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  #1  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:44 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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If I Hand-raised a Wolf Pup from Birth:

Would it behave like a domestic dog? Wolves are genetically identical to dogs-would such a wolf be trainable like a dog? Would the wolf/dog be dangerous to its owner?or would it be like a pet dog?
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:47 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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It worked in the Clan of the Cave Bear series.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:52 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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I once met a guy who had a wolf. As he explained it, wolves can be socialized -- learn to be around people and obey a master/packleader -- but never domesticated. They'll never act just like dogs. Dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years to make them safe and tractable companions for humans; wolves are still genetically adapted for survival in the wild.

Wolves are also strong, from what I've heard. Much stronger than a dog of equal weight. Which makes it a bit hard to control them.

In short, they don't make good pets. Their place is in the zoo or in the woods.

Some people do keep wolf/dog hybrids as pets -- see this article.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:53 PM
mlees mlees is offline
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No, I don't believe that raising a wolf from a pup would net you an animal no different than a Siberian Husky.

Part of their "temperment" and aggressiveness is due to genetics, not upbringing.

Just like raising a Lion would not grant you an animal that behaves like a siamese cat.

Eventually, they will want to be the Alpha Dog in your house.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:53 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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I recall a PBS documentary on dogs saying that dogs are essentially wolves in a state of arrested development. In other words, they are wolves bred to retain juvenile characteristics.

Based on that, I would suspect that an actual wolf might be less playful, more aggressive, and potentially more dangerous than a dog.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:54 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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It would be a pet wolf.

Wolves are not genetically identical to dogs, where did you get that idea? Wolves and dogs are members of the same species, yes, but they aren't genetically identical, any more than a Chihuahua and a Great Dane are genetically identical with each other. In fact, a Chihuahua and a Great Dane are more genetically similar to each other than either are to wolves.

A tame wolf would be a lot like a tame dog. Yes, wolves are trainable. But they aren't as easy-going as dogs, they aren't as likely to knuckle under and play the omega role, they are stronger than most dogs, more aggressive than most dogs, need more activity than most dogs, will get bored with sitting around the house more easily than most dogs, and so on.

So yeah, there would be a difference between a tame wolf and a wolf-like dog such as a husky.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2007, 02:58 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Here's a cite:
Quote:
Recent work on the genetics of canids proves that the ancestor of the dog is the gray wolf. In fact, the geneticist Robert Wayne states, "dogs are grey wolves, despite their diversity in size and proportion; the wide variety in their adult morphology probably results from simple changes in developmental rate and timing." The results of Wayne's analysis show that gray wolves and dogs vary by just 0.2 percent in their mitochondrial DNA; the distance between wolves and coyotes is twenty times this amount. In other words, as far as their mitochondrial DNA is concerned, dogs are virtually identical to wolves.

If a dog is, genetically speaking, a wolf, what are the differences between the two species? The differences in the morphology and in behavior of dogs are the result of their retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. The biological term for this arrested development is neoteny.
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  #8  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:01 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Wolves aren't genetically identical to dogs otherwise some wolves would look just like poodles. Dogs and wolves are often viewed as the same species but the different dog species have usually been (genetically) bred to have a wide range of specific traits.

My father raised 2 timber wolves from early puppy hood when I was in college and has some opinions on the matter. Wolves aren't just like dogs because they are the wild form largely unformed by humans and not all dog species are alike anyway so there isn't one thing to compare them against.

Wolves are generally smarter than dogs and they have a stronger pack instinct. Some people get along fine with a pet wolf or two. Lots of people try it and hybrids are also common. However, the pack mentality can be a problem because wolves will sometimes pursue the alpha role much more strongly than most dogs. This can lead to problems with the human, dogs, or other wolf that it is trying to overtake in the hierarchy.

Wolves are powerful animals and can be viscous. It isn't that they are completely unlike dogs. Lots of people raise wolves but they can be dangerous and unpredictable. Their size, smarts, and instincts make them much trickier to handle than most dogs.
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:06 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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And here is an article which addresses the very question in the OP: Can You Turn a Wolf Into a Dog?

