Featured Image Credit: @1st508th_airborne (IG)
If this is the first time you’ve read or heard of a Lycan Shepherd, you are not alone. This new dog breed has been making waves over the internet because of its elegant wolf-like appearance and intelligence.
The Lycan Shepherd is a dog breed in its early developmental stages. They are being developed to have an athletic build with the high intelligence and temperament needed for a great working dog.
If you are a fan of large, wolf-like dogs or if you simply love working dogs, you would definitely want to know more about this breed. In this article, we compiled everything we know so far about the Lycan Shepherd.
What Is a Lycan Shepherd? Is This a Mixed Breed?
Lycan Shepherds come from three different dog breeds: the working line German Shepherd, the American Blue Bay Shepherd, and the Belgian Malinois. These are large dogs with wolf-like traits. In fact, the word “Lycan” is a short form of “lycanthrope” which means werewolf.
Since Lycan Shepherd is a new breed, it is still quite impossible to describe their exact temperaments and behavior patterns.
What we are informed of is that the Lycan Shepherd breeder’s goal is to combine the build and intelligence of a wolf, the dependable and trainable temperament of a German Shepherd, and the drive of a Belgian Malinois.
As of writing, the breeder is only in his third generation of Lycans. He introduces the dog breed and shows snippets of life with these dogs on his YouTube channel.
Lycan Shepherd History and Origin: Where Does the Lycan Shepherd Come From?
The Lycan Shepherd dog breed is being developed by Chadde JoliCoeur. He is an experienced dog owner and animal warden who has also bred a type of working Bulldogs that he calls Renascence Bulldogs.
This new hybrid dog breed began as another breeding initiative, simply called the Lycan Shepherd Project. He introduced this cross in a video he posted in 2017 where he showed the first-generation Lycan puppy:
He intends to produce a breed that has the intelligence, superior problem-solving ability, and leg structure of a wolf with the working ability of a German Shepherd. To do this, he chose the three Lycan Shepherd’s parent breeds after a thorough investigation of their traits.
To better understand why these three dog breeds were chosen in particular for the Lycan Shepherd project, let’s take a look at each of their origins:
Blue Bay Shepherd
A relatively new breed itself, Blue Bay Shepherds were developed by Vicki Spencer from wolf dogs and blue German Shepherds from a European line in France. They have natural dark blue coats that are extremely rare in German Shepherd Dogs.
This breed’s name comes from its breeder’s location in Florida and the dog’s coloration. She wanted to develop a breed that would have a lupine or wolf-like appearance but with a sweet temperament that would make a great pet and companion.
This breed has been in development for 20 years already but the first official Blue Bay Shepherd litter was only produced in 2011.
One of the parents is a full blue working German Shepherd, while the other is a wolf dog five generations away from the pure wolf line.
During the Blue Bay Shepherd’s development, other breeds were also mixed as she tried to develop a healthier line. These rare breeds are unknown but she revealed that there are a total of eight breeds in the mix.
While not a new breed, working German Shepherds are quite interesting. The breed began with a cavalry officer wanting to develop ideal herding dogs. Thus, he spent 35 years refining and promoting the breed.
In the 1900s, the breed was introduced in the United States and has since been a very popular dog.
They are highly intelligent, loyal, and confident so they are now tagged as one of the most versatile working dogs. It is pretty common to see working line German Shepherds as police dogs, service dogs, and sentinels.
The Belgian Malinois was first bred in the city of Malines in Belgium, hence its name. It was originally developed by people who wanted to produce dogs of excellent work character.
This eventually made the breed the go-to dog for sheepherders and cattlemen. They are very similar but are smaller than German Shepherds.
They were first brought to the United States in 1911 and they have since been employed in many activities because of their trainability, loyalty, and strength. They are highly sought-after as police and military dogs.
Like how Blue Bay Shepherds were bred, it is possible that other breeds will be introduced down the line to produce healthier dogs.
But as you can see, all the dog breeds chosen had good physical and temperamental traits to make an excellent and versatile working dog.
Lycan Shepherd Appearance: What Does a Lycan Shepherd Look Like?
Most of the Lycans shown in the breeder’s channel are solid black. There are, however, some pups that have a dark coat or light brown coloration. They have a long double coat which gives them a very elegant look.
Since two of the Lycan’s parent breeds are large to giant dogs, you can expect them to be big dogs as well.
The bodies of Lycans are quite large and muscular which is what the breeder aimed for. He wanted them to have an athletic build with the longer leg-to-body ratio of a wolf.
Available photos and videos of Lycan Shepherds show dogs with narrow faces, light-colored eyes, and erect ears.
They have a wolf-like appearance which is very close to the appearance of a Blue Bay Shepherd dog. If you want to see more pictures of his Lycans, you can also check out his Instagram.
