Leaving a wolfdog home alone

This post contains advertisement. You can claim £20 off your Furbo purchase with code wolfdog20.

Forget fancy tricks like sitting pretty or distance control for film shooting… What most wolfdog owners are really curious about when they see Vulric’s life on Instagram is how he copes being left at home alone, without special containment, not causing any trouble with howling or destruction.

The truth is that it was our hardest training challenge to date. Separation anxiety is common in wolf hybrids, but also plagues many dogs of all sorts of breeds and backgrounds. Even with all the best intentions and setup, things can throw sensitive puppies out of balance. In Vulric’s case, he was coping well with being left until I flew out for a business trip and didn’t come back until a week later. All hell broke loose then – it’s like he never wanted his owners to leave again, because he didn’t know when and if they would come back anymore. Cue 4 months of madness.

At first we thought he would relax once we were back in the routine, but unfortunately it wasn’t so simple. He howled for us and paced around the flat. He even once started clawing at the window. Clearly this was dangerous and hugely upsetting for him, so it could not continue.

We decided that the best thing to do is to hire a professional to work with, so we got a trainer. This was a behaviour that we were aggravating and were not prepared to handle without help. We promptly had a session and got advice on not leaving him alone until the issue is resolved, and desensitizing him to the rituals of us leaving the house.

We worked painstakingly to get him relaxed to the sound of keys, putting on shoes and jackets, opening and closing the door a hundred times a day, without actually leaving. Then we hit a roadblock – we could not influence his experiences when we were out of the house.

Enter Furbo.

[Screenshot from Furbo website – discount with code wolfdog20 ]

Furbo is a home monitoring and interaction camera, designed specifically with dogs in mind. It has a really impressive fish eye lens that captures the entire room, dual way sound so you can hear and talk to your dog, and it can store and toss treats from a simple swipe on the app. This was a game-changer for our training.

Now we could build associations of us closing the front door with the positive chirp of the Furbo releasing the treats! Rather than desperately looking out the window as we walked away, triggering panic and distress, Vulric was focused on the camera that would send treats. We even had the idea of placing a snuffle mat in front of the Furbo, so the treats would fall in it. Sniffing for treats is very calming to dogs, and it certainly had a positive effect on Vulric.

Once we could leave him alone, the question became how long he can be left, without regressing on our hard work. Furbo does not only allow us to actively check in, it also has a barking alert, which is now our favourite feature. It clearly differentiates between sounds. The app doesn’t take note if we watch TV or talk, but send an immediate notification if Vulric barks or howls. Don’t worry, nowadays Vulric only barks if something odd is happening. He doesn’t make a peep when neighbors come in and out of the building, or the dog walkers pick him up. Being able to see and hear him through Furbo allowed us to gauge how long he was happy being left alone – if he is snoozing on his back or playing with his toy, we know he doesn’t mind being left a little while longer. Furbo gives us peace of mind when we are out.

…And when we aren’t checking in on Vulric and are all at home together, Furbo also captures the ridiculous real life of instagram dog parents:

Meet Vulric at the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Breed Show

Header Photo by Martin Hill

The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Club of Great Britain have announced their annual breed show and we couldn’t be more excited to join them on Sunday October 6th. The show is the biggest gathering of the breed in the UK, and is open to observers and those interested in learning more about the breed.

More details will follow, but for now you can keep track on their Facebook and Event pages.

————————————————————————————————

The event is followed by a fun dog show open to all, this year with a mystery celebrity judge – come compete for your rosette!

How much does a wolfdog cost?

czechoslovakian wolfdog puppy uk

How much does a czechoslovakian wolfdog cost is a common questions on our @Wolfdog_of_London instagram page, so here is the answer in detail for everyone to access. Before we dive in, there are three things to note:

  1. The costs are based on our lifestyle. For example, we do need to pay for daycare, whereas some people are home all day and may not need to… but we also take Vulric to the office or work from home, so our costs are also lower than 
  2. The costs are localized… and London is expensive. You may want to adjust some of the costs for your budget after doing some more research.
  3. Costs can spiral out of control. Life is unpredictable – it is not unheard of for owners of any breed to rack up thousands in vet bills, dogs that were perfectly house trained to develop severe separation anxiety requiring full time petsitting when moving houses… or traumas requiring huge training costs. 

