The Saarloos Wolfdog (then called Dutch Wolfdog) is a relatively new dog breed originally from the Netherlands. It was developed by a Dutch breeder, Leendert Saarloos, in an attempt to create a new police dog breed with the strength and stamina of a wolf. The new dog breed is a cross between a male German Shepherd that he received from his neighbour's kennels and a female wolf (named Fleur) he obtained from the Rotterdam Zoo. In 1936, Leendert saw the first litter of wolf puppies.
He submitted the new dog breed for recognition in 1942, with the goal to develop a reliable, brave and obedient working dog for the police force. Much to his disappointment, the new breed lacked the will to attack and was not very useful for police work. In 1943, the Dutch Kennel Club made a tentative decision to recognise the breed but decided to forego the decision.
In 1963, Leendert Saarloos again attempted to get the breed recognised but sadly failed. Unfortunately, the dog breed was still not recognised when he died in 1969. The Dutch Kennel Club only recognised the breed in 1975 and renamed the dog "Saarloos Wolfdog" to honour its founder. In the past, the majority of the Saarloos Wolfdogs were utilised as rescue dogs and guide dogs for the blind, but today most are bred as a companion and family pet.