Behavior Publications

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Dog behaviors are often considered diluted or “watered down” wolf behaviors. The major difference between dog and wolf behavior is in the level of intensity in which the behaviors are exhibited. This dilution in intensity in dogs is directly linked to changes in physiology as a result of domestication.


Below are some publications on behavior:

  • Behavior & Physiology
    This excerpt from the NLA presentation to Florida Fish & Wildlife discusses the link between physiology and behavior and the differences in intensity in wolves compared to dogs.

  • Enriching the Life of the Sanctuary Wolfdog: Human Interaction as an Overlooked Welfare Strategy
    In 2012, Lindsay Mehrkam, then a Ph.D. student in the University of Florida's Canine Cognition Laboratory, received a research grant from NLA to attend and present at the annual conference of the Society for Science, Literature, and the Arts in Milwaukee, WI. This document is the presentation that Lindsay gave at this conference on her Master's research on enriching the lives of wolves and wolfdogs in sanctuaries.

  • Human Interaction as Environmental Enrichment for Pair-Housed Wolves and Wolf–Dog Crosses
    This research article by Dr. Lindsay Merkham and her colleagues is from Lindsay's Master's thesis work. It explores whether human interaction, itself, is a type of enrichment for sanctuary wolfdogs. It was published in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science. It is reprinted here with permission.

  • Manners First: The Role of Behavior in Training
    Professional animal behaviorist and trainer Steve Johnson gave a great presentation at the 2011 Rendezvous. This article from the Florida Lupine News highlights the role of behavior in training and various training methods that have been successfully used on wolfdogs.

  • My First Steps: Becoming a Wolfdog Owner
    This article was published in the National Lupine News. We have reprinted it here in the hope that future and current owners might be able to learn more about wolfdog behavior and training techniques from Eliezer and his wolfdog Yari.

  • Reading & Understanding Canines
    This article provides a basic introduction to canine body language and what it is communicating, allowing owners to better understand and "read" their animals. It was originally published in the Florida Lupine News.

  • Seasonal Trends in Intrapack Aggression of Captive Wolves (Canis lupus) and Wolf-Dog Crosses: Implications for Management in Mixed-Subspecies Exhibits
    This research article, co-authored by Dr. Lindsay Mehrkam, provides information on seasonal aggression in captive wolves and wolfdogs and recommendations for management of wolves and wolfdogs housed together in sanctuary exhibits.

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