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    Is the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (ANCD) a Good Pet?

    Is the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog (ANCD) a Good Pet? | PawSafe

    The Alaskan Noble Companion or ANCD is undoubtedly a beautiful animal with enigmatic pale eyes and a rangy, tall build. Considered a wolf-like dog breed, this stunning dog has attracted interest as more people have become attracted to dogs with the signature dire wolf looks such as the Northern Inuit Dog or the Tamaskan.

    Recently, designer breeds such as the Dalmadoodle or dogs bred for extreme features such as the Teacup Min Pin have become increasingly popular. Thus, potential buyers must be vigilant and research breeds-in-progress and breeders in general.

    Many breeders who breed crossbred dogs are ethical. There are arguments to be made for a healthy crossbreed, including “hybrid vigor”; the idea that crossing the right breeds together can create a healthier dog. 

    Sometimes dogs are also crossbred for functional reasons. For instance, ranchers may mix certain livestock guardians to create the best dog to protect and guard their herds. Up until the last century or so, functional breeding was the primary way all dogs were bred. 

    But what about the ANCD?

    Limited information is available about this breed-in-progress. The name suggests an impressive-looking family dog, probably of Northern Spitz-type heritage. But as with any breed, if you are looking to add a new family member to your home, it’s best to do as much research as possible.

    History of the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog: Where Do They Come From?

    Relatively little is known about this startingly gorgeous dog with its distinctive wolfish appearance. From what can be gathered, the breed was founded in the 1990s by Ann Dresselhaus.

    They appear to be given the name “Alaskan,” as they are a Northern-looking breed, “Noble” for their desired stature, and “companion dog” since they are bred primarily as companions. 

    However, the exact foundation stock of the ANCD is unclear, but among the dogs reported include the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, Labrador, Collie, and Great Pyrenees. 

    The noticeably wolfish angular snout, which is not a feature of any of these breeds, is perhaps attributed to the addition of Greyhound.

    However, buyers should consider asking for a DNA test before purchasing a puppy. Several DNA tests found online show dogs listed as Alaskan Noble Companion Dogs that have shown between 30 and 40% wolf content

    This is extremely high. By comparison, the Saarloos and Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are estimated to have around 6% “wolf” left in them. Similarly, the Blue Bay Shepherd is also reported to aim for only 6% wolf content, with the upper limit being about 12%.

    Interestingly, their genetic testing also suggests an ancient haplogroup that may indicate some Akita or Tibetan Mastiff in their lines.

    It cannot be verified that all ANCDs are mid or high-content wolfdogs. As little is known about this breed, many of them may have little to no wolf blood and do make wonderful pets.  

    Nevertheless, as wolfdogs and hybrids can come with severe behavioral and legal issues, it may be best to request a DNA test before bringing one into your home. 

    What Are the Physical Features of the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog?

    Height

    Weight

    Lifespan

    Color

    Nose

    Eyes

    Between 26 inches and 33 inches tall

    60- 110 pounds

    Unclear, but they appear to be a long-lived breed, living well into their teens

    Any solid color is acceptable, with black being the most common. Colors can transition softly in the coat.

    The nose may be black or solid pastels

    Green,  blue with amber or gold flecks, grey, or yellow.


    The ANCD is a large dog, standing between 26 and 33 inches and weighing between 60 and 110 pounds. 

    They are often black, although any solid color is permitted. It is considered a fault if there are sharp coloring transitions, such as a black mask or piebald markings. Instead, they often have “blended” coats or multiple banded fur, making the dog look like it possesses several hues in one coat. 

    They sometimes have white markings on their chest and feet, consistent with their reported Border Collie heritage. 

    Their eyes are one of their most distinctive features. Dark eyes are considered a fault, and they shouldn’t have eyes that are two different colors, although it does occur. Their eyes are usually a pale yellow but may also be grey or green with amber flecks. 

    Their tales should not curve over their backs as with the Akita or Malamute. Instead, it should only have a slight curve. 

    The ANCD can have a mid-length coat like a German Shepherd or a longer-haired variation like the Alaskan Malamute. The breed standard stipulates a thick double coat common in Northern breeds that should protect them in harsh winters.

