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Topics covered include the behavior, bonding, and care of wolves and wolf-dog hybrids by private individuals. The target audience is anyone interested in wolf and wolf-dog hybrid behavior in the domestic environment. Words are not a substitute for hands-on experience. Many of the situations described within this document will be experienced by the typical owner of wolves and wolf-dog hybrids; however, there are no universal answers. Only hands-on training, preferably with an experienced owner, will teach a prospective owner the instinctual behavior required to successfully interact with wolves and wolf-dog hybrids.
This document was originally written by Gordon K. Smith (GKS). It is the only comprehensive collection of real world information concerning successful private wolf and hybrid ownership that I have discovered, other than the independently published book, “Slave to a Pack of Wolves,” also written by GKS. GKS worked with wolves and hybrids for over 60 years.
The language and approach used by GKS, especially that of the introductory sections, may seem evangelical to some. This can be attributed to the pressure and harassment brought against GKS by the USDA over many years. Anyone familiar with the private ownership of exotics is aware of the USDA position on this issue.
Prior to his death, GKS granted me permission to transcribe this document from an original for non-profit distribution. Minor changes in wording were made for clarity, along with a complete revision of punctuation and capitalization. Paragraphs were reformatted, section headings were revised with additions, and a table of contents was added. Liberty to perform these types of changes, including changes in presentation, was granted to me by GKS. All such changes have been made without significantly altering the the unique writing style of the original document.
Editorial comments are enclosed in brackets [Ed.: Like this]. These comments are based upon my personal experiences in raising wolves and hybrids. In the future, I will be compiling a separate document based on these experiences. Other comments intended to illuminate the reading of the document are enclosed [in brackets, like this].
It is my hope that the invaluable first hand information contained in this document will be met with an open mind by all readers. GKS was one of the primary players in the wolf ownership movement; his dedication and furtherance of that cause, along with his exacting ethical standards for the housing and treatment of all wolves and hybrids, will be missed. With any luck, his memory will be preserved.