Lycan Shepherd: A Complete Guide (Facts, History, and Care)

Dog breeding is not a new thing at all but is still one of the best inventions in the history of dog keeping after the discovery that a dog is man’s best friend. Today, responsible breeders are interbreeding dogs to develop mixed breeds that are more healthy and even more intelligent. 

Although you may know a lot about your dog, there are so many amazing breeds out there. The Lycan Shepherd is one of the latest breeds in town and is worth talking about. If you’ve ever seen a dark dog with light eyes, then you may have encountered the Lycan Shepherd.

lycan shepherd laying on the grass

Delve deeper to learn about the Lycan Shepherd breed, including the developmental history, appearance, temperament, feeding preferences, training, health issues, and safety.

What is a Lycan Shepherd?

In a nutshell, the Lycan Shepherd is a new attractive dog breed that is currently being developed from a combination of the previous German Shepherds, Blue Bay Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois. 

The intent is to produce a dog breed with a wolf-like appearance, higher intelligence, reliable character (in terms of loyalty, companionship, and protective instincts). This breed is expected to be a strong defense dog working alongside the rescue and law enforcement services.

Quick facts about the Lycan Shepherd

  • The Lycan shepherd’s breeder has also established a line of working bulldogs known as the Renascence Bulldogge.
  • Blue Bay shepherds, which make up a large portion of the Lycan breed, come from a single breeder in Palm Bay, Florida. These shepherds have descended from dogs that are five generations apart from pure wolves.
  • Working European German shepherds, such as those used to develop the Lycan shepherd, have less extreme skeletal angles and, as a result, have fewer joint complications.

Development of the Lycan shepherd

The Lycan Shepherd project is still in its early stages of development and was created by a former animal warden and military man with more than 30 years of experience with dogs. The Blue Bay Shepherd is the basis of the Lycan shepherd and was developed with the intent of maintaining a wolf-like appearance of wolf-dogs while getting rid of their fearful nature without necessarily promoting aggressiveness.

However, the Lycan Shepherd character is derived from its parent breed, the German Shepherd, famously referred to as a great service dog due to its ability to perform duties such as policing, search and rescue. They are also ranked the most intelligent dogs in the world. No wonder they captured the attention of the Lycan Shepherd’s creators.

The Lycan Shepherd project isn’t the first to attempt to build such a breed. The Dire Wolf experiment was the first, and it culminated in the American Alsatian hybrid. It’s just another dog with wolf-like characteristics and a personality that will blend in with a typical family. There are also crosses and blends of German Shepherds developed to achieve the same such as the Shiloh Shepherd, the American Alsatian, the Blue Bay Shepherd, and King Shepherd.

The Belgian Malinois was considered in the Lycan Shepherd project for its drive. If you have encountered a Belgian Malinois before, you’ll agree with me that this breed is athletic, active, and energetic. Their working skills are also close to those of the German Shepherd and require a lot of exercises to keep them happy.

Because the Lycan shepherd breed is developed from working breeds, the dog is curious, highly active, and requires great stimulation and exercise. 

However, this breed still has a long way to go to gain recognition by the American Kennel Club (A.K.C.). A breed must be stable and consistent for at least 40 years to be recognized by the American Kennel Club. Lycan Shepherds have varying temperaments and would be suitable for long-time and skillful dog owners rather than starters.

Expected characteristics and appearance

A true Lycan Shepherd should have the following features:

  • Wolf-like appearance with light eyes, dark coat, a large head with a powerful muzzle, and fairly smaller ears compared to the German Shepherds.
  • A greater brain comparative to the body size with high intelligence and capability to confront emerging security challenges.
  • A high level of loyalty and obedience to the owners, just like the parent breeds.
  • A demanding and active nature will require the owner to have sufficient knowledge and skills to handle them.
  • About 22 to 26 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 80 pounds.
  • Long legs and athletic bodies with less wide range compared to the Belgian Malinois or the German Shepherd.

Temperament

Little is known about the aggressive nature of the Lycan Shepherd breed due to their short existence, but we can trace their personality from the loyal, intelligent and obedient parent breeds. The Lycan Shepherds are likely to show the same desirable qualities as the parents. 

Likable qualities associated with this breed include companionship, loyalty, and protective instinct. In this case, you may be right to say that the dog may be provoked in highly stressful situations. After all, this is the idea behind its protective characteristics.

Many of these characteristics are shared by a Blue Bay shepherd, which is partly bred from the German shepherd. Remember, however, that the Blue Bay Shepherd is indeed the descendant of a wolf-dog. In the breeders’ best efforts to eliminate wolf-like characteristics such as aggression and fearfulness in the presence of people, there is always an element of unpredictability in the mix. 