    General Care of the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog

    Hypoallergenic

    Shedding

    Exercise

    Housing

    Temperament

    Trainability

    No

    Should be brushed regular and may need a blow out when molting

    Owners should prepare for a high-energy dog that needs up to two hours of vigorous exercise

    Bred as a companion dog, it will likely need to be close to its pack. It should have access to wide-open spaces but also be securely fenced.

    Described as dog sports, and aloof with strangers. Dogs should be DNA tested as a high wolf-content may impact temperament.

    Although they bred to be generalists who thrive on work, ranging from obedience to agility, trainability may again be influenced by their genetic heritage


    Energy

    By looking at the dogs reported to make up the ANCD heritage, only the Great Pyrenees can be described as a low or medium-energy breed. It is also unclear how much the Great Pyrenees have gone into this breed’s creation. 

    Other foundational stock, such as the Alaskan Malamute, the Border Collie, or the German Shepherd, are also high-energy breeds. 

    It can be deduced from this that the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog will thrive on activity and will probably need multiple hours of exercise to prevent destructive behaviors. 

    Housing

    The high-energy needs of these dogs make them unsuitable for apartments. They will need access to space and a place to run. Their high husky content may make them accomplished escape artists, so be sure your yard fence is both high and secure.

    Food & Diet Requirements

    As with any dog, a vet should be consulted about the correct diet for the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog’s age, size, and any allergies or specific dietary needs. 

    Many dogs with Northern heritage have sensitive stomachs and do best with high-quality kibble that contains a lot of protein. Regular kibble contains about 15 to 22% protein, so an ANCD may benefit from a brand with over 25% from verified animal sources. 

     A raw diet may benefit this breed, mainly if any wolf DNA is found in their lineage, but be sure to check this diet with a certified veterinary nutritionist. 

    Grooming

    The Alaskan Noble Companion Dog has a double coat, so you can expect a bi-annual dose of heavy shedding. A good blowout will help reduce the dead hair. 

    Regular brushing with a gentle brush will also help distribute the natural oils in their coat and prevent any matting. 

    Trim your dog’s nails monthly clipper or grinder as overgrown nails can cause musculoskeletal issues later in life. 

    Allow your vet to show how to keep both teeth and ears clean. A 2017 study found that about 8% of German Shepherds suffer from ear infections. So this should be watched for in a dog with German Shepherd ancestry. Also, bad dental hygiene can cause heart and lung issues, as well as discomfort. 

    Health

    Exercise

    An Alaskan Noble Companion Dog will do best with about two hours of vigorous daily exercise. This may include hiking, running, or a sport like sledding or cani-cross.

    Concerns    

    Not enough is known about the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog to definitively say what kind of health problems exist in this breed. 

    Nevertheless, we can extrapolate, based on the information available on what sort of trouble potential owners should look out for and should question breeders about.

    Firstly, there is the question of potential inbreeding. It is unclear how many breeders of the ANCD exist today or how big the gene pool is. Therefore, it cannot be stated with certainty that anybody is guilty of inbreeding. 

    It should also be remembered that plenty of AKC-registered breeders also use line-breeding in their breeds, so this is not a unique problem. However, as with the Blue Bay Shepherd, there do not appear to be many ANCD breeders available, which may put the dog at risk of increased health risks

    Foundational stock may also transmit congenital defects to their offspring, even if they are crossbred. Problems found in the Malamutes and German Shepherds, such as cataracts, degenerative myelopathy, or hip dysplasia, can all be passed down if breeders aren’t careful to screen their dogs. 

    Based on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) statistics, as of December 2020, 22 ANCDs were tested for their hips. 13.6% were found to be abnormal. On the whole, this is a good percentage. However, the sample tested is too small to say anything significant about the breed as a whole.

    Nevertheless, the OFA report seems to show a relatively healthy breed at first glance, and this might be worth watching if the ANCD is developed further.

    What Is the ANCDs Life Expectancy?

    The average life expectancy is unclear. However, videos and testimonies exist online of Alaskan Noble Companion Dogs living for thirteen to seventeen years.

