It is no surprise that wolf dog hybrids are controversial due to their wild genetics. But how much does a wolf dog actually cost? If you are thinking of buying or adopting one, you should be prepared for a hefty price tag.
However, not all wolf dogs will cost the same amount. Some will be pricier, depending on their size, age, and bloodline. Moreover, raising a wolf dog is not cheap either because it requires specific care and training.
So if you want to learn more about wolf dog ownership, stick around until the end of this complete guide. All the initial, recurring, and potential expenses associated with these canines will be discussed.
The Average Cost of a Wolf Dog
The average cost of a wolf dog puppy from a reputable breeder is between $1,000 and $3,000. Contributing factors to the price include the breeder’s location and reputation, as well as the quality and features of the pup. In some cases, wolf dogs from superior bloodlines can cost $5,000 or more.
Unlike other mixed breeds, a wolfdog, also known as a wolf hybrid, is a result of crossing a wolf with domesticated canines such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and other Husky-like dog breeds.
Given the genetic differences between the two subspecies, you can expect that wolf dogs are often quite expensive to purchase.
They are also hard to find since most states have strict regulations on owning wolf hybrids.
Another aspect that significantly influences the wolf dog price is the degree of wolf content in a pup’s DNA.
For instance, if a puppy has only 10% wolf in its genetic makeup, it will be far cheaper than one with 50% wolf blood.
Factors Affecting the Cost of a Wolf Dog
Before you purchase a wolf dog puppy, there are several factors for you to consider. These factors will help you understand why the cost of this unique breed is much higher than most purebred dogs.
Further, you will be able to assess whether or not this type of canine is right for your family and home environment.
Listed below are some of the most important aspects that influence the price of wolf dog puppies:
- Breeder’s Reputation: Your chosen wolf dog breeder’s reputation can make or break the price of your potential puppy. If you go for a reputable breeder known for producing healthy, well-socialized wolf dogs, you know that any pup from them will likely be worth a premium.
- Age: Wolf hybrids, like wolves, mature faster than domesticated canines. As a result, wolf dog puppies tend to be pricier than adult ones. In addition, pups require more care and attention than older wolf dogs, so you can expect that they will also necessitate higher maintenance costs.
- Socialization and Training: Because of the wolf content in the DNA of wolf dog puppies, they must be properly socialized and trained at an early age. Fortunately, most reputable wolf dog breeders will do these tasks for you; however, the hefty fees for these services are usually added to the final wolf dog price.
- Size: Wolf dog puppies vary in size due to their mixed parentage. Some of them can grow up as large as their wolf parents, while others will be smaller and more compact. Therefore, you can expect that the bigger the wolfdog, the more expensive it will be.
- Availability: Another factor that impacts the wolfdog price is the availability of these puppies. Only a few reliable breeders are authorized to sell wolf dogs in the United States. This means that if you are looking for a wolf hybrid with certain qualities, you may have to pay more than what you would for a standard puppy.
For additional reference, here is a video that will provide you with information about high-content wolf dogs, including their behavior and how they interact in captivity:
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Wolf Dog From a Rescue?
If you are on a tight budget or just want to help a wolfdog in a shelter or rescue center, expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $700 for the adoption fee.
However, there are some factors as well that can affect the cost of wolf dog adoption. These factors include the wolf dog’s age, current health condition, temperament, training level, and breed characteristics.
For example, older wolf dogs tend to be less expensive than puppies as it is more difficult for them to find a permanent home. The same goes for pooches with special care requirements or severe medical conditions.
Nonetheless, keep in mind that most wolf dogs from rescues are already trained before being put up for adoption.
They have also been socialized with other pets and people, so they can easily adjust to their new homes.
Initial Cost of Wolf Dog Ownership
When determining whether to buy a wolf dog or not, aspiring owners should consider the expense of initial ownership, which includes quality dog food, veterinary care, and other necessary supplies.
To help you plan for your new pet, the following is a rundown of all the initial costs associated with owning a wolf dog:
- Food and Treats: To ensure that your wolf dog has a healthy diet, you should invest in high-quality dog food and treats. Expect to spend around $80 to $120 for a one-month supply of these dietary essentials.
- Food and Water Bowls: For a price range of between $10 and $35, you can purchase a food and water bowl set that will last for years. Just be sure to select ones made of non-toxic materials that are large enough to accommodate your wolf dog’s meals.
- Bed: A bed is a must-have for your wolf dog, as it helps in making your dog feel comfortable and safe in its new home. However, be sure to choose one that’s sturdy enough to withstand your four-legged friend’s weight. Anticipate spending between $40 and $200 on a dog bed.
- Crate: Crate training is an important part of owning a wolf dog because it teaches the dog to use its crate as a safe place to rest, sleep, and play when it is alone. However, wolf hybrids are often medium to large-sized dogs, so prepare a budget of $50 to $500 for a crate for large breeds.
- Leashes and Collars: A good collar and leash set can run you between $15 and $50, depending on the size of your wolf dog. It should be noted, though, that if you have a very active furry companion, this set may need to be replaced several times a year.
