We’ve covered a lot of fun and truly unique dog breeds at Tindog, but the Lycan Shepherd may just be the rarest breed of all.
That’s because there is debate as to whether the breed even exists in the first place.
The Lycan Shepherd is told to have a gorgeous and majestic wolf-like appearance, but with all the grace and heart of the German Shepherd.
Beyond that, much of this breed hides behind a shroud of mystery. No strangers to getting to the bottom of the unknown, we set out to discover what is and isn’t true about the mysterious Lycan Shepherd.
Are lycans Real?
Derived from the word “Lycanthrope” — which is a human that can transform into a wolf-like beast — while werewolves aren’t real, it’s a different story for the Lycan Shepherd.
Lycan Shepherds exist, well, kinda. Within the last few decades, many dog breeders have set their eyes on creating new breeds that stand the test of time or, at the very least, become the next in-demand dog.
In just the last couple of decades, this has given us hundreds of new hybrid breeds, — often called designer breeds — which are all in various stages of becoming an official breed recognized by official canine organizations.
Creating a certified breed with a core set of characteristics that define them takes several generations, and most aren’t successful. When it comes to the Lycan Shepherd, they are about at the earliest of the starting point as you can get.
In fact, they are only bred by one breeder at the moment.
Because this breed is so new and confined, there are many who argue that the Lycan Shepherd isn’t a real breed.
That anyone, especially in today’s age, can breed different dog breeds together, and doing so doesn’t just create a new breed that’s comparable to a purebred.
There are a lot of good arguments on both sides, but we’re not here to take them aside. Purebred, mixed breed, or designer, we just love puppers.
What is a Lycan Shepherd?
Bred by Gargoyle Kennels, the Lycan Shepherd is a cross between three incredible shepherd dog breeds with the goal of creating a new cross with superior intellect, a big heart, and a werewolf-like appearance that features long legs and piercing eyes.
A cross between the Blue Bay Shepherd, The German Shepherd (working line), and Belgian Malinois, unlike other designer breeds that cross wildly different breeds like the Corman Shepherd, — a German Shepherd and Welsh Corgi mix — the Lycan Shepherd is both an improvement and refinement of the noble and trustworthy shepherd.
Blue Bay Shepherd
Like the Lycan Shepherd, you may be unfamiliar with or have never heard of the Blue Bay Shepherd. But who could blame you, as there are only a few breeders who breed this newer designer shepherd.
But as we learned above, that’s currently more breeders than there are who breed the Lycan Shepherd.
The Blue Bay Shepherd has a closer and more standard wolf-like appearance than the other two breeds used to create the Lycan Shepherd.
The Lycan Shepherd itself is bred to look more like the mythical Lycan, which is more humanoid-looking than the wolf, especially with their long stilt-like legs. They are defined by their stunning bluish-black coat, vigorous health, and gentle nature despite the non-domesticated wolf appearance.
A total of eight breeds, largely composed of blue working German Shepherd with splashes of wolf-dog, Siberian Husky, and Alaskan Malamute, were used to create the Blue Bay Shepherd. Their visionary, Vicki Spencer, is extremely protective of the integrity of the Blue Bay Shepherd, keeping much of their breeding history a secret.
The Blue Bay Shepherd has only been around since 2011, but with their stunning wolf-like appearance, hypnotizing eyes and coat, and trainability similar to the German Shepherd, they are a dream come true for many.
The Blue Bay Shepherd is said to have proved the base for the Lycan Shepherd breed.
Weighing between 50 and 90 pounds — though 100+ pounds isn’t underheard of — and standing between 22 and 26 inches on average. The German Shepherd has been the United States’ 2nd favorite dog — just after the Labrador Retriever — for decades.
Loyal, protective, and highly sought after, German Shepherds are a favorite of the police, military, and private security firms for their intelligence, courage, and drive to protect the people they love.
While the German Shepherd seems like a breed that’s been around for years, especially with its wolf-like appearance, which has inspired many, the breed is relatively young.
With their origins dating back to just 1899, while certainly older than our Lycan Shepherd, some modern dog breeds closely resemble ones found thousands of years ago. Known as basal breeds, this includes dogs like the Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Dingo, and Canaan Dog.
While the German Shepherd is a truly modern breed, they have already cemented their stature in human history.
It’s said that the Lycan Shepherd takes the German Shepherd’s big heart and nobly stoic character.
Quite often mistaken for the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is a separate breed known for its confidence and world-class working abilities. While the Belgian Malinois and the German Shepherd share many similarities in both appearance and temperament, there is one thing that really separates the two breeds.
Where the German Shepherd made the transition to family dog years ago and has been just as successful there as they have in the work world, the Belgian Malinois has all four paws still solid in the working fields.
Think of the hardest working and most athletic German Shepherd you can, whose drive for work comes first and foremost. Have that in mind? Good, because this is your typical Belgian Malinois.
