The Lycan Shepherd is a new breed that’s on its way to becoming an excellent pet. Find out more about this wolf-like dog here.
The Lycan Shepherd is new up and coming dog breed that strongly resembles a wild wolf. Like its name suggests, this breed shares a lot of qualities with wolves and humans. They were bred to be intelligent and obedient working dogs like the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.
Since the Lycan Shepherd is a very new breed, there isn’t much information available yet. You can say that this breed is still in development. However, you’ll find everything there is to know about this handsome dog. I’ll cover the Lycan Shepherd’s history and origin, followed by the Lycan Shepherd’s personality. You’ll also learn about what the Lycan Shepherd looks like and how to take care of one. Finally, I’ll discuss the common health problems that a Lycan Shepherd can have.
Table of Contents
The History of the Lycan Shepherd
The Lycan Shepherd was developed by Chadde JoliCoeur, a breeder from Michigan who aims to create the ideal working guard dogs. JoliCoeur began breeding dogs in the 1990s and works as an animal warden.
JoliCoeur first developed the Lycan Shepherd to create dog that is intelligent, obedient, and has a wolf-like appearance. He began breeding them in the late 1990s and his goal was to create the perfect German Shepherd because of the lack of uniformity in the breeding world. JoliCoeur selected healthy Blue German Shepherd Dogs as his foundation dogs to start this breed. He began crossbreeding these dogs wolf dogs, Belgian Malinois dogs, and Blue Bay Shepherds.
As of writing this piece, the Lycan Shepherd is not yet recognized as an official breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC). It also hasn’t been registered under any canine registries. This is because it’s still a new breed that is being produced by a single breeder.
For it to be recognized by the AKC, the Lycan Shepherd will need to be consistently produced for at least 40 years. As of today, Lycan Shepherds are not yet available to the public. JoliCoeur intends to only make them available in the future once the breed is more developed.
The Lycan Shepherd’s Personality
Lycan Shepherds are active, intelligent, obedient, and curious dogs. Since the breed is still in development, its temperament can be quite unpredictable. Some Lycan Shepherds are gentle while others are rowdier.
The Lycan Shepherd’s breeder is still in the process of perfecting the breed’s temperament. However, thanks to its genetics, the Lycan Shepherd generally shares the same personality traits as its parent breeds.
So far, it can be said that Lycan Shepherds are great at understanding and following commands. This comes from their German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois roots. They’re perfect for obedience training and serving as working dogs.
The Lycan Shepherd’s Founding Breeds
To help you understand what a Lycan Shepherd is like, I’ll discuss each of its founding breeds. The Lycan Shepherd’s founding breeds are the German Shepherd, Blue Bay Shepherd, Belgian Malinois, and Wolfdog.
German Shepherd Dog
One of the foundation breeds for the Lycan Shepherd is, of course, the German Shepherd dog. The German Shepherd dog is a large-sized breed that features a coat with a saddle pattern. They have pointed ears, lowered backs, and thick double coats.
It’s important to note that the breed includes Working German Shepherd dogs and not Show German Shepherd dogs. The difference between Working and Show German Shepherd dogs are their purposes and builds. Working Shepherd dogs normally weigh about 60 to 80 lbs and stand at a height of 20 to 26 inches when fully grown.
Compared to Show German Shepherd Dogs, Working Shepherd Dogs have straighter backs and longer hindlegs. They are built to work and serve as guard or police dogs. Working German Shepherd dogs are generally more aggressive and sensitive to fast-moving people and animals. The aggression comes from their generations of training as working dogs.
Working German Shepherd dogs are also highly intelligent. Since they are made to be working dogs, this breed is perfect for obedience training. They can easily pick up commands and tricks with a bit of effort and time from their owners.
The Belgian Malinois is another working dog that is highly similar to German Shepherd dogs. Belgian Malinois, however, have lankier and more elegant builds. When fully grown, Belgian Malinois stand at a height of 22 to 26 inches tall and weigh about 60 to 80 lbs.
