Saarloos Wolfdog: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

The Saarloos wolfdog breed is of strong constitution, whose external appearance (structure, movement and coat) are reminiscent of the wolf. Its demeanour is lively, explosive and energetic, with a proud and independent character. However, it is devoted and totally devoted to Its master. At Petlifey, we explain the characteristics and character of the Saarloos wolfdog.

Saarloos Wolfdog Character

It’s a lively and energetic dog with a clearly proud character and independent. It obeys only Its own wish: it is not a submissive dog, although with Its master it is devoted and devoted to a high degree.

Due to Its temperament, with strangers it behaves in a reserved and somewhat suspicious way, and, like the wolf, it tends to flee from unfamiliar situations. It hates being tied down, a circumstance in which it shows nervousness.

The physical resemblance of the Saarloos wolfdog to the wolf is more than evident. From this it has inherited a tendency to flee in the presence of strangers, which can make them seem sullen and fearful.

Like the wolf, the typical movement of this breed is the trot, with which it can be tireless and easily travel long distances. It jogs with an agile, light and very easy progress.

The Saarloos wolfdog is not a domestic substitute for the wolf, on the contrary, it is a very special dog, with a series of no less special characteristics that distinguish it as a unique breed.

Can you have it in an apartment?

It is a type of breed that needs large doses of exercise on a daily basis and to be in constant contact with nature. This is why it is not advisable to live in an apartment.

It is a highly sensitive dog who loves to become the centre of attention of the human companions that make up Its particular “pack”.

It is a gregarious animal by nature, enjoys family life and, if possible, it is always better to have more than one specimen, so that it develops according to a strongly hierarchical nature.

Is it a dog for first timers?

It is probably one of the strangest dogs in the world and is not recommended for those who have a dog for the first time.

It is impossible for anyone to remain indifferent in Its presence. Dog owners are said to sometimes adapt the life and character of their pets and mould them into their image and likeness.

In the case of Saarloos the reaction is usually the opposite; it is the owners who adapt their lifestyle to the unique characteristics of their dog.

  • Energy: Medium / high level. It is a dog that needs a lot of regular exercise
  • Temperament: Lively, explosive and energetic, it is a dog with a proud and independent character, so it is not at all submissive. However, it is devoted and totally devoted to Its master.
  • Adaptability: Medium / low. It accommodates poorly to enclosed spaces. For its proper development, it must retain its freedom of movement.
  • Sociability: Low. It flees from unfamiliar situations and is wary of strangers who approach them.
  • Health: Good. No trace of hereditary diseases
  • Longevity: Low / medium. You can live between 8 and 12 years in good health.
  • Utility: Very versatile: Although it was not bred for the purpose of any particular use, it can be used as a companion dog, police dog and guide dog, and in sports activities, such as obedience, the ring or agility.
  • Use: Guardian and company.

Characteristics of the Saarloos Wolfdog

The general appearance of the Saarloos Wolfdog is that of a strongly built dog, whose external appearance (structure, movement and coat) are reminiscent of the wolf.

Its constitution is balanced and its members are quite long, but well proportioned in relation to the size of the body. Differences in secondary sexual characteristics are pronounced between males and females.

What is the Saarloos Wolfdog physically like?

Its body is very similar to the wolf, this dog has a balanced constitution, long limbs and rectangular structure, that is, the length of the body is greater than the height at the withers.

The head is very similar to that of the wolf, with a broad, flattened skull and a strong snout. The bridge of the nose is straight, and the stop is barely marked. The nose is pigmented black.

It has almond shaped eyes and a yellowish color, they are one of the main characteristics that resembles this breed with wolves. Its gaze has a reserved and serene expression.

Their ears are triangular, but with rounded tips, fleshy, firm and of medium size. They are implanted at eye level and are highly mobile.

The feet are slightly outward when the dog is standing, they are “hare” feet, very muscular and curved, with strongly developed pads.

The tail is set low and wide. It is covered with a lot of hair at implantation and reaches the hock. It is slightly curved in the shape of a saber, or almost straight, but can be lifted.

The hair on the neck sports a characteristic collar, but the entire body is covered with abundant hair of wolf gray, forest brown or a light shade, from cream to white.


It is a tireless trotter that covers great distances without hardly getting tired. The breed is characterized by a very specific, agile and light movement, in which the angulation of the limbs is of great importance.

In the trot, which is free, tireless and easygoing, although of short range, it brings the neck and head almost horizontally, a position in which the implantation of the eyes and the almost triangular shape of the head make up a typical image of the race.


The hair is abundant, covering the entire body and forming a characteristic collar on the neck. With the winter coat there is a predominance of the undercoat, contrary to what happens with the summer coat.


The specimens of this breed can present different coat colorations: shaded black from light to dark, also called “wolf grey”; shaded brown , also called “forest brown,” or from light cream to white.

In the wolf grey and white colors the pigmentation of the nose, eyelids, lips and nails is black. In forest-brown or cream-colored specimens, it is generally liver colored.

Regarding the tonality, the coat is paler in the entire lower part of the body, the internal parts of the limbs and in the posterior area of ​​the thighs.

In wolf gray and forest brown colors, a dark color appears on the outside of the limbs. Most show an expressive mask.

