When I heard about Howling Woods Farm – I knew I had to get there sooner than later because the thought of hanging with wolf hybrids just makes me giddy!
Located in beautiful Jackson, NJ, the farm is dedicated to providing education about wolves and wolfdogs/hybrids so we can create more interest in protecting them and help people better understand them.
One of the things we love about the organization besides the educational aspect – is the fact that they discourage breeding and do what they can to stay committed to protecting these beautiful animals.
They are also a rescue and in their facility they have a variety of wolfdogs that you can meet and engage with to really see how sweet these creatures can be.
On the day of my visit with my family and friends we sat in a circle as one of the handlers brought a few of their current residents out. We got to meet Takoda, Samson and Kotori and learned about where they came from and got to understand their personalities.
They came up to us with a bit of uncertainty, but eventually selected their favorite people from the group and began looking for petting and love! It was beautiful.
Once we were done with the introduction we had the opportunity to tour the farm to see more of the wolfdogs they have as well as the habitats they reside in.
We got to see them roll in the dirt, howl for food and play together. The relationships the volunteers have with these animals is priceless and is clearly displayed as we walked around the farm.
Some of the wolfdogs they have come from pretty horrific backgrounds including being chained for their whole life until they were rescued to being holed up in a cramped apartment in NYC. Clearly neither of these are an optimal life and can lead to a lifetime of emotional issues. This is why the team at Howling Woods is so passionate about what they do!
So, What Is A Wolf Dog?
Also known as a hybrid, woldfogs are dogs that have wolf genetics in their background from a recent ancestor like a parent or great grandparent.
Don’t All Dogs Descend From The Wolf?
Yes! But for most modern day dog breeds you may have to go back hundreds of years to find a pure wolf in their ancestral background.
Can A Wolfdog Be A Pet?
Yes! Actually Howling Woods Farm adopts out some of their rescued wolfdogs. They are of course picky about who they adopt out to since their are specific requirements to handling a wolfdog and you will have to go through an in-depth application process.
They do require homes that have an understanding of their unique personalities. Although dogs by nature are typically social creatures, wolves are often shy — so you need to understand that personality type to help them be the happiest “wolfdog” they can be!
Aren’t Wolfdogs Dangerous?
Absolutely not! Because of the shyness factor that is common in wolves – these breeds tend to shy away from strangers. The more wolf in their lineage, the less dangerous they typically will be. But remember, any animal can bite – this is not to say it will not happen, but the chances are less than that of a normal dog.
Where Do The Wolfdogs In Rescues Come From?
Unfortunately, many come from breeders. While there may be a handful of ethical breeders who are doing things the proper way to ensure the health and happiness of their wolfdogs – others are just backyard breeders looking to make a quick dollar from unknowing customers.
With wolfdogs sometimes selling for several thousand dollars – they are a prime asset for breeders. Sadly, these breeders will often breed until they get a dog that “looks like a wolf” but rarely has any wolf in it – but customers who are not knowledgeable will not realize this. In the few cases that these breeders actually create a “wolfdog”, most consumers will soon realize they are not equipped to have a dog with the unique care needs that they have.
When breeders sell these wolfdogs – and then the customer has issues with them, there is no place for them to “return them” – so they wind up in places like Howling Woods.
How Can I Help Howling Woods?
Because they are a nonprofit – they rely heavily on donations from the public to continue their education and care for the wolfdogs that currently reside at the facility. You can donate, volunteer or just spread the word about what they do! Any way you can help – makes a difference!
The images below are from my day there – I could have photographed these guys all day! It was an incredible experience.