One way in which they differ from other dogs is that they are definitely a pack. Where one goes, the others follow. You can't just take one for a hike. You have to take all of them. Which limits the backpacking opportunities. They also don't like to be very far from J. He is their pack leader and he can only go a certain distance only known to them before they get anxious and need to chase after him.
I've learned to live with a little--okay, a lot--of dog hair over everything, because the reward is floppy dog rugs to lie my head on, to wrap my arms around and feel a beating heart. I've learned to adapt: if I want to hike in the canyon but there are rattlesnakes, I can go somewhere else and be just as glad.
It's a package deal, J and the dogs. He likes to joke that since he couldn't find a girlfriend who would stick, he kept getting dogs. He says that if something happened to me, he'd probably get another dog. He can't even look at the wolfdog rescue pages; it breaks his heart because he wants to save them all.
In a perfect world, breeders wouldn't try to create these breeds. It takes the right person to care for them. When these dogs howl, it is a beautiful sound, tinged with wilderness. You know that a different song runs through their heads than your average dog. I love them dearly.