Saarlooswolfhond FCI Standard
Unfortunately the first breeding attempt failed because the wolf was infected with distemper and eventually died. This sad accident provided concrete evidence that the Saarloos’ theory about invulnerability of dog’s ancient forefathers to virulent diseases was fundamentally wrong. Another bitch of the wolf was granted to the breeder and in the spring of 1936 it was mated with the German Shepherd Dog and produced the first litter. Nonetheless all the puppies caught awful dog plague, which always has fatal outcome for a canine. Despite such disastrous failures in the beginning of its program Leendert Sarloos stuck to its initial goal of creating enhanced version of the German Shepherd Dog.
Finally the hybrid of a wolf and a dog was invented in the Saarloos’ van de Kilstroom kennel and was named the Europese Wolfhond. Its creator was convinced in the superior intelligence of his dog so he gave several of its specimens to a Seeing Eye guide school in Dordrecht. However they couldn’t become decent guide dogs because they were endowed with inborn shyness of wild animals and therefore were too easily frightened by urban noise and crowded areas. The very same reason didn’t allow it to make an effective police dog.
Sarloos passed away in 1969 and with his death the further existence of the Saarloos Wolfdog was seriously threatened. The dog’s lovers were deeply concerned with this situation and have petitioned the Raad van Beheer for recognition of Saarloos’ dogs. The breed was given formal acceptance by the Dutch Kennel Club in 1975 and was renamed in honour of its primary developer. It was recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1981. The Saarloos Wolfdog’s population concentrated exclusively in its country of origin and the dog’s enthusiast will have to pay up to 2 thousands dollars for its puppy.
The Saarloos Wolfhound is extremely distrustful of strange people. Even a properly socialised specimen will act reservedly and standoffishly in the presence of an unfamiliar person. Shyness and fearfulness can also turn into possible behavioural issues, which will prevent it from being an agreeable member of a human society. Unlike other dogs the Saarloos Wolfdog won’t bark if it has spotted something suspicious so it shouldn’t be tasked with the work of a watchdog. At the same time the wolf-like appearance is commonly quite enough to drive off any criminal-minded individual. The breed is noted for a strong territorial instinct so it can be turned into an excellent guard dog.
The Saarloos Wolfdog is a highly pack-oriented breed and will be absolutely happy to share its existence with a few of other canines. However, it can demonstrate aggressiveness towards unfamiliar dogs so an extra caution is the essential requirement when two strange dogs meet for the first time. The dog is an avid hunter and will chase every average-sized animal, which was too unlucky to fall under its eye. It’s usually fine with a home cat if they have been introduced to each other in an early age.
• canine hip dysplasia;
• spondulosis of the spine.
Apart from its natural stubbornness this breed is not characterised with permanent willingness to oblige so the success of the training session greatly depends on the dog’s mood. In its training only methods based on reward will bring desirable results.
However the Saarloos Wolfdog shouldn’t be kept as a yard dog as it needs constant contact with a human being in order to avoid serious behavioural problems in its adulthood. It’s worth to underline that the combination of extensive exercise requirements and difficult character make this dog unsuitable for inexperienced dog’s owner.