Saarloos wolfdog

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Saarloos wolfdog
Bow bow.jpg
Saarloos wolfdog
Other namesSaarloos wolfhound
OriginNetherlands
Classification / standards
FCI Group 1 Herding dogs, Section 1 Sheepdogs #311 standard
UKC Herding Dogs standard
Domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris)

The Saarloos wolfdog (Dutch: Saarlooswolfhond) is a dog breed originating from the crossing of a German Shepherd to a Eurasian wolf. The offspring were then crossed with German Shepherds. It is now a recognized breed, and is recognized as a wolf dog due to the original cross it came from.

History[edit]

Leendert Saarloos (1884–1969) was a Dutch dog breeder who believed that the German Shepherd had become too domesticated and wanted to breed back the more natural properties in order to derive a better working dog. In 1935, he bred a German Shepherd male to a female Eurasian wolf from Siberia. He then bred the offspring back with German Shepherds to derive a dog with one quarter wolf blood. The result was a dog that was not useful as a working dog but as companion that is close to nature. The Dutch Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1975. To honour its creator, they named this dog the "Saarloos Wolfdog". In 1981, the breed was recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).[1]

Genetic evidence[edit]

In 2015, a study found that the Saarloos wolfdog showed more genetic association with the gray wolf than any other breed, which is in agreement with the documented historical crossbreeding with gray wolves in this breed.[2] In 2016, a major DNA study of domestic dogs found a deep division between the Saarloos wolfdog and all other dogs, highlighting its descent from the crossing of German Shepherds with captive wolves in the 1930s, then followed by a further split between dogs of Eastern Eurasian and Western Eurasian origin.[3]

Description[edit]

The Saarloos wolfdog is a strongly built dog whose build, coat and movement is wolf-like. The height is between 65–75 cm (26–30 in) in males and 60–70 cm (24–28 in) in females.[1] It weighs up to 45 kg (100 lb). It is an athletic dog in build, with medium bone, and a strong and muscular body. They move lightly on their feet and have an elegant march. Its coat is short and dense, providing good protection from the weather. There are three colours: wolf-grey, red and white. Because the wolf-grey genes are dominant, this is the most common colour. Genes for white colour are recessive, making this uncommon although this colour is accepted. The Saarloos has wolf-like expressions, as well as a wolf-like head.

Training[edit]

This breed needs thorough socialization before the twelfth week of age to ensure prosocial behavior.[4]

Outcross program[edit]

The Dutch parent club for Saarloos wolfdogs researched possibilities to improve the breed's health by increasing genetic diversity. The first meetings with the Dutch kennel club were held in 2010. Following these meetings, Wageningen University and Research was asked to investigate the degree of interrelatedness of the population. The research was conducted by quantitative geneticist dr J.J. Windig and dr ir M. Spies-Stoop. This study revealed that the population of Saarloos wolfdogs was very closely related. Without intervention, the degree of inbreeding would threaten the breed's survival. The scientists advised a controlled and extensive outcross program, to increase the breed's vitality, fertility and genetic variation. The Dutch kennel club approved the outcross program in 2012.[5]

Two types of outcrosses are used in the outcross program. The first type is the use of so called 'look-alikes', which are dogs that resemble a Saarloos wolfdog, but that don't have a pedigree or that belong to a breed that isn't recognized by the FCI.[6] The second type is the use of several FCI-recognized breeds. The breeds to be used are chosen by breed club members and agreed upon by majority vote. The procedure for both types of outcrosses is the same. The outcross is performed and the F1 generation is produced. The F1 is evaluated and fully health screened, and the best individuals are chosen to contribute to the next generation. This is done by breeding them back to purebred Saarloos wolfdogs, which produces the F2 generation. The F2 is again evaluated and health tested, and the best individuals are bred back to Saarloos wolfdogs to produce the F3 generation. The offspring of an F3 with a purebred Saarloos wolfdog (F4) will get an official pedigree and be recognized as a purebred. In order to maintain proper breed type, purebred breeding of Saarloos wolfdogs must continue alongside the outcross program.[7]

As of January 2019, the following outcrosses have been performed:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Saarlooswolfhond (PDF), FCI, retrieved 25 September 2014
  2. ^ Skoglund, P. (2015). "Ancient wolf genome reveals an early divergence of domestic dog ancestors and admixture into high-latitude breeds". Current Biology. 25 (11): 1515–9. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2015.04.019. PMID 26004765.
  3. ^ Frantz, L. A. F.; Mullin, V. E.; Pionnier-Capitan, M.; Lebrasseur, O.; Ollivier, M.; Perri, A.; Linderholm, A.; Mattiangeli, V.; Teasdale, M. D.; Dimopoulos, E. A.; Tresset, A.; Duffraisse, M.; McCormick, F.; Bartosiewicz, L.; Gal, E.; Nyerges, E. A.; Sablin, M. V.; Brehard, S.; Mashkour, M.; b l Escu, A.; Gillet, B.; Hughes, S.; Chassaing, O.; Hitte, C.; Vigne, J.-D.; Dobney, K.; Hanni, C.; Bradley, D. G.; Larson, G. (2016). "Genomic and archaeological evidence suggest a dual origin of domestic dogs". Science. 352 (6290): 1228–31. doi:10.1126/science.aaf3161. PMID 27257259.
  4. ^ Verhoef-Verhallen, Esther (2001). The Complete Encyclopedia of Dogs. The Netherlands: Robo International. p. 73. ISBN 9780785819998.
  5. ^ Dutch breed club for Saarloos wolfdogs, plan of approach. https://avls.nl/plan-van-aanpak/
  6. ^ Dutch breed club for Saarloos wolfdogs, evaluating look-alikes. https://avls.nl/aankeuren-lookalike-2/
  7. ^ Dutch breed club for Saarloos wolfdogs, plan of approach. https://avls.nl/plan-van-aanpak/
  8. ^ White Swiss shepherd outcross updates. https://avls.nl/zwitserse-witte-herder/
  9. ^ Siberian husky outcross updates. https://avls.nl/working-husky/
  10. ^ Ibizan hound outcross updates. https://avls.nl/podenco-ibicenco/
  11. ^ Norwegian elkhound outcross updates. https://avls.nl/noorse-elandhond/
  12. ^ Look-alike outcross updates. https://avls.nl/lookalikes/

External links[edit]