German Shepherd vs. Wolf

wolf and german shepherd

Even though German Shepherd looks like a wolf, they are still different. You might be asking the questions, “how German Shepherd Dogs are related with wolves?” or “will it be possible that a German Shepherd and a wolf be cross bred?” This article will give you clear understanding about German Shepherd vs. wolf.

German Shepherd Origin Wolf?

There are many studies in genetics related to dog family which claimed that German Shepherd Dogs have descended from the lineage of wolves. Scientifically, domesticated dogs like GSD, foxes, jackals and wolves are actually belonged to Canidae family, so there is a higher chance that GSD genes may have originated from wolves.

Historically, the creator of the German Shepherd breed, Von Stephanitz, used the Thuringian breed which has a close resemblance of a gray wolf that has physical features such as curled tail, gray shaggy hair, and erected ears. It is the reason why most of the German Shepherd Dogs look like a wolf.

Despite of the fact that German Shepherds possessed a wolf-like appearance and characteristics, there are still many differences of which they could be compared.

Wolf compared to German Shepherd

Vital Statistics (Size, Weight, Bite Force and Speed)

An adult male wolf’s height ranges from 66-81 cm. taller than a fully grown male German Shepherd which is 60-65 cm. tall. The average weight of an adult male wolf is 30-80 kg.,while a typical male German Shepherd weighs 22-40 kg. Compared to a German Shepherd Dog which has 238 psi bite force, a wolf has a bite force of approximately  up to 400 pounds of pressure. A German Shepherd has the speed of 63 kph and a wolf can can run 75 kph.

Birth and Maturity

Wolves have breeding season of only once a year while domesticated dogs like German Shepherd can breed up to twice a year. Additionally, wolves are faster to mature than German Shepherd Dogs. The reason is that wolves need to be make themselves ready to be independent in order to survive the wild life while domestic dogs are more dependent with their human companions.

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The eyes of a wolf are yellowish or amber in color. However, Most of the German Shepherd Dogs have brown eyes. Coats of German Shepherd Dogs can have different colors and combinations of those but wolves only have camouflage colors to protect themselves in wildlife. Tails of wolves are straighter and their paws are bigger than of the German Shepherd Dogs.

Behavioral Aspects

Studies show that wolves are more shy yet smarter than German Shepherd Dogs. German Shepherd are more sociable with humans and others, whereas wolves are not. Social learning of wolves focuses on the relations and practices among their packs but German Shepherd are most likely to be sociable with humans. One of the unique behavioral characteristics of wolves is that they have a very strict pack hierarchy.  

German Shepherd Dogs are very dependent with human care and long for affection and attention but wolves are so independent and do not need to relate with humans.  

German Shepherd Wolf Mix

Is it really possible that a German Shepherd and a wolf be crossbred? There are actually breeders of wolfdogs or half wolf half German Shepherd but still they are subject to comply with State or local laws. These policies may be different depending on what area will it be bred. For instance, there are some areas which require standard caging for wolfdogs or other areas require licenses and vaccinations wherein this breed is classified as dog. Therefore, before adopting or purchasing one, it is necessary to review the laws of owning a wolfdog hybrid.

What is a German Shepherd Wolf Mix or Hybrid?

Obviously, a German Shepherd wolf mix is the result of cross breeding a German Shepherd and a wolf. This kind of breed are not purebred and is also known as “wolfdog” or sometimes, “wolfshepherd.”  

For you to appreciate and examine this special breed, it it very important to be oriented with the characteristics and some types of German Shepherd Wolf Mix.

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Characteristics of German Shepherd Wolf Mix


The German Shepherd wolf mix can usually be sable, gray, black, white or combination of these colors. It has thick fur, long face and pointed ears. Its average weight is 54 kg. or 120 lbs. and its height is around 60 cm. or 24 inches. This kind of dog is really highly intelligent and strong.


It is hard to predict the temperament of German Shepherd wolf mix because it can vary depending on the background of its parents. However, you can clearly determine its temperament when it reached the maturity level where its hormonal changes significantly began usually 18 months old.

Health Issues/ Problems

The lifespan of a German Shepherd wolf mix can be up to 15 years old. Although this type of breed is commonly healthy due to combination of two strong dog breeds it can still be vulnerable to some genetic diseases like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bloat, and cancer.

Some Famous Types of German Shepherd Wolf Mix

Saarloos Wulfhund (German Shepherd Timberwolf)

This type of wolfdog came from the cross breeding of a German Shepherd Dog and a timber wolf. This was the result of Leendert Saarloos’ experiment in dog breeding. This is a very strong and large German Shepherd wolf mix which can be 76 cm tall and weighs around 36-45 kg. Saarloos possesses a pack mentality and actually enjoys being with other group of dogs.

This breed is not advisable to be a family pet due to its demanding personality  and high maintenance which requires cautious and professional training. Sarloos Wulfhund puppy price ranges from $800-$1000.

Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

This breed of dog came from the combination of a German Shepherd and a Carpathian Wolf. It is very athletic and energetic with thick coat. It is very effective as rescue and guard dogs because of its agility. It is also usually assigned as an “attack dog” for special military operations.

Its height is around 60-65 cm. and can weigh 25 kg. If you are planning to buy a puppy of this breed you need to prepare $800-$1500. Owners of this breed need more patience because of its stubbornness and independent personality. Remember that it is very aggressive with other pets and dogs.

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Lupo Italiano Wolfdog

This German Shepherd wolf mix stemmed from the cross between a German Shepherd and a she-wolf and is also known as Italian wolfdog.

This type of breed is protected by the state of Italy and typically called as “State dogs” and cannot be commercialized. It is very active and highly protective to its owner. Its abdomen is very strong and its spine is straight and well-built.  The height of a Lupo Italiano ranges from 60-70 cm. and weighs around 25-35 kg.

German Shepherd vs. Wolf Real Fight

Maybe your next question after you knew about when a German Shepherd loves a wolf will be, how a GSD will fight a wolf?

Remember that a wolf is naturally trained in forests and deserts and has high intelligence, survival rate, and used to survive in a difficult wildlife environment . On the other hand, a German Shepherd is being trained by rational humans and is also intelligent and strong.

It is really hard to judge who will win if there will be a chance when they encounter each other. However, wolves are in fact, stronger than German Shepherd Dogs because they have higher stamina and intensely having different instinct.

The advantage of a German Shepherd is its strong endurance from pain so it can also somehow survive the attacks of wolves. Another disadvantage for German Shepherd encountering wolves is that, its opponent can attack in pack so numbers is a great threat and can result to its lost.


Now you know that it is really possible to cross breed a German Shepherd and a wolf. However, those who desire to have a German Shepherd wolf mix should be well knowledgeable and trained before having one because they cannot be easily trained.

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