People are obsessed with this human-sized dog that's pretty much a real-life direwolf

  • Meet Yuki. He is a Very Good Dog.
  • Yuki is the size of a human.
  • In 2008, he was rescued from a kill shelter and brought to an animal sanctuary.
  • Now he lives in the sanctuary and spends his days in the sun, barking and eating food.
  • Who is crying? Certainly not us! Why would you even think that!
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Let’s start by getting some facts out of the way. It’s International Dog Day and all dogs are Good Boys. And that, of course, includes Yuki, a very large dog that we first read about on NBC-affiliated WVTM.

At 5-foot-4 and 120 pounds, Yuki is a human-sized dog who, yes, resembles a direwolf from “Game of Thrones.”

In 2008, the pup landed at Shy Wolf, an animal sanctuary devoted to rescuing wolf-dogs in Naples, Florida, according to Bored Panda.

“Yuki came to the sanctuary in very typical fashion,” Jeremy Albrecht, one of the sanctuary’s directors told Insider. “He became too much for his owner and was dropped off at a high kill shelter. The shelter called us and gave us a chance to evaluate. Yuki was very obviously a high content wolf-dog so we were able to pull him and give him a home in our sanctuary.”

And, of course, despite the resemblance, this animal isn’t an actual “Game of Thrones” creature, Albrecht said.

“He is what we refer to as a wolf-dog,” he said. “He is 87.5% Grey Wolf, 8.6% Siberian Husky, and 3.9% German Shepherd.”


So, at this point, you’re probably wondering how a 12-year-old wolf-dog spends his days on a sanctuary.

Well, Albrecht said that Yuki spends a lot of time with a female wolf-dog named Bella. As Albrecht describes their relationship, “Yuki is much larger than her, [but Bella] is by far the dominant one.” Sounds a lot like love!

Aside from that blissful cohabitation, Yuki spends a lot of his time with volunteers, eating, and barking. As a wolf-dog should.

But for the last year, Yuki has been living with blood cancer, Albrecht said. “We just are continuing business as usual and spending as much time with him as we can,” Albrecht said of the dog’s day-to-day life on the sanctuary.

Read more:

The 19 most successful GoFundMe campaigns of all time that helped animals in need

The Shy Wolf Sanctuary has seen this kind of cancer before, Albrecht explained. Since the sanctuary opened in 1993, it has been dedicated to taking in animals that were previously owned as exotic pets. Currently, the shelter houses between 20 and 100 wolf-dogs at a time – but it’s looking to move to a bigger space to accommodate more.

“There are a lot more Yukis out there that we would like to rescue,” Albrecht. “That is why our biggest initiative is to build a much larger facility, and we are in the middle of a strong fundraising push to do that, but we can’t do it alone we need help from Yuki’s new friends all over the world.”

The Sanctuary has set up a GoFundMe page asking for donations. At this time it has raised over $US500 of its $US100,000 goal.

We’re not sure what Yuki has to say about his newfound viral fame being put to good use. We’d like to imagine he’d give it two paws up, or, perhaps, a generous howl at the moon. That feels like something wolf-dogs do.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.