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Living with a wolfdog – reaching sexual maturity

Resting after digging yet another hole and chewing on tasty rocks.

Resting after digging yet another hole and chewing on tasty rocks.

Lovec turned 29 weeks this last Wednesday. Just before he turned 27 weeks I noticed a small change in behavior. At first he started to bite and pull the leash when I stopped to talk to someone. It reminded me of a little child that got envious that I directed my attention to someone else – and thus threw a tantrum to get my attention back.
He also started to drift away more (slightly pulling the leash) when he picked up a scent from another dog. This behavior has intensified during the last couple of weeks and he is now overly excited as soon as we meet a female dog. Actually to the degree that he jumps and make small silly noises (I’m glad that wolf dogs can’t really bark – although they can learn from imitating other dogs).
This is normal if a male wolf dog pick up the scent of a female dog in heat. They usually turn pretty much “deaf” and stops to work and obey.
So, yeah. Lovec is currently in “dog puberty”. Usually a male wolf dog enters this phase at 6 to 7 months and reach full maturity at 10 months. I keep my fingers crossed that he will calm down somewhat at that point (as the hormones stabilizes). However, the wolfdog “teenage years” usually lasts until they are about 18 months or close to two years old.

Watching cars driving by. He actually likes it - a lot!

Watching cars driving by. He actually likes it – a lot!

Another sign of reaching sexual maturity is testing its owner and in some cases (not all male dogs) some dominance challenges. Fortunately, Lovec only test me in small measures such as biting the leach (or clothes if they are baggy and moving) or lightly bumping into me while walking – as higher-ranking wolves do to lower-rankers. Fortunately, these small things are pretty easy to correct. When bumping, gently shove back. When biting, I place my hand palm-down across his muzzle and simply say in a stern voice, “No biting”.
Please note that nipping, chewing and biting are very common behavior traits among Czechoslovakian Wolfdog puppies up to one year of age. This behavior is related to teething in nature and is fully normal. However, it’s up to you as the owner to set the rules of how much is allowed, especially when playing (where they can get over excited, especially when reaching sexual maturity). For Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs over one year of age, biting or nipping is not accepted.

With that said, Lovec usually calms down within seconds after I show him that I do not tolerate such behavior. And if he doesn’t listen to commands or corrections, all I have to do is changing my body language – stepping in closer and “tower over him” (to show that I’m the dominate leader) and he will immediately obey. This is very important with wolfdogs in general, since social hierarchies are imperative to them. They do not obey anyone whom they see as being lower on the social totem pole than themselves.  This means that as an owner, you must maintain a constant position of dominance/leadership over your wolfdog at all times. The more certain your wolfdog is that you are fulfilling the role of leader, the more secure he will feel in his own position. And a secure wolf dog is a happy and balanced dog. This is true for all domesticated dog breeds as well!

Yes, you got my immediate attention!

Yes, you got my immediate attention!

Although he’s maturing and does challenge me at times, Lovec is still very calm at home and never strays from our routines. He rests at his place in the kitchen area while I’m working without any protests. He’s patiently waiting for his food and does not start eating until I say “here you go” (“varsågod” in Swedish). The same is true when we’re going out or coming back in. He stays away from furniture and everything he knows he’s not allowed to touch or play with. Probably because I imprinted this from day one.

Other signs in sexual maturity is that some male dogs will lift one of their hind legs when peeing (or marking a territory). Lovec has not started that behavior yet.
Some wolf dogs will frighten more easily during this period. They can jump or shy back when they come in contact with something new – such as an unknown object or sound. I’ve only noticed this in Lovec during our late evening walks when it’s dark outside. If something comes up from behind, or there is a sudden noise, he can jump a little – but a second later he’s curious and wants to see what it was.

That’s it for this post. I’ll continue to plot down my thoughts and experiences in upcoming posts. If you have questions, please post them below. If you have any stories from your own experiences with wolfdogs and sexual maturity, please share them by leaving a comment.

Thank you for visiting and reading. See you soon!

 

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