Quote:
Since that first association, humans have exerted great selective pressure (some consciously, some not) for canines that are less skittish, territorial, predatory and aggressive than wolves. Research has determined that the hormonal systems of canines with these traits (i.e. dogs) are different from those of wild canids. Those hormonal differences cause profound differences in behavior; they result in an animal that never really behaves like a mature canine. In a nutshell, a dog is a wolf in arrested development; they act very much like adolescent wolves their whole lives. An adolescent wolf is playful, adaptable,and able to form bonds with other species, takes directions readily, and is far less territorial and predatory than an adult wolf-all traits that make dogs such delightful companions. As an adolescent wolf's hormonal system reaches maturity (between 18 months and three years), it begins to exhibit all those normal adult behaviors that make wolves so difficult to deal within captivity...
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:30 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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And of course, the question to ask yourself is, "Why do I want this animal as a pet? What role do I hope this animal will play in my life?"

If you can figure out exactly why you want a dog (or wolf, or cat, or goldfish, or llama), and whether what you want is realistic, and whether you are able to create a household for the dog and put in the work to get what you want out of the dog, then you're way ahead of most people. You can pick out a breed that is actually capable of meeting your expectations, and that you are capable of meeting the expectations of.

Do you want a dog for companionship and occasional walks in the park and ball throwing and face-licking? Do you want an animal that will guard your home and bite intruders on the face? Do you want a dog go help you care for your livestock? Do you want a dog to pull a sled over the arctic tundra? Do you want a living fashion accessory? Do you want a dog to kill rats and vermin around the barn? Do you want a dog that will hunt with you, in the kind of hunting you like to do, and will you actually hunt that way or are you only kidding yourself? And so on. And once you are able to articulate your fantasy maybe it will be easier to see if that fantasy is easily achievable (companionship and face-licking) or not (face-biting).

So yeah, you can get a wolf and hand raise it and have an amazing animal friend.
But are you willing to put in the extra work socializing this animal? The extra vigilance? Do you have room for it? Why exactly do you want a wolf? What will having a wolf give you that a Labrador Retreiver (or Jack Russell Terrier or Border Collie or German Shepard or Pekinese or mutt or whatever) won't? Are you willing and able to make the sacrifices neccesary to get whatever it is you think having a wolf will give you?
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:36 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is online now
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So could you keep an adult wolf as you would a dog, if you kept pumping the right hormones into him?
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2007, 03:40 PM
mlees mlees is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble
So could you keep an adult wolf as you would a dog, if you kept pumping the right hormones into him?
I am sure this would violate some kind of PETA rule... heh
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2007, 04:37 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrDibble
So could you keep an adult wolf as you would a dog, if you kept pumping the right hormones into him?
Or the right tranquilizers . . .
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2007, 04:44 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Anyone ever heard of a pure wolf mauling a child to death? I've heard that happens with pit bulls, but never have heard it happen with a pet wolf.
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  #15  
Old 01-24-2007, 04:57 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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In many states it is illegal to own a pure wolf as a pet. And they certainly aren't as common as pit bulls.
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:00 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Anyone ever heard of a pure wolf mauling a child to death? I've heard that happens with pit bulls, but never have heard it happen with a pet wolf.
Child, hell, they'll maul their adult owners.
Quote:
Sandra L. Piovesan bled to death after being mauled by a pack of nine wolf dogs that she had raised as pets and was so devoted to that she once told a neighbor they "give me unqualified love."
And from the earlier article I linked, some statistics:
Quote:
The estimated 300,000 hybrids and captive wolves in the USA killed 10 people between 1986 and 1994 (about 1.25 deaths/year/300,000 hybrids) and injured many more. In contrast, the 50 million dogs in the USA killed an average of 20 people/year (about 0.11 deaths/year/300,000 dogs). Put another way, captive wolves and hybrids are 11 times more likely to fatally maul a human than a dog is. Additionally, bear in mind that many of those 300,000 hybrids actually have little, if any wolf in them. If the statistics were only for wolves and genetically high-percentage wolf hybrids, the rate of fatal attacks would be much higher.

