Character

This text is written by Claudia Schröder. Take time and wisit her exellent pages HERE

 

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 Wolfhond 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 Wolfhond 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 Wolfhond 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 Wolfhonds 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 Wolfhonds  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 Wolfhond 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 Saarloos Wolfhond 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 Wolfhond 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 Wolfhond together, they hunt organized in the pack. Incidentally is that they can divide their energy well.


So dearly, so social, so pretty these animals however are - their ingenuity and their ability to learn,  mated with a phenomenal memory and often surprising use of the trained (f.e. to open doors,  even refrigerator doors!) when it seemes to be necessary to the dog, its uncanny physical power, its distinct bunch behavior and its hunting sense, which is scarcely to be controlled, the dog friend will have often bad problems.


In order to provide  the necessary movement and change for the Saarloos Wolfhond, you must be already physical fit. Jogging for hours and riding a bike doesn't tire the wolfdog!


Because of its wolf inheritance Saarloos Wolfhond are late fully developed dogs. The bitches often get in first heat after 15 or 18 months. The heat can last up to 6 weeks. The interval of two heats is often 10 to 13 months. Males often lift their legs first with 12 months or later. Living in packs it also can be, that a upper ranked male never lift his leg.


In spite of its wolf blood, the Saarloos Wolfhond is a dog and not a  wolf. You can't live together with wolves without danger. With the sex maturity (2-3 year), wolves try to improve their rank position very much more strongly. These rising-endevours are just as rare at the Saarloos as other breeds. The Saarloos Wolfhond has also nothing to do with the wildly produced wolfhybrids and bastards of them, that unfortunately come now more and more „in fashion“. Here again and again new dogs will be coupled with new wolves without selection. The Saarloos Wolfhond is a purebreed race with a very special character, that plays an entirely important role, and so this character is the great different between Saarloos Wolfhond and Czechoslovakian wolf dog!


Saarloos Wolfhond are very sensitive to medicaments, especially to anaesthetics !!! Very important: The anaesthesia must be initiated in a Saarloos Wolfhond only with a means for sensitive animals,  otherwise there is the risk that the wolfdog would not wake up! Every breeder tells this to the new Saarloos Wolfhond owner!


For whom a Saarloos Wolfhond?

The beginner will be advised to inquire of several breeders and many owners in detail before he decides on the adoption of a Saarloos Wolfhond. Get as much informations as you can. It is worthwhile to listen attentively to owners and breeders and to believe that „horror-stories“! Saarloos owners do not need to exaggerate!


We do not want these wolfdogs being bought because they are so seldom, beautiful and imposing without knowing what problems may occur!


If the dog is alone the hole day, please you do yourself and the dog a great favour and don't own a dog. Sometimes the better animal friend is this one who does not own dogs! This animal will bore fast itself and think up games, that you do not like it very much:„which shoe tastes the best? “, „which filling has the coach? “, „how durable is the safety-belt or the backseat?“ etc. In its boredom, the dog can cause quickly a damage, that climb up far over the selling price!


You also should not forget that the dog must know a person, where you can give the Saarloos away, if you are not able to take it with you for any reasons even in addition in the situation (business trip, being at hospital etc.) Most Saarloos Wolfhonds don't like to fetch from any strangers!


Also if you have several Saarloos Wolfhonds, you have to plan from the beginning; above all if it concerns a couple. What does you make if the bitch is in heat? Which dog can you give away for 4 weeks and to whom? 


Already Saarloos Wolfhond-bitches have successfully been coupled at the 4/5th and 8th day! You must prematurely separate therefor, if you don't want to have an unchecked new generation! However usually they become coupled first after the 20th day. So that is what these animals clearly distinguish from a "normal" dog. The breeding of these animals is not easy. Therefor there is rarely to buy a Saarloos Wolfhond immediately or "on order". You must arrange yourself therefor as an interested party on longer wait, that you can use however well in addition, to learn more exactly about this breed. 


Also you should not be neatness fanatic. The rough fur is the hair, that most sheds. And Saarloos Wolfhond have a lots of hair, it sheds strongly above all in the times  especially at the fur change.


Rearing a Saarloos Wolfhond need to be very smooth and prudently, because they grow up quickly and they look developed earlier. It might be that you will overcharge the young Saarloos Wolfhond. Short walks and enraged game should suffice in the 1st year. Later you have time enough yet (10 to 14 years) to make far expeditions with your dog or biketours. The Saarloos Wolfhond  is only limited suitable for the sledgedogsports  because it is too narrow from the physique. On the other hand Pulkasport is certain a prime matter. And  a few Saarloos like to do agility or tournament dog sport.


It is important that the puppy-purchaser already will take a previously contact with the breeders and look at the facts. Where do the dogs live? Where are the puppies raised? (Very importantly! An isolated room in the cellar or garage supplies inevitably pups badly socialized.) The puppies should get the opportunity to step in contact with the environment: persons, cars, noise, sounds of household etc. A well socialized puppy get closer curiously and welcome usually the newcomers even joyfully. But if the puppy seems to be shy at this time, it might be the inherited shyness. Caution should be offered.


Unfortunately also the Saarloos Wolfhond is not spare of hereditary deseases, but until now they are only exception cases. 


L. Saarloos had restricted himself on animals to put to sleep with recognizable anomalies and weakness. So they did not come to breed, but, what stuck at genetic problems in his dogs, however he wouldn't be able to recognize it; to that time that was certainly also a yet little well known zone.


In order to grasp the health of the breed alltogether and the single animals in the special, some breeders of Saarloos Wolfhond take a health-caution from their puppy-purchaser. Otherwise they don't have often the possibility to control, what is bequeathed and/or whether the number of the hereditary disease-carriers and dogs, who suffered at this illness, enlarge himself. This method unfortunately is often the only way in order to get these very important informations. The puppy purchaser will get back the money, as soon as the breeder will have the results of the HD-analysis and the PRA-investigation.


Of the acquisition of wolf hybrids and bastards from them must be warned urgently! They are unpredictable and become with approx. 3 years, if they developed, dominant-aggressive and then often have to put to sleep!