By Avatar photoShiloh Nevada Last updated: 18th October 2022

Saarloos Wolfdog


Avatar photo Shiloh Nevada
Last updated: 18th October 2022

The Saarloos Wolfdog is a Dutch breed that developed from a wolf and a German Shepherd through human intervention. Not bred for any particular purpose, this dog is known for their large, fluffy looks and loyal nature. Saarloos Wolfdogs have a relatively large stature and an athletic body. They have a large, wolf-like head with wide, triangular ears, almond-eyes, a broad muzzle, and a stocky neck and shoulders. Their feet and chest are strong, while the furry, straight tail hangs downwards.

Saarloos Wolfdog Pictures

Quick Description

Other NamesSaarloos, Saarloos Wolf Dog, Saarloos Wolfhond (Dutch), Saarloos Wolfhound, European Wolfdog
CoatLong, short, dense, smooth
ColorsWolf gray (most standard), wolf brown, red, white (uncommon)
TypeCompanion Dog
Group (of Breed)Hybrid
Lifespan10-12 years
Weight79-90 pounds (full grown male/female)
Height (Size)Large; 24-30 inches
Personality TraitsLoyal, shy, active, independent, social, lively
Good with ChildrenNo
Good with PetsNo
Good for New/First-time OwnersNo
SheddingOnce a year
Climatic ConditionsWell adapted to cold weather
Litter Size4-6 puppies at a time
Country of OriginGermany; The Netherlands
Competitive Registration/ Qualification InformationUKC, FCI, DRA, ACA, ACR, APRI, CKC, NKC
Breed Standards (UKC)

Video: The Saarloos Wolfdog

History & Development

Interestingly, the Saarloos Wolfdog was not bred to serve any particular purpose or for work, but to create a strong and hardy household companion.

It was back in 1932 that a breeder from the Netherlands, Leendert Saarloos, after whom the dog got its name, mated a captive female European wolf (from the Rotterdam Zoo) with a male German Shepherd dog (AKA Alsatian).

The resultant issue was then made to pair with the sire. The pairing gave birth to the first line of the Saarloose Wolfdog, which the creator initially named as the European Wolfdog. The dog retained its old name even after the death of Sarloos, until in 1975, the Dutch Kennel Club while giving recognition to this breed, renamed it as the Saarloose Wolfdog to honor its creator. On July 1, 2006, the Saarloos Wolfdog got recognized by the United Kennel Club (UKC).

Temperament and Behavior

The Saarloose wolfdogs are lively animals, extremely reliable and devoted to their family members. They have a natural urge to roam around which is necessary to release their excess energy. They have a wolf-like trait of being shy and avoiding unknown situations. They might not be too good with kids if not socialized from a very early age. Suspicious of strangers, the Sarloos makes an excellent watchdog. They wouldn’t hesitate to start barking aloud the moment they find an unknown face close to its territory or just find something suspicious. This dog is not suitable for apartment living.



40 to 60 minutes of daily exercise, including running and jogging, is essential for this breed to relieve their stress and ensure the right amount of mental stimulation, lest they may get bored and destructive. It is recommended that you have a yard at home where they can wander around and play unleashed. However, make sure the fencing is extremely secure since they are prone to escape if they discover any weakness in the fence.


The Saarloos has a dense double coat, with a softer undercoat and a harsher outer one. They steadily shed throughout the year, especially during spring and autumn. Brush the coat thrice to four times weekly to remove dead hair and keep it neat and fluffy.

Health Problems

Selective breeding is a good choice to get a healthy Sarloos puppy. Because of its large size, an individual might be prone to many complex issues including degenerative myelopathy (DM), hip dysplasia, pituitary dwarfism, spondylosis of the spine and some eye diseases. Hence, casual breeding of this dog is discouraged by the breed association.


  • They have a strong pack instinct, and in order to ward off chances of any bad behavior arising from there, you need to make sure that you assert yourself at the top of the social hierarchy. Such a practice from its childhood would help you maintain the desired degree of control over your pet. For instance, letting this puppy walk in front, rather than behind or beside of you, would only hint them of their superiority.
  • To help your puppy socialize safely from childhood, begin with planning doggie meetings outside its ‘territory’ (your house). Ask a friend or neighbor to bring his dog and let them meet in a neutral area, which will prevent both the dogs from approaching each other with a territorial instinct in their minds. The suitable place for such meetings can well be the area in between you and your neighbor’s yard or even a quiet corner in a park.


Like other ‘large’-category dogs, 3-4 cups of kibbles (including brunch and dinner) per day is recommended for the Saarloos.

One response to “Saarloos Wolfdog”

  1. Lisa van Hoof says:

    Actually, the comment “no particular purpose” is bollocks. The Saarlooswolfdog was bred by Leendert Saarloos as his wish was that the dogs he would create would be capable of serving the police force and of being used as seeing-eye dogs, amongst other services !

    A SWD does not bark, so they make bad guard dog as they will not approach strangers.

    40-60 minutes excercise, yes but running/jogging is not always possible due to the shy nature.

    Dominance/pack leader comment also bollocks

    SWD do not do well on kibbles (LOL) so raw meat and BARF

    So much rubbish on the internet

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