Last edited by Spoke; 01-24-2007 at 05:05 PM..
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:02 PM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Anyone ever heard of a pure wolf mauling a child to death? I've heard that happens with pit bulls,
Strictly an urban legend.
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  #18  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:02 PM
Shayna Shayna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman

Anyone ever heard of a pure wolf mauling a child to death? I've heard that happens with pit bulls, but never have heard it happen with a pet wolf.
Pet Wolf Mauls a 3-Year-Old. The boy wasn't killed, but only because some adults intervened in time to kill the wolf first.

Though not "pure," described as 85% wolf (though how they come up with that figure, I couldn't tell you), 5 Year-old bitten to death by pet canine.

There's a list here, of deaths of children caused by both pure and hybrid wolves (don't read if you have a weak stomach for graphic descriptions of maulings).
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  #19  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:12 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Siam Sam
It worked in the Clan of the Cave Bear series.
And in S.M. Stirling's new SF novel The Sky People (you can read free sample chapters here), the hero adopts an orphaned "greatwolf" cub -- a kind of Pleistocene protowolf, much larger than a wolf when full grown. And it works out. But bear in mind this story is set on the planet Venus, which is inhabited by dinosaurs, Pleistocene mammals, and humans.
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  #20  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:16 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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As I said earlier, my father raised two timber wolves from puppies. He lived alone on lots of land so it wasn't much of a problem. One day, an acquaintance asked him if he wanted a wolf/dog hybrid and my father told him to bring it over. The next day, my father was walking through the woods with the two wolves and the hybrid when he heard something behind him. He turned around just in time to see the hybrid in mid-air attacking. They both hit the ground and my father got several bites on the face and hands. The wolves moved in to protect and my father escaped with painful but not serious injuries.

He told the guy that brought him over to come and get him right then or the hybrid would have to be put down which the man did. My father swears that wolves can be Ok as pets with the right person in the right setting but you don't want to screw around with wolf/dog hybrids. His theory is that the wolf traits can get combined with a dog's trait of being overly familiar with humans and that can be a bad recipe.
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  #21  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:26 PM
Tastes of Chocolate Tastes of Chocolate is offline
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The results of Wayne's analysis show that gray wolves and dogs vary by just 0.2 percent in their mitochondrial DNA; the distance between wolves and coyotes is twenty times this amount. In other words, as far as their mitochondrial DNA is concerned, dogs are virtually identical to wolves.
Mitochondrial DNA is different from the DNA most of us think about. It is outside the nucleus in the mitochondria. It's not the "what color eyes will I have" DNA.

In this discussion, the interesting thing about mtDNA is that it comes exclusively from the mother, and mutates fairly rapidly. Those attributes have lead to mtDNA being used to try to estimate the time involved since 2 organisms had a common matrilinear ancestor.

In short, saying that dogs and wolves vary by just 0.2% in their mitochondrial DNA means that it wasn't that long ago that they had a common ancestry. It doesn't say a whole lot about how similar they are today.