- Toys: Wolf dogs are predisposed to separation anxiety, so you will need lots of mentally-stimulating toys that can keep them busy while you are away. Set aside $30 to $50 for dog toys.
- Grooming Essentials: To ensure your wolf dog is well-groomed, you will want to purchase some grooming essentials. Depending on your pet’s coat type, this may include a brush, comb, scissors, and nail clippers. Be prepared to spend between $40 and $180 for these items.
- Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications: If you want to make sure that your wolf dog will not get infested with fleas, ticks, or worms, it is best to provide them with regular deworming and flea and tick medication. These preventive medications cost about $50 to $200.
- Initial Vet Visits: The first thing you’ll need to do once you bring your new wolf dog home is to schedule a visit with the vet. The cost of checkups will vary but expect to shell out around $100 to $300 per visit.
- Initial Vaccine Shots: Because wolf hybrids are vulnerable to several health diseases, they require regular vaccinations from birth until adulthood. Initial shots will cost between $75 and $150, but prices can vary depending on where you get them done.
- Neutering or Spaying: If your wolf dog puppy is purchased from a reputable breeder, it should have already been altered. However, if you’re adopting an older animal, you’ll want to factor in the cost of having this done. This surgery will set you back by about $50 to $500.
- Dog License: Having your wolf dog registered is a requirement in most states. The cost varies widely by location, but expect to pay between $10 and $20 for a dog license.
- Microchip: The wolf dog breed is known for their tendency to escape from their enclosures, so it’s important to keep them safe and protected. Microchipping can cost you around $40 to $60.
- Miscellaneous Supplies: As a wolf dog owner, you need to buy all kinds of supplies for your dog, including a first aid kit, poop bags and scoopers, carpet cleaners, and doggie diapers. You can find these items at any pet store for $15 to $30.
Here’s a quick rundown of the initial expenses for your new wolf dog:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$80 – $120
|Food and Water Bowls
|$10 – $35
|$40 – $200
|$50 – $500
|Leashes and Collars
|$15 – $50
|$30 – $50
|$40 – $180
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$50 – $200
|Initial Vet Visits
|$100 – $300
|Initial Vaccine Shots
|$75 – $200
|Neutering or Spaying
|$50 – $500
|$10 – $20
|$40 – $60
|$15 – $30
|Total Initial Cost
|$605 – $2,445
While the estimates above can be daunting, remember that most of these items are one-time purchases.
Once you’ve got your pup’s starter kit, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of owning a wolf dog for years to come!
Annual Cost of Owning a Wolf Dog
After familiarizing yourself with the initial expenses of owning a wolf dog, it is time to consider the annual cost of maintaining your new pet.
Some of the recurring costs that you need to budget for on a yearly basis are dog food, vet care, pet insurance, and miscellaneous supplies.
The following table shows the estimated annual expenses of caring for a wolf dog:
|Type of Expense
|Food and Treats
|$480 – $1,200
|$25 – $150
|Bed and Crate
|$120 – $500
|Leashes and Collars
|$25 – $50
|$150 – $500
|Deworming, Flea, and Tick Medications
|$150 – $250
|Routine Veterinary Care
|$200 – $400
|$500 – $1,500
|$80 – $250
|$30 – $50
|$1,760 – $4,850
|Average Monthly Cost
|$147 – $404
As you may have noticed, wolf dogs can be expensive when you take into account their annual maintenance costs.
However, if you break this down into monthly expenses, it becomes more manageable.
Other Potential Expenses
While it is true that the initial and recurring expenses of owning a wolf dog are your biggest concerns, you should also be aware of the other possible costs associated with raising such an exotic pet.
Note that some of these costs are optional and a matter of choice; they can be avoided depending on your lifestyle, preferences, and financial situation.
Here is a list of the other potential expenses you might encounter while taking care of your wolf dog:
- Professional Grooming Services: If you are skeptical about the idea of grooming your wolf dog yourself, you will probably want to consider hiring professional groomers. They will be in charge of all aspects of the grooming process, including clipping nails and cleaning ears. This can cost anywhere from $35 to $50 per session.
- Dog Sitting Services: For aspiring fur parents who are unable to commit to caring for their wolf dogs full-time, dog-sitting services can be an easy way to cover their needs while you are busy or away. Prepare to pay between $10 and $20 per hour.
- Emergency Medical Treatments: Even with an amazing vet and pet insurance, wolf dogs can become sick or injured at some point. Therefore, putting aside a budget of $1,000 to $5,000 for medical emergencies is recommended.
- Enclosures: Since wolf dogs are large, highly active animals, many states require them to be kept in a securely fenced area. Thus, potential owners should be prepared to spend money on fencing costs and enclosures. This can set you back anywhere from $100 to $3,000, depending on the size and type of playpen you choose.
By anticipating all these possible expenses, you can prepare in advance and avoid any potential and unexpected stress in the future.
