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A day in the life of a wolf dog hybrid and rescued pit bulls

Inspiring Pet Tails 5 min read
Photos of a wolf dog hybrid and three other pit bull type dogs laying down together in bed.

What happens when a wolf dog hybrid, a pit bull and even a parrot live under the same roof? In my experience, adopting and rehabilitating pets that demand special care can sometimes seem overwhelming. But patience, training, proper diet and the right supplements can go a long way. It is all worth it when you see your misfits turning life around and your whole furmily heading in the right direction together.

Adopting a less adoptable pet

Thankfully, over the years the concept of bringing home an animal in need has been more and more accepted by families everywhere. But there are still dogs and cats that spend years in a shelter before they find their forever home. People’s biased decisions can be based on a furkiddo’s color, age or breed. That’s why mutts, misunderstood breeds, senior pets and animals with special needs are among the least adopted furkiddos. And that is heartbreaking!

All of my pets come from a tough past or are misunderstood in some way, including the parrot!

So in honor of “Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week”, I’m here to speak on my own experience adopting the less fortunate and creating a furmily of “misfits”. All of my pets come from a tough past or are misunderstood in some way, including the parrot! Hopefully seeing how these special animals have given so much joy, will change some minds about pet adoption.

Brando the wolf dog hybrid

Before and after photo of Brando the wolf hybrid dog.
Photo on the left: Brando had just been rescued from a bad situation. Photo on the right: This is happy Brando now, a healthy wolf dog hybrid.

Brando is the newest furmily member. This big furry guy is a Malamute Wolf cross and despite any possible bias over his “wilder side”, he’s one of the easiest dogs I’ve ever had! Considering his wolf genes, I thought I was adopting a nightmare in the making but he turned out to be very friendly, trainable and such a good boy inside and out.

Brando was rescued from a reservation where he was found with a severe case of mange, emaciated beyond belief, open wounds with maggots and could not walk. As a pet nutritionist, I know that a nutritionally complete diet is key for regaining and maintaining a healthy pet. Seeing the changes in this guy’s demeanor after only a few weeks of a balanced diet, extra love and care has been really rewarding.

Introducing my wolf dog hybrid to the rest of the pack

Over all the years, I’ve found the use of NHV Lesstress and NHV Matricalm to be wonderful for the entire pack when introducing a new furmily member. Not only for the new pet coming in to get used to their new life but also for my current kiddos to welcome the new member stress-free.

Reward-based training, positive reinforcement and redirection have also proved key in helping shelter pets acclimate to their new surroundings.

Reward-based training, positive reinforcement and redirection have also proved key in helping shelter pets acclimate to their new surroundings. These are some of the things that have worked in helping Brando start life in his new forever home off on the right paw.

I do get a lot of questions/comments while out with the big doggos. Some are great, some are scathing really. The challenge here is to be as kind and informative as possible. Education has been my best friend in these cases!

I respect that others may be afraid, give them space and respond with a big smile. Showing that you have control of the animal and being friendly and approachable goes a long way. Perhaps the next time, they may have more questions and a different outlook than the last time.

Misunderstood breeds and handling aggression

My furmily of “less adoptable pets”, or as I prefer “misfits”, also includes breeds that have a lot of stigma around them. Some of my adopted dogs have also come from challenging pasts which may lead to aggression if not correctly handled.

Marley was a rescued Pit Bull that came into my life with the help of our President and CEO of NHV! She was badly abused and neglected. I soon discovered she had an aversion to men, inebriated people, as well as brooms. With patience, consistency and a muzzle, she became one of the sweetest dogs and a breed ambassador for Pit Bulls all over the West End of Vancouver.

Photo of Marley, a white Pit Bull dog with the tongue sticking out.

Tatanka is a rescued American Staffordshire Terrier. He came from what was a suspected fighting ring. Although he was only 8 weeks old when we brought him home, he has never forgotten where he came from. He has a lot of fear-aggression with strangers. He is a wonderful boy with children, and pets of all kinds and can be very well-behaved indoors. We use a muzzle and consistent training with him outside to keep everyone safe.

Photo of Tatanka, a rescued American Staffordshire Terrier dog with tongue sticking out.

Adopting a senior pet

The decision to adopt an older furkiddo demands a lot of love. And knowing you will have a shorter time with them is never easy. But I revel in the fact I gave a senior shelter pup the best life possible in her last years.

Gypsy Rose was a Great Dane, so given her breed’s shorter life expectancy, we did not have many years together. But she was an absolute angel and I will never forget the time we did enjoy together.

Senior pets may often have a compromised immune system and overwhelmed organs. But natural supplements have been a game changer in helping my furmily get back to and maintain their health. For my senior pets, NHV Old Timer and NHV Turmeric work great together to help address joint and muscle pain.

NHV Tripsy and NHV Hearty-Heart are also favorite supplements of mine. They aid kidney and bladder function, and promote a healthy heart. I simply add these supplements to their meal. For older pups I also tend to feed a higher fiber and lower fat diet.

Why I continue to adopt misfits

Photo of pit bull type dogs rescued. Wolf hybrid dog blog post.

I’m an advocate for rescue and rehabilitation. It can start out on shaky grounds as you learn about one another. It might take some time to figure out what triggers your furkiddo has from their past. But once you discover a path that’s working for you all, it’s one of the most rewarding experiences you will have, I promise you!

Many of these pets are merely looking for a home without behavioral issues. The benefit is that they may already be housetrained, crate trained, socialized and the whole gamut! Adopting them might mean skipping some of the hard work that puppies demand, and many are not a fan of.

In all honesty, it’s not always easy and at times I’ve wondered “what have I got myself into?”. That being said, I have no regrets! My “misfits” are the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I’ll continue to pursue the less adoptable kiddos time and time again.


If you’re thinking about adopting a furkiddo with health issues or special needs, holistic care can go a long way. Our pet experts are always here to give recommendations and help answer any questions you might have. Click on the button below and tell us your concerns!

Pet Expert Anna

Pet Expert Anna

Anna has been in the pet health industry for a total of 22 years, in a wide variety of roles. She’s a lifetime pet owner and currently shares her life with 2 large and giant breed dogs, 2 cats, and an Amazon parrot! She’s a passionate advocate for animals to live their most healthy and happy lives, she strives to learn all that she can about pet nutrition, treatment for specific health conditions, and all facets which lead to overall wellness. Contributing to her overall knowledge as a loving pet parent is her certification as a Professional Pet Food Nutrition Specialist. Next on the agenda is completing the Raw Dog Food Nutrition Specialist program, in order to add to the vast knowledge which she has already gained.

Published: September 16, 2022

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