When looking at a skinwalker, you are not seeing an animal. You're also not seeing a human being either. You see a blend of the two. My husband who has gotten extremely close looks at these things on a few occassions has said that they are most often nude underneath animal skins and their bodies are grossly misshapen with near leprous like swellings on their bodies. Their faces and extremities appear to be a mix of animal and human melted together. So, they aren't projecting themselves into an animal and taking over its body. They are merging with the skin of a dead animal and becoming a skinwalker.
Genealogy for native americans is pretty difficult though my husband's history is pretty straightforward Navajo with one irish ancestor a few generations ago and a possible spanish conquistador ancestor (possible in that one of his clans is the Spanish People, which traces its roots to conquistadors). He may not be able to say that who his great great grandmother was but he does know his family's clans. That's about as good as you can get for the Navajo.
I don't blame your dad for being terrified of a wolf dog. On Monday, I was attacked by a dog while on my front porch. All I said was "go away doggy" and it charged me, snarling and biting. I managed to get in the house uninjured and called the humane society so they could pick the dog up. The catcher they sent out was navajo and he spotted the dog down the street. He watched it for a few minutes and decided that maybe it wasn't as vicious as I had said. So, he said "come here doggy". LOL. The dog attacked him. 15 minutes later, he has back up and they are chasing the dog up the street in their trucks...backwards. It was better than a cops episode. Dogs can be vicious. Bulls, at least, give you a chance to get away. lol.
I haven't heard anything directly that links wolves with skinwalkers. Skinwalkers owe their formation to Coyote but interestingly enough, alot of families on the navajo rez have dogs. Not poodles. No chihuahuahs. Big mean vicious guard dogs. They are used to protect the home and also act as a warning system for any skinwalker activity.