Belgian Malinois have short and thick double coats that can come in a variety of colors. The most popular color pattern for the Belgian Malinois is fawn with a black mask, ears, and fur tips. They sometimes have some white spots on the feet and chest.
When socialized early on, Belgian Malinois make great family pets. However, they have natural instincts as a herding dog and tend to nip at people’s heels. Belgian Malinois are also easy to train. They are confident and protective with a tendency to be standoffish towards strangers.
Blue Bay Shepherd Dog
Blue Bay Shepherd dogs are also a hybrid like the Lycan Shepherd. This breed was developed by Vicki Spencer who first produced a successful litter of Blue Bay Shepherds in 2011. It was developed by crossbreeding German Shepherd dogs with blue-coated wolfdogs.
The Blue Bay Shepherd has a solid blue coat that feathers around the ears, underbelly, and tail. They have large triangular ears and light-colored eyes. Their backs are straight, and they are a bit longer than they are tall.
Blue Bay Shepherds are large dogs, weighing 70 to 105 lbs when fully grown. They are affectionate, gentle, and trainable dogs. The Blue Bay Shepherd’s breeder’s goal was to create a dog with wolfdog genes to alleviate the stigma towards wolfdogs.
Wolfdogs are hybrid dogs that are the result of crossbreeding a domesticated dog and a gray wolf. They are large animals that can weigh up to 60 to 120 lbs when fully grown. They have long and thick double coats designed to keep them warm during harsh winter months.
Despite being first developed in the 1960s, there is still a stigma against Wolfdogs today. Many believe that wolfdogs are dangerous while advocates claim that it’s a wonderful family pet. The only thing that you can be sure of is that these animals are more dog than they are wolf.
Wolfdogs are a bit more difficult than most dogs because of their instincts. They are tough and confident pets that need owners that have plenty of experience with dogs. Wolfdogs with more wolf genes tend to be more aggressive and will need more training than most pets. They can be risky to have around small children and small pets.
Lycan Shepherd Appearance
The Lycan Shepherd is a large dog that can grow anywhere between 22 to 26 inches tall, with male Lycan Shepherds being typically larger than female ones. It has a straight back, long legs, and squarish build. Lycan Shepherds typically have domed heads with triangular pointed ears on top.
Lycan Shepherds can only have one coat color: black. Right now, the only Lycan Shepherd breeder only produces puppies with solid black coats that make it look more striking and wolf-like. Lycan Shepherd coats are thick and medium in length with a double coat.
Whether or not more colors will be available for this breed is still up in the air. It will depend on how its breeder will develop the breed so there is a chance that it might have other color options in the future.
Take Care of a Lycan Shepherd
Although Lycan Shepherds aren’t available to the public yet, it’s still a good idea to know how to take care of one if you intend to have your own in the future. Lycan Shepherds are high-maintenance dogs that need a lot of effort to meet their grooming, feeding, exercise, and dental care needs. In the following sections, I’ll discuss everything you need to know about taking care of your own Lycan Shepherd.
Since Lycan Shepherds have thick double coats, you can expect your pet to be a heavy shedder. Dogs normally have two shedding seasons that happen every spring and fall. Lycan Shepherds need to be brushed every day to keep their coats healthy and shiny.
The best type of brush to use with a Lycan Shepherd is a de-shedding comb. A de-shedding comb can easily get rid of any dead fur, dander, and prevent matting. You should brush your Lycan Shepherd more often during shedding seasons because otherwise, you will find your dog’s fur everywhere.
Since Lycan Shepherds are active dogs, they like to spend their time outdoors. This means that they can easily get covered in dirt and mud because they love to dig and explore new areas. Whenever your Lycan Shepherd gets dirty, you should give it a bath. Their thick coats will work best with de-shedding shampoo to get rid of dirt along with excess fur and dander.
Lycan Shepherds should be fed high-quality food that’s high in protein. Ideally, you will be feeding your Lycan Shepherd a blend of wet and dry food to provide it with a balanced diet. However, it can do well enough with dry food that’s has a high-quality and balanced formula.
