Located in the orchards of south central Pennsylvania ~ 717-677-6451 ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ~
Q: Are your dogs dire wolves? Are you dire wolf breeders?
Of course, this is asked in jest as on more than a few occasions when we are out walking our dogs, people have come up and make comparisons to the dire wolves on the HBO television show Game of Thrones. Many of our customers remark the same about people coming up to them when they are out with their own dogs. We have never watched the TV show, but apparently it's a comparison that seems to come up frequently enough that it should deserve a FAQ page! :) It appears that the massive size of our dogs, as well as many of their other attributes such as a huge head, coloring, and coat texture draws out the comparion to dire wolves. Some have even asked if they could ride our dogs "into battle", a joke that those who watch the show would most likely get but we don't.
In reality, dire wolves are extinct, and have been for quite some time. The San Diego Zoo does list some statistics on the dire wolf:
Estimated Body Weight: 34-67kg (75-148 lb) (Anyonge & Roman 2006)
Head/Body Length: 125 cm (4.1 ft) (Anton & Turner 1997)
Height at Shoulder: 80 cm (2.6 ft)
Tail Length: 63 cm (2 ft)
Based on this information, it sounds like many of our dogs would be at least somewhat comparable to the dire wolf in size. An example of our dogs would be pictured below, Ash, who is one of our oversized German Shepherds. Now at maturity, he measures 30" at the shoulder, 5 ft in length from nose to rump (not including tail) with a weight of around 135 pounds. He is a large boned German shepherd with a broad head and an impressive stature with a type we frequently produce.
We have produced some male puppies that are even LARGER and HEAVIER than him. On average a dog at a healthy weight (NOT fat!) from us ranges as follows:
Females: 80-100+ pounds at maturity, 25-28"+ at the shoulder
Males: 100-140+ pounds at maturity, 27-32+" at the shoulder
Even though Ash is a black and tan long coat that has a very "typical German Shepherd" coloration, people still compare him to being a dire wolf when we are out. However, some of our dogs tend to look even more wolfish in coloration. A maskless German Shepherd can appear particularly wolf-like. We have also produced sable, solid black and solid white dogs. Examples are posted below.
Ash is now 145 pounds, and we have produced more than a few 140 pound German Shepherds as well, definitely comparable in size to dire wolves. As you can see in the slideshow above, we strive to produce dogs that are large, have a broad head, large bone structure, an "old fashioned" straight-backed appearance as well as a calm demeanor. Our dogs come in both the long coat as well as short coat varieties. While there is a comparison to be made that our dogs loosely resemble dire wolves, they are not...though I guess their owners could always pretend!