Can any dog be a Companion Dog

By Jennifer Stoeckl, MAT - Dire Wolf Project CEO, April 7, 2023
Hercules a Dire Wolf Guardian enjoying his float

Have you ever heard someone make this claim before?
Any dog can be a great companion dog. It’s all in how you raise them.

I have heard this sentiment in many dog groups all around the Internet throughout the years.

I bet many of you have, too.

Good training does have a lot to do with having a well-mannered dog.

So, in a way, I agree with the statement above.

I can take a hyper, energetic, independent, overly confident, outgoing, happy-all-the-time dog and give it the tools it needs to live a happy life with humans.

The question is… can you?

Do you have the dog training knowledge it takes to help the above type of dog thrive in a pet home in the suburbs or cities?

Most people do not.

I process somewhere between 10 - 30 puppy adoption questionnaires each month from families living in all walks of life in the United States and Canada.

Most have rudimentary dog training knowledge with large gaps in fundamental dog training skills.

And that is perfectly okay.

There is no wrong or right answer to how many dogs you have trained in your lifetime. You don’t have to devote your entire life to obtaining the most comprehensive dog training skills in order to have a great dog.

But what you do need to understand is there are different dog breeds for a reason.

Take Sedna (Essex/Mary) from the Sea Monsters Litter, for example.

Sedna’s DNA test is 47.8% German Shepherd Dog, 45.2% Alaskan Malamute, and 7% Irish Wolfhound.

ALL three of those breeds are WORKING dog breeds.

Now, how can the Dire Wolf Project claim to breed companion dogs when the project began with working dog breeds?

That is the genius of Lois’s breeding methods. She literally invented her own temperament tests based on scientific procedure as well as constant observational data without taking into account her own emotional attachment to the puppies themselves.

Over 30 years went by where Lois specifically chose the puppies in the litter with lower and lower energy levels, vocalization, dominance, aggression, etc.

That is why no one else can come close to what she accomplished. I dare say it can never be replicated by anyone else.

Lois devoted her entire life to bringing about a new breed-wide temperament that Lois specifically defined based on what were the most problematic issues for modern families when living with working dog breeds.

So, while any dog can be trained to be a good companion dog with the right dog training and knowledge, no other dog breed has been specifically designed by years of genetic manipulation to possess the innate qualities of a companion dog.

Do you want to do the work it takes to train an energetic, highly-focused, highly-driven, bomb-proof working dog?
Do you want to start with the raw materials tailor-made for a companion dog?

NOTE: I never said American Dirus dogs would not need training to be great companion dogs. American Dirus companion dogs are still dogs and their first language is “canine”. It takes work to teach a dog “human-as-a-second-language”.

And… we are not just talking about a different culture, but an entirely different species.

If you want to know more about the unique nature of a companion dog breed, like the American Dirus, I wrote a series of articles on this topic.

Before you consider getting one of our dogs, make sure you understand the inherited temperament behind this breed.

Be an informed dog owner; it’s the only kind worth being.

Jennifer Stoeckl is the co-founder of the Dire Wolf Project, founder of the DireWolf Guardians American Dirus Dog Training Program, and owner/operator of DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito. She lives in the beautiful inland northwest among the Ponderosa pine forests with her pack of American Dirus dogs.