coywolfden coywolfden

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Rye + Roth + Roan + Thicket  Wild living with primitive canids ⋙ Rye ♀ | f2 59% mid wolfdog ⋙ Rothko ♂ | herding sleddog mix ⋙ Roanoke ♂ | f3 56% mid wolfdog ⋙ Thicket ♀ | coyote

The pack practicing their photo placement commands... Roth is obviously thrilled. 🐺🐶🐺
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While the gang looks intimidating, wolfdogs are about as good at guarding a home as a nervous rabbit with poor bowel control. Regardless of training, a wolfdog will react on their adrenaline riddled fight-or-flight response when faced with novel, and potentially visably obscured, strangers--with or without a familiar present. Wolves do all they can to avoid unnecessary conflict in the wild, as even minor injury can quickly lead to death; and this flakey behavioral quirk is still firmly instilled in their hybrid posterity.
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(For a bit of context, in the mid 80's the Russian government attempted to create a line of wolf/shepherd hybrids, called "Volkosoby," to guard their borders. Despite having extensive resources including numerous geneticists and animal behaviorist at their disposal, they could not overcome the canine's skittish tendencies. 430 animals later and they were ultimately forced to end their initial guarding project as a failure and redirect their efforts to honing the scent tracking abilities of their hybrids--which was a far more fitting task for their wolfdogs.)
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#coywolfden #wolfdog #wolf #wolves #midcontent #canine #husky #herdingdog #malamute #germanshepherd #packnotpet

Roth's results are in!! This little guy is a HOT MESS of a mutt. With a 1.4% wolfiness score (this percentage refers to the proportion of ancestral canine genes Roth carries, it is not associated with wolf content or hybridization), predicted adult weight of 53lbs, 0% COI, and returning negative for all 165 genetic diseases Embark tests for--we couldn't be happier with the bullheaded goober's results! We can now say the little guy is a happy, healthy, herding sleddog mutt.
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Thank you to #pupfluence and #embarkvet for shedding light on this mystery pup's breed makeup. As a research partner of Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Embark is actively maintained by the world leaders in canine genetics. Their comprehensive DNA test checks over 200,000 genetic markers to build a complex picture of their genetic origins one chromosomal segment at a time. They also determine whether your pup presents or carries 160+ genetic diseases. They accurately test for over 175 breeds including wolf, coyote, dingo, and various regional village dogs.
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(For a bit of perspective, the next closest--and I am using that phrase generously here--canine DNA test is Wisdom Panel, which checks 1877 genetic markers and tests for 2 genetic diseases... Needless to say, you get what you pay for. 😉)
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We tested Rye when Embark was newly available to the public and were blown away by the depth of the results we received. In addition to breed and genetic health screening, they also include in depth analysis of ancestry and parental haplotypes (origin of parent breeds on a global scale), a printable report to take to your vet, and provide a thorough break down of your pup's specific expressed and carried physical traits. For you genetic enthusiasts out there, they include a .pdf of the raw uninterpreted data too!
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We absolutely reccommend this test to anyone and everyone interested in the origin of their furry companion. From suspected wolfdogs to mystery rescue pups, Embark is the best and most accurate test avaliable.
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#coywolfden #husky #miniatureamericanshepherd #acd #bordercollie #australianshepherd #malamute #huskymix #packnotpet

The monsters take a bit of time to warm up to us when donning our winter clothes. As animals who rely heavily on minute shifts in posture and gestures to communicate; large coats, hats, mittens, and scarves--anything that obscures or alters the familiar human figure--must be cautiously investigated before we can enjoy snowy play.
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#coywolfden #wolf #wolves #wolfdog #midcontent #greywolf #timberwolf #malamute #samoyed #husky #packnotpet

An unfortunate feature of Thicket's "domestication" as a fur stock coyote is her degenerate chinchilla soft coat. With an ultradense initial undercoat and no guardhairs to speak of, the loose hairs of her previous coat formed a thick layer of felt (dark grey) atop her newly grown pseudo "guardhairs" (For all intents and purposes these budding long spring hairs are her new guardhairs, however they are more accurately described as a second undercoat as they offer no resistance to weather due to their soft crimped structure; they are visible as the spots of orange on her rump and back). This felted jacket would be a death sentence in the wild, as it's impossible for an animal to keep warm when they are permanently wrapped in a sopping wet towel...
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Little by little, the pack and I tease the clumps of unattached yote wool away from her new 2nd year coat. Ever (s)mothering, Rye abrasively grooms away the matted fuffs with her incisors... I personally prefer to use a brush. Within a week or so, this hot mess should be springtime ready.
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#coywolfden #coyote #coyotethicket #coyotedog #coydog #coyotehybrid #packnotpet