The seven daughters of Eve is an interesting read, if you can skip the story telling/humanizing parts of each section.
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  #22  
Old 01-24-2007, 05:27 PM
smiling bandit smiling bandit is offline
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If you do try to keep one, and it is legal in your parts, I would strongly reccomend getting professional help training them to be released into the wild.
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  #23  
Old 01-24-2007, 06:10 PM
jsgoddess jsgoddess is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
Dogs have been selectively bred for thousands of years to make them safe and tractable companions for humans; wolves are still genetically adapted for survival in the wild.
There was a study in Russia (I think) where they bred foxes for a few generations. The study is 40 or so years old, and I think they believe they have made a population of "domestic" foxes. So, it doesn't seem to take thousands of years, but it definitely takes some time and very selective breeding.
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  #24  
Old 01-24-2007, 06:28 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c
Wolves are genetically identical to dogs...
No, they are not genetically identical. Dogs are considered to be the same species as wolves, but that is true of all domesticated animals (that they are considered to be the same species as the wild animals from which they derive). Dogs and wolves are interfertile, but so are all members of the genus Canis. Most importantly, dogs exhibit some behaviors that wolves do not, so it would be incorrect to assume that a wolf, even if raised by humans from birth, would behave in the same way as a dog.
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  #25  
Old 01-24-2007, 06:32 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgoddess
There was a study in Russia (I think) where they bred foxes for a few generations. The study is 40 or so years old, and I think they believe they have made a population of "domestic" foxes. So, it doesn't seem to take thousands of years, but it definitely takes some time and very selective breeding.
I love that study. And the foxes ears drooped and their pelts became spotted too, if I recall correctly.
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  #26  
Old 01-24-2007, 06:45 PM
Apos Apos is offline
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Wolves can be handled as pets, but only by very dedicated owners who understand how wolves act and react and communicate. And still you have to get used to the fact that they will likely tear up your house anyway. But as long as you are firm and in control, and they never feel like they need to challenge you, you can be okay.

As to whether a hybrid may be worse than a full wolf, I'd say that the jury is out. For all you know, Shag, the guy may have trained aggression into the hybrid. It also, unlike the two wolves, simply not have understood the hierarchy in this new group it was being introduced into, and so it made a power play. That sort of thing can happen even with full dogs.

In general, I think most wolf owners really know what they are getting into. Hybrid owners might not, or might even be into the idea BECAUSE they think the dog will be extra tough and aggressive.
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  #27  
Old 01-25-2007, 12:19 PM
cowgirl cowgirl is offline
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I know this is GD but I hope my anecdote is relevant, and I hope also to gain insight into how true the story I heard might have been.

A fellow I met (a bit odd in a number of ways, but he seems to know his animals) was telling me about his red nose pit bull. He told me that there's only two dogs that can kill a red nose pit bull (I don't know if he meant all pit bulls, I can't see how red noses are unique in this regard unless they're just known to be bigger): a Rhodesian ridgeback and a timberwolf.

He owned a red nose and a timberwolf. He kept the wolf vegetarian (!!) because he said they turn nasty and wild if fed meat. A neighbour threw the wolf a bone when he wasn't looking; the wolf ate it and then (I don't know if this happened right after the meat incident or later on) the wolf turned on the pit bull and nearly severed his head.

So maybe a wolf's wildness can be affected by its diet?

In any case I won't be owning one, at least not while my own beloved red nose pit bull is still around.
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  #28  
Old 01-25-2007, 12:58 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Would it be the same for coyote breds. They are smaller.
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  #29  
Old 01-25-2007, 02:53 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralph124c
If I Hand-raised a Wolf Pup from Birth:
Nitpick: An infant wolf is called a cub, not a pup.
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  #30  
Old 01-25-2007, 03:38 PM
Caprese Caprese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
Nitpick: An infant wolf is called a cub, not a pup.
I've heard both, but more pup than cub.
Wikipedia, FWIW, says pup
I've met and known several wolves and wolf hybrids.
Their temperaments ran the gamut. Most were pretty mellow, but did things like gently take your arm in their mouths as a greeting.
One hybrid had to be put to sleep. She was not a dog, she was not a wolf, she was very confused, unhappy, and never could be house-trained.
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  #31  
Old 01-25-2007, 03:40 PM
BrainGlutton BrainGlutton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowgirl
He kept the wolf vegetarian (!!) because he said they turn nasty and wild if fed meat.
What vegetarian food can a wolf eat?
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  #32  
Old 01-25-2007, 05:17 PM
Pazu Pazu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowgirl
He owned a red nose and a timberwolf. He kept the wolf vegetarian (!!) because he said they turn nasty and wild if fed meat.
Well, I suppose chronic malnutrition could keep a wolf docile and inactive...
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  #33  
Old 01-25-2007, 05:32 PM
SmartAleq SmartAleq is offline
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I love wolves and wolf/dog hybrids, but I don't think I'd own one because they're just too much trouble. They do have very strong pack instinct and they're genetically programmed to try to better their place in the pack--nothing personal, mind you, but alphas eat better and get to breed, so that's where every wolf really wants to be.