Lycan Shepherd Size and Weight: How Big Do Lycan Shepherds Get?
As they are still in the early stages of development, we can only predict the adult size of the Lycan Shepherd dog breed from the sizes of its parent dogs and some of the measurements the breeder shared with the public.
Lycan Shepherd puppies shown in the breeder’s channel are large ones. At four months, a female Lycan Shepherd puppy weighed 49 pounds and a male puppy weighed 60 pounds already.
He also mentioned the size of Ka-bar and Puuko, another set of brothers from his second generation of Lycans.
They weighed 103 and 111 pounds respectively at 11 months. At 12 months, Puuko weighed 115 pounds and stood at 32 inches.
Following experts’ estimates that large to giant breeds reach their full-grown size at around 12 to 18 months, the Lycan Shepherd dogs may be the same size or be even bigger than its largest parent breed.
Are Lycan Shepherds Recognized by Major Kennel Clubs?
Lycan Shepherds are not yet recognized by any kennel club because they aren’t an established breed yet. They aren’t registered to the American Canine Hybrid Club or even in the Designer Breed Registry.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) requires that dogs must have reliable traits passed down through generations before they can be considered a breed.
They also have requirements in terms of the number of existing dogs and how they are distributed across the country. There must be a minimum of 300 to 400 dogs across 20 or more states. This is also similar to the rules of the United Kennel Club.
As of this day, there is no news as to whether JoliCoeur is already communicating with breeders across the state to continue the production of this line.
What we are only aware of is that the other cross that he has developed called Renascence Bulldog is already being bred by several kennels.
In the near future, this may also be the case for the Lycan Shepherd breed. Its recognition will probably come soon after, similar to its parent breeds.
Lycan Shepherd Temperament: Do Lycan Shepherds Make Good Family Dogs?
For now, it is still impossible to say for sure if Lycan Shepherds will make great family dogs. Again, we can only infer from what is shown by the breeder and the temperament of its parent breeds.
Both the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd are known to be fiercely loyal and protective. They are also eager to please and highly trainable. These breeds are generally good with kids that have been raised with them from a young age.
As for Blue Bay Shepherds, the breeder really wanted to develop good companion dogs. They are reportedly affectionate, gentle, and sociable. They are also trainable and have a lot of energy, similar to the two other parent breeds.
The Lycan Shepherds live with the breeder’s family. They get along very well with their children and other dogs in the house. His Lycans live happily alongside significantly smaller Bulldogs and Yorkies.
It would seem that the Lycans inherited the intelligent and dependable dispositions of their parent breeds. But remember that temperament is both inherited and influenced by the dog’s environment.
If you want your Lycans to live alongside kids and other pets, then you have to do your part and set them up for success with the right training and socialization.
Lycan Shepherd Lifespan and Health Issues: Are Lycan Shepherds Healthy Dogs?
Lycan Shepherds were produced to exhibit the health and muscular build of a wolf. They are a new mixed breed, so it is still unknown whether they are predisposed to some conditions.
According to PetMD, mixed breeds have the advantage of having a much lower risk of being born with inherited diseases “since the mating process naturally leaves out the defective genes.”
Having a few breeds mixed diversifies the gene pool and by natural selection, the species become better and stronger in the long run.
But whether a mixed breed is healthier or not than purebreds is still a long-running debate among dog lovers.
Since it is way too early to tell if the Lycan has health issues, we can only look at the diseases its parent breeds are highly susceptible to.
For Blue Bay Shepherds, the breeder tried very hard to remove heritable diseases common to large dogs. But since they are still small in number, there are still many things we do not know for sure about their health.
However, we know a lot about the other parent breeds. Here are some common diseases among Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds:
- Hip Dysplasia: This is a common skeletal condition often seen in large or giant dogs. This condition occurs in the growth stage in dogs and results in the loosening of the hip joint, causing dysfunction and pain for dogs. German Shepherds are especially prone to this.
- Elbow Dysplasia: Another condition that affects large and giant breeds, it is a condition that causes elbow pain and is one of the most common causes of forelimb lameness in several large breeds including the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois.
- Cancer: While almost all dog breeds are prone to some type of cancer, both the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd are prone to lymphosarcoma and osteosarcoma.
- Degenerative Disk Disease: This is a disease that causes spontaneous degeneration of the outer part of a disc in a dog’s spine. This usually occurs in middle-aged to senior dogs.
- Osteoarthritis: Any dog can develop osteoarthritis as they age but some factors can predispose a dog to this condition such as size (large or giant breeds), repetitive stress from athletic activities, age, etc.
