Aug 07

Meet Mia: Our Wolf Pup Mom

Did you know that a German Short Haired Pointer can be the mother of three unruly wolf pups? Well, genetics aside, it’s true from a behavioral standpoint. Mia is a very personable, people-loving dog who is on loan to us to assist with pup rearing. Wolf pups are typically disciplined, corrected and taught appropriate “wolf etiquette” by adult members of their pack. However, because our pups were not born here and have yet to meet the adult wolves, they needed a surrogate.

We train using only positive reinforcement, which keeps our relationship with the pups positive and keeps us safe and removed from pack politics. That is great for us but means that without adult canine oversight, the pups would not learn to respect cues from adult wolves. Therein lies the magic of Mia.

Mia teaches the pups to submit to adult canines even when they’re already displaying dominance battles with each other. She ensures that when we do introduce the pups to the adult wolves, they will be well received. No adult wolf wants to adopt a pushy, rude puppy. Thanks to Mia, our pups will mind their manners and be welcomed into an adult pack.

Mia is also really great, because she gives the pups cues as to how to respond to new stimuli. If Mia is confident around guests, strange places and cameras, the puppies will also likely be confident, whereas alone they might be more cautious like a wild wolf. Having Mia to teach them how to be brave and respectful is an invaluable tool. Thanks Mia!