AND WOLFDOG HEAT CYCLES FOR WOLF DOG BREEDERS
Wolfdogs and not pure wolves, they are a marriage of two biologies.
It is clear that pure wolves in the wild breed only once in the winter and whelp in the spring. These wolves have pups/cubs that are dark and in shades of sable that will slowly phase to adult colors over weeks, months and years.
However wolfdogs may have litters in various shades, again domestication has alot to do with this process, (the laws of adaptation) Those colors can be white/cream and every shade of sable. The sables usually have a nice stripping down the back. litters for the wolfdog can be a mix of these different colors of both cream and sable. I will not again argue colors, it is all based on the breeding and genetics of the particular breeding pair, what it is breed with and again the domestication process.
The size of the wild wolf's litter varies on their personal genetics, nutrition ect. Sizes of wolves and wolfdogs litters will be various in size, as small as 3 and as much as 8 to 9 or more, again the heartiness of animal pairing and genetics are again coming into play.
The Wolves like all wild animals, have a built in program that is proper for their environment and specific for their species survival in the wild. Their blueprint, a wolfdog will create its own program (blue print) based on the two world's that come together and the two parents of the mating, and again the laws of adaptation.
Given a wolfdog's genetics are both (Dog and Wolf) and the having the various percentages that come into play, as what it is mixed with, this can indeed change the animals DNA coupled with the domestication process. Uncertainess of gene expression with domestication can indeed make some wolfdogs go into heat more than once a year, (again the laws of adaptation)
Yes some may argue this point say it is not so, if a higher conent (which is useless to engage in), I only have this to say.....do you have years of scientific proof of how domestication has effected a particular line of wolfdog and its DNA? This is not to be confused with the same a one being bred straight from the wild with pure un altered undomesticated genes. There is plenty of documentation of the American Indian domesticating the wolf, please feel free to research this..
We should take note also how the WOLFDOG'S line is breed into a domestication process. This is not alot known about this, so information will very. I will not argue years of the domestication processs...one year or a thousand. It is very much like phenotyping. Animals from the same litter will grab more of less of certain gene expressions, making the answers that are black or white impossible, and out of simple wisdom, stupid to argue about, something the know it all's feel very empowered by. Nature can surprise us, and very often difficult to predict, remember we are not God and there is alot unknown in this area.
Somethings to consider:
How long the line has been breed into domestication, content or precentages of wolf heritage. Type of dog breed with wolf. Environment and food factors, heat, health, birth mothers background, what she is breed with, ect.
Please read story below for some great understanding of the domestication process,( a true documentation in the laws of adaptation) also check net under the russian domestication of the fox. There are some great movies out there also. Very intriguing, and that is why after viewing these, I refuse to necessarily pigeon hole the breeding and heat cycles or domestication of the wolfdog into a one generic answer.
Guarding the Fox House
A famous animal experiment is in peril, after 54 years of work.
A fox that is part of an experiment started by Russian geneticist Dmitry K. Belyaev
Courtesy Ceiridwen Terrill
The battered Volga bounces us along the buckled roads, frozen and
thawed over long Siberian winters. With me in the van are geneticist
Lyudmila Trut and her assistant Anastāsiya Kharlamova, whom I met
earlier that morning at the Institute of Cytology and Genetics in
Siberia. Now in her 70s, Trut, a petite woman in a blue pinstripe
jacket and light gray pants, peers through thick glasses, trying to read
a scientific paper as we drive. A few minutes later, the driver stops
at the dented metal gate to the experimental farm, and Trut leads the
way down dilapidated rows of narrow barracks-style sheds, morning
glories sprouting from cracks in the paved walkways. The farm houses
3,000 foxes, each open-air wooden shed holding 100 or so animals in
adjacent wire cages. The three of us put on white lab coats and prepare
to greet the foxes.
When I open the door to one fox’s cage, the only home it will ever
know, the little guy doesn’t shrink in fear as a wild creature could be
expected to. Instead he lets me scoop him up, then nuzzles my neck and
licks my fingers. Kharlamova, a slim young woman with shoulder-length
brown hair, explains that the fox is “emotional” because I’m giving him
the attention he wants.
Although domestication of dogs took thousands of years, Russian
geneticist Dmitry K. Belyaev tried to reproduce the whole messy process
in one human lifetime, eliminating all the dead ends and inefficiencies
of chance and human blunder. In 1957, he began a domestication
experiment with the farmed fox
, a distant cousin of the dog. In March 2011, a
described the experiment as if it were finally on the verge of
completion. Researchers were scanning the genomes of the “domesticated
silver foxes,” it said, in the hopes of finding “key domestication
genes.” But there's a problem with this narrative: Even after 54 years
of research, we still don't know whether the animals have reached the
original end point set out by the project's founder.
