Wolves and dogs

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canislupus | 12:39 Fri 12th Dec 2008 | Pets
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Can someone suggest some behavioural differences between dogs and wolves - thanks


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In a lot of basic behavour patterns, they are the same.

Wolves are pack animals, and in the wild, a pack will co-operate to provide food and safety from outsiders. There is a strict hierarchy, with a pack leader who will have the pick of the ins-season bitches. Other males who grow up in the pack will learn their place - the leader will fight if necessary to establish and maintain his place. As some young males grow, they will challenge for leaderfship, and when the old wolf is too old to defend his place, he may be driven out.

Dogs exhibit similar trends of behaviour, and owners should adapt accordingly. Yourt dog will be more comfortable and secure if he knows that you are 'leader' and keep him in his place. This means that you don;t tolerate any growling or snapping from him, and he will give up anything he is holding without protest if you wish to take it from him. When he grows, he may decide to 'take you on' and snap at you without aparent cause. This should be dealt with by instant and severe discipline, so he knows you are still in charge.

Contrary to some dog owners perception, dogs are not humans in animal form, they are pack animals, and will live a happy life if their social needs are met as far as possible.

Hope this helps.
Dogs can be trained to walk on a lead, recall, sit, lie down etc. Wolves cannot.

You cannot house train a wolf.

Wolves have evolved as hunters and as such hunt in a pack and work to bring down/track the prey together.

Dogs that are classed as 'wild' or feral scavange and do not operate as a pack. They do not hunt as such. They spend more time alone and operate alone rather than as a family or pack.

Only the top pair of wolves will mate and produce pups. Where as ALL 'wild' or feral dogs will mate irrespective of age/status.

This is about wolf dog hybrids as pets - it outlines some of the different behaviours of wolves v dogs: olf-dog-hybrid.htm

In addition to the good answers above, domestic dogs have evolved alongside humans and are very good at reading our body language - even subtle changes in facial expression. Wolves, having never been domesticated, cannot do this.

Domestic dogs don't exist in the wild and while they still display some aspects of pack behaviour, they are very different from other canidae and are much more closely integrated with people.
Can not imagine many wolves living with a cat as part of their family/pack either!!!

My dog is currently sharing the fire with the cat (cat in front of course!) and the cat eats out of his bowl whenever it wishes to!
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Thank you for these answers they are very informative. It is one of these things when you read books on dogs they continually refer to the wolf to explain dog behaviour. I accept that there is a genetic connection but behaviourally there is some differences. hence the question. Personally the wolf-dog hybrid sounds like a lovely looking dog but has the potential to be a dangerous animal. Like crossing a lion with the domestic cat. Thanks again
These two articles are interesting:

As Dunbar said "learning how dogs behave by looking at wolves is like saying I want to improve my parenting so I will look at how chimps do it".

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Wolves and dogs

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