One huge difference between wolves and dogs is in body language. My malemute is a more "wolfy" type dog than my border/jack cross and their respective body language really shows the differences. The malemute only looks me in the eye fleetingly, and the only time she'll stare right into a human's face is if she's pissed or challenging their authority. The border collie watches my face all the time he's awake, pretty much, and will stare straight into my eyes for the longest time--it's a bit disconcerting! Many people find the herding dogs uncomfortable to be around because we know that direct eye contact is an aggressive signal in canids and it makes us nervous. The wolves and hybrids that I've known are even spookier about eye contact, and they require only a very short stare from a human to interpret it as aggression and behave accordingly. Wolves respond best to a human who doesn't look them in the face too much, and who exhibits "play behavior," as that puts us on the same threat level as a puppy, and gives us a similar level of protectedness from adult aggression and pecking order displays. Unfortunately, this type of behavior is not conducive to making the wolf mind you!

I also find wolves and hybrids are less able to calibrate play nipping to acceptable levels--a dog can be shamed early to calibrate their play nipping so's not to hurt us, but wolf dogs tend to forget more. This makes playing with them an iffier proposition, and I definitely wouldn't encourage a child to play with a wolf or hybrid for this reason.

They're beautiful animals, no doubt about it, but considering the size, strength and relative touchiness of the wolf as compared to the domestic dog I wouldn't consider them a smart choice for a pet. They're much too good at being wolves to allow them to make good dogs, y'know?
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  #34  
Old 01-25-2007, 05:46 PM
Bobotheoptimist Bobotheoptimist is offline
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I hope not to reopen old wounds, and only 2 other dopers will have any idea what I'm talking about, so I hope they don't see this.
Woofs can be great animals but, and this is just anecdotal, a divorce can really screw one up. Losing "dad" might cause a dog to be depressed or difficult to work with, but a wolf could try to take the alpha role.
He was fairly emotionally stunted, kind of acted like a big puppy, until his pack broke apart.

I wouldn't have been afraid for children around him, he would (I suspect) have viewed them as children and no threat. No more dangerous if raised by responsible people than any other huge damn dog.

YMMV, IANAwhatever, offer void in San Salvador, etc, et al, ad nauseum.
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  #35  
Old 01-25-2007, 05:49 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrainGlutton
What vegetarian food can a wolf eat?
Dogs and wolves are omnivores based on a loose definition. Most dry dog food is grain based and wolves can eat that just fine. It may not be the best thing, but they can survive and be rather healthy on a grain based diet. It is cats that don't do worth a damn as vegetarians.
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  #36  
Old 01-25-2007, 07:14 PM
tomndebb tomndebb is offline
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There is a lot of good information and discussion in this thread, but I kept waiting and no debate broke out.

I'm going to send this over to GQ where the info is just as pertinent and the polite discussion is still encouraged.

[ /Moderating ]
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  #37  
Old 01-25-2007, 08:07 PM
Stranger On A Train Stranger On A Train is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoke-
I recall a PBS documentary on dogs saying that dogs are essentially wolves in a state of arrested development. In other words, they are wolves bred to retain juvenile characteristics.
This is called neoteny or pedomorphosis (depending on the type and development level of the characteristic in question) and is an essential characteristic of nearly all domesticated animals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Flying Dutchman
Anyone ever heard of a pure wolf mauling a child to death? I've heard that happens with pit bulls, but never have heard it happen with a pet wolf.
This is an classic example of a statistical fallacy; as has been alraedy pointed out, the population of wolf and wolf hybrids is a fraction of a percent of all domestically-kept canids, so a direct comparison between wolf and dog maulings is misleading.

