Archive for the ‘Eurasian Wolf’ Tag

Federal Border Guards – Russian Military Dogs bred to defend borders.   68 comments

Federal Border Guards – Russian Military Dogs bred to defend borders.


K9 Federal Border Guards     Volkosoby - Russian Wolf Dog

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union an agreement was put in place between Russia and Tadjikistan that the border with Afghanistan would be patrolled by Russian border guards. This is a highly popular border point for drug traffickers whose sole intention is to cross it undetected.

Federal Border Guards – The “Volkosoby” (Russian for wolf dog) is a relatively new breed of Wolf Dog, bred by the Russian military to help defend and protect the Chinese and Mongolian borders of Russia. Bred in the Perm Institute of Internal Troops it originated in Russia in year 2000. A fully trained wolf dog is valued at $2,000-$3,000.

Powerful animals they are the size of, and the grip of a wolf, but retain an obedient and friendly attitude to people who are not a threat. None-the-less they are not officially sold, being instead, rented to internal security organisations.

Russian Wolf Dog

The first 200+ wolf-dog puppies bred at The University of Cologne were considered to be a failure as they all expressed the typical wolf characteristics of extreme fearful-caution around humans. Therefore the subsequent breeding success at Russia’s Perm Institute of Interior Forces was both a big surprise and a major achievement. Such good fortune could have been achieved by virtue of the fact that the She-wolf used in the breeding process was an exceptionally, and uncharacteristically friendly and sociable wolf. And contrary to the natural wolf nature she got on just great with humans.

She herself, despite having the choice of mates, chose a male dog as her mate rather than a male wolf, and her pups are the beautiful and unique military/police dogs with their high level intelligence and the benefit of their enhanced wolf instincts that today the Russians have the great pleasure and privilege of training. 

Russian Wolf Dog Pup  Little and Large!    Male wolf "Akella" and Female German Shepherd Dog mate 

The wolf part of the breed mix involves the Caspian Sea Wolf, officially known as Steppe Wolf but also referred to as the Causican Wolf. It was classified by Ivan Dwigubski a Russian scientist in 1804 as Canis lupus campestris a subspecies of the Grey Wolf. Originating in the countries around the Caspian Sea and Black Sea, it is now found only in remote regions SW of Russia, bordering the northern half of the Caspian Sea, though it has also been sighted in N Afghanistan and Iran and from time to time, the steppe regions of Romania and Hungary. 

Grey Caspian Sea WolvesCaspian Sea wolves weigh Red-Coated Asian/Kazakhstan Steppe Wolvesbetween 35-40 kg (77-88 lbs.); have short coats in a variety of grey shades, with overlay hair in rust or brown and black shades across their back. They also have a characteristically thinly furred tail. Asian and Kazakhstan Steppe wolves are inclined to lean heavily towards more reddish toned pelts but in both cases these are the colours of the desert and designed to allow the wolves to blend into their surroundings. They are slightly smaller than the Eurasian wolf – used in the creation of the Czechoslovakian Wolf dog and not to be confused with it, and its fur is scanter, bristlier and shorter.

“Volkosoby” – Russian wolf dogs take on a variety of specialized tasks. Some are trained specifically to track mines, others are trained in drugs and alcohol detection techniques, and every checkpoint has three or four tracker wolf dogs.

Trained "Volkosoby"-Russian Wolf Dogs at checkpoint

It is the job of border guard headquarters to ensure there are sufficient numbers of appropriately and fully trained wolf dogs to cover all border posts. Wolf dogs in training guard the perimeters, guaranteeing absolutely, that no one has any chance whatsoever of getting past them.

Federal Border Guards! 



Wolf dogs are very friendly work-loving creatures. “When they enter the training hall their teeth chatter as they are impatient to do exercises.” ~ Animal trainer Olga Galperina. And they have excelled on dog training programmes regularly out-performing the dogs.


