Wolves are dangerous: Myth or Fact?

Are wolves really as violent as we think they are? Movies like “The Grey” and Werewolf movies would suggest so, from my studies this is not the case. In the last 100 years there have only been 2 confirmed cases of a wolf killing a human. However there have not been any confirmed cases of a healthy wolf attacking a human. Wolf populations are low and they were just recently taken off the endangered species list. Even though they were taken off their numbers are still low.  With movies like that we get the idea it is okay to kill animals before they can kill us. Wolfs are not as dangerous as some people would like to think they are, most of the time if they saw us they would go the other way before we would even see them. Wolves won’t usually even attack people without good cause. Some good causes for them are if they feel their young or territory is being threatened. Humans actually kill more wolves then wolves kill humans because of their fur and other body parts or for fear of harm.

Wolves usually only live for up to 20 years, maybe even 25. Wolves were actually the most successful mammal until the human came along. In the months of December – February is when the wolves begin preparations for mating and in the spring they prepare for birth of new pups. The average gestation period for wolves is 63 days. When ready to birth the pack digs a den for the mother to give birth to her new babies. The dens are usually almost covered by brush so to hide it from predators and humans.  They will usually have 5-6 pups in a litter. During their first few months of life the pups stay in the den with mother or a “pupsitter”.

Have you ever wondered when walking with your dog and he goes potty why he kicks his hind legs back? Well there is a simple answer to that! It is a trait they received from their ancestors the wolf. Usually the dominate male of a pack is the only one to do this but sometimes mid-ranking wolves may do it as well. Wolves and dogs have scent glands between the pads on their feet. They will do this to mark territory or food they have killed. Dogs may do this for a similar reason or they may just do it out of instinct.

The scientific name for the wolf is Canis Lupus. Their diet consists mostly of elk, moose, deer, rabbits, and other large animals. Wolves are social and their packs usually consist of up to 12 members. On occasion some packs may have 20 members but not usually. The pack has one alpha male and one alpha female may also contain one beta male and one beta female, beta are two wolves that are directly under the alpha wolfs.  All the wolves in the pack are usually related. Like the alpha and their pups, siblings, and cousins.  Female wolfs will usually control the female subordinates and the male controls the male subordinates but sometimes they will control both as they are both superior.

Do your dogs ever have behaviors like these? Does your dog ever show dominance over the other animals in your house? Have you ever wondered why they act like that? Wolves have a lot of different behaviors like den behaviors and how they treat outsiders and humans. They also have behaviors that were passed down to our household dogs. I hope that this information helps people understand that wolves are not as dangerous as people think they are and that they shouldn’t be killed because of fear.


8 thoughts on “Wolves are dangerous: Myth or Fact?

  1. I think that wolves are not dangerous animals. To me wolves are wonderful creatures that are just misunderstood. For instance, according to the UDSA, coyotes kill 53.1% or 116,700 head of cattle. Also, the gray wolf is an animal with a very timid nature, meaning that they are very shy and will most likely run from humans. Another reason why wolves shouldn’t be killed is that they keep disease away from us. Think of the way they hunt they always pick off the weakest member of the herd which that animal might be sick and they kill it. Humans should be thankful for wolves and what they do when they hunt. I found an article that compares predators and their impact on livestock. Here is the link: http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-12/stop-shooting-wolves-you-maniacs

  2. I was surprised after reading your blog. I always thought wolves were dangerous animals. Dogs and wolves are part of the same family, but we keep dogs as a pet and expose them to our families. Today, wolves tend to live far from humans and tend to ignore them if they come across them. When a threat is put on the wolf or its babies, they will become protective and may harm you, you would do the same if someone did that to your child. Its only self defense. I learned that wolves only live to be 20 or 25 years old. Also, they are becoming an endangered species. What we see in movies is not a true portrayal of the real life of the wolf.http://www.sierraclub.org/habitat/esa/gray-wolf.aspx

  3. Wolves are pretty awesome. Many wolves are killed to make coats and cloths that we could easily make in other ways. It wouldn’t be that much of a problem as long as we don’t hunt them into near extinction. Wolves are basically a non-threat to humans today. With modern cities and housing, most people haven’t even seen a wolf in there lives. This is in part that there are few of them left. Most people have owned or been around a dog. They aren’t afraid of being killed by it and would a shocked if someone would kill it for a coat. Wolves aren’t that much different in the evolutionary chain. I used to have a dog and she would always scratch the ground outside and pee everywhere. Just like the wolves. I don’t think its bad to kill wolves, but I don’t think we should make them extinct. Fearing them is irrational, there hasn’t been a confirmed case of a healthy wolf killing anyone. There was a total of 2 cases of a wolf killing a human in the last 100 years.

  4. Yes, I believe that wolves are dangerous animals. But, not any more dangerous than any other predatory animal. Wolves have a natural fear for humans, until they associate humans and human settlement with another source of food. In the past 100 years there have only been two wolf attacks on humans, both being near illegal garbage dumps. Compared to bears, which have killed 59 people since 1990. Cougars killing 11. Domesticated dogs kill 20-30 people every year.

  5. I thought that this blog was very informative as well as true. I think that wolves will attack people but not if there is no reason. A lot of people that live where there are wild wolves probably don’t realize that they won’t do much to you unless they feel threatened. Movies about wolves shouldn’t affect people’s decisions on how to act if you see one because it is a movie with special effects and just plain fakeness in general.

  6. I agree that humans see wolves as dangerous animals. I found a site that also shows that people think wolves are more dangerous than they actually are. The website said that some people are trying to protect them. Despite their efforts, the wolves’ land for survival has been taken away and limited. Wolves have also been struggling by not being able to find enough food. I thought it was interesting when I read in your article that wolves can live for 20 to 25 years. That is way longer than I would have guessed. The site that I found also said that people don’t like wolves, because they are known to kill domestic animals. It says that the wolves shouldn’t be blamed for that. It is the humans fault for taking these domestic animals out of their natural habitat and not letting them do what they were born to do in nature. Another thing that I found interesting in your article is that it is an instinct for dogs and wolves to use scent glands between the pads on their feet to mark their territory or food that they have killed. I never knew that they did that before. I learned a lot from this article and found it to be very cool to be able to read it.

  7. Wolves are interesting and beautiful animals. I learned that most wolves live in packs and those have usually 12 members but, they can get as big as 20. I knew that there were alpha’s but I learned that there are also beta’s which are directly underneath the alpha’s. I thought that there was only one leader, a male. But they case is that there is a male and female leader. The females usually run the female part of the pack, while males control males but sometimes they rule both. This blog was about how wolves aren’t dangerous and it shows that they haven’t killed many humans; they try and stay well hidden. In my link it shows a den of a mother wolf, and it’s really fascinating to think that they dig these themselves.


  8. I really appreciate that you wrote this blog. It is very informative and true. I think that wolves are only mean or vicious when their territory is threatened or attacked. People don’t understand that they are probably more scared of you than you are of them. A lot of people have dogs as pets and don’t think that they are vicious. Dogs and wolves are thought to be from a common ancestor and have about the same behaviors. People shouldn’t kill wolves because of the movies that they have seen or the things they hear on tv about them because usually they are not true. Wolves are not like the ones in the big bad wolf or other fairytale stories. I found a study that had to do with this article. Here is the link: http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=0300103905

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