All About the Kunming Wolfdog: AKA Chinese Wolfdog

Kunming Dog

Rare but beautiful, the Kunming wolfdog was first recognized as a breed in 1988 and was developed in China for use by the military.

This development led to the creation of an amazing family dog that is versatile, loyal, and loving to their own people while being reserved and alert towards strangers.

For anyone looking for an unusual breed with similar traits to the German shepherd, then look no further than the Kunming Wolfdog.


Also known as the Chinese Wolfdog or the Kunming dog, the Kunming wolfdog is a fairly new breed that is an ideal working breed and family companion. Intelligent, powerful, and alert, the breed thrives when it has a job to do, whether that is to protect its family or serve in the military as it was originally bred to do.

The breed is an active breed that thrives in busy families and makes a perfect jogging companion for the active owner.

They do tend to bond closely with one family member, but they are still a loyal and loving companion to everyone who resides in the homes.

Because of their intelligence, energy, and drive to work, the Kunming wolfdog idea breed for work in guarding, hunting, search and rescue as well as military and police work.

For family activities, the powerful breed does very well in agility, flyball, weight pulling, and Schutzhund competitions.

Chinese Wolfdog History

When we look at the history of the Kunming wolfdog, there isn’t a lot of back information out there. What we do know is that the Kunming wolfdog is the result of selective breeding by the Chinese military to create a wolfdog cross that was excellent for military service.

During the 1950s, the Chinese began their breeding program by breeding ten shepherd mix breeds together. This breeding program started in Yunnan, and the first ten dogs were brought to the training facility in Beijing in 1953.

While there was some success with the dogs produced, the Chinese military needed more dogs and began recruiting dogs from Guiyang and Kunming to be introduced into a breeding program. In addition, shepherds were brought from East Germany.

While no one is quite sure what went into the breed, we do know that wolfdog hybrids were introduced to the breeding program along with German Shepherds. Once the program had ninety dogs, they were trained, and of those trained; only 20 were selected for future breeding.

In 1988, the Kunming wolfdog was officially recognized as a breed and continues to be used in both military services and as civilian guard dogs.

The breed is rare outside of China, but new interest has seen the breed begin to branch out throughout the world.

Kunming Wolfdog Appearance

The Kunming Wolfdog is a large, athletic dog that is very similar in appearance to the German shepherd. The breed should have a rectangular body with it being longer than it is tall.

The head should be very large with a wedge shape and triangular ears that are set high on its head. The muzzle is usually black and should be long with rounded eyes set toward the front of the face.

The breed should be athletic looking and should have cat like feet. The tail is long and bushy and should be held slightly curled when alert.

Chinese Wolfdog Size

Although the Chinese Wolfdog was created by crossing a number of different breeds together, efforts have been made to create a breed standard for this breed.

Most dogs conform now to a set size, and weight and owners shouldn’t expect much differentiation between them. The breed is a large-sized breed and will range in size from 25 to 27 inches tall and 66 to 84 pounds in weight.

Males and females are similar in size and weight; however, females are usually slightly smaller than males.

Kunming Wolfdog

Kunming Wolfdog Coat

The coat of the Kunming wolfdog is short in length and very thick. It should be straight with a thick undercoat and a weatherproof topcoat. It is interesting to note that the Kunming wolfdog sheds its undercoat in the spring and summer and will only have a single coat for the warmer months.

The coloring of the Chinese Wolfdog is very similar to the German shepherd. Fur should be tan; however, it can be light (almost white) to dark tan. The markings on the dog should have a black saddle on its back, along with black markings on its face and muzzle. While the breed looks very similar to the German shepherd, the Kunming wolfdog should have a shorter coat.

Chinese Wolfdog Grooming

While the Chinese Wolfdog has a medium-long coat that is thick, grooming the breed is quite easy. Kunming wolfdogs only need to be brushed once or twice a week during most of the year.

When they are shedding their one coat during the spring, it is important to brush them several times a week to prevent matting.

The breed only requires a bath when it is necessary, and weekly brushings will keep the dirt and debris from their coat.

Teeth should be brushed weekly and nails should be trimmed monthly, or as needed, to keep a nice, tight paw.

What Colors Do They Come In?

The Kunming wolfdog can come in a few different colors including:

  • Black
  • Light Tan
  • White Hues
  • Rust
  • Browns
  • Straw

Kunming Wolfdog Personality and Temperament

Ready to work and extremely intelligent are often the first words used to describe the Kunming wolfdog and they suit the dog completely. While they tend to be reserved, especially with strangers, the breed is still very loving and protective of their family.

They are known for being self-assured, and their intelligence makes them very inquisitive. This can get them in trouble when they are a puppy, but they are eager to learn the rules and follow them once they know.

The breed is a great family dog; however, they should be supervised around small children, as they don’t have as much patience as other breeds do.

However, that being said, the Kunming wolfdog fits nicely into a family with children when they are raised around them and properly trained and socialized.

Kunming Wolfdog Life Span

The Kunming wolfdog has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years.

Chinese Wolfdog Health Problems

If you are looking for a very healthy breed, then you have found it in the Kunming wolfdog. This breed is known for having excellent health, and there are no known inherent diseases in the Chinese Wolfdog.