Saarloos Wolfdog Breed Standard

  • General appearance: Strongly built, due to its structure, movement and fur, it is reminiscent of the wolf. Between males and females the differences in secondary sexual characteristics are quite pronounced,
  • Other names: Saarloos Wolfdog / Chien-loup de Saarloos / Saarloos-Wolñiund / Saarlooswolfhond
  • Size: Very large.
  • Height at the withers: 65-75 cm (Males) and 60-70 cm (Females).
  • Weight: 32-35 kg (Males) and 30-33 kg (Female).
  • Head: It is very similar to that of the wolf, with a marked wedge shape.
  • Skull: It is broad and flattened.
  • Muzzle: The muzzle has a very characteristic development towards the superciliary arch, which gives it its wolf-like appearance. The muzzle is straight. Nose: It is black.
  • Jaws: The jaws are well developed, with strong, well-implanted teeth and a correct and complete scissor bite.
  • Eyes: They are a typical characteristic of the breed, which underlines the resemblance to the wolf. Yellow, light and almond-shaped, they are set slightly obliquely. They are not protruding and their eyelids are tightly set, with an alert and reserved expression, but not anxious.
  • Ears: Medium in size, fleshy, triangular, with a rounded tip and equipped with hairs inside, they are implanted at eye level and are extraordinarily mobile and expressive of the dog’s emotions.
  • Neck: Dry and very muscular, with the winter coat it is adorned with a beautiful necklace.
  • Body: It is agile while compact. Back: It is straight and strong.
  • Chest: Moderately broad, with slightly arched ribs and shallow, giving it its characteristic lupoid silhouette.
  • Tail: It is wide and with profuse hair at the implantation, which is low. It wears it in the shape of a saber, a little curved, sometimes almost straight. When it jogs or is alert, it usually raises it
  • Forelimbs: They are straight and muscular, with oval bones in their cross section and not very thick.
  • Shoulders: Fairly wide and long, moderately angled.
  • Forearms and arms: The arms are the same length as the shoulder blade, and the angulation between it and the arm is normal.
  • Hind limbs: They are powerful and well angulated.
  • Legs: Strong and muscular, their thighs are of normal length and width.
  • Knees: Moderately angled.
  • Hocks: Angulation is not exaggerated. The bones and muscles allow optimal narrowing of the joint.
  • Feet: They are “hare” feet, very muscular and arched, with strongly developed pads. Together with a strong carpal joint and slightly oblique pasterns, the dog has excellent movement, elastic and flexible. When standing, it sometimes places Its feet slightly outward.
  • Hair: The summer coat and the winter coat are very different.
  • FCI Classification: FCI No. 311 – GROUP 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 – Sheepdogs.

Saarloos Wolfdog Education and Training

The truth is that it is not an animal for beginners, as it needs a great deal of patience, a lot of knowledge and a special ability to deal with dogs, especially during the entire growth stage.

Puppies reach their adult size very soon, but such physical development is not accompanied by a temperamental maturity, therefore, it is of the utmost importance not to ask the dog for more than it can really give, especially in terms of obedience and physical endurance.

During development, their physical activity should be limited to short walks, some outdoor play and a lot of activity in the environment that will constitute their physical environment.

As the Saarloos Wolfdog grows, it will need more and more activity, and you need to be able to provide it with large open spaces through which it can run freely. Another of the characteristics of the breed is its great fondness for hunting, it is very skilled at catching rodents and small animals.

If all its energy is properly channeled and the Saarloos is properly socialized from a puppy, all that potential can be directed to the performance of activities as diverse as obedience, guarding and defense, agility and even beauty exhibitions.

In Holland, its country of origin, it is widely used by some canine units of the army.

Health and care of the Saarloos Wolfdog breed

Being a young breed, it is also a dog endowed with good health. It can easily live for more than 10 years, and if all goes well, it will only have to visit the vet for Its vaccinations and routine check-ups.

In addition, as an eminently rustic breed, it does not need any aesthetic arrangement. Of course, it is essential to provide the necessary care to keep your nails, eyes, teeth and ears in perfect condition.

As for the coat, it is advisable to give it a good regular brushing, working the dense undercoat well, especially in times of shedding; On the other hand, to the covering mantle it is enough to apply a light brushing with the help of a metallic card.

Regarding the baths, it is an extraordinarily clean animal, so it should only be bathed on exceptional occasions.

The Saarloos Wolfdog is an example of what an honest and determined breeder can achieve when it puts all Its knowledge at the service of a selective breeding made with love and admiration for the natural ancestors of the dog.

Origin of the Saarloos Wolfdog breed

The Saarloos Wolfdog is a very new breed, as it was not recognized until 1975. Its development was started in the 1920s by the Dutch zoologist Leendert Saarloos, a lover of dogs and nature who believed that dog breeds were they had humanized excessively.

Thus, seeking to recover the features of the wolf, it crossed copies of the German shepherd and the European wolf. The result was this extraordinary animal with a strong and balanced constitution, and an intimidating lupine appearance, which tries to combine the qualities of the breeds that give it origin. Nowadays it is a good companion dog that is gaining followers among fans of guard and defence breeds.

Leave a Comment