Saarloos Wolfdog

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70-90 lbs
24-28"
Netherlands
Saarloos Wolfhound, Saarlooswolfhund, European Wolfdog
The Saarloos Wolfdog, also known as the Saarloos Wolfhound, is a Spitz-type dog created in the Netherlands in the 20th century. Unlike many other breeds of the type that are extensions from ancient times, his breed's history is well-documented and not even a century old. As their name implies, Saarloos Wolfdogs sport a convincing wolf-life look in just about every aspect of their appearance and even have some lupine tendencies thanks to the directness of their early crossbreeding. Instead of being a working dog like they were bred or intended to be, this breed has generally been largely adopted as a companion animal over working and hunting and are significantly more popular in their native region than anywhere else in the world and remain rare for that reason. Although they may share their wolf-life appearance with other dogs from nearby countries, they stand alone in terms of their overall temperament, as although they are known to be good companions in the home, they are not particularly strong in confidence or assertiveness, making them poor guard and watchdogs and considerably more sensitive in training and overall obedience. But even though they aren't great working dogs, they still possess a relatively high energy level and thus do better with active families or those with larger living spaces.
Purpose
Companion
Date of Origin
1930s
Ancestry
German Shepherd, Grey Wolf

Saarloos Wolfdog Health

Average Size
Male Saarloos Wolfdog size stats
Height: 26-30 inches Weight: 70-90 lbs
Female Saarloos Wolfdog size stats
Height: 24-28 inches Weight: 70-90 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Hip And Elbow Dysplasia
Minor Concerns
  • Degenerative Myelopathy
  • Dwarfism
Occasional Diagnoses
  • Eye Problems
Occasional Tests
  • X-Rays
  • Eye Examination
  • Physical Examination
  • Blood Panel

Saarloos Wolfdog Breed History

The Saarloos Wolfdog was developed by the efforts of one man, a Dutch breeder named Leendert Saarloos, in the 1930s. At the time, Saarloos had a great appreciation for dogs but he also felt that they had become too domesticated and longed for a dog with more natural tendencies and a stronger work ethic so he took the matter into his own hands. After securing a female wolf from the Rotterdam Zoo, he mated it with a male German Shepherd and crossed it back to retain only 1/4 of the wolf bloodline. While the new breed still came out somewhat well-rounded, it fell well short of his expectations, as it ended up being much more reserved, aloof, and unassertive than he had hoped. He continued his work with greater success until he died in 1969 but before that had been the sole breeder working on what was then known as the "European Wolfdog". After he passed, a few others took on his work and in 1975, the Dutch Kennel Club recognized the breed and officially named it the Saarloos Wolfdog after all of Leendert's dedication. In 1981, it was recognized by the Federation Cynologique Internationale and over twenty years later in 2006, it was finally recognized by the United Kennel Club.

Saarloos Wolfdog Breed Appearance

The Saarloos Wolfdog is a larger breed, standing 2 to 2.5 feet tall at the withers and weighing up to nearly a hundred pounds but averaging closer to 80. They have a distinct wolf-life appearance that shows from head to toe. Their heads are relatively large and wedge-shaped with a flat, broad skull, slight stop and a long, tapering muzzle capped with a black nose. Their eyes are almond-shaped, set at a slight angle, and are yellow (although sometimes brown), all of which combine to give it the desirable wolf-like look. Their neck is relatively long and well-muscled and seamlessly descends into a straight topline. Their front legs are sturdy and somewhat thick-boned, separated by a relatively deep chest that descends into a slight tuck in the belly. The back legs are strong with healthy thigh muscle and good angulation. The tail is long and somewhat bushy, tapering towards the tip and carried moderately high in saber fashion or near-straight. The coat is thick and dual-layered with a dense undercoat and a somewhat more loosely laying topcoat, the pair of which coming in a mix of white, cream, brown and grey.
Eye Color Possibilities
brown Saarloos Wolfdog eyes
Brown
amber Saarloos Wolfdog eyes
Amber
Nose Color Possibilities
black Saarloos Wolfdog nose
Black
Coat Color Possibilities
silver Saarloos Wolfdog coat
Silver
brown Saarloos Wolfdog coat
Brown
gray Saarloos Wolfdog coat
Gray
cream Saarloos Wolfdog coat
Cream
white Saarloos Wolfdog coat
White
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Saarloos Wolfdog straight coat texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Saarloos Wolfdog Breed Maintenance

