|Can we help you keep your wolfdog?|
|Let's be brutally honest--YOU are your wolfdog's best chance at a full, happy life. Wolfdogs in general find it difficult and stressful to adapt to a new home...and if taken to the shelter, most are either put to death due to prejudice against their breed (or a sensitive/timid temperament), sent to boring lives at sanctuaries with large numbers of *other* unwanted wolfdogs, or--even if later adopted--put through a tremendous amount of stress in the kennel/shelter environment. Is there another way? Perhaps...if you are willing to fix whatever it is that makes you want to give your wolfdog away. Let's look at some common reasons for giving up on wolfdogs.
Unless you are moving *out of the USA*, you can probably take your wolfdogs with you!
The biggest question when a wolfdog owner relocates (vs. a person with a small, laid back domestic housedog) is usually "where do I put the dog(s)??" Outdoor or indoor/outdoor wolfdogs (and their secure enclosures) require a bit of planning. Here are three different angles to try:
1. Throw up a quick, temporary kennel at the new house. You can expand it once you are moved in, but for now you just need a secure place for him to stay in the meantime.
One quick and easy kennel method is to buy some "cattle panels" at your local farm store or Tractor Supply. (Cattle panels are 16' long, 4' tall, 6 gauge fence panels. They are un-chewable and can stand up on their own, without requiring posts to be dug and cemented in the ground.) For about $200 (in 2004, anyhow), you can get enough panels and supplies to make a 20' diameter pen. You will need bolt cutters, heavy gauge "hog rings" (also available at a farm store, or online at places like this: http://www.hooverfence.com/catalog/cpage58.htm ) and dig-proof ground wire to attach to the bottom, plus some snaps like those found on dog leashes, to hold the gate shut. Simply cut each panel in half so it is 8' tall, stand it on end, arrange in a circle, and ring them together every few inches with the hog rings! Two people can do this pen in about 2-3 hours, including laying the dig wire on the ground and securing it to the cattle panels with wire. To make the door, cut one panel in half...then cut a slightly smaller hole in the pen itself, and ring the "door panel" to the inside of the pen, overlapping the hole. Secure the door shut with dog snaps mentioned above. I also hammered the inside edge of the ground wire into the ground via "staples" made from leftover cattle panel ;) and tacked the edges of the pen down with large tent stakes, for added stability/security.
Special Caution: IF you live where any children, cats, or other dogs can approach this pen, you also need to wrap the bottom few feet with a lighter gauge, closely-spaced wire (such as chicken wire or hardware cloth) to prevent injury/death! Cattle panel holes are widely gapped, and dogs can put their heads outside the pen and bite people, or pull smaller animals into the pen. I have personally known people bitten, cats slaughtered, and dogs mutilated because of this drawback to cattle panels, so be sure to cover the panel with a tighter mesh unless you are moving out in the sticks!
Here is a visual of this type of pen:
|And here is a great link on this sort of pen-building: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/build_a_cage.htm
This is another of our isolation pens:
|It was made as follows: rent an earth-auger from an equipment rental store...drill the post holes...add 8' wooden posts...fill hole with concrete mix...add water & let set overnight. When dry, lay ground wire across the bottom...then string the chainlink & nail it down with U-shaped nails. If needed, add a wire top...this project, a 15x30 kennel, was also only a few hundred dollars and 2-3 days' work. I despise building gates, so I bought a gate panel from the hardware store ;) and reinforced it all the way around with extra wire.|