However, to help maintain this healthy breed, it is important to check the health of the parents when you purchase a Kunming wolfdog and to make sure you maintain the health with proper vet care, feeding, and exercise.

If you do, your Chinese Wolfdog will have a long and healthy life.

Kunming Wolfdog Litter Size

As with all breeds, litter size can vary depending on the female’s age, health, and genetic history. That being said, the average size of a Kunming wolfdog litter is between 6 to 8 puppies.

Living Conditions

Despite their high energy, the Kunming wolfdog can do very well in apartments as long as their exercise needs are being met.

While they are a guarding breed, they are not loud, so they shouldn’t pose a problem for homes with noise restrictions.

However, it is important that, regardless of where the Kunming wolfdog lives, that the breed has the opportunity to a fenced yard for off-leash exercise as well as on-leash exercise.

Chinese Wolfdog Training

As mentioned earlier, the Kunming wolfdog was developed as a military canine in China, and this means that the breed is definitely ready to learn. Really, with proper training, there is nothing the Chinese Wolfdog can’t learn how to do. But it all takes training, and the breed does need a strong, consistent trainer who will give firm commands and rules.

When it comes to training, the Kunming wolfdog loves to learn. They do very well with longer training sessions, and it can often be hard to keep this dog from working.

They will happily learn for hours, but to make sure training is fun for everyone, try to keep it down to 15 to 30-minute training sessions several times a day.

The breed does need to learn that their owners and other humans in the home are in charge. If they do not learn this, owners can be faced with aggression problems and undesirable behaviors.

The breed does thrive when they have a clear leader and roles within the house.  Firm, consistent rules will keep them happy, so start those rules as soon as you bring your Kunming wolfdog puppy home.

Finally, the Chinese Wolfdog requires a lot of socialization. They are a guarding breed, so improper socialization can lead to aggression later on in life.

Kunming Wolfdog Exercise

There are active dogs, and then there is the Kunming wolfdog who are always ready to work or exercise. They are definitely better suited to people who like to be on the go and enjoy spending a lot of time doing dog activities.

The breed requires at least 60 minutes of exercise a day but do better when they have over two hours of exercise broken up into several sessions in the day.

Kunming wolfdogs make excellent jogging partners, however, to avoid any injuries, only jog with your Kunming wolfdog once he is over a year of age. They also do well in a wide range of dog activities, including Schutzhund and agility competitions.

Make sure that exercise includes both off-leash and on-leash sessions, so they have the opportunity to burn their energy.

Outside of exercise, it is imperative that you exercise the mind of the Kunming wolfdog. As mentioned earlier, this is a breed that loves training and is always thinking.

They thrive when they have activities and will require toys that make them think. In addition, it is good to include problem-solving in their regular training and exercise, so the breed does not get bored. A bored Chinese wolfdog can become very destructive and have other behavioral problems.

Chinese Wolfdog Feeding

The Kunming wolfdog does very well on a varied diet, but it is important to feed them a high-quality dog food with a good source of protein. These are active dogs, and they usually require more calories than other breeds their size.

In general, you should feed your Chinese Wolfdog between 3 and 4 cups of food per day; however, amounts will vary depending upon the size, age, and energy level of your dog.

Meals should be split into two feedings or three feedings. While bloat has not been seen in the breed, it is recommended that you avoid exercise 20 minutes before and after they eat since deep-chested breeds have a greater risk of bloat.

Water should be offered constantly for the dog throughout the day.

Like all breeds, the Kunming wolfdog enjoys treats throughout the day, including, including fruits, vegetables, and meat. Due to their energy level, the breed doesn’t need their calorie intake monitored when they have treats, as the breed is not known to have weight problems.

Kunming Wolfdog Puppies

Although the Kunming wolfdog puppies tend to be a little more serious than other breed puppies, they are still playful and full of energy.

In fact, the desired traits of a puppy are one that is alert, playful, and calm. They should not be overly aggressive and should enjoy being around people, even if they watch them before interacting.

When you bring home a Chinese wolfdog puppy, it is clear that this is a puppy that is always busy, either running around or sitting and problem-solving. Because they are so intelligent, it is very important to puppy-proof your home as the Kunming wolfdog puppy will find things to get into.

As mentioned above, training should start as soon as puppy comes home. Firm rules are necessary, so if your Kunming wolfdog won’t be allowed on the furniture as an adult, do not allow it to do so as a puppy.

Also, make sure your puppy works for all of his treats and that you are controlling his day from playtime, exercise, and training. Giving your Kunming wolfdog puppy independence on what his day will be can lead to clashes between owner and dog over who is the leader between the two…it is important that it is never your Chinese Wolfdog.

Like training, socialization is important from the start and straight through your Kunming wolfdog puppy’s life.

Close Relatives of the Kunming Wolfdog

There are a few Wolf dog breeds that closely resemble the Kunming Wolfdog. They are:

Chinese Wolfdog Suitability

While the breed does well in a range of living arrangements, this is not a breed for new or inexperienced owners and is only recommended for firm owners who have a lot of knowledge about canine behavior.

They tend to quiet dogs, and while they can do okay with children, they do not have the patience for young children and should always be supervised with them.

For that reason, the Kunming wolfdog is not suitable for families, especially those with young children.

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