I have an anecdotal data point, however, in contradiction to your line of reasoning: I used to work with a woman who owned a timberwolf, and it could be very aggressive toward people it didn't like, particularly strange men (though curiously it ignored me). In general, one would expect wolves and other non-domesticated animals of the same or adjacent species to be more prone to revert to feral or instinctive behaviors than their domesticated counterparts. A hand-raised wolf pup would be better socialized, but also more likely than a dog (of a breed not bred for violence and equivilently socialized) to revert to atavisitc behavior. It would probably be more suspicious or wary of other people, and more likely to imprint on the owner/handler. Think of the behavior of a chow chow (which is considered to be one of the more primitive breeds) than a Labrador Retriever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzomax
Would it be the same for coyote breds. They are smaller.
The coyote (Canis latrans) is a seperate (though adjacent) species to Canis lupis. At least partially viable hybridization can occur, and it seems likely that at least some populations of coyote can interbreed successfully with various North American wolves genetically, although their social mating behavior is significantly different from that of wolves, generally precluding natural interspecies breeding. (Domestic dogs are typically much more amenable to variations in mating behavior--one might say that they are lovers rather than fighters--and so it isn't surprising that natural dog-coyote hybrids do occur when populations come into contact.

Stranger
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  #38  
Old 01-25-2007, 08:53 PM
Driven Snow Driven Snow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagnasty
Wolves are powerful animals and can be viscous.
Viscous? Your dad's wolves had a high resistance to flow, or a heavy, gluey quality?
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  #39  
Old 01-25-2007, 09:58 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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In the horse world, it's a fairly common phenomena that rescued wild horses can be trained, and will become incredibly loyal to their human trainer -- but only that one human -- this does not translate to other humans. They remain quite wary about any other humans. In effect, they become one-person horses.

This is quite unlike normal domesticated breeds of horses. Domestic horse foals are introduced to humans within minutes or hours of birth, and come to accept them as part of the herd. And they will generalize this to acceptance of any human they meet. (With the foals at our farm, you can almost see them thinking: 'oh goodie, here's another human to pet me and scratch my back and maybe feed me treats'.)

And this is within the same species; unlike wolves to dogs.

So I would expect that a hand-raised wolf pup might be a very loyal pet to the single human who hand-raised it, but might still act like a wolf to any other human.
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  #40  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:25 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net
In the horse world, it's a fairly common phenomena that rescued wild horses can be trained, and will become incredibly loyal to their human trainer -- but only that one human -- this does not translate to other humans. They remain quite wary about any other humans. In effect, they become one-person horses.

This is quite unlike normal domesticated breeds of horses. Domestic horse foals are introduced to humans within minutes or hours of birth, and come to accept them as part of the herd. And they will generalize this to acceptance of any human they meet. (With the foals at our farm, you can almost see them thinking: 'oh goodie, here's another human to pet me and scratch my back and maybe feed me treats'.)

And this is within the same species; unlike wolves to dogs.

So I would expect that a hand-raised wolf pup might be a very loyal pet to the single human who hand-raised it, but might still act like a wolf to any other human.
Not quite. "Rescued wild horses" are simply domesticated horses that were born in the wild. The better analogy would be feral dogs being reintroduced to human society.

Also, as has already been noted, wolves and dogs are the same species.
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  #41  
Old 01-25-2007, 10:49 PM
LVBoPeep LVBoPeep is offline
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In the horse world, it's a fairly common phenomena that rescued wild horses can be trained, and will become incredibly loyal to their human trainer -- but only that one human -- this does not translate to other humans. They remain quite wary about any other humans. In effect, they become one-person horses.
>>>t-bonham

I just want to second what John Mace said. There is no real comparision between the wolf/dog relationship and the domestic/"wild" horse relationship. "Wild" horses are not wild at all, they are feral. They are domestic horses in the same way that there are feral packs of dog. The actual animal is unchanged but the environment in which they are raised/selected out of is changed. I have known several mustangs that were trained to be very "broke" saddle horses that could handle a variety of riders, including strangers. The only phenomena going on here is the environment- horses that are not exposed to humans earlier on will have a harder time being friendly with them but most trained well at a reasonable age (4-5 years and under is my guess) can be very suitable mounts.

