Wolf therapy. Yes, wolf therapy.

Over the years, I’ve blogged a number of times about counseling. I’m a fan and have benefited from it both as an individual and a couple.

Yesterday, my friend Angie Smith sent me these photos. It’s from an ad for a new service called “Wolf Therapy.”

Wolf 1

I have so many questions.

I myself am more a Kodiak Grizzly therapy guy, but you say tomato.

I’ve honestly heard great things about dog therapy and completely understand that these are wolfdogs, not purebred wolves. My friend has a couple of wolfdogs and says they are wonderful pets. But there’s still something pretty amazing about the phrase “wolf therapy.”

The bio of one of the beast therapists is pretty awesome as well.

wolf 2

 There are three things that jump out at me are:

1. Some family thought it was a good idea to send their kid to college with a wolfdog. Can you imagine being that kid’s roommate? “Hey, I’m Tim! I brought a TV for our dorm. What did you bring?”

2. The wolfdog is able to read people’s emotions. Me too, that’s pure terror you’re reading.

3. That is the scariest picture ever.

If this is your company, I honestly think it’s awesome that you’re trying alternative approaches to therapy. Bravo. And I hope you have a sense of humor. I try to never offend someone who access to wolves.

As a reader, do you have any questions about wolf therapy?

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  1. says

    Wolf therapy sounds more like something a mafia boss would use to, umm, help his client remember information. Especially with that ominous-sounding tagline of “Another way we help you keep your promises.”

  2. Guy says

    “Wolf therapy eases depression, anxiety and stress.”

    Personally, I prefer grizzly bear therapy: Great way to ease all sadness, fear, and trepidation. But maybe that’s just me.

  3. Michael says

    Shade’s picture makes me feel that he is reading my emotions through a picture on the internet. Very terrifying.

  4. Brandon Grasmck says

    Methinks Shade is about to lick the face off of whomever is in front of him….prob a wonderful pooch to have around.

    Also, the move ‘Up’ comes to mind…..

  5. skyblue says

    I have to admit at first, “wolf therapy” sounds like it would be something along the lines of “Put all your problems into perspective as you run for your life away from this pack of hungry wolves”!

  6. Amyress says

    Last fall my office did some volunteer work at a Wolf Sanctuary up in the foothills. Mulching, fence repairs, more or less standard yard work.


    We did said work WITH THE WOLVES RUNNING AROUND BESIDE US! Silly me, thinking they’d keep the wolves and the wolf food (ahem, people) separate. (Also, I have a longstanding rule about dogs: if they’re big enough to beat me up and lock me in a closet, they’re too big. So …)

    And aren’t wolves one of those “smell fear” animals? Yeah, it’s pretty much a miracle that I didn’t die that day. Although I did get stung by a bee, which I don’t think was a coincidence.

    Wolf therapy? No. Thank. You.

  7. says

    I have wolf therapy every day, when my ‘wooblets’ come in the house and roll over to be petted. I’m not surprised that some idiot thought takin’ a wolf dog to a college dorm would be cool. That’s why I quit breedin’ them years ago–I learned that most folks have NO IDEA how to raise a wolf dog. They have a completely different mental outlook than a dog. They are not pets, they are pack members. My three are the biggest babies on the planet–whoever came up with the ‘big bad wolf’…never met mine durin’ a thunderstorm as they crawl up on the bed and shove their noses under your arm to be hugged.

  8. says

    Shade is an “excellent reader of peoples’ emotions” because this is a particular talent that most dogs have. They can’t understand our words very well, but they are very skilled at determining our moods.

    For those who accept evolution, this is because humans and dogs began to cohabitate around 30,000 years ago according to paleontologists, and the dogs who were best at reading our emotions had a survival advantage in that environment, because we rejected the ones who weren’t (and “rejection” in the Stone Age generally meant that the poor animal was killed and eaten).

    For those who reject evolution, well … I guess you can tell yourself that God designed dogs to be that way.

  9. Lori E. says

    That sounds very interesting! I just had this thought – if my wolfdog senses that I’m upset with my husband and our boys, it would be quite therapeutic for me if he kept them in line!! Hmmm…

    • says

      Indeed. Mankind created dogs by selectively breeding them out of their wolf ancestors. A modern researcher named Belyaev decided to see if he could reproduce this in an experiment, which is widely known as the “Farm Fox Experiment”, in which he was able to rapidly create domesticated foxes with docile behaviour, much like that of a housepet. After only 6 generations, the selected foxes were already noticeably domesticated in behaviour.

      Today, after 40 years of the ongoing experiment, the foxes are definitely domesticated, and can be treated like any other house pet. They have also undergone physical changes, which clearly mark them as house pets, and when they’ve escaped from captivity, they have always returned.


      • KJGuest says

        I recently saw something about that experiment on TV. Isn’t it fascinating?! The section of the documentary that I saw discussed “nature vs. nurture” in how they bred aggressive pups to a docile mother, and, I believe, vice versa. The docile mothers still raised aggressive pups. So interesting!

      • skyblue says

        I remember reading a little about that experiment in a book. That was a fascinating article – thank you for linking to it!

  10. Bree says

    Shade’s picture reminds me of the scene from the Neverending Story where the Gmork (wolf) is coming out of the cave to talk to Atreu about the Nothing. That was the first thing that came to mind when I saw it.

  11. says

    I keep noticing the word “destroyed.” I’m trying to picture myself considering wolf therapy, reading this ad for Shade and thinking, “Yes, Shade is a destroyer! That’s the perfect wolf for me. That’s the exact therapy I need!”

    I have no problem believing he’s a destroyer, either based on that adorable photo of Shade, of which I’m quite certain I will now be having nightmares about–but at least there’s a place I can go for therapy if I do. :) (Oh, wow, they’ve created a never-ending source of business. Their therapy causes you to need therapy, and around and around it goes! Brilliant!!!)

      • Chris says

        Mom and dad probably kept laughing because son was legally responsible for his own not well thought out plan. If my kid ever tells me he’s taking a wolf to college, I’m just gonna buy him a webcam for his room and ask that it be left on for kicks and giggles.

  12. Lauri says

    I respect therapy dogs, but I just feel like this is going to end up with the wolfdogs in a bad place because people don’t understand what they are.

  13. spacegal2003 says

    To be fair, I doubt #1 is true. He probably picked up the wolfdog on his own once he was at college, thinking it would be “cool.”

  14. Rebecca C says

    I suppose wolf therapy would be interesting, but I would not want wolfdog therapy. Wolves are predictable, wolfdogs are not. They are the schizophrenics of the dog world.

  15. says

    Well, as someone who lived with a wolf under the same roof for two months (and would’ve gladly continued to do so except I had to go back home to my country), I can tell that wolves are indeed very therapeutic. I cannot explain it – and probably many dog owners might say the same about their (more-domesticated) pets – but there’s something about wolves.

    Reading this post made me miss Nome even more (he passed away few years ago…)

  16. Kristie says

    Here in south Louisiana, wolf dogs are bred and trained at Angola , the state penitentiary, to find and capture escaped inmates. They’re quite effective as a deterrent as well. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not feeling the whole “take a wolf to therapy” theme.


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