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Dogs and Wolves - The Differences and Why You Should Not Adopt a Wolf Pup

Dogs and wolves are different. Wolves look friendly but are not good pets.

I always thought that dogs were very similar to wolves in terms of nutrition and behavior. If a wolf eats raw meat, then shouldn’t my dog? If I found a wolf pup, and raised it like a dog, wouldn’t it act like a dog?

Even though some breeds can look like a wolf (German Shepard, Akita, Husky), there are some big differences that make adopting wolf pup a bad idea. Here is a summary of what I learned:

  • Dogs broke off from wolves a LONG time ago - between 15 and 40 thousand years ago.

  • Although dogs and wolves share 99%+ of their DNA, the remaining 1% is responsible for big differences.

  • Wolves have a larger skull and jaw, and bigger feet. You don’t want that strong jaw chomping down on your hand.

  • Wolves do not form human attachments like dogs - my lab is usually glued to my side.

  • Wolves mature faster than dogs. That means around 6 months, they can become hard to handle.

  • Wolf pups play to learn critical survival skills. Dogs play for fun and will play throughout adulthood - a lot more fun to be around.

  • Wolves are shy and avoid people. Wolf-dogs may be more friendly towards humans, but with their strength and wildness traits, they could pose a serious threat.

  • Wolves are carnivores and dogs are omnivores. You can’t give a wolf dog kibble or a dog, wolf kibble. Both would suffer as wolves need more protein.

Dogs play throughout adulthood

Dogs play throughout adulthood- unlike wolves

My 11 year old lab, Sampson, loves to play. He is a little gray but loves his toys - especially the treat toy. If he does not get his toy filled in the morning, he sulks all day. The toy keeps him active all day which is good for an older dog.

Summary

Please do not adopt a wolf or wolf-dog as a pet. There are plenty of breeds to pick from - and many shelter dogs needing a home.

 

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