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What to expect at the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Alberta

Wolfdog Sanctuary

Thanks to mythology, hybrid animals – like the wolfdog – have been the focus of a lot of fascination over the years. Even Napoleon Dynamite dreamed of ligers and their magical skills. But while hybrid animals seem like an amazing idea, we don’t often consider the impact of this sort of breeding, or how it can impact the life of these animals in the real world.

Wolfdogs are one of the real-life hybrid species that have become so popular with dog lovers. The fascination with these animals is what has led breeders to create and sell them to dog lovers, which often leads to their mistreatment or abandonment. As part of our Contiki Cares experience you can visit the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary in Banff and find out more about the protection of these beautiful dogs.

Hybrid Animals

As their name suggests, wolfdogs are dogs that have been bred to be part wolf. They can be classified as high, medium, or low (wolf) content depending on how much wolf genetics they possess. Although they sound like fun furry fiends to have at home, wolfdogs don’t make great pets for many families. Often, you can’t walk them like a normal dog or have them sleep at the foot of your bed, due to their wolf DNA.

Being a wolfdog owner is a big commitment, and many dog lovers don’t grasp this in full before they’re purchased. Hopeful owners become overwhelmed or neglectful, which is where Yamnuska comes in.

The Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary rescues wolfdogs so that they are not euthanized or released into the wild. It’s a great place to responsibly enjoy these beautiful hybrid animals, and you can do so at their sanctuary just outside of Calgary. Here’s what to expect on your visit with these adorable doggos:


Wolfdog Education

Wolfdogs are often purchased by owners not properly equipped for, or educated on, what’s needed to look after them. That’s how they end up in the sanctuary. Here, the staff will teach you all about their unique traits, and what they do at Yamnuska to care for them.

Belly rubs and play time

Wolfdogs need affection too, and they love to play just like dogs. Once comfortable, they’re very friendly and affectionate. If you’re ready to make a new furry friend, the staff will guide you through some quality time with them.


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Lots of personalities

The content level of the wolfdog has a lot to do with the personality they develop, as does the way in which they were raised before arriving at the sanctuary. The ones at the sanctuary even live in packs in their own separate enclosures, just like wolves in the wild. The sanctuary staff will teach you about each wolfdog, from their favourite foods to how they like to play –  even who their best friend in the pack is!


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Time outside

Wolf traits make them better suited to being outside, and they love the cold and snow. It’s another reason why wolfdogs don’t make great indoor pets, as their inquisitive nature won’t be the kindest to your favourite couch. If you’re visiting, make sure you dress for the weather and follow their recommended clothing protocols to ensure your time with the doggos is as safe as possible.


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The Option for Adoption

Although many of Yamnuska’s wolfdogs have found their forever homes with a pack at the sanctuary, adoptions are still an option. Yamnuska typically has some low content rescues that can be adopted by a prepared home. They go through all of the proper protocols to ensure the new owners can properly care for their new wolfdoggo.


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Ready to meet these furry beauties for yourself? Visit the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary on Contiki’s Ski Banff trip this winter!

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