that they do not get along after 2-3 years. For believe me, when these dogs fight, they REALLY fight!!

F: How much exercise does a Saarloos need?

S: Just as with most other dogs in the same size a Saarloos needs mental stimulation and daily exercise in form of; long walks, cycling, and if possible, be able to run free and play etc. But they are still not as demanding as a German Shepherd for example. If you get sick and can take the dog out for long walks for a few days the dog will most likely not be climbing the walls, it will relax and take it easy with you. To spend time with their family/pack IS the most important thing for them.

F: Do you have to live in a hose at the countryside to own a dog like this?

S: No, of course you can own a dog like this even if you live in an apartment. But because these dogs usually are somewhat reserved and environmentally sensitive, it can of course be quite stressful for them to stay in the center of Stockholm.

F: Do Saarloos Wolfhond’s get along with children?

S: You should NEVER leave children and dogs unsupervised no matter what dog breed we are talking about. Both SWH and CsV are large dogs, and they often use paws and teeth when they communicate, and even if they do not mean to do harm things can sometimes go wrong. They also have a strong prey drive which can be triggered by children’s sometimes odd movements and cries. If a dog is growing up together with children and is learning to socialize with them in a good way, it usually works just fine. But for an adult dog who has never met a child throughout its life, these small humans can of course seem a little bit weird/scary.

F: Can you let a Saarloos off leash?

S: It varies from individual to individual of course, so you cannot answer that question with a simple yes or no. Saarloos usually have a strong prey drive and when it kicks in with full force it is almost impossible to get the dog to stop, and that can cause some problems. They are also very stubborn and independent dogs that most of the time only obeys by their own free will and when it suits them, and therefore it CAN be difficult or impossible to have them off leash.

F: Is a Saarloos suitable for obedience/sledding/dog shows??

S: You can train pretty much anything with any dog, but if you want to invest wholeheartedly in something and get successful it is obviously better to choose a breed that is bred for whatever you want to train. When it comes to obedience, I don’t think any typical Saarloos will get very far in this event. They are usually far too headstrong, stubborn, independent and difficult to motivate. However, I absolutely think that you SHOULD train everyday obedience with them! When it comes to dog sledding it can be a very fun and variably form of training for the dog, but only as a hobby. If you have higher ambitions, there are other breeds that are much more suitable for this. Dog shows can work, with the right individual. Their shyness and the fact that they often are reserved towards strangers can make things a bit difficult. And unfortunately a lot of judges don’t seem to know enough about the breed and don’t accept that the dog’s behaving in a way that is typical for the breed.