Dreamer resting after a lovely walk
Dreamer, a teenage DireWolf Dog

The minute you get your puppy home and place it in its new space, take a moment to observe its behavior. Does it crouch down with its head on the ground, tail curled in on itself, and stay still for a few minutes before timidly lifting its body to softly explore the new space? Or... does it stand firm on its four legs, look around for a moment, and then boldly walk over to the water bowl, food bowl, sniff at the blankets, and then look at the door placing a paw on the latch in an effort to communicate that wants out to be with you?

Both puppies are calm and mellow for their age. They are soft-hearted and intelligent beings wanting comfort and reassurance in their new space. But, their approach to life is completely different. The first puppy is unsure and lacks a good deal of overall confidence. The second puppy is confident and bold, not tending toward nervousness, but still wanting connection and reassurance from its owner. Just as in all dog breeds, these two types of puppies exist within the Dire Wolf Project. Schwarz Kennels in southern Oregon leans toward a more soft-hearted temperament with a less confident demeanor, while DireWolf Dogs of Vallecito in eastern Washington state leans toward a more confident, self-assured temperament with more a more bold demeanor. Neither type is good nor bad and each can become well-rounded and well-mannered with specific training for their unique needs. Each type is simply different from one another and requires a different type of family in order to be happy and whole.

Now, let's explore the nervous versus confident DireWolf Dog for its good and difficult traits in order to give you a better idea of what each type entails. Remember, all of the other temperament traits are the same great traits that you have come to admire from this amazing large breed of companion dog.

The Less Confident DireWolf Dog

The less confident DireWolf Dog stays young for a longer period of time. It is a baby and desires a leader to show it all about the life that surrounds it. This type of puppy requires only soft corrections in order to stop wrong behavior. It may even wilt when scolded, dropping down to the ground or going to lay down in a pout. This type of puppy requires socialization training and confidence building. If a family does too much too quickly, this puppy will become overwhelmed emotionally and may drop down to the ground in a heap. When this happens, the only way to get this type of puppy to move is to carry it. But, with slow and consistent training and building a predicted routine, this puppy will gain in confidence and become a very well-rounded adult.

Throughout its life, this type of dog is more of a beta, preferring to follow rather than lead. It bonds strongly with its family and relies on their support for its emotional stability. The ultimate velcro dog, this type of puppy travels with its owners from room to room and prefers a deep and loving bonded connection with its humans. This type of puppy is loyal and devoted to one family only. While it can learn to tolerate stranger approach and touch, it does not typically find comfort in stranger affection. It is most outgoing with its family and prefers the home life, where it feels safest. This type of puppy is less likely to be a good candidate for a service dog or therapy dog prospect. Instead, it will excel at remaining home to be the beloved family pet or emotional support dog.

Families best suited for this type of puppy are quiet and mellow. They do not have active children, many family gatherings, or frequent parties with friends. Families who prefer staying at home or going camping or hiking with just their own immediate family members would be perfect for this type of dog. An older couple with grown children or infrequent interaction with active grandchildren would be perfect. Someone who lives alone and needs a loyal family companion dog that will deter strangers from coming onto the property just by its presence alone would also be excellent for this type of puppy. A family with mellow children who are book worms, older dogs, or scared cats would also work for this type of puppy.

With the wrong training experiences, this type of puppy can become problematic as an adult. Puppies of this type may develop fear of strangers and cower from stranger touch. It may never trust strange dogs and fear unknown dog both large and small throughout its life. This type of puppy can lag behind in its training, especially when asked to perform in public or outside of its comfort zone. While it may understand the commands, it may be reluctant to perform them due to uncertainty and a desire to perform correctly without mistakes. This type of puppy takes quite a large degree of a specific type of socialization training in order to be well-rounded as an adult. Any harsh correction or bad experience may cause significant delays and set-backs in training that take months of retraining to fix.

Training a Shy Dog is TOTALLY Different

The more Confident DireWolf Dog

The more confident DireWolf Dog wants to explore and find out about the world all around it. It seeks to learn from its humans how best to live and doesn't wait for someone to lead it before acting. This type of puppy may seem to have more energy, although with the correct training early on, it proves not to be more energetic. This type of puppy requires stronger corrections in order to stop wrong behavior, but its more willing attitude allows for a positive training style to show the pup exactly what is expected. With sharp corrections, this puppy may rebel and fight back in order to gain the self-respect it feels it deserves. This type of puppy requires more patience training and lap therapy. If a family neglects to engage the mind of this type of puppy, it can become more destructive in its behaviors. This puppy has a desire to do what it wants and be the leader.

Throughout its life, this type of dog is more of an alpha and is strong-willed in nature. It prefers to lead rather than follow. It bonds with its family, but will accept stranger affection and may seek them out, depending on how bold the pup is. While this type of puppy loves to be involved in the family, it will easily go off on its own to do its own thing. It doesn't require constant awareness of the family in order to feel safe and secure. This type of puppy is more outgoing with its family, but it is not necessarily reserved with strangers. It feels safest at home, but also loves outings where it can explore the news from the neighbors. This type of puppy is more likely to be a good candidate for a service dog or therapy dog prospect. It will excel at remaining home or moving about unknown territory, as long as its family is there should it need assistance.

Families best suited for this type of puppy need to be willing to put in some training effort. Because of this puppy's sharp mind and willing attitude, it can become bored and be prone to destruction should it not receive the amount of instruction it needs to learn how to manage itself in the home with its humans. This type of puppy does well with children, family gatherings, or parties with friends. Families who prefer to go to festivals, the park, play with the kids in the backyard, or play at the beach would be great for this type of puppy. Someone who lives with a larger family and needs a family companion dog to interact with the kids, go to different places around town, or travel with the family on summer vacations would do well for this type of puppy. An older couple with a more active lifestyle or a younger college student with a lifetime of experiences ahead of them would be a great match for this type of puppy. A family with other dogs or outgoing cats, or more lively humans would also work for this type of puppy.

With the wrong experiences, this type of puppy can become problematic as an adult. Puppies of this type may develop overbearing, bratty attitudes that do not want to comply with directives, especially if the family is more on the soft side and not willing to correct with as much force as necessary to stop the behavior and gain a sign of respect. This type of puppy may become pushy and pull on the leash to get to something it wants, such as a particular smell, another human, or dog. I have even heard of this type of puppy becoming so pushy that it jumps and nips at the soft-hearted owner who doesn't have the emotional strength or stability to show the puppy it cannot take the leadership role within the household. This puppy may want to do and be more and if life becomes boring, this puppy can get into things it shouldn't in an effort to entertain itself. This type of puppy takes quite a large degree of patience and manners training in order to be well-rounded as an adult. Any ineffective correction may cause this puppy to believe it can take over the leadership role in the household. In fact, it may believe it must do this because it seeks to fill the gap of the lack of leadership that makes it feel uncomfortable. A family with this type of puppy cannot allow this puppy to take the lead, but must establish a mutual respectful relationship where the puppy has choices within firm, but fair boundaries.

As a potential DireWolf Dog owner, you need to think about your specific family situation. Be honest with yourself and think about which type of puppy would be your ideal. It is very difficult for breeders to solidify just enough of confidence without developing too much and include just enough nervousness without dropping back into too fearful. Puppies generally lean more on one side of the spectrum or the other. Discuss with your breeder the requirements you have for your new puppy. That way they will be able to steer you in the right direction in order to match you perfectly with the puppy that fits best with your family.