Yuki, a wolfdog rescued by the Shy Wolf Sanctuary in Naples, Florida, is taking the internet by storm with a single photo showing off his incredible size.
By, 6 Mar 2019
Now that’s a big dog
In this photo, Yuki is sitting on one of his favourite volunteers, Brittany Allen’s lap. Although Yuki looks more like a dire-wolf than a dog in this photo, he is in reality only 120 lbs (still huge). Brittany Allen, however, laughs at the accusations that the photo was photoshopped, and posted this caption on her Instagram account “It’s just his fat angle guys. We all have one”.
A ruff past
Yuki arrived at the sanctuary in 2008, after having been dumped at a shelter by his owner, who could no longer ‘handle’ him. He is what is known as a ‘high content’ wolfdog, meaning he has more wolf in him than dog. Incredibly, his DNA results came back as 87.5% Gray Wolf, 8.6% Siberian Husky, and 3.9% German Shepherd. Since his arrival at the non-profit organization when he was only 8 months old, Yuki has been taken care of by the loving staff and volunteers, whose mission is to “reconnect people and animals through education”.
A picture speaks a thousand words – and this one is a warning message
The impressive picture which made Yuki famous undeniably brings awareness to a real problem emerging in the Western world today. Wolfdogs are clearly beautiful, majestic animals, that any dog lover would be proud to own. Despite this, purchasing a wolfdog should be a thought-through decision. “Wolfdogs are a bit more difficult in my opinion because you don’t exactly know how much wolf behaviour vs. dog behaviour they will have”, Brittany warns. Being a mixture of traits, wolfdogs have less predictable behaviour patterns compared to either the wolf or the dog. “They are both social with people they accept in their space, but they are very selective as well”.
In the UK, it is legal to own a wolfdog, as long as the animal is at least three generations away from the wolf. In North America, where the laws regarding wolfdogs are more lax, sanctuaries like the one in Florida are becoming increasingly necessary. Staff at Shy Wolf Sanctuary hope that Yuki can act as an ambassador for his cause: wolfdogs are not for everyone, and great care must be taken if considering purchasing one.
In the meantime, Yuki is blissfully unaware of his fame, and enjoying a tranquil, TLC-filled life at the sanctuary, his forever home.