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Here are some big dogs that redefine what it means to be ‘man’s best friend’.

Loki and his owner Kelly Lund (Image via @loki_the_wolfdog)

Epic pictures and traveling dogs? Count me in. “Insta-famous dog” is a term that would have been complete gibberish just a few years ago. Recently, attentive dog owners have begun taking their pooches on all sorts of epic adventures and keeping the rest of us in the loop via the ever-updating Instagram.

Not only do these owners inspire a slight sense of jealousy within their viewers, but they are also raising awareness about how to properly train and care for your furry, four-legged friends. Some are even using their social media super pups to draw attention to important issues. While every doggy-Instagram is special, there are three in particular that deserve a little extra love.

1. Loki Livin’ Large

@lokithewolfdog is debatably one of the most Instagram famous canines. With over one million followers on Instagram, it’s safe to say that a lot of people are interested in where Loki’s next travel destination might be.

Loki’s owner, Kelly Lund, has one simple goal: to inspire other’s to make the most epic memories with their pup companions. Loki and Lund have a one-of-a-kind relationship clearly displayed across their shared Instagram. Not only does Lund hope to encourage other’s to travel, but he hopes to inspire other’s to foster close relationships with animals.

By portraying their super tight bond on social media, Lund has the ability to show that having a furry companion can be one of the most freeing things in the world. From picnics in Alaska to just hangin’ in a hammock, the duo has seemingly done it all. Who would have thought that you could be THIS jealous of a dog’s life?

Lund’s well-maintained Instagram account has reaffirmed the notion that big dogs, such as Loki, require a different lifestyle to be happy. It’s important to keep large dogs active mentally and physically so they don’t end up turning your sofa into a chew toy.

While you might not be able to take your dog hiking down into the Grand Canyon anytime soon, an extra walk or treat can be just as good. With proper care, the link that Lund and Loki share can become more of a reality for you if you’re still pining after a large dog.

2. An Unlikely Savior

Based out of the Pacific Northwest, the pair is extremely popular on Instagram and it’s pretty easy to see why. They enjoy an adventure-based relationship in which Tromp is typically photographing Kyro amid some outdoorsy shenanigans.

While Kyro and Tromp have totally wicked adventures together, they also are on a mission to raise awareness for a noble cause. Tromp and Kyro use Instagram to not only display their travels together, but to also raise awareness for domestic abuse.

Kyro and his owner Amanda Tromp (Image via @goldilocksandthe wolf)

Kyro was a saving grace for Tromp, because it was her love for Kyro that solidified her decision to leave an abusive relationship. Her bond with Kyro, as explained on their joint website, allowed her to explore the outdoors with a faithful furry friend while also learning how to heal. Their journey together serves as a way to bring light to a dark topic.

Far too often, stories of domestic abuse go unheard and by introducing domestic abuse into a public sphere, there is a hope to remove the fear and stigma of sharing one’s own experiences. Additionally, Tromp and Kyro are both kooky for the outdoors. The gnarly scenery they travel to together serve as an inspiration to get outside and soak up that feel-good Mother Nature antidote.

3. Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

In “Game of Thrones,” the characters have animal companions called “dire-wolves” that have wolfish features. As the show’s popularity began to rise, so did the number of adoptions of the large, highly energetic husky and other wild looking dog breeds. This appeared to be a wonderful result because it meant that numerous dogs were finally getting re-homed from shelters to their forever families.

Unfortunately, these pups were quickly booted back to shelters in hordes. The number of dogs abandoned at shelters became so steep that actors from GOT had to release a statement pressing the importance of adopting with the intent of permanently owning these animals.

The issue became even worse when the term “wolf-dog” began to enter the realm of doggy companions. This term simply reflects the genetic makeup of a dog: most are part Siberian husky or Malamute with a varying degree of wolfy genetics. Suddenly, the dream of owning a wolf-like pup was a reality.

Ivar and his owner Sarah Bartell (Image via @ivar_the_real_wolfdog)

Enter @Ivar_the_real_wolfdog. Ivar lives in Oregon with his highly attentive human, Sarah Bartell. The duo documents their wanderings with a variety of stunning shots captured by Bartell. While the photography is impressive, what is more commendable is Bartell’s penchant to set people straight regarding the ins and outs of living with wolf breeds.

Bartell explains, through various Instagram posts, the serious commitment one must consider when adopting a canine with higher wolf content than other dogs. These pups take work to train, such as proper socialization with humans and other dogs. Owning an animal such as Ivar is more than just a pet-owner relationship; it’s a lifestyle.

Ivar enjoys a very active lifestyle, typically spending his time romping through the outdoors. Bartell has a large following on Instagram, thankfully, so she’s able to reach a large amount of people who might have previously considered adopting a part-wolf companion. Bartell and other’s also run a website that, in serious detail, outlines the ways in which one must adjust their own life if they choose to bring a wolf dog into it.

At the end the day, the message is clear: this specific type of dog is not a fad, but rather a serious commitment. A dog that looks like a wolf is pretty cool, but do you know what’s even cooler? Making sure you’re able to give that doggo the life they deserve. Giving love to our wild favorites through a double tap might just have to suffice for now.

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