The average Belgian Malinois is more work obsessive, has more energy, and is more physically versatile than the average German Shepherd. Most German Shepherds don’t need to work a job as long as they are getting a lot of exercises, making them the preferred choice for many families.
The Belgian Malinois wants their exercise to come from their job, be it herding, guard and protection training, or another demanding service roll.
With a drive unlike other shepherds, it’s this exact reason they were chosen to create the Lycan Shepherd.
The Lycan Shepherd’s Personality
While they may have a stunning wolf-like appearance, Lycan Shepherds are said to have an equal balance between a healthy work drive and a loving disposition. Loyal and incredibly intelligent, the Lycan is said to be a stunning example of the shepherd dog breeds.
What Is The Lycan Shepherd’s Coat Like?
The Lycan Shepherd’s coat is one of their most defining features, and as such, it should always have the same core characteristics; thick, double-coated, and obsidian black. All three of the founding breeds are big shedders, so it’s extremely likely the Lycan Shepherd sheds a good bit.
How Big Is A Lycan Shepherd?
Standing 22 to 26 inches tall and weighing between 55 and 80 pounds, the size of the Lycan Shepherd is right in line with other shepherd breeds. As such,h they are considered a medium to large dog breed.
They often take the leanness of the Belgian Malinois while reaching the height of the German Shepherd, giving them the long stilt-like legs that are a hallmark of the classic werewolf archetype.
How much does a Lycan Shepherd Cost?
The Lycan Shepherd costs a lot! Well, probably, we wouldn’t know as currently the creator of the breed isn’t selling them to the general public or anyone to our knowledge.
To give you an idea as to what they may cost if he did sell them, a Blue Bay Shepherd puppy will run you anywhere between $2,000 and $3,500. That’s a big chunk of change, but it’s pretty in line with what you’ll pay on average with a designer dog breed.
Is The Lycan Shepherd A Recognized Breed?
At the moment, the Lycan Shepherd is not recognized by the AKC or any other dog federation/organization. Nor are they likely to be recognized any time soon.
However, this doesn’t indicate anything negative about the Lycan Shepherd. Simply, it means they are just too new of a breed with too few generations to even be considered up for official breed recognition.
The Lycan Shepherd is only a few generations old, and after you read the list of qualifiers below that they have to meet, you’ll quickly see it’s going to take a while before they become an officially recognized breed.
Before the American Kennel Club will give full breed recognition, certain criteria must be met.
- The dogs must breed true (puppies consistently look nearly identical to the parents) for many generations.
- An organized national breed club must be established and hold specialty shows, judges workshops, breed seminars, etc.
- The breed needs to be fully recognized first under the AKC Foundation Stock Service (FFS), which will include a formal request, history of the breed, and breed standards
- After full recognition by the FSS, the breed can become considered up for the Miscellaneous class after completing the following requirements: at least 100 active club members, 300-400 third-generation, pedigreed dogs throughout 20 states, and a formal observation by AKC staff.
- After spending 1-3 years in the Miscellaneous Class where the breed will compete in judge’s workshops and breed seminars, the breed will finally be up for full recognition in the AKC Stud Book and allowed to participate in official purebred events.
Is The Blue Bay Shepherd A Recognized Breed?
While an older breed than the Lycan Shepherd, and even used to create the breed, just like the Lycan, the Blue Bay Shepherd is not a recognized breed.
Do Blue Bay Shepherds Have Wolf In Them?
Most Blue Bay Shepherds are only about 6% wolf, with the first official litter of them already being six generations removed from their nearest wolf ancestor. While 6% already seems low, many breeders, as seen in the case of the Lycan Shepherd, are crossing the Blue Bay Shepherds with other canine breeds, further reducing their connection to wolves.
Types Of Lycan Shepherd
While there are many types of German Shepherds, including the American Show Line, West Show Line, and Czech Working Line, there is currently only one type of Lycan Shepherd.
What Is A Lycan?
Short for the word “lycanthrope”, a Lycan is said to be a variation of the werewolf, where a human inflicted with the disease can give themselves a wolf-like humanoid appearance at any given time.
In conjunction with the werewolf, which is a person who undergoes a bigger change, but only during the full moon where they uncontrollably morph into a four-legged beast that looks like an incredibly large and commanding wolf.
However, Lycan and werewolf are used so interchangeably that the separation between the terms is near-mythical.
The term “Lycan” is perhaps most famously used in the film series Underworld.
Stepped in mystery, which is fittingly so, the Lycan Shepherd, is without a doubt, one of the most interesting dog breeds we have covered yet.
And they are surely the rarest ones yet, with us only being able to find them coming from just one breeder. We can’t wait to see how the development of this stunning breed turns out, and we will make sure to keep you updated on them.
Looking to read about more fun and interesting new dog breeds, or just looking for great caregiving tips? Then make sure to check out our other articles here at Tindog for more awesome goodies.