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Training Your Wolf-dog Hybrid

Wolf-dog hybrids need training, as much or more than other canines. Due to the possibility of Breed Specific Legislation coming to your area, they need to be be BETTER trained and BETTER behaved than other canines.

Are you qualified to do the training yourself?  That depends on a number of things. Are you the alpha of the pack? Do you feel comfortable training? Do you have canine training experience? Do you use positive training techniques more than negative?

If you don't know the answer to those questions, it is best to find a qualified, professional trainer.

How can I find a qualified trainer?  You could look in the phone book and call those advertising canine training. Once you tell the trainer that you own a wolf-dog hybrid, and you should always be truthful about the heritage of the animal, you may find the majority of trainers will not allow them in class. Then what? Maybe looking on-line could locate a certified trainer who will train your wolf-dog  hybrid?

How can I evaluate a trainer online? Most online lists of trainers do NOT stand behind those listed on their service. They charge a fee and list anyone who pays said fee as a canine trainer. Here is APDT's disclaimer:

"Contained herein are the names, addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, and contact persons of APDT members as of the printing of this directory. Their presence in this directory represents only that these companies, organizations, institutions, or individuals are members in good standing of APDT. APDT does not endorse these members and makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to, and assumes no responsibility for, the products or services provided by these members. APDT expressly disclaims all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use or performance of the products or services provided by these members."

That means only that those listed paid a fee, nothing more. Is that enough to trust anyone on that list to train your wolf-dog hybrid? The only reasonable answer can be "No".

So where CAN I find a competent trainer??????? You might try contacting the local kennel club, and ask for referrals to trainers conversant with training northern breeds. When you contact those trainers, be truthful about the heritage of your exotic canine. If the trainer says they won't train a wolf-dog hybrid, this wasn't the person your animal needed.

Try this scenario. Which of these trainers would you choose? Rate them 1, 2, 3, and 4.

XOX has trained for field trials and obedience for $$$ for over 30 years.  He has taken several classes, but has no national certifications.  He is not a member of APDT.  He is however an AKC field trial judge and breeder....his AKC biography lists him as a breeder and trainer.  He is well known in field trial circles and is becoming known by responsible pet homes looking for obedience trainers. He has no experience training northern breeds. 

YOY has taken no classes, has been training dogs for 3 years and has trained a few dozen dogs.  He doesn't yet belong to APDT but is thinking of joining to give himself substance in order to get more dogs to train.  He calls himself a trainer.  He has no other dog experience or other animal experience.

ZOZ has taken a total of 5 classes in obedience training. Classes for the trainer, not the dog.  She apprenticed under XOX for about a year.  She has trained a goodly number of northern breed dogs to do various things...from sit and heel, to full obedience for $$$.  She is not a member of APDT or any other training org.  She has extensive animal experience that ranges from captive wildlife, to exotics, to dogs and cats that spans 3 decades. Her own animals are trained to basic obedience commands.

KOK has taken no training classes.  She has read a few dozen books.  She has had dog and cat experience with limited exotic and no captive wildlife experience that perhaps spans a couple of decades. She currently has no canines reliably trained to basic obedience commands....meaning sit. stay, down, wait, etc.  She belongs to APDT.

 Which of these trainers would you choose to train your wolf-dog hybrid?  Which could you afford?  Which would do the best job of training your animal?  No matter who you choose, make sure that you are included in the training sessions.  The wolf-dog hybrid must ultimately obey YOU, not a professional trainer.

Maybe you thought we had all the answers here?  As all animals are individuals, they will respond to different people in different ways.  If your animal has negative behaviors you are having difficulty extinguishing, possibly a canine behaviorist would be the best place to start.


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