Belyaev, who died in 1985 and left Lyudmila Trut in charge of the
project, was clear about his goal: The foxes would be considered fully
only when they obeyed human commands as dogs do. That part of the
experiment is still unfinished. No evidence exists to tell us whether
the foxes can be trained to override their instincts, the way a dog
might learn to avoid defecating on the carpet, or to stay at the heel
instead of running off to seek the company of other canines. Belyaev
would never have called the experiment over until a whole population of
foxes had shown that they were biddable, eager to please, and able to
pass those qualities to their offspring. Now Trut would like to put
those qualities to the test, but her experiment has stalled for lack of
money. After 51 generations of foxes, the world’s foremost domestication
experiment languishes. If nothing is done to save it, we'll have missed
an opportunity to understand the mechanisms of domestication, of which
genetic tameness—friendly behavior that is not learned but inherited—is
only one component.
Belyaev began with several hypotheses: People created the dog, and
they did it by selecting—first unintentionally and then
intentionally—for behavior. He could replicate and accelerate the dog’s
domestication process with the fox, he theorized, by rigorously
selecting for tameness, which would eventually allow him to uncover the
genetic mechanisms responsible for changing the dog’s wild ancestor into
our beloved Fido. From fur farms where foxes had been bred in captivity
for more than 50 years, Belyaev chose 130 of the calmest animals,
descendants of foxes who’d already passed an unintentional selection
test for tameness simply by surviving the original lure, capture, and
confinement that literally scares some wild foxes to death. Kits born to
Belyaev’s founding population and each succeeding generation of kits
were subjected to a standardized tameness test, each animal ranked
according to its response to a human experimenter who tried to touch and
feed it. Only those foxes that showed tolerance for the nearness of
people were selected and bred to produce the next generation, while
fearful or aggressive animals were culled. Each generation of foxes grew
more approachable, many showing doglike yearning for human contact. The
experimental farm presently houses a stable population of genetically
Results of testing by anthropologist Brian Hare and his team at the
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany,
have shown that Belyaev’s foxes respond to pointing cues almost as well
as dogs, which means they’re attuned to human interaction. But although
we have the occasional anecdote of a fox walking on a leash or another
sitting for a treat, no systematic socialization and training program
has been launched to test the capacity and willingness of the foxes to
respond to classic obedience cues—
defining characteristics of a domestic canine. If fox kits are raised
like dog puppies, put to the training test, and pass, then scientists
would know that all the genes relevant to domestication are present in
their genome. They’d just have to find them.
Unfortunately, the experiment is broke. Grant money is scarce in
Russia, where economic crises hit in 1998 and again in 2008.
But the fact is, people aren’t lining up for pet foxes, and each year
Trut and her team must either euthanize or sell several hundred foxes
to fur farms because she can barely afford basic upkeep. As of this
writing, fewer than five foxes have been sold in the United States as
pets, and only a handful live with wealthy Russians. One sent to a home
in Moscow went roaming and found himself a wild girlfriend whom he
occasionally brought around for dinner. She wouldn’t go near the house,
and he stayed only long enough to eat a bit of meat—less a pet than a
Yet Trut soldiers on, trying to preserve the integrity of the
genetic line in case funding should materialize for a rigorous
socialization and training program.
For the experiment to continue, fox kits would have to be
systematically hand-reared and human-socialized. Then they could be
trained and tested for their ability and eagerness to respond to classic
obedience commands. If the foxes don’t prove trainable, then perhaps
domestication, even when compressed for efficiency, takes longer than
one human lifetime and is more complicated than merely selecting for a
single behavioral trait. Or perhaps the dog’s ancestor possessed
something unique in its genes that gave rise to our closest
companion, something that can’t be replicated in the fox just because
it’s a social canid. The point is, we won’t know until Belyaev’s
experiment is finished. Unless the experiment is helped to reach its
conclusion—to understand once and for all whether the foxes have
achieved domesticity as Belyaev hoped—more than half a century of
intellectual labor and the lives of more than 50,000 foxes will have
Trut feels bad about the state of the farm and the plight of hundreds
of foxes moaning and chattering for attention from their 3-foot wire
cubes. On my last night in Siberia, over a meal of tsar’s
hodgepodge—described in the menu as “grilled vegetables with secret
sauce and garbage”—a man with his personal fifth of Beluga vodka tells
me that getting by in Russia takes a lot of luck. I can’t help thinking
those farm foxes need all the luck they can get. They’ve already
surprised geneticists by suggesting that selection for a single
behavioral trait can trigger “piggy-backing” changes in physiology and
appearance, like increased levels of serotonin and piebald coats. There
may be more surprises to comE, but it will take a major infusion of
cash, and a collaboration among scientists, adventurous dog trainers,
and Lyudmila Trut to let Belyaev’s experiment—and eventually his
foxes—out of the box.