So, we’ve all heard of Game of Thrones, some of us might be even a little bit…well, let’s just say it, obsessed. The story line is great, and the characters are even better, and, of course, the Dire Wolves are no exception. You may think of them as magical and mystical creatures, but the fact is they did live on this planet… a long time ago.
Dire Wolves were REAL
The Dire Wolf, or Canus Dirus, was a carnivorous mammal that became extinct around 10,000 years ago – around the time of the last Ice Age. It was the heaviest canine that has ever lived and it inhabited the Americas. The Dire Wolf was similar to the modern day Grey Wolf – it had a smaller brain but it was much heavier and stronger.
How to get your OWN DIRE WOLF
Ok, so you might not be able to get a real Dire Wolf – they are extinct! – but you might consider owning a Northern Inuit Dog – the breed that you can actually see on Game of Thrones. This breed originated in the 1980’s in an attempt to create a domestic Wolf-like breed. They do look very much like wolves, but the truth is, these dogs are quite different from what Dire Wolves would actually have looked like, so if you are committed to finding the real thing, or at least the closest relative to the real Dire Wolf, you must check the Dire Wolf Project.
The Dire Wolf Project was created by the American National Alsatian Breeders Association back in 1987, way before Game of Thrones became popular. Lois Schwarz, the founder of the project, wanted to develop the American Alsatian in order to create a big, calm, intelligent and wolf-like dog. Gradually this new breed started to resemble the extinct Dire Wolf.
The Dire Wolf Project is not attempting to revive the Dire Wolf – there is no genetic material available, so don’t even start getting ideas from Jurassic Park! The project is developing a breed that is very wolf-like in appearance, but heavier and shaggier than other modern wolf-like breeds, such as Huskies or Alaskan Malamutes. This new breed is also very calm and gentle, so they would make great pets!
Now, let’s get to the point, how can you get one?? Well…the best thing to do is join the other Game of Thrones fans and put your name down on the waiting list. And while you’re waiting, perhaps start saving some money…apparently the cost of owning your own Dire Wolf can come close to $3,000! Totally worth it though….
A Word of Caution
Owning a Dire Wolf would be extremely cool and it would make you feel epic, but it’s worth emphasizing that you should only do it if you have the time, space and energy to do so. Even though the Dire Wolf Project is developing gentle and calm dogs, they are still large and active animals that need special attention. And if you’re going for other types of wolf-like dogs, such as Huskies and Malamutes, you need to be aware that they are highly active and energetic dogs that require a lot of attention and exercise and should not be left alone in a tiny apartment! The Dogs Trust has stated that the number of abandoned wolf-like breeds has been increasing a lot in recent years. Owners simply cannot cope with these breeds’ demands and end up abandoning them or giving them up for adoption – a very sad outcome indeed. The Blue Cross has also noted an increased number of abandoned wolf dogs, from 10 in 2008 to 52 in 2013.
“Wolf Dogs” such as Malamutes, Huskies and the new Dire Wolf/American Alsatian are amazing creatures and can make great pets, but owners must be aware of their characteristics and needs. The Dire Wolves in Game of Thrones roam around castles and forests; so, if we wish to own one, it’s only fair that we provide them with the equivalent real life surroundings.