This breed will need about 1.25 cups or 0.3 lbs of food a day as a puppy and 2.5 cups or 0.7 lbs of food as an adult. While it’s a puppy, you should divide your Lycan Shepherd’s food into four meals a day. Once it becomes an adult, it can start having its food divided into two meals a day.
Below is a chart of dry food brands that you can feed your Lycan Shepherd puppy:
|Puppy Food Brand||Quantity per bag||Bags per year||Unit price||Price per year|
|Diamond Naturals||20 lbs||6||$38.99||$234|
|Hill’s Science||33 lbs||4||$54.99||$220|
|Taste of the Wild||30 lbs||4||$48.99||$200|
|Royal Canin||30 lbs||4||$83.69||$335|
Below is a chart of dry food brands that you can feed your adult Lycan Shepherd:
|Dog Food Brand||Quantity per bag||Bags per year||Unit price||Price per year|
|Diamond Naturals||30 lbs||9||$36.99||$332|
|Hill’s Science||30 lbs||9||$60.99||$550|
|Taste of the Wild||28 lbs||9||$48.99||$440|
|Royal Canin||30 lbs||9||$79.04||$711|
This table is based on feeding a Lycan Shepherd that has medium activity or exercise every day. You may need to adjust the amount that you feed your Lycan Shepherd if it expends more or less energy throughout the day. It’s important to keep your dog’s diet healthy to prevent excessive weight gain or excessive weight loss.
Lycan Shepherd dogs have strong and resilient teeth. However, they still need to undergo regular dental care to prevent any tooth and gum diseases. You should brush your Lycan Shepherd’s teeth at least once every three days to get rid of any plaque or tartar.
Since Lycan Shepherds can be aggressive, it’s not recommended that you brush its teeth yourself. It can trigger aggression or biting and might not be safe for you or your dog. Instead of using a toothbrush, you should use water additives or enzymatic paste. Water additives can help keep your dog’s mouth bacteria-free and help its breath smell good. Enzymatic paste can break down plaque and tartar that might be left behind on your dog’s teeth from its food.
It’s important that you take your Lycan Shepherd to the vet for a dental exam at least twice a year. During this dental exam, you should also ask your vet to conduct a professional dental cleaning. Dental cleaning involves having to put your dog under anesthesia so you must get your dog’s blood tested to figure out how much anesthesia is safe.
The most important part of taking care of a Lycan Shepherd is giving it enough exercise. Lycan Shepherds need plenty of room to roam. The best way to keep your Lycan Shepherd exercised is by taking it out for long walks or hikes. Lycan Shepherds love to explore new terrains and will gladly get its muscles going in the great outdoors.
Lycan Shepherds typically need about 1 to 2 hours of exercise every day to keep their weight balanced and their muscles strong. Exercise can take the form of walks, play, or training. Since they’re easy to train, Lycan Shepherds can also exercise by practicing agility courses.
If you aren’t the type to engage in training activities, you can also play with your Lycan Shepherd. Lycan Shepherds love to play fetch and chase people around for fun. They also enjoy playful wrestling which they usually engage in with other dogs. However, you should be careful about having a Lycan Shepherd around smaller dogs. Lycan Shepherds can easily overpower smaller breeds and potentially injure them during playfights.
The Ideal Home and Owner for The Lycan Shepherd
The idea home for a Lycan Shepherd is a home that has plenty of both indoor and outdoor space. Since they’re a large breed, they don’t fair well in small homes like apartments or condos. A Lycan Shepherd should live with an owner or family that resides in a sizable home with a backyard.
Ideally, they should live close to a woodsy or mountain area for hikes to help them exercise. Lycan Shepherds don’t enjoy spending most of their time indoors because of their natural herding and hunting instincts. Not to mention, they also have a bit of wolf genes inside them.
Lycan Shepherds should also live with families that don’t have any small children or small dogs. Since this breed can be quite rough, it might hurt or injure your kids or small pets. A Lycan Shepherd fits best with families that consist of experienced dog owners because they can be quite difficult to have around.
