Class Year


Document Type

Student Research Paper

Date of Creation

Spring 2019

Department 1

Environmental Studies


Breeders across the country are creating wolfdogs by breeding dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) with wolves (Canis lupus) for a large profit. This project is a response to the growing exotic pet trade of wolves and wolfdogs. Through this project, I hope to bring awareness to the issues associated with these animals being raised in captivity. Recent research has shown that raising a wolf or wolfdog in captivity can lead to various negative psychological and physical effects on the animal, and can cause potential problems for humans as well. This practice is embedded in the concept of humans wanting to own a piece of the wild, or being convinced that this trade is not harmful to the animals. Taking an animal ethnographies standpoint, this project uses storytelling, poetry, and original illustration to introduce narratives of multiple wolves and wolfdogs who have been exposed to the exotic pet trade or raised in captivity, and who have been rescued by sanctuaries across the country. These narratives address circumstances of animal hoarding, neglect, separation anxiety, insufficient care, and owners not knowing their dog was actually a wolfdog. In doing so, this project aims to highlight some of the major issues associated with this harmful practice through the voices of the animals and the owners who have experienced them themselves. The goal of this project is to reduce the desire to purchase wolves or wolfdogs, and to encourage others to support sanctuaries aiming to stop these harmful practices as well.


Senior thesis written for Environmental Studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.