Possessing an inherent flair for the dramatic, wolfdogs spare no effort expressing their intention and status--and Roan is consistently an ostentatious ridiculous goober. Slapping the ground, pinching his ears into a goofy party hat, and striking quick floppy poses with surprised faces to encite play with familiars and new dogs alike; we couldn't be happier with his foolhardy "sweet potato" temperament.
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#coywolfden #wolf #wolfdog #midcontent #greywolf #timberwolf #malamute #germanshepherd #samoyed #husky #packnotpet

A bit of behind the scenes from the last Thicket post; these shots represent a series of rapid expressions preceding requested interaction. (For some background, this is her response to our friend's hand after playfully jumping on his leg to instigate interaction and, by previous contextual association, to be picked up.) We can see specific components of gestures ranging from annoyance to grevious warnings implying bodily harm--however with this convenient format, we can break down her subtle nuances and deduce that these incomplete and contradictory threats are largely baseless.
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In the first shot, we see the feisty lady present an unspecified threat gape with dropped hips preparing to leave a puddle. Neither behavior has a definitive meaning--coyotes display varying degrees of gapes and urinate socially for many different purposes. (Thick was also making low grumbles/chortles indicative of annoyance and light dissuasion.) This shot is setting her in a squatting posture, which is more passive than particularly threatening.
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Second shot is a bizarre hodgepodge of death threats and passive engagement. A pursed lipped snarl is an intense warning in itself, but the flicking tongue implies this little firecracker is deadly serious. ...Only, when looking at her relaxed (albeit anxious "airplane") ears, her cautiously exposed white sclera, undialated eyes, and unfocused gaze; these elements all indicate passive intention. "I have a mouthfull of boxcutters... Don't try any funny buisiness."
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In the third, she reopens her mouth in a wide gape, deepening her squat to passively pee. Despite presenting her pearly whites, she has no intention of biting. This now defined gape is a continuation of her well-meaning mouthy threat in the previous image.
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And the last shot, Thick closes her gape into a toothy snarl, pulling the corners of her mouth downward in an oddly human-like frown. She's accepted she is going to be interacted with (as per her request, mind you) and picked up. She has decided to comply, but she won't be happy about it.... (Despite it literally being what she asked for... Teenagers, am I right?)
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#coywolfden #coyote #coyotedog #coydog #packnotpet

Thincoated springtime Roan is not amused by the recent snowstorm... He is utterly elated. The pack absolutely adores snow. 18" inches of arctic cocaine is exactly what they were hoping for--and also what my husband and I were dreading. As the ice in their enclosure compounds, the standing precipitation measures 2.5 feet. (You can see an untouched showdrift behind Roan as he walks in front of the shoveled gate.) In light of the new elevation change, our 6 foot tall fences are now shy of 4. We have reinstated the use of our hotline atop the fence (with warning vibrate and tone) and limit their time in the yard alltogether. The monsters don't seem to mind more time in our toasty 50°F house as long as they still get a long walk and something frozen to munch on.
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At the risk of sounding gravely prescriptive, the continued care of wild/hybrid canids demands a high degree of preparation and adaptability. Having plan A, B, and C well defined before a situational shift is imperative--be that a shift in effectiveness of containment, dietary or medical needs, and most frequently human responses to a behavior/gestural exchange. (For instance, while we have standard recommended 6ft fencing for effective containment, we installed the hotline and trained the pack to respond positively to audio/tactile boundary cues in late summer as a precaution, long before necessarily needing it.) When caring for situationally reactive animals with a propensity for dramatic communication and cleverly maneuvering/destroying manmade containment, there is very little room for error. Several committed days of specific precursory training can pay off in a critical moment.
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(Roan's sassy grimace in this photo was actually preceding a sneeze. The oversized sweet potato doesn't throw around nasty faces without cause.)
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.#coywolfden #wolf #wolfdog #wolfhyrbid #midcontent #malamute #germanshepherd #samoyed #husky #greywolf #timberwolf #packnotpet

