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Kunming Wolfdog

After the 2nd World War, the Chinese Military started a breeding programme with the intention of developing a new service dog, inspired by Western working breeds. Ten experimental Army dogs were reportedly taken to Kunming from Beijing in 1953, where they were bred to over fifty local civilian household watchdogs of various backgrounds. Almost forty various common working dogs were brought from Guiyang and other provinces to be used in the breeding, as well as some Chinese wolves. From these matings, twenty satisfactory specimens were selected and then crossed with imported German Shepherd Dogs. Over the next four decades, type and temperament were established and in 1988 the Kunming Dog was recognized as a distinct breed by the Chinese Public Security Bureau.

Primarily a service dog used by the Chinese Police and Army, the Kunming Dog can also make a good property guardian and urban companion. It requires firm and experienced handling, due to its protective and overly suspicious nature. Although it is very similar to a German Shepherd Dog, this breed is much leaner and has a straight back and a curled tail.

While the coat is shorter and smoother than that of its German counterpart, it comes in typical GSD "saddle-back" black-n-tan, sable and fawn colourings. Average height is around 27 inches, although smaller dogs exist.

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The Kunming Wolfdog, also known as the Chinese Wolfdog or Yunnan Wolfdog, is a fascinating breed that originated in the city of Kunming, located in Yunnan Province, China. Let's delve into the details of this unique canine:

1. Origins and Lineage:

The Kunming Wolfdog traces its lineage to two distinct species: the German Shepherd and the wolf. Contrary to its name, the Kunming Wolfdog behaves more like a shepherd dog than a wolf, although it retains some wolf-like traits. These dogs were initially created by crossbreeding local dogs with wolves, resulting in a breed that combines the best of both worlds.

2. Appearance:

  • The Kunming Wolfdog is a medium-sized dog with a wolf-like appearance.
  • Their coat can vary but often resembles that of a German Shepherd, with a dense double coat.
  • Their eyes hold an intensity reminiscent of their wild ancestors.

3. Temperament and Behavior:

  • Friendly with Socialization: Properly socialized Kunming Wolfdogs can interact well with children, other dogs (including smaller ones), and even gauge the intentions of strangers.
  • Highly Intelligent: These dogs are exceptionally intelligent and thrive during training sessions.
  • Alert and Protective: Like German Shepherds, they have a strong protective instinct and can be wary of strangers.
  • Energy and Space Requirements: They need ample space to roam and expend energy. A large backyard is recommended for their well-being.

4. Historical Roles:

  • During the Vietnam War, Kunming Wolfdogs played crucial roles in search and rescue, tracking, and sentry duties.
  • Despite their name, they don't actually have direct wolf ancestry. Their wolf-like appearance likely led to the inclusion of "wolfdog" in their name.

5. Grooming:

  • Their double coat is manageable, especially during winter.
  • Shedding increases during summer, so regular grooming is essential.

6. Activity Level:

  • Kunming Wolfdogs require high energy levels.
  • Daily physical activity keeps them mentally and physically stimulated.
  • Without enough exercise, they may become unpredictable and restless.

7. Versatility:

While they excel in military and police roles, Kunming Wolfdogs can also be devoted family pets. Their sharp instincts make them efficient in security and safety tasks. The Kunming Wolfdog exhibits several wolf-like traits, which contribute to its unique allure:

Physical Resemblance:

- The Kunming Wolfdog's appearance often echoes that of its wild ancestor, the wolf. Key features include:

○ Elongated Muzzle: Their snouts are reminiscent of wolves, giving them an intense and primal look.

○ Almond-Shaped Eyes: Their eyes hold a piercing gaze, much like those of wolves.

○ Thick Double Coat: The dense fur provides insulation against harsh weather, similar to wolves in their natural habitats.

Behavioral Characteristics:

- While domesticated, Kunming Wolfdogs retain certain instincts:

○ Independence: They exhibit a degree of independence, akin to wild canids.

○ Territorial Instincts: Like wolves, they may mark their territory and defend it vigilantly.

○ Curiosity: Their inquisitiveness mirrors the wild curiosity of wolves exploring their surroundings.

High Intelligence:

- Kunming Wolfdogs are exceptionally smart, much like their German Shepherd ancestors.

- Their ability to learn quickly and adapt to various tasks makes them valuable in working roles.

Loyalty and Pack Mentality:

- Wolves thrive in packs, relying on cooperation and loyalty.

- Kunming Wolfdogs bond closely with their human families, displaying loyalty and protective instincts.


- While not as vocal as wolves, Kunming Wolfdogs may howl or emit wolf-like vocalizations.

- Their haunting calls evoke the wild spirit within.

Energy and Stamina:

- These dogs possess remarkable endurance, akin to wolves that traverse vast territories.

- Regular exercise is essential to channel their energy constructively.

Adaptability to Harsh Environments:

- Kunming Wolfdogs thrive in various climates, including cold regions.

- Their hardiness reflects the resilience of their wild ancestors.

The Kunming Wolfdog bridges the gap between domestication and the untamed.

Their wolf-like traits add an enigmatic quality, making them captivating companions for those who appreciate their primal essence.

In summary, the Kunming Wolfdog embodies a blend of history, intelligence, and wolf- like allure. Whether guarding borders or playing fetch in the backyard, these dogs leave an indelible mark on those who encounter them.


Note: The Kunming Wolfdog's unique heritage and versatility make it a captivating breed, bridging the gap between the wild and the domestic. Its wolf-like traits contribute to its allure, reminding us of the ancient bond between humans and canids🐺🐾


  1. Kunming Wolfdog: The Chinese German Shepherd (Breed Guide)
  2. Kunming Wolfdog Dog Breed Info, Size, Price, Height | Petlur
  3. Kunming Dog Breed Information & Insights | Basepaws
  4. Kunming Wolfdog Dog Breed » Everything About Kunming Wolfdog - Dog Learn
  5. Kunming dog - Wikipedia

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Comments (1)
    • China’s first cloned police dog is a Kunming Wolfdog.

      Scientists cloned it from a seven-year-old female named Huahuangma, which had helped crack multiple cases in the city of Puer.

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