The Saarloos Wolfdog

(not) a dog like any other

Prefix: It is important to me to make clear, that the Saarloos is not a blow-up pocket-wolf, howling on command. It is a special dog with some special characteristics. It is not a wolf-substitute! Whoever buys a Saarloos with such premises, will soon be very disappointed.

It too is not a dog for machos that need to polish up their image. The Saarloos needs very much love and sensitivity, his owners need very much indulgence and lot of self-confidence which they have to communicate to the dog - not the other way īround! Saarloos Wolfdog owners often have to change their lives: adapt it to the dogs needs and do some disclaim concerning their former life.

The developement of the Saarloos Wolfdog

After doing lots of experiments with breeding and crossbreeding of severel species, Mr. Leendert Saarloos started in the 20s with the breeding of a dog, that should have been more healthy. You have to remember that the little-red-riding-hood syndrome was thought to be reality then. So the wolf as an untamed animal with "natural health" and will to attack seemed to be the ideal blood-refreshener for the run-down domesticated dog.

Len Saarloos bought a young arctic she-wolf. Unfortunately this pup was not healthier than any dog and died of distemper. The second she-wolf "Fleur" (european wolf) was bred several times to a GSD-male "Gerard van Fransenum". Toghether they had 28 pups of which Mr. Saarloos chose 3 for further breeding. He did this after concerning a geneticist, Dr. Hagedoorn. In 1962 he added another she-wolf to the stock.

Until the end of the 60s Mr. Saarloos was the only owner of all these dogs. He selected the individuals only on character and health. Since the Netherlands acknowledge only working breeds, Mr. Saarloos tried to train the animals in Schutzhund-work. But the european wolf wiped out the will to attack! (The european wolf-subspecies are very shy - far more than the arctic ones). On the other hand they were very skilful and careful, so they made a good job as seeing-eye-guides or rescue-dogs.

After Mr. Saarloos died in 1969, some years of uncontrolled breeding followed, that wiped out some of the characteristics. After a breederīs club was founded, the breed was national aknowledged in 1975 in the Netherlands and 1981 international by the FCI.

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Copyright (c) 1998 - 2001 Andrea Wahl
Stand: 22. Oktober 1998.