   Happy to work...  Russian Wolf Dogs in Training  Russian Wolf Dogs_Sit-Stay Training

In training German Shepherd Dogs took a good four minutes to sniff out a ‘criminal’ hiding in a confined space of the building. The wolf dogs took a maximum time of between fifteen and twenty seconds! (BELOW)

Working Russian Wolf Dog

Unlike dogs who naturally love to run around enthusiastically investigating the training grounds in a hectic, unruly fashion prior to getting down to the process of actually working, these Russian Wolf Dogs cut straight to the chase. One circle of the area in question to establish relevant locations, is all that they find necessary before initiatiating a speedy no-nonsense track-down of the drugs, criminals or explosives hidden around the training area.

Exhibition Activities also inc GSD's and BSD's (Belgian Shepherd Dogs-Malinois)


They also display an eagerness to be involved in exhibition activities at the Institute’s ‘Championship Competitions of the Internal Troop Service.’ (RIGHT>>>)



Russian Wolf Dog detecting explosives

The wolf dogs are considered to be “strategic weapons.”

They have proven themselves in conditions close to the area of the North Caucasus fighting, and show a keenness to work on the oil pipelines searching for illegal connections, detecting explosives in vehicles entering oil installations.



The Russian wolf dog has proved to have a great affinity for the search and apprehension of intruders and in contrast to their German Shepherd Dog counterparts can easily trail criminals on the run for a good two days at a time without tiring.

   Criminal Chase and Apprehension Training  Criminal Chase and Apprehension Training 2 

The Saarlooswolfhond   29 comments

The Saarlooswolfhond  (or Saarlooswolfdog)


The Saarlooswolfhond(Dutch for “Saarloos Wolf dog”) was originally bred in 1921, by Dutch breeder Leendert Saarloos who crossbred a male German Shepherd Dog “Gerhard van de Fransenum” with a female Eurasian Wolf “Fleur”. His aim was to produce a “super” German Shepherd Dog which was immune to distemper.  At that time it was known as the European Wolf-dog. He had full control over both the breeding program and the Wolf-dogs themselves until he died in 1969. The new breed was recognised by the Dutch Kennel Club in 1975 and was renamed Saarlooswolfhond (wolf dog) in honour of Leendert Saarloos. Saarlooswolfdogs were in the past trained as guide dogs for the blind. About 300 blind people have had Saarlooswolfdogs as guide dogs.


Attempts have been made to introduce them to rescue and police work, but the strong wolf traits, reserve, caution, flight and lack of ferocity particularly in regard to police work, made the majority of these wolf-dogs unsuitable candidates. Today’s Saarlooswolfdog is a strong imposing dog, and is also a very rare breed. Purebreds can cost up to $2,000.


The Saarlooswolfdog is a not a breed for novice dog owners, due to its size and strength. It is a bold and daring and powerful dog. It’s wolf-like appearance and typical wolf-gait make it a striking animal. This is not a dog for first time owners or anyone with little time to spare; It needs a lot of exercise, as it doesn’t tire easily.  Apartment and urban life are not appropriate for this breed. The animal needs a strong alpha leader; a dominant position that must be established by the owner from the start, and also a social atmosphere. Owners are well advised to have at least two of the breed because the animals are still pack-oriented. In this situation the alpha dog will soon become obvious and in leading its pack will also establish order. If isolated this will intensify any anti-social behaviour, and if locked in an enclosed space these dogs panic.


The breed is very intelligent. A great deal of patience is required for successful training because the breed doesn’t take well to obedience or schutzhund work and is extremely strong willed. But they are also very reliable dogs, with a tendency to become especially attached to one person, and are extremely loyal to their owner. It is possible to train them as Show Dogs as exemplified by the Saarloos male who won Group 1 at the Working Dog Show in Finland in 1998. They rarely bark, using a variety of alternative ways to alert their owner. It is recommended not to have a Saarlooswolfhond around children or other animals, because they still have a strong drive to kill prey.