wolf dog

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wolf dog (plural wolf dogs)

  1. A dog trained to hunt wolves.
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe, Chapter 3,[1]
      One grisly old wolf-dog alone, with the liberty of an indulged favourite, had planted himself close by the chair of state, and occasionally ventured to solicit notice by putting his large hairy head upon his master’s knee, or pushing his nose into his hand.
    • 1916, Arthur Ransome, “The Hut in the Forest” in Old Peter’s Russian Tales,[2]
      Bayan was a dog, a tall gray wolf-dog. He could jump over the table with a single bound.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, II,[3]
      The wolfdog sprawls on his back, wriggling obscenely with begging paws, his long black tongue lolling out.
  2. A hybrid between a wolf and a dog.
    • 1908, Jack London, “To Build a Fire” in Lost Face,[4]
      At the man’s heels trotted a dog, a big native husky, the proper wolf-dog, grey-coated and without any visible or temperamental difference from its brother, the wild wolf.
    • 1908, Zane Grey, The Last of the Plainsmen, Chapter 9,[5]
      That night the starved wolf dogs gorged themselves till they could not rise from the snow.

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