    The Trainability of the ANCD: Temperament and Intelligence

    The trainability and temperament of the ANCD are likely to become controversial issues. It should be noted that this dog is described as an active dog and a ‘generalist,’ in that it enjoys all kinds of dog sports, from agility to protection work. 

    They are also described as aloof with strangers but confident.

    Videos online show a dog that displays an alert and biddable nature, so it appears this desirable temperament does exist in the ANCD.


    Nevertheless, a concerning factor is the high wolf-content reported anecdotally in forums and the publicized DNA tests found online. 

    If an individual dog has a high-wolf content, its nature may be extremely unpredictable. Wolfdogs are given to behavioral problems ranging from aggression, fearfulness, destructive behavior, and extreme separation anxiety.

    Thus, many of them become unmanageable to their owners and end up in shelters and euthanized. 

    Another concern for high wolf-content dogs is the potential legal issues

    Many owners have unwittingly brought a beloved wolf hybrid into their home, only to find out tragically that they are illegal in their state. For this reason, always be sure that your ANCD has no significant amount of wolf in its DNA before purchasing.

    Sociability With Other Pets

    As the ANCD is still a breed-in-progress, its exact temperament may differ wildly from individual to individual. But to get an idea of the breed, it is always best to look at what the available genetics can tell us. 

    A dog with a large amount of Husky in its bloodline and who takes after the Husky nature will likely thrive with other dogs and animals. 

    On the other hand, a dog that takes after the Malamute or Akita may be more dominant and reactive toward other dogs and might need extensive training and socialization to prevent aggression issues with other animals.

    It is also important to note that many dogs reported in the ANCDs lineage, including the German Shepherd and the Greyhound, have a high prey drive. So this breed may not be suitable to be kept with smaller animals.

    Suitable Home: Are ANCDs Good Pets?

    Many factors go into whether the Alaskan Noble Companion Dog would make a good pet. Provided this breed is found a reputable breeder who breeds for both temperament and who has not included wolf in the bloodline, the ANCD should fit into an active and experienced household. 

    It should make a good pet if its lineage is particularly strong in German Shepherd and Husky lines.

    Leaving aside the question of whether ANCDs have wolf content, it should also be remembered that many of the dogs in its background can be stubborn and dominant animals that are better left to experienced owners. These include the Akita and the Malamute. 

    How Much Does an ANCD Cost?

    This is a rare breed, and owners report paying upward of $800 for an Alaskan Noble Companion Dog.

    Some groups are dedicated to their rescuing and rehoming. So, if you have your heart set on this breed, you can look into shelters for abandoned ANCDs. 

    Conclusion

    It cannot be argued that the ANCD is a fine-looking animal anybody would be proud to own. But as with any breed where the main drawcard is specific ‘look,’ potential owners should be vigilant and do their due diligence before buying a puppy. As a long-lived and active breed, any owner needs to be 100% certain that they can meet this dog’s needs.

    References

    “ANCD Nymeria’s Embark Dog DNA Results.” Embarkvet, my.embarkvet.com/dog/marceline4. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

    “Breed Statistics | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO.” Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, www.ofa.org/diseases/breed-statistics#detail.

    Breeding Business. “Consequences of Dog Inbreeding.” Breeding Business, 12 June 2020, breedingbusiness.com/consequences-of-dog-inbreeding.

    Fritscher, Lisa. “State Laws on Wolf Hybrids.” Pets on Mom.Com, 19 Nov. 2020, animals.mom.com/state-laws-wolf-hybrids-7141.html#:%7E:text=Prohibited%20States,York%2C%20Rhode%20Island%20and%20Wyoming.

    Lowrey, Annie. “What Do Wolfdogs Want?” The Atlantic, 2 Feb. 2020, www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/02/what-do-wolfdogs-want/605896.

    O’Neill, Dan G., et al. “Demography and Disorders of German Shepherd Dogs under Primary Veterinary Care in the UK.” Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, vol. 4, no. 1, 2017. Crossref, doi:10.1186/s40575-017-0046-4.

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