I have, as a veterinary hospital manager, encountered several wolf hybrids. There is a difference between those I've met and the rest of the "pets". At the same time, they are a highly adaptive species and can fit into normal human life (with correct handling of course) far easier than other wild animals I've had close encounters with. One example that strikes me as appropriate are hand-raised tigers. I met one that was bottle raised and it was obvious that there was no such thing as a "tame" tiger. This cub was three months old, with size and strength comparable to a pit bull and teeth even bigger, and it was "playing" with us by showing stalking behavior. That experience was disturbing and convinced me that truly wild animals are not "tameable" based on environment alone. Nothing quite like being stalked by a baby tiger- that could still #(**#(#((# you up if it got the inclination. I'm not much of a spook about that either- I had reallyl been looking forward to hanging out with tigers but it was a real eye opener.
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Old 01-25-2007, 11:25 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t-bonham@scc.net
And this is within the same species; unlike wolves to dogs.
As John Mace has pointed out, wolves and dogs are the same species. However wild horses and domestic horses are not the same species, being so distinct as to have differing chromosome numbers. Of course what you are talking about are not wild horses at all, but simply feral horses.

Quote:
In the horse world, it's a fairly common phenomena that rescued wild horses can be trained, and will become incredibly loyal to their human trainer -- but only that one human -- this does not translate to other humans.
I have worked a bit with feral horses, and I have never seen or even heard of this phenomenon. Can you posibly provide some evidence for the claim? To demonstrate that it is an exception, rather than being common as you claim, I will point out that for many years cavalry horses were selected from trained wild horses. A typical animal would have been broken by one person, training completed by several others and could then expect to see to see a lifetime's service assigned to dozens of different riders. I have never heard any suggetsion that they differed in any way whatsoever from captive bred horses.


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Put another way, captive wolves and hybrids are 11 times more likely to fatally maul a human than a dog is.
I wonder if this statistic has any real meaning? By the time we remove the breeds of dog that are physically incapable of fataly mauling a human, and then factor in the type of people who want to keep hybrid dogs, and then factor in the types of environments where hybrids are likely to be kept and the resulting lack of socialisation....

I suspect that all the statistic really tells us is that hybrids are big animals that are more likely to be kept by macho types and more likely to have limited socialisation. In it's current from it probably doesn't do a lot to enlighten us about the actual psychology of hybrids.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:06 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blake
As John Mace has pointed out, wolves and dogs are the same species. However wild horses and domestic horses are not the same species, being so distinct as to have differing chromosome numbers. Of course what you are talking about are not wild horses at all, but simply feral horses.
For further clarification, the only extant species of wild horse is the Przewalski's Horse. But a further clarification is needed since it's unclear that the Przewalski Horse can be consider the living descendants of the wild ancestor from which domestic horses derive in the same way that the wolf is the living descendant of the common ancestor of it and the domestic dog. Given the unequal number of chromosomes, that seems unlikely.
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:53 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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My dad raised Huskies in Alaska. Sometimes, a bitch was staked out in an area where a "lone wolf" was known to prowl, leading to half-wolf pups. However, experienced "mushers" would not trust a half-wolf, only those 1/4 or less.

So, if a wolf/dog can't be trusted, then a 100% wolf can't be.

John, the whole "dog and wolf are the same species" thing has not been 100% settled.

See articles like this:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/1ah6dbrfwhcl09t3/

http://www.ifm.liu.se/biology/kurser...ila99_dogs.pdf

This article agrees they are the same species:
http://www.kc.net/~wolf2dog/wayne2.htm

The evolution of the domestic dog
The earliest remains of the domestic dog date from 10 to15 thousand years ago21; the diversity of these remains suggests multiple domestication events at different times and places. Dogs may be derived from several different ancestral gray wolf populations, and many dog breeds and wild wolf populations must be analysed in order to tease apart the genetic sources of the domestic dog gene pool. A limited mtDNA restriction fragment analysis of seven dog breeds and 26 gray wolf populations from different locations around the world has shown that the genotypes of dogs and wolves are either identical or differ by the loss or gain of only one or two restriction sites22. The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mtDNA sequence15,22,23.

