Utonagan

Learn about the all-action Utonagan dog in our latest guide. Do they make good pets? Are they good with other animals? Get all the answers below!

Utonagan dog

Many people want to get a dog that is larger than life and look to bigger breeds to have their needs met.

The Utonagan is a great choice and will love to join you on all your outdoor adventures, as well as impressing you with their abilities that make them perfect for agility tests.

This dog, once in your life, will remain loyal to you forever and work to provide you with as much love and care as you give them.

Height: Males up to 84cm, Females up to 71cm
Weight: Males up to 50kg, Females up to 41kg
Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
Pedigree Breed: No, not recognized

Utonagan walking

Positives and Negatives of the Breed

Utonagan dogs come with a wealth of positives but also, like all other dogs, have some negative points that you will need to consider before buying one.

It’s wise to ensure that they will fit with your lifestyle before you commit to owning one as an unhappy dog is hard to live with.

Pros

  • They make great family pets to seasoned dog owners
  • They are perfect for people who love being outdoors and active
  • They are loyal and love being around humans
  • They are easy to maintain and cheap to look after
  • They love taking part in dog agility and sports that help them to show off their skills

Cons

  • They cannot be left alone and will suffer from separation anxiety if they are
  • They are not a good choice for first-time dog owners
  • They need significant amounts of exercise and stimulation every day
  • They like to vocally express themselves a lot

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Overview

The beautiful Utonagan dogs have not been around for long and are still pretty rare in the dog world.

However, they have grown in popularity due to their wolf-like looks and fantastic temperament.

Their name comes from Chinook Indian and means ‘spirit of the wolf’, and this breed is commonly used as therapy dogs because they are so intelligent and loving.

It’s important to note that whilst they may look like a wolf, there is no wolf in their makeup, and they are often held up as being one of the gentlest dogs available as pets.

Having said that, these dogs have lots of exercise and stimulation needs and are not a great choice if you have not owned a dog before because they require significant levels of input in order to thrive.

History

Many people love the look of a wolf but don’t want to own a dog that displays aggressive and dominant behavior.

This is where the Utonagan came to be, as it looks like a wolf without any wolf DNA at all.

Interestingly, this breed came to be after three dogs were crossbred to create it; the German Shepherd, Siberian Husky and Alaskan Malamute.

They were first introduced in the ’80s and have a small but loyal following in the dog world ever since. There are now many associations that have been created to ensure that these dogs are appropriately bred and cared for.

They are not recognized by the Kennel Club, but there is lots of guidance available on the best place to purchase a pup and how to care for these animals.

If you are interested in welcoming a Utonagan puppy into your family, then you will need to expect to pay a significant amount of money as they are still relatively unknown.

That being said, if you are willing to pay for one, you will be rewarded with a dog that will display loyalty and affection at every given opportunity.

Personality

If you want a dog that has an excellent temperament and will remain calm in the most hectic household, then the Utonagan is an excellent choice.

That being said, it is important that you make sure they are suitable for your individual lifestyle before taking the plunge.

Are They Good with Strangers?

Utonagans are wary of strangers and will bark to get your attention when there is a stranger around.

However, they are not aggressive and will opt to bark from a distance rather than confronting any perceived danger head-on.

When you welcome a stranger into your home and show your dog that they are welcome, the Utonagan will respond with affection and friendliness.

Are They Good with Other Dogs?

If you have trained and socialized your dog from a young age, you will find that they are great around other dogs, enjoying playing with them and being friendly.

If you fail to train and socialize effectively, this will result in a dog that is nervous and skittish around others.

Can They Be Trusted with Children?

Many people choose this breed as the perfect family pet because they are amazing with children. No much phases this dog and they are placid and gentle when interacting with children.

However, they are large dogs and, as such, can pose a danger to babies and toddlers if left unsupervised. Therefore, it is imperative that an adult is always supervising when the dog and kids are together.

Are They Ok with Other Pets?

If you have other pets, then this dog should be absolutely fine with them as long as you have socialized them appropriately and trained them to follow your command.

This breed likes living with other dogs as they enjoy being part of a pack, but they will also accept cats and other animals with the right introductions.

Are They Aggressive by Nature?

The Utonagan may look larger than life, and with their wolfy looks, it’s not surprising that many people think they will be aggressive. In reality, they have no aggressive traits to their personality at all.

This breed is gentle and kind and will retreat from danger rather than try to aggressively solve problems, because of this, you can be certain that your loved ones will be safe around them if you take the time to train them properly from a young age.

Do They Have a High Prey Drive?

This breed has a high prey drive and will often give chase when around animals that are not part of their family.

This is especially true when they see wildlife on their adventures, and it’s important to train them appropriately so that they do not run off when told to heel.

Health

As the Utonagan is still fairly new to the world, there is more work to be done in discovering whether they have any hereditary illnesses.

Having said that, when you purchase a pup from a respected breeder, you can expect to see the parents and get hip scores and eye information as standard.

Some of the illnesses that seem to affect the breed include:

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Utonagan 2

Exercise

Before you commit to owning this breed, it is imperative that you consider if you can manage their exercise needs.

These dogs have huge energy stores and will need to get as much time to run about as possible.

The minimum off-lead time is 60 minutes per day in a safe space where they can develop their skills and recall habits.

They also need lots of time to develop their mental agility, and walks on the lead should challenge them to develop rather than just be a physical exertion.

If you do not exercise your dog enough, you can expect to see them displaying destructive behaviors in the home, which will cause distress and unhappiness.

Put simply, this breed needs to live with people that love to be outdoors and will happily go with you on any adventure you plan.

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Intelligence/Trainability

The great thing about Utonagan dogs is that they are seriously intelligent and love nothing more than showing off their immense skills. When you commit to purchasing a pup, you will need to book them in for training as soon as possible.

Training will provide you with the opportunity to help them develop their personality, socialize with other dogs, and learn how you want them to behave.

Once basic training is completed, you will be able to enroll them in agility and advanced classes that will give them something to focus their attention on.

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Grooming

When it comes to grooming, you will notice that your dog is long-haired and has a straight coat that will expand during the winter.

They need regular, daily brushing in the winter to keep them in good shape, but when they have shed their excess hair in the summer, you can reduce this to just twice a week to keep them looking healthy.

As with all dogs, this breed needs regular ear cleans and checks to avoid a buildup of wax and nasty infections. If Utonagan’s get ear infections, then they can be difficult to get rid of, leaving you with spiraling vet bills that could have been avoided.

Recommended Reading: The Saarloos Wolfdog is a large dog with wolf-like looks, originating in Germany, where they were used as working dogs.

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