One common variation of the question is “How much does a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog puppy cost?”  and while I will cover this, the ongoing costs are far bigger than the cost of buying the puppy itself. You will see this in detail below – I have divided the costs in sections based on the initial, one-off costs to get started (Outlay) ; the average monthly spend now (Ongoing) and types of unpredictable costs that you should be prepared to cover (Unexpected). 

  1. Outlay – £2,000 one off
    • Puppy – £1,500 : the price may vary, for example an older dog looking for a regime will be cheaper, or puppies that are healthy but have a characteristic that means they can’t be shown or bred (long coat, off color, one ear not stood up are examples)
    • Gear – £500 : this might sound like a lot, but there’s quite a lot to buy to start with: crate, bed, puppy pads, puppy proofing flat, collar, lead, soft harness, wee cleaner, puppy shampoo, blankets…
  1. Ongoing –  £870 per month
    • Daycare / Dog walker – £500 : I don’t believe that dogs should be locked up for 10 hours non stop, so I make sure Vulric is not bored or lonely. He either goes to daycare or has a dog-walker come in for a midday walk. 
    • Good food – £150 : we feed raw, but there are also good kibble or cooked food companies. Very cheap food is filled with fillers, carbs and preservatives. What you save in food costs, you will spend at the vet’s for poor health.
    • Insurance – £60 : accidents or unexpected health issues can quickly add up, see below in the “Vet” section under “unexpected”. Insurance is important.
    • Training – £60 : if you get a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, it’s because you want to work them or take training seriously. For most of us who aren’t professional, this means paying for puppy classes. 
    • Accessories / toys / ad hoc shopping – £50 : things will come up every month, maybe a collar is tattered, the dog lost its ID tag playing, he has outgrown his bed… expect to spend on toys monthly. 
    • Treats / Snacks – £20 : if you train, need distractions out and about, or just know you want to spoil your dog, you will need treats, including high value ones. I opt for 100% meat treats, or make my own. 
    • Flea/Tick/Worm prevention – £20 : most owners seem to treat for parasites regularly, I have opted to feed a natural supplement that prevents fleas and ticks, and also whole prey which acts as a natural wormer, then test for worms regularly. Whichever way you decide to go, it’s another expense on the list. 
    • Supplements – £10 : I feed golden paste and kefir, but there are many different options to supplement dogs’ meals. 
  1. Unexpected – ?
    • Vet – £90 to 20,000 : this is why insurance is important. We have several friends already that have had vet bills in the tens of thousands. 
    • Behaviourist – £250 to 1.000 : a good, qualified behaviorist is not cheap, and this is not something to try and get cheap. 
    • Dog Boarding / Hotel – £100 to 2,000 : holidays now mean finding care for Vulric, depending on the length the bills can get rather hefty. 
    • Medicine / regular supplements – £100 – £2,000 : dogs with health issues are often prescribed supplements, which also add to the cost. 
    • Damage to the house – £100 – £10,000 : any large breed has the capability to wreck havoc in the house if not trained – this can extend to chewing walls, digging up the carpet, jumping through windows in extreme cases. 
    • Become addicted to a dog sport – £100 – £5000 : this is not a joke. Think agility or dog showing looks like good fun? It really is, in fact the eager competitors will often spend thousands to travel around the country, trains and enter shows. You’ve been warned!

So how much does a wolfdog cost? For us just under £1,000 a month. I hope you find the detail helpful, I had to think through everything to budget for our puppy, so perhaps this will save the work for someone looking to get a dog. The costs aren’t wolfdog specific – many owners in our situation would be spending the same on a Labrador. Dogs are not cheap to keep, but Vulric is worth every penny!

To read more about his life beyond the costs, see our Everyday Wolfdog page.

wolfdog puppy great britain

Wolfdog of London Website Launch

Hello, World!

After a year and a half of posting pictures of Mr V on instagram, we have decided to expand his share of the internet by building this little space. Here we can have higher resolution photos and longer blog posts, to spare you some of our essay captions on social media. The other reason for creating this website is to centralise our portfolio for Vulric’s modeling and advertising work, and make it easy for brands to get in touch with us.

Whether you are a friendly follower from Instagram here for fun or stumbled across us for the first time – there will be something for everyone.

We are planning a series of fun posts but if you have any suggestions or requests, leave us a comment! As always, we will make sure to let you know on Instagram when we next publish new content.