When Thicket tires on longer outings, she simultaneously demands to be carried... And to walk on her own. If you indulge her, she flops grumpily in the snow, immobile and gaping, protesting aided travel while also refraining from moving herself; Wanting to immediately dig a shallow den and nap before continuing her gruelling snowy trek. Needless to say she is a bit of a diva when she is tired--a grumpy vocal diva with a scissormouth... Who both declaratively loves/loathes long hikes, and vehemently does/does not want to be carried. 😌
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#coywolfden #coyote #coyotedog #coydog #coyotehybrid #thicket #packnotpet

The notion that wolves are often 'confused' with coyotes by hunters baffles me... While they have completely dissimilar gaits, movements, physical structure, and let alone the incredible size difference, the "mistaken" sporting dispatch of wolves in protected areas is often overlooked when the hunter at fault states they thought the empirically necessary apex predator was instead an equally necessary secondary teir predator... If recreational hunters are effectively (and heavily) fined for mistakenly taking a moose or elk without proper tags, why should the death of a legally protected species with a dangerously low population be dismissed as an "honest mistake?"
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For a bit of perspective, there are less than 5,500 wild grey wolves in lower 48 states, compare this to ~300,000 moose, ~782,500 elk--and the 30,000,000 deer, (yes, 30 million deer) of 16 recognized subspecies--which are the primary populations recreational hunters claim to be ensuring by annually slaughtering wolves in an environment which flourished for millions of years prior to the self-proclaimed "wildlife management" of humankind... Any defense offered in light of a mistaken wolf killing is deplorable and blatantly ignorant.
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#coywolfden #wolf #wolfdog #wolfhybrid #coyote #coydog #coyotehybrid #midcontentwolfdog #packnotpet

Involuntarily mimicking the friendly social cues of her cohorts, Thicket has become intrusively affectionate towards new faces. Greeting our friends with gentle mouthing, licks, occasional happy chirps, and a plethora of squiqqly play postures, she presents herself as an amiable cuddlemonster. (Recognized as the technical term. 😉)
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We do our best to facilitate optimal situations for her interactions with new humans. Namely where all parties are calm and interact positively in a familiar environment where the reciprocative give-and-take of stress-free play can occur naturally. Unanticipated negative stimulus can cause her behavior to flash to extreme fear or anxiety at the drop of a hat, creating damaging associations with new faces. A strong enough negative experience has the potential to affect her behavior for days, months, and even her whole life if the situation is truly harrowing. Needless to say, we do our best to keep things happy and carefree--Thicket thoroughly enjoyed her time schmoozing up to the new kids.
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(Pardon our fluffs, spring shed is upon us. 😰)
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#coywolfden #coyote #coyotedog #coyotehybrid #coydog #wolf #wolfdog #wolfhybrid #packnotpet

Rye focuses her glare as Roth approaches to investigate her current treasure--a frozen ancient doe jaw, presumably recovered from one of Thicket's many buried snack stores. Her ears narrow in an acutely passive gesture, attempting to mitigate her grievously serious gaze. "Just move along, while your interest is still permissible as play..." If Roth had not heeded her warning, Rye's ears would press flat to her skull, her posture would stiffen with a hard focused gaze, perhaps some deep abdominal warning growls from pursed lips and a slow, controlled wagging tail. Thankfully her would-be assailant was far too excited about the falling snow to intimidate her away from her toy, or at least that's what I imagine he tells himself... I know I wouldn't voluntarily challenge Queen Rye's steely gaze if I could help it. 😰
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#coywolfden #wolf #wolfdog #wolfhyrbid #midcontent #malamute #greywolf #germanshepherd #sheltie #bordercollie #packnotpet

Not-so-little man is beginning his spring shed. His luscious puppy locks fall out in fistfulls while he voluntarily denies juicy cow cheeks to jumpstart fat and hair loss. Every year I know the dramatic shed is coming to turn my pack into lanky chupacabras, and every year I needlessly panic about their health. 😌 While there is no change in their happy playful behavior other than self imposed fasting, I can't help but lose my cool at the sight of my monsters slimming down and dropping their coat.
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Another sad life fact; Roan's spindly tail isn't thinning due to the shed (guard hairs drop later in the season), Thicket nips his ankles and tail to instigate play. Poor guy has the aesthetically shortest tail of the bunch due to his best friend's pestering.
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#coywolfden #wolf #wolfdog #wolfhyrbid #midcontent #malamute #husky #samoyed #germanshepherd #timberwolf #packnotpet

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