The Lycan Shepherd is a breed of dog that includes a blend of the working German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois, and the Blue Bay Shepherd. They have only existed for two generations and are a relatively rare breed.
Lycan Shepherd Strengths
This breed is still in development. However, it is being bred for superior intellect, its wolf-like appearance, and obedience. The hope is that the breed will have strong problem-solving abilities, maintain its wolfish look with a dark coat, light eyes, and large heads, and be as devoted as its German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois ancestors.
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Lycan Shepherd Weaknesses
Like all breeds with wolves in their recent bloodlines, the Lycan Shepherd’s personality can be unpredictable. They require a great deal of training to prevent aggression and shyness.
This unpredictability and tendency toward aggression is part of the dog’s genetic makeup. Blue Bay Shepherd breeders worked to eliminate aggression and shyness in the breed before mating the dogs with German shepherd dogs (GSDs) but breeding them with GSDs and Belgian Malinois reintroduced aggressive tendencies.
It’s difficult to predict a breed-wide standard for personality when it comes to Lycan shepherds. This is because it is a more recent breed that’s still evolving. If you are considering bringing a Lycan into your home, it’s best to consider the personalities of the three breeds that are a part of the Lycan Shepherd lineage. For example:
- German Shepherds are loyal and hardworking. They make great guard dogs and service dogs. Originally herding dogs, they are energetic and embrace their role as working dogs. This is why they are so frequently used as police dogs, military dogs, search and rescue dogs, and seeing-eye dogs. They are one of the most intelligent breeds and very obedient. They also have a lot of energy and need to be occupied or their boredom will make them restless.
- Blue Bay Shepherds share many qualities of the German Shepherd breed but also have wolf-like qualities due to its genetics. They can have unpredictable personalities and in some cases are aggressive and/or skittish. However, if bred and trained properly, they make great companions and tend to be more loving and attentive than their German ancestors.
- Belgian Malinois are protective watchdogs with lots of self-assurance. They are very active and need a lot of exercise. They tend to bark less than German Shepherds but have protective barking instincts.
Lycan Shepherds are assumed to be of high intelligence and highly trainable because the breeds that make up the Lycan are all very trainable. But this doesn’t mean training is easy. Blue Bay, German, and Malinois are all of high intelligence and love to be mentally engaged in activities, but they might also be stubborn and unpredictable.
If you are thinking of bringing a Lycan into your home, be ready to commit to serious training but also know that the training is likely to be very effective.
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Appearance & Care
Lycan Shepherds should have a wolfish appearance with a dark coat, light eyes, and large heads. Its appearance is a mix of its breed lineage, but certain aspects of each breed’s appearance are bred into the Lycan.
For instance, the Lycan must maintain their wolfish appearance of its Blue Bay Shepherd ancestors.
Lycans are a large breed with thick, black fur and a lean, well-muscled body. They have erect ears, light brown eyes, and a narrow face.
Much like the Lycan personality, breeders and owners are still learning about health issues and care of this breed. It’s assumed the breed’s care needs can be based on its parent breeds. They need daily exercise and a lot of training. People should plan for the unpredictability of their pet’s personality and know that adopting a breed in development is a big responsibility. However, these dogs are social and solid working dogs, so don’t let the mystery of the breed deter you.
The grooming needs of a Lycan Shepherd are similar to those of the dogs that make up its breed. They’ll need weekly brushing, limited bathing, and standard care like nail trimming. They are not hypoallergenic, and you can expect to brush more during shedding season.
Is a Lycan Shepherd Right for Me?
Bringing a Lycan Shepherd into your home is a big responsibility. They make great family dogs, but they take work. Throughout their lives, they’ll need plenty of exercise and physical and mental activity. As a young dog or a new-to-your-home dog, they’ll need significant training to ensure they are well-mannered and that they understand and learn to accommodate your expectations.
To be a good Lycan Shepherd owner, you’ll need to be tolerant of unpredictability. The consistent traits of their personalities are still developing and with wolf in their blood, they might not ever be entirely predictable. Your dog’s personality could exhibit traits from any of the three breeds in its bloodline, so you must anticipate and prepare yourself to deal with any of these.
Since all of the breeds that make up the Lycan Shepherd are intelligent and need a lot of activity and stimulus, you’ll want to plan around this. No matter the exact personality your dog develops, he will be smart and very driven. He’ll need plenty of attention and activities to keep them busy. How you “sculpt” your dog’s training and disposition varies based on his particular traits. The important thing to remember is to be open-minded about training and willing to adjust based on your dog’s development.
A well-trained Lycan could be a good family dog in certain situations, but since they are unpredictable, it’s best to assume they might not do well with children and pets. This breed has a strong prey drive, can be aggressive, and tend to favor one person in a family. If you are new to the breed, it’s likely best to avoid this breed if you have more than one or two people or animals in your household.
Lycans do much better in a controlled, predictable household.
How Do I Know If I Have a Lycan Shepherd?
A DNA test will help you determine if your dog is a Lycan Shepherd. You’ll need to evaluate your pet’s lineage to determine if the three breeds that make up the Lycan breed are in your dog’s lineage. In most cases, Lycan Shepherd owners have purchased their dogs from a breeder, so they know from the beginning that their dog is a Lycan.
If you happen to adopt a dog from a shelter that you suspect could be a Lycan, you’ll want to examine the dog’s coat and eye color, size, and facial features. However, it’s impossible to tell if your dog is a Lycan just by looking at it.
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Dog Breed Identification: Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program: College of Veterinary Medicine» University of Florida. sheltermedicine.vetmed.ufl.edu/research-studies/past-projects/dog-breed-identification/.
Staff, NCRAOA. “What Is a Lycan Shepherd?” National Canine Research Association of America, 13 Feb. 2021, ncraoa.com/lycan-shepherd/.