If you intend to have your own Lycan Shepherd in the future, you should make sure that you are fit enough to own one. Lycan Shepherds get along great with owners that have active lifestyles because they can easily adapt to it. The Lycan Shepherd’s breeder even takes his own dogs on off-leash hikes because his Lycan Shepherds are so obedient.
Common Health Issues in Lycan Shepherds
Right now, it’s too early to tell what health issues a Lycan Shepherd can have. You can only assume that it will inherit some of the genetic diseases that its ancestor breeds can have. However, there is also a large chance that it won’t have any congenital or genetic diseases because it is a hybrid.
When a dog has a more diverse genetic makeup, it becomes more resistant to genetic diseases. The Lycan Shepherd’s breeder is an experienced breeder that knows how to select healthy parent dogs. This is a good reason to believe that you can expect your Lycan Shepherd to be a generally healthy dog.
For the sake of preparing you for having your own Lycan Shepherd, I will discuss some of the genetic diseases that it may inherit from its parent breeds. The health problems that I will discuss below are commonly found in German Shepherds dogs, and Belgian Malinois dogs.
Health issues that a Lycan Shepherd might be more susceptible to:
- Hip dysplasia
- Elbow dysplasia
- Von Willebrand disease
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition where in the dog’s femur doesn’t fit correctly into its hip joint. This is common in both German Shepherds and Belgian Malinois. It normally occurs when a dog reaches a senior age, but it can also affect younger dogs. If left untreated, it can lead to arthritis.
The symptoms of hip dysplasia include limping, loss of energy, weight fluctuation, less activity or movement, and the inability to walk. If you suspect that your Lycan Shepherd might have hip dysplasia, you should take it to the vet immediately.
Diagnosing hip dysplasia is done through a physical exam and x-ray. The treatment will depend on the severity of your dog’s condition. Milder cases of hip dysplasia can be treated with medication and physical therapy. Severe cases of hip dysplasia need to be treated through surgery.
Elbow dysplasia is a condition wherein there are abnormalities in your dog’s elbow joint. The most common form of elbow dysplasia is when the elbow cap shatters into smaller cartilage. Elbow dysplasia can take different forms, depending on your dog’s condition.
The symptoms of elbow dysplasia are limping, loss of activity, inability to walk, and sudden weight loss. If your Lycan Shepherd develops elbow dysplasia, it is likely that it inherited it from its Belgian Malinois ancestors.
Like with hip dysplasia, the treatment for elbow dysplasia will depend on its severity. Milder cases can be treated with maintenance medicine and therapy while severe cases will be treated with surgery.
Von Willebrand Disease
Von Willebrand disease is a bleeding disorder wherein your dog’s blood cannot clot properly. It is caused by a lack of a certain protein needed to help your dog’s blood form clots and seal broken blood vessels.
Unfortunately, you cannot find out whether your dog has this disease unless it experiences a flesh wound or undergoes a blood test. There are no outward symptoms for Von Willebrand Disease, so most owners only find out that their dog has it when it’s too late.
The only form of treatment for Von Willebrand Disease is through a maintenance medicine. This medicine is expensive so it isn’t recommended that you use it for your dog. Dogs who have Von Willebrand Disease also usually need blood transfusions during emergency situations.
Although the Lycan Shepherd is a new breed, I think that it’s a good breed to keep your eye on. I especially think that it’s interesting that there is a chance that this breed doesn’t have any of the genetic problems that purebred dogs have.
I’ve always preferred mixed breed dogs over purebred dogs because they are healthier. My own rescue dog is a mixed breed dog and she’s definitely healthier than any of the purebred dogs that I’ve had. It’s nice to see breeders that advocate for healthy dogs and engage in healthy breeding processes.
If you are interested in having your own wolf-like dog, then the Lycan Shepherd is the perfect dog for you. It will be exciting to see how this breed will further develop and what kind of impact it will have on the dog breeding world. Hopefully more movements will be formed in the future that advocate for safe and healthy dog breeding.
Hey there! I’m Matt and I’m a content writer from the Philippines. I’ve raised over 10 dogs and 5 cats. I love taking care of my rescue dog Kewpie and my two rescue cats, Misty and Rosy.