In comparrison, the gray wolf differs from its closest wild relative, the coyote, by about 4% of mitochondrial DNA sequence14 (Fig. 4). Therefore, the molecular genetic evidence does not support theories that domestic dogs arose from jackal ancestors24. Dogs are gray wolves, despite their diversity in size and proportion; the wide variation in their adult morphology probably results from simple changes in developmental rate and timing25.

But still many scientists use "Canis Lupus" and Canis Familiaris" Not "Canis Lupus familiaris"

http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/(...lts,1:102024,1

http://www.springerlink.com/content/192fyae2qkydfhq3/

Wiki agrees, however.

Note that I am arguing that they are different species, it's just that not all the scientific community has accepted "Canis Lupus familiaris" yet.
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Old 01-26-2007, 04:39 AM
si_blakely si_blakely is offline
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Originally Posted by cowgirl
He owned a red nose and a timberwolf. He kept the wolf vegetarian (!!) because he said they turn nasty and wild if fed meat. A neighbour threw the wolf a bone when he wasn't looking; the wolf ate it and then (I don't know if this happened right after the meat incident or later on) the wolf turned on the pit bull and nearly severed his head.
More likely, the meat bone triggered a powerplay that got more intense and the wolf won.

Si
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Old 01-26-2007, 11:03 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth
John, the whole "dog and wolf are the same species" thing has not been 100% settled.
And the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin hasn't been settled yet, either.

The Biological Species Concept can't be applied to domesticated animals, so the convention is to assign them to the wild species to which they are most closely related and from which they, presumably, derive. The fact that dogs may have mixed with other canid species over time doesn't really change things. They only differ by about .2% in their nuclear DNA from wolves, and the overwhelming evidence is that they derive from the grey wolf, and hence are the same species.
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Old 01-26-2007, 12:25 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
And the number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin hasn't been settled yet, either.

The Biological Species Concept can't be applied to domesticated animals, so the convention is to assign them to the wild species to which they are most closely related and from which they, presumably, derive. The fact that dogs may have mixed with other canid species over time doesn't really change things. They only differ by about .2% in their nuclear DNA from wolves, and the overwhelming evidence is that they derive from the grey wolf, and hence are the same species.
Umm, John, you do know that just becuase a animal derives from another animal, it doesn't mean they are the same species right?
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Old 01-26-2007, 01:37 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth
Umm, John, you do know that just becuase a animal derives from another animal, it doesn't mean they are the same species right?
I have no idea what you're talking about. Go back and read my post. That's not what I said.

Maybe you haven't participated in the many threads we've had on that subject, but as Colibri has explained on multiple occasions, the BSC really can't be used to classify domesticated species. The reason is quite simple: The BSC asks if two populations regularly interbreed and produce fertile offspring in the wild. Domesticated species, by definition, do no occur in the wild, so the convention is to assign them to the species from which they are thought to have been derived. The same thing is true for house cats, which derive from the wild cat, Felis silvestris. Whether some scientists still use the terms Felis catus or Canis familiaris is irrelevant. Both populations are considered to be the same species as their wild counterparts.
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Old 01-26-2007, 06:58 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mace
and the overwhelming evidence is that they derive from the grey wolf, and hence are the same species.
??
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  #50  
Old 01-26-2007, 07:45 PM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Originally Posted by DrDeth
??
I don't know what is so confusing about the difference between domesticated animals and for wild animals. What I said is true for domesticated animals and I clearly made that distinction. Why you ignored it, and continue to ignore it is mind boggling.

Got it yet? DOMESTICATED ANIMALS.
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