Game of Thrones inspired: how to choose a dog breed for Planet Earth 2019

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan do you look out for the Dire Wolves in every episode?  Maybe you’re thinking of getting a ‘Dire Wolf’ puppy?

As a dog trainer, over the past few years, I’ve seen the effect the ‘pet’ dogs – the Direwolves –  in Game of Thrones have had on the puppy buying public. It’s inspired a video, this blog, and a t-shirt! (If you’d like the t-shirt click here)

Well, obviously you’re not actually getting a Direwolf as they’ve been extinct for an even longer time than it’s taking George R. R. Martin to write all the Game of Thrones books.

But if you’re after your own ‘Direwolf’, should you be considering a Husky?

Modern dogs aren’t actually directly related to Direwolves, whose branch of canines, canis dirus has no living descendants. They are closer to the Gray Wolf, canis lupus.

Let’s be clear. There’s as much (or as little) connection between a Direwolf and a Husky as there is with a Poodle or a Chihuahua.

Let’s assume for now that you’ve decided to get a puppy – and you are sure that you’re prepared for the commitment bringing any puppy into your home involves. So why is it that so many people from dog rescue centres to leading stars of the hit series itself are telling you not to get a Husky or similar breed just because they look a bit like the Direwolves in the series?

Let’s look at just a few real-world facts

Sure, huskies are big and beautiful and the puppies are cute as all puppies are but they’ve got plenty of competition!

Did you know how much of that beautiful coat Huskies regularly moult? 

So, if you don’t want your entire house and wardrobe to appear as fur-coated as your dog, that means a LOT of grooming and vacuuming!

Huskies were bred to be sled dogs. 

And as that suggests, they’re strong and they have the energy to run … and run … and run … and run whilst pulling something … So, unless you lead a VERY active life – do you really want the consequences of a large bored dog full of pent-up energy exploding around your home? Think of the destructive potential and the guilt you’ll be feeling as yet again you haven’t found enough time in the day for your dog.

Do you have a very secure garden or yard? 

A bored Husky won’t take long to either scale or jump what may look like an impossibly high fence or, if it actually is impossibly high, dig their way out.

They are not an easy breed to train. 

You’ll need a lot of experience or a great deal of time and money to invest in training.

Think about all the other great breeds and breed mixes available from a good breeder or rescue centre. Breeds that may well be far better suited to you and your lifestyle.

One thing I can absolutely guarantee – whatever dog you decide upon is just as likely to alert you to the approach of a White Walker as a Direwolf or even a Husky …actually, more likely as a Husky will probably be off enjoying a run in the snow!

Think carefully before you decide on the perfect puppy for you …