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The Utonagan Dog Breed: Meet this Wolfish Mixed Breed

When you meet a Utonagan dog for the first time, you might think that you are face to face with a wolf.

The regal Utonagan hybrid was created to look like a wolf, but this breed is 100% domesticated. There is no actual wolf blood in its lineage.

What is a Utonagan?

The Utonagan is a hybrid dog breed that is a cross between a Siberian Husky, A German Shepherd Dog and an Alaskan Malamute.

The result is a large, furry, imposing dog with wolf-like physical characteristics.

Many people are attracted to the Utonagan’s striking appearance.

However, prospective owners should think long and hard about whether this breed will be a good match for them.

Utonagans are large and strong. They require a lot of training, exercise and mental stimulation. They are not well suited for apartment living and they do best in cooler climates. Their thick coats shed profusely.

In this article, we will explore Utonagan behaviors, training, grooming and care. We will also discuss common medical issues and temperament traits.

We hope that this article will give you a better understanding of the Utonagan breed and will help you decide if this majestic dog is the perfect pet for you.

Utonagan History

Where did the Utonagan come from?

This mixed breed was created in 1987 by a woman named Edwina Harrison.

Ms. Harrison wanted to create a dog breed that closely resembled a wild wolf, but without the unpredictable temperament of an actual wolf-hybrid.

The name “Utonagan” means “spirit of the wolf” in the Chinook language.

The hybrid breed is also sometimes known as the Northern Inuit Dog or the Ute.

The Utonagan is a mixed breed, so it is not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) or any other major kennel clubs around the world.

Utonagan Ancestry

The Utonagan is made up of three well-known purebred breeds: the Alaskan Malamute, the Siberian Husky and the German Shepherd Dog.

Let’s take a closer look at the three breeds that make up the Utonagan hybrid.

Alaskan Malamute Characteristics

The Alaskan Malamute is a large, muscular working dog.

The Alaskan Malamute dog breed was developed to work for long hours in freezing Northern climates.

Photo of Alaskan Malamute  In Snow

Therefore, Alaskan Malamutes are hardy and determined.

They do best with experienced owners who can channel their boundless energy and their working drive.

They are energetic and vocal, so they are not recommended for apartment dwellers.

Check out this article for more information about the Alaskan Malamute temperament.

Siberian Husky Characteristics

The Siberian Husky is another Northern working breed.

However, the typical Siberian Husky is smaller and more agile than the Alaskan Malamute.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies were bred to be sled dogs and work in some of the harshest environments in the world.

These dogs are crafty and energetic. If you own one, you must provide your Husky with tons of mental and physical stimulation.

Bored Siberian Huskies are known to howl, dig, escape the yard, and become destructive.

This article will tell you even more about the Siberian Husky temperament.

German Shepherd Dog Characteristics

The German Shepherd is a very recognizable breed in the United States.

In fact, the German Shepherd Dog (also known as the GSD) is the second most popular breed in America according to the American Kennel Club.

German Shepherds originally came from Germany where they were used to herd and guard livestock.

Photo of German Shepherd Dog On Beach

Today GSDs are used for a wide array of tasks including herding, guarding, police work, search and rescue, companionship, therapy work, drug sniffing, bomb detection, and as service dogs for people with disabilities!

These dogs are intelligent and trainable. They thrive when they have a job to do. Do not get one unless you have plenty of time to devote to training, enrichment and exercise.

You can learn more about the German Shepherd temperament by checking out this article.

Utonagan Characteristics

As you can probably surmise based on its ancestry, the Utonagan dog breed is athletic, active, intelligent and driven.

The Utonagan is a perfect dog for an owner who enjoys lots of outdoor activities such as hiking and snowshoeing.

However, if you are looking for a couch potato, the Utonagan is not the dog for you.

Utonagan Size and Appearance

As we mentioned earlier, the Utonagan looks like a wolf.

The average Utonagan height is generally between 23 inches and 30 inches tall.

The typical Utonagan weight range is between 55 and 100 lbs.

Utonagans have long tails and erect ears.

The following are the most common Utonagan colors:

  • Sable
  • White
  • Gray
  • Red
  • Tan

The Utonagan usually has a distinctive dark “face mask” and almond-shaped eyes. Their eyes are usually brown or yellow, although they can occasionally be blue.

The Utonagan coat is very heavy and thick.

We will talk more about Utonagan shedding and grooming in the next section.

Utonagan Grooming

How do you groom the Utonagan dog breed?

If you own one of these dogs, you will need to be comfortable doing a lot of brushing and comb