Saarloos Wolfdogs are considered moderate maintenance dogs as they do shed a fair amount and need frequent brushing to keep their hair clean and free from loose hair and matting. A slicker brush or firm bristle brush should suffice, although a dematter can also be used if the matting starts to get out of hand. They generally do a good job with self-maintenance so they rarely need a bath unless they get into something exceptionally dirty or offensive smelling. Over-bathing can disrupt the natural oils they produce to help keep their skin healthy and their hair repellant of moisture. Otherwise, owners only need to check and trim their nails when necessary to prevent cracking or breaking and brush their teeth on a weekly basis to help maintain good oral hygiene.
Brushes for Saarloos Wolfdog
Slicker Brush
Dematter
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Saarloos Wolfdog requires daily brushing
Daily Weekly Monthly

Saarloos Wolfdog Temperament

Saarloos Wolfdogs are generally considered good-tempered dogs both inside and outside of the home. Outside they are energetic and curious, happy to explore new territory and follow their noses when they find an interesting smell. Because of it, when kept outdoors, it is recommended that they be retained by a tall fence, as they are athletic enough to hurdle things in order to get out and explore further. They do have a fair prey drive and will chase small animals if allowed, but that also means they will need to be thoroughly socialized if they are to be kept with small, non-canine animals without incident. Inside the home they are generally calm and relaxed, forming tight bonds with their families and showing a fair amount of affection even if only moderately playful. They tend to be very wary of strangers and instead of barking or having protective instincts, they will slink away to try to avoid confrontation, making them poor guard and watch dogs. However, that does mean they tend to be non-aggressive, so even when they are uncomfortable, prefer to run and hide over asserting themselves. Their aloof behavior generally makes them cautious of young children as well, especially if they are rambunctious, making socialization that much more important if they are to stay happy and comfortable in their home living environment. Because they are used to a pack environment, they tend to have at least some level of separation anxiety and coupled with their high energy levels, means owners need to be proactive in getting them regular exercise to keep them from becoming frustrated, bored or unhappy.

Saarloos Wolfdog Activity Requirements

Saarloos Wolfdogs are medium to high energy dogs that need regular and thorough exercise daily. They prefer to have open spaces to run, smell, chase, and explore and therefore need to be in a home that either has a large yard or regular access to a nearby dog park, as well as an active owner. They are also an intelligent breed and need frequent mental stimulation as well, so any games that challenge them both mentally and physically will go a long way in keeping them happy, healthy, and entertained. Playing fetch, making them problem solve or even just teaching them new tricks are all great ways to keep them active. It is recommended that they receive around 70 minutes of exercise daily.
Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
18 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
70 minutes

Saarloos Wolfdog Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
4 cups
Daily Cost
$1.5 - $2
Monthly Cost
$45 - $60

Saarloos Wolfdog Height & Weight

6 Months
Male Saarloos Wolfdog size stats at six months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 57 lbs
Female Saarloos Wolfdog size stats at six months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 57 lbs
12 Months
Male Saarloos Wolfdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 24 inches Weight: 68 lbs
Female Saarloos Wolfdog size stats at 12 months
Height: 22 inches Weight: 68 lbs
18 Months
Male Saarloos Wolfdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 28 inches Weight: 80 lbs
Female Saarloos Wolfdog size stats at 18 months
Height: 26 inches Weight: 80 lbs

Saarloos Wolfdog Owner Experiences

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