The final season of Game of Thrones premiered last weekend on HBO, causing fans everywhere to go Stark raving mad. And while the cast is loaded with beautiful actors and actresses, the cast members who catch our eye the most are the dire wolves, gifted to each Stark child at the beginning of the series. Apparently, we’re not the only ones.
Everyone wants their own dire wolf
Since Game of Thrones (GOT) premiered in 2011, Huskies have become an increasingly popular pet choice because of their strong resemblance to dire wolves. Many reports have come in on the uptick of Huskies surrendered to shelters in the years following the show’s premiere. And shelter workers think the correlation is more than a coincidence.
Reports found that in 2013, Huskies accounted for 1.7% of all shelter dogs in Riverside County shelters. By 2018, they accounted for 7% of impounded dogs in those same shelters. That’s a huge percentage if you think about all of the different types of dog breeds.
Yet, the great irony is that Huskies are actually never featured on GOT. The dogs used to portray dire wolves on GOT are actually Northern Inuit Dogs. Northern Inuit Dogs were crossbred to create a friendly household mate that resembles a wolf. Sources say they were bred between Malamutes, German Shepherds, and Siberian Huskies. These dogs only came about in the 1980s in the United Kingdom, but Northern Inuit’s ancestors have been around for years and years. But because Northern Inuits are not very accessible in the Southwest US, people covet Huskies as a dire wolf lookalike.
And while dire wolves’ air time dropped significantly after CGI and post-production editing became too much for the series, their popularity persists. Fans are already wondering if Ghost will make an appearance in season 8.
Anything worth having takes hard work
Many pet owners adopt Husky pups because they’re irresistible balls of fluff. However, as these working dogs get older and more energetic, they require more stimulation, exercise, and funding than most owners can give. This ultimately results in the dogs being abandoned at shelters or rescues, many between 18 months – 2 years of age.
It’s well known that pop culture spikes interest in certain breeds, for better or worse. Obviously, HBO can’t control what people do with the content they put out. So it’s up to pet owners to research the needs of the breed ahead of time and make sure it’s a good fit.
Every hero deserves a wing-dog, but sometimes our fantasies shouldn’t become our reality. There is a special breed or mix of pup for everyone, so we’re certain you can find your own perfect companion.
Cover photo courtesy of HBO.