Places to Find Wolf Dog Puppies for Sale and Adoption
Despite the controversies associated with wolf dogs, they are still a popular choice of pet for many people.
Hence, there is no shortage of places where you can find wolf dog puppies for sale and adoption.
However, if you want to own a healthy wolf dog puppy, avoid buying from pet stores, puppy mills, and backyard breeders. These breeders usually sell sickly canines that have been bred in poor conditions.
The following is a list of reputable breeders in the United States who sell top-quality wolf dog puppies:
- Star Mountain Wolfdogs (SMW) – Nestled in Kentucky, SMW is a family-owned kennel that produces sound wolf dog puppies. However, they only sell their pups to aspiring owners who reside in legal states and do not rent their property. If interested, you can visit their website to see their available litter.
- Heavenly Hybrids – Another kennel that offers wolf hybrid puppies is Heavenly Hybrids. They have three types of wolf dogs — low, middle, and upper mid content — available for sale. All of which are bred with a focus on health and temperament. They have a strict screening process, so be ready to submit comprehensive info about yourself to be considered a potential owner.
- Southern Oregon Wolfdogs (SOW) – SOW takes pride in selling pooches of excellent quality. In fact, all of their sires and dams are health tested and cleared for hip and elbow issues. Note, though, that Southern Oregon Wolfdogs require a deposit of $515 to secure a wolf dog puppy from them.
If you want to validate the credibility of these breeders yourself, be sure to read our puppy-buying guide.
This will help you avoid scams and assist you in determining what actions you can take to find a healthy wolf dog puppy.
On the other hand, if you are interested in adopting an older wolfdog, contact the following organizations:
- Howling Woods Farm (HWF) – Located in New Jersey, HWF is a sanctuary for wolfdogs of all ages. To be considered for adoption, you must complete an application form and pay an adoption fee of $300. You will also need proof that your yard is at least six feet high to prevent your potential pet from escaping.
- Southern Ohio Wolf Sanctuary (SOWS) – SOWS is a non-profit organization in Ohio that offers wolf dogs that have already been spayed or neutered. However, they have a strict adoption process, and they require applicants to pass a home visit, interview, and reference check.
- Texas Wolfdog Project & Shelter (TWP) – For prospective wolf dog owners from Texas, TWP is another excellent rescue to consider. Their non-refundable adoption fee generally ranges between $325 and $400, depending on the age of your chosen pooch. Keep in mind, though, that they only accept applications from potential adoptive parents residing in states where wolfdogs are not prohibited.
To have a higher chance of approval in any of these rescues, you should read our ultimate adoption guide.
It includes details about how to ace your application, what to expect when waiting for approval, and more.
Aside from the listed websites and organizations above, you can ask your local vet for a recommendation.
They will be able to direct you to a reliable source where you can get your hands on an affordable wolf dog puppy.
You can also check out this guide on 13 ways to find free puppies in your area for adoption. This way, you can own a wolfdog without having to spend any money at all.
Money-Saving Tips for Wolf Dog Owners
As fulfilling as owning a wolf dog can be, it is vital to remember that they are not cheap pets. They require the same level of care and commitment as any other dog.
Below is a list of money-saving tips that aspiring owners can use to reduce the costs associated with wolfdog ownership:
- You can groom your wolf dog at home. With tons of video tutorials available online, there’s no reason to spend money on professional grooming for your wolf dog. However, make sure to purchase high-quality grooming products and tools so you can do the job right.
- Buy high-quality necessities. Although it may be tempting to buy cheap, low-quality items for your wolf dog, they won’t last long and will end up costing you more money in the long run. Instead, opt for top-notch essentials that are less likely to need replacement.
- Purchase dog food in bulk. If you are feeding your wolf dog commercial dog food, consider purchasing it in bulk or large quantities. This will save you time and money by eliminating the need to make multiple trips to the pet store. Most sellers also offer discounts on bulk purchases, saving you money in the process.
- Bring your wolf dog to the vet regularly. Since it is preferable to avoid illness whenever possible, you should bring your wolf dog to regular veterinary checkups. This way, you can detect any health issues before they become severe and costly to treat.
Keep in mind that these strategies are just a few options to help you save money on your new wolf dog.
You can also join Facebook groups and online forums dedicated to wolf dogs to learn from current owners.
Owning a wolf dog is not for the faint of heart. Not only are you devoting yourself to a lifetime of responsibilities and expenses, but you’re also committing to a unique animal with its own specific needs.
Wolf dogs, as established, require high-quality food, routine veterinary checkups and immunizations, monthly grooming, durable toys, and other miscellaneous supplies.
In addition to these expenses, you’ll have to consider the cost of fencing for your wolf dog. Most states imposed that this hybrid should be housed in an enclosure or playpen, which can be pricey if you don’t already own one.
Fortunately, there are ways to offset these costs. By taking advantage of all the money-saving tips provided above, you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank.
If you have any questions or perhaps an experience living within a budget while caring for a wolf dog, share them in the comments!