American Alsatian... a lamb in wolf's clothing.™

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 Resemblance to the Dire Wolf

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PostSubject: Resemblance to the Dire Wolf   25/3/2010, 18:14

Originally posted by shepaluteprez on October 1, 2006.




I have been thinking about the ALSATIAN SHEPALUTE standards of the breed. In the standards it states: He is a large Dire wolf looking dog who stands calm alongside his owners. Now, what exactly does that mean?

From my research, the Dire wolf is an extinct species of wolf thought to have roamed North America during the Pleistocene Epoch (10-130 thousand years ago). This animal is said to be shorter than the Timber wolves we see today. It also had thicker bones, a broader head, and larger paws than the gray wolves. Here is one of my favorite pictures of the Dire wolf drawn by Goldenwolf. The website for this picture is: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Here is a fabrication of some Dire wolves sculpted by Frank J. Zitz & Company, Inc. I particularly like the broad muzzle depicted on these sculptures. I found this picture at: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


As a club, we always strive for better adherence to the standards of the breed with each new generation. I think it is important then to more fully understand the standards, which will guide us to a more perfect representation of the Alsatian Shepalute dog. Our dogs are "Dire wolf looking". We want our dogs to keep their large paws, thick bones, broad chest and head, short neck, yellow eyes and broader muzzle. These structural qualities, along with the companion personality, will distinquish this breed of dog from any other.

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PostSubject: Re: Resemblance to the Dire Wolf   25/3/2010, 18:16

Originally posted by shepaluteprez on October 18, 2006.



Along with the resemblence to the Dire wolf of prehistoric times, the Standards also mention different colors in this breed. Here's the wording..."This breed comes in many different colors with the predominant color of coat being a wolf-gray."

So...what do the standards mean by "different colors"? I thought it would be interesting to present them all together to compare them. So, below are the different colors of Alsatian Shepalutes throughout the years.

Here is a picture of a wolf-gray as it is today. This is a 6 month old male pup. This color is the most desireable according to the standards of the breed.


Here is a picture of the gold-colored sable. This is a 6 month old female.


Here is a picture of a cream-colored sable. This is a 12 month old male.


Here is a picture of a now rare black and tan. If you looked closely at the black hairs on this dog, you would see a cream-colored undercoat. In the last four years, I have not seen this color in any litter born.

Here is a picture of an extremely rare all-cream. In fact, this is the only all-cream Alsatian Shepalute I know of.


The most common colors are the wolf-gray or the gold or cream sable.

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PostSubject: Re: Resemblance to the Dire Wolf   25/3/2010, 18:16

Originally posted by shepaluteprez on October 18, 2006.



Color is not everything. There is so much more information presented to us through the Standards of the Breed. Let's take a look at the Alastian Shepalute head. Just this one sentence from the standards of the breed could take a whole disseration to write, but for the sake of being succinct, I'll present it in a shorter fashion. "The head of an Alsatian is very broad and large sloping slightly from between the yellow eyes down to the deep black nose."

The head is very important according to the standards. It holds the key to the yellow-eyed wolfish stare. We must be mindful of the head when looking for the ideal Alsatian Shepalute. The head must be broad and large compared to its body. It must hold its head low, eyes looking up in mystery and intrigue. There should be a full hand width (if not more) on the crown of the head between the ears. There is a slightly sloping stop or point where the crown of the head meets the muzzle. The muzzle should be broad and large, not narrow and pointed. It should also be slightly longer than the head is deep, which means to me that this part of the dog should not be overly elongated, or too short. The eyes should be yellow, although pups can have amber eyes that lighten as they grow older. The nose should always be completely black. A light nose is a major fault. There is no color designation for the muzzle, interestingly, and most Alsatian Shepalutes have a darker muzzle that lightens as it grows older. I tend to like the lighter muzzle as it gives the dog more of a wolfish appearance.

In this picture of a four year old female, notice the large head in comparison to the person behind. There might be a slight depth perception there, but none-the-less, the head of this dog should be larger than smaller. I'm betting that the mastermind behind this breed would say, "the larger, the better." Smile Then, there is the question, can the head be too large?


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PostSubject: Re: Resemblance to the Dire Wolf   25/3/2010, 18:17

Originally posted by shepaluteprez on November 26, 2006.



I would like to continue to discuss the standards of the breed, since they are important and help us determine our direction when looking and breeding for the ideal Alsatian Shepalute dog.

The most important section of the standards, in my opinion, has to be the character section. Our standards say: The Alsatian Shepalute is a dignified, loyal and devoted family companion dog.

Our dogs are "companion dogs" and must forever remain so. Now…what does “companion dog” mean?