If you would notice for most of these diseases, the dog’s size is a major factor. Since the Lycan breed is a large to giant-sized dog, you should be on the lookout for the diseases that are common to large-size dogs.
In terms of lifespan, we can only infer from its parent breeds. A Belgian Malinois lives an average of 14 to 16 years, while the average life expectancy for a German Shepherd is around 12 to 14 years.
Therefore, the life expectancy of a Lycan Shepherd is estimated to be around 12 to 16 years.
Lycan Shepherd Puppy Prices and Breeders: How Much Does a Lycan Shepherd Cost?
There is currently no information about how much a Lycan Shepherd puppy costs, as they are still limited in number and there are only a few Lycan Shepherd pups for sale.
The cost of a Lycan Shepherd puppy will probably be clearer once the breed is established and is more accessible to the public.
As of writing, only the original breeder produces and sells Lycan Shepherds. If you find someone else other than the original breeder or an ad claiming to be selling these hybrids, you can be sure that their dogs are fake Lycan Shepherds.
There is no indication yet that any Lycan Shepherd puppy is for sale, but the breeder posts pictures and videos of new puppies on his socials. You can try contacting him through his YouTube channel or Instagram.
Alternatively, you can get in touch with rescue organizations for these breeds and help rescue dogs get a new lease on life.
How to Take Care of Your Lycan Shepherd
We still do not know if Lycan Shepherds have very specific needs. But here are some things that we do know now that may give you an idea of what it might be like to take care of a Lycan Shepherd:
Food and Diet
The breeder utilizes the B.A.R.F. diet for all his Lycans. B.A.R.F. stands for “Biologically Appropriate Raw Food” or “Bones And Raw Food.” This diet commonly consists of different types of raw meat, bones, eggs, uncooked vegetables, and fruits.
If you get to become a parent to a Lycan Shepherd, it will ultimately be up to you to decide what their diet will be.
However, since there is still so much we don’t know about this breed, it is unclear what nutrients or kind of food they would need in particular.
Even high-quality dog food might not be compatible with their needs so you would really have to research and communicate with the one who developed them.
Cleaning and Grooming
Lycan Shepherds have double coats – a harsh topcoat and a soft undercoat. The undercoat sheds twice a year. The breeder uses a shedding blade and a deshedding brush for grooming his dogs.
He said that to get a Lycan puppy used to grooming, you should keep it a fun and positive experience. It takes some time to brush a shedding Lycan Shepherd, so he gives short breaks throughout the grooming session.
Watch this video to see how he grooms his puppy for the first time:
Training and Exercise
The Lycan Shepherd is a smart dog. Since they came from extremely reliable working dog breeds, you can expect them to be very trainable as well.
The breeder utilizes Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) for his Lycan puppies, which involves a series of tactile exercises done for newborn pups. It is believed to impact the puppy’s neurological system by kick-starting it earlier than expected.
Aside from that, he begins leash training and potty training during the first months of the dog’s life.
In his videos showing his Lycans, you would see that they are obedient dogs who are very well-trained and can follow commands very easily.
Lycan Shepherds also need plenty of exercise and interaction. The breeder said that his Lycans have a calm temperament and they feel relaxed inside the house simply because they had lots of exercises outdoors.
Being muscular and agile dogs, activities such as hiking and running would be no problem for them. The breeder regularly takes his Lycan Shepherds to parks for exercise and socialization with other dogs and strangers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Lycan Shepherds Aggressive?
Although Lycan Shepherds tend to have a wolfish appearance that can be mistaken for aggression, their behavior would probably be more dependent on the training and environment they live in.
Socialization and training at an early age are key, as with any dog breed.
Again, it is too early to tell if they would have aggressive traits but from what most dog owners could observe from the breeder’s videos, the Lycan Shepherds have great temperaments, showing no aggression to strangers and other dogs.
Are Lycan Shepherds Good Guard Dogs?
Coming from dog breeds that are very loyal and protective and with a large, muscular build, Lycan Shepherds will most likely be great guard dogs for you and your family.
They were also developed to become highly intelligent and obedient dogs, so there would probably be no problem in training them to be guard dogs. In fact, they would probably have the same guarding skills as the Blue Bay Shepherd.
Final Thoughts: Is the Lycan Shepherd the Right Dog for You?
It is too early to tell whether a Lycan Shepherd will be right for you. Since this dog breed is still in its developmental stage, you can only have an idea of its traits through the few generations that have been bred and the known traits of the parent breeds.
From what we could tell from its parent breeds and the videos of Lycan Shepherds so far, these pseudo wolf dogs would probably be good for active families and homes with ample space where they could play and run around.
They will also probably be a loyal and protective companion for you and your family with the right training and socialization. If they are trained to be one, they would also most likely be great working dogs.