Despite their resemblance to dogs, wolves are wild animals without the hundreds of years of domestication that a breed like the typical German Shepherd has gone through. However, the Blue Bay Shepherds were developed to be companions rather than workers, so they are likely to be more affectionate and attentive, a character passed down to the Lycan shepherd.

The Belgian Malinois, on the other hand, is a watchdog, which means it is a brave and protective animal. This breed enjoys being a part of a family, but it is also a hard worker. Just like the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois needs routine exercise and movement in order to stay comfortable, active, and happy. 

This dog is highly intelligent and therefore easy to train, but it may be difficult enough to need the assistance of a skilled dog trainer. These characteristics can also be seen in the newly developed Lycan Shepherd breed.

Health and care

This breed’s health and care can be linked to the specifics of the parent breeds as they are likely to have the same health conditions. Common health problems associated with parent breeds include:

  • Degenerative myelopathy that affects the spinal cord leading to paralysis.
  • Cauda equina syndrome that can lead to permanent paralysis.
  • Hip and elbow dysplasia causing osteoarthritis, leading to pain and reduced range of motion.
  • Dog bloat that is likely to affect blood flow to the heart and stomach lining.
  • Eye problems such as conjunctivitis leading to poor vision.
  • Arthritis, causing inflammation of joints leading to severe pain, stiffness, and discomfort.
  • Von Willebrand disease caused by protein deficiency leading to excessive bleeding.
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, causing poor digestion and absorption of nutrients leading to loss of weight regardless of normal appetite.
  • Skin problems causing loss of hair, irritation, and inflammation.
  • Epilepsy characterized by regular and senseless seizures caused by brain defects affecting about 0.75% of the dog population.

In many cases, genetically modified dogs like the Lycan Shepherds tend to be healthier than purebreds because they are designed to take the best characteristics of their parent breeds. Experienced breeders have the best knowledge and skills to pair dogs with no genetic complications. This is why prior scientific research is always recommended to achieve the desired genetic modification.

Feeding practices

Considering the feeding of the parent breeds, the Lycan Shepherds are likely to consume 2-3 cups of high-quality food two times a day. The presence of vitamin supplements is essential for the improvement and maintenance of their joints. 

The dogs should not be overfed as they can gain excess weight and develop a bloat problem leading to stomach twists, stretch, and increased gas that can be fatal if not addressed. The dogs are also susceptible to joint problems worsened by obesity. It’s never a bad idea to consult your veterinarian for the best feeding practices.

Recommended shelter

Unlike some Belgian Malinois and German shepherds that can learn to live and adapt to smaller spaces of the apartments, the Lycan shepherd is not likely to survive effectively in such a small space for a long time. This breed is always active and needs a wider space to walk and run around most of the time. A large private home compound would be preferable for this breed.

Tolerance to weather

Since all three parent breeds are cold-tolerant, the Lycan shepherd, with its dense double coat, should be as well. The Lycan Shepherd’s tolerance for hot weather is less certain. If you’re curious about the dog’s comfort zone, the breeder and his Lycan shepherds remain in Michigan. 

Regardless, you can never leave your dog in a hot or cold environment for a prolonged amount of time. Ensure that they are protected from excessive heat or cold and that they have plenty of water to drink.

Exercise and training

Considering the parent breeds’ qualities, Lycan shepherds will need extensive exercise to remain active and healthy. Because they come from the working breeds created to perform various duties, swift training would also be preferable. 

Dog owners who have dealt with the German Shepherd and the Belgian Malinois should have nothing to worry about as the same training for the breeds are likely to apply for the Lycan Shepherd. All you need to identify is whether your dog gets highly motivated by praise, food, or toys and apply the best one.

Most Lycan Shepherds respond well to training in the absence of stress. However, this dog is large and strong enough to resist training if it doesn’t want to. In this case, the best strategy to apply is positive reinforcement rather than punishment during training.

Are children safe around the Lycan Shepherded?

The Lycan shepherd is always active and never stays in one place. Since it is big and strong, it can easily knock children down and hurt them. The dog’s wolf instincts can also cause an aggressive reaction when a child takes away its toy or food and may even bite the child in an attempt to guard its resources. So, pay close attention when you bring a Lycan Shepherd around your children.

There is no standard paperwork pertaining to the Lycan Shepherd breed, and for this reason, anyone selling a dog may claim that the dog is a Lycan Shepherd. To be sure that you purchase a true Lycan shepherd, only make your purchase from trusted and registered breeders. 

Today, you can only get this dog from the original breeder and YouTube user 1st508thAirborne of Gargoyle Kennels, who is more famous now more than ever due to his widely distributed YouTube videos featuring this unique breed. 

However, this dog is not recommended as a family dog despite its playful, energetic, and fun nature. Their thirst for play and exercise doesn’t favor a typical family schedule.

Next: Bullmastiff German Shepherd Mix: An All-Inclusive Guide (Profile, History, and Care)