Perhaps it might help by defining what a “companion dog” is not. You might come across some breed websites stating that their dogs are companion dogs, however, in the next sentence some of these websites will say that these dogs don’t like to be left alone and will dig, cry, bark, chew, claw, and jump while you are away. You might also notice that these dogs are classified under the “working dog” group. Other clubs interpret “companion dog” as a title or certificate for obedience that states that your dog meets the requirements for living within a family in today’s society. These accomplishments acknowledge that your dog reads your body language and voice commands precisely and can function with ease within your home, around company, while out walking, etc.

Our club has a different interpretation of the wording “companion dog”. The wording “companion dog” means that our dogs must be laid-back, loyal, quiet, slow in action, and calm. They should not require much exercise being content to lie by your side. They must not excessively dig, bark, chew, run, jump, or whine. Our dogs should not require a lot of training to be able to live within your household whether in the big city or on the farm. These dogs were created only to love their masters, that is to say, to love to be in your presence even if only to be in the same room as you. This is not to say that they do not require any training. Dogs are dogs and need to know who the pack leader is and what your rules are for your home. But, once they are familiar with your rules, they should be able to function well in this environment.

Here is a visual. Imagine yourself in the Wild West back in the 1800s without cars, paved streets, cell phones, or televisions. You are sitting in your old wooden rocking chair on your porch overlooking a meandering stream. It’s a hot day and flies are buzzing around you as you sip your cool lemonade. Your trusty dog lies at your feet, quiet, yet sensitive to your movements. Your companion rolls over on his back to continue his slumber as he whiles away the hot dog days of summer. As you creak up from your chair to return to the coolness of your cabin, your companion lazily yawns and saunters after you. He lies down near the entrance to your kitchen as you pour yourself another glass of lemonade. You pat him on the head and he slowly wags his tail dusting the floor beneath him. You return to your post on the porch as your dog follows behind and plops himself beside you leaning his massive body against your legs and resting his head on her shoes.
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PostSubject: Re: Resemblance to the Dire Wolf   25/3/2010, 18:18

Originally posted by Lois Schwarz on December 5, 2006.



thank you for that interesting and vivid explination of what a companion dog is! I enjoyed it. you are right in that a companion dog in a dictionary should say something like this 1. a dog who has achieved a title of "companion dog" from varies dog clubs 2. a catagory of listed breeds of dogs who were bred only as companion dogs as compared to other breeds of dogs such as "sporting dogs" non-sporting dogs, retrievers, pointers, working dogs etc..

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PostSubject: Re: Resemblance to the Dire Wolf   25/3/2010, 18:19

Originally posted by shepaluteprez on December 8, 2006.



I looked at the American Kennel Club website and all the categories of the dogs they register. There are seven official categories and the eighth is a category of dog that has not been fully admitted into the AKC. The seven categories are: sporting, hound, toy, working, terrier, herding, and non-sporting. The eighth category is the miscellaneous class. If we were to use these categories: our dogs would not be in the sporting group, they are not hounds, they aren't small like the toys, they are not terriers, and they are not primarily bred to perform jobs for humans. They would ultimately fall into the non-sporting group, which is a very diverse class of differing sizes, shapes, and personalities.

Now, I've heard the argument that basically questions how an Alsatian Shepalute can really not belong to the working class when they were bred out of pure-bred working dogs. Well, I know it's hard to believe until you own one yourself, but indeed this breed of dog has evolved into an animal who is content to lie at your side.

I do not see a huge prey drive in my two dogs. I've had to really draw out Citara's drive by extensive play therapy so she can perform enthusiastically as a Search and Rescue dog. I don't see any compulsive digging, jumping, barking, or running. My two dogs lope more than run. They look inquisitively more than bark. They come up quietly and place their head on my lap. My two girls lick a lot, but other than that, not too much activity.

Wait, I have to take that back. They are extremely SNEAKY! They use stealth to their advantage. My husband had enchiladas on the counter to cool and went upstairs to get something. I was sitting just around the corner in the livingroom. I didn't hear a thing! Jay came down not 1 minute later and Odessa was up on her paws eating the enchiladas from the counter. I tell you...SNEAKY!

I have to say, though, that Citara, the pup, has much more energy than Odessa. When we first get home she bounds through the yard. Odessa doesn't bound at all, she slowly wags her tail and walks over to me expecting to be pat on the head. That is the extent of her physical enthusiasm. Now, I can see an intense expression on her face, but not in the way she presents herself outwardly.

Do other Alsatian Shepalute owners see their dogs as calm, quiet, gentle and serene for the majority of the time?
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