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DOG and WOLF 14 Dog Breeds Closest to Wolves History & Evolution, Domestication & Origins Low-Content & High-Content Wolf-Dogs Comparison: Difference & Similarity Dog Vs Wolf: Eyes, Skin, Colors, Brain Do Wolfdogs Make a Good Pets? 15 Wolfdog Breeds Modern Theory of Dog Evolution Dog and Wolf History & Origins Dog and Wolf Breeding & Genetics Wolf Dog Mixed Hybrid Mixes When and How Did Wolves Become Dogs? Wolf Safety Guide & Instructions How to Distinguish Dog & Wolf Wolf vs Dog Tracks, Paws & Steps Dog and Wolf Tolerance & Aggression Risk-Taking in Dogs & Wolfs Dog & Wolf Mating Friendship Wolf and Dog Phylogeny Raising & Training Dog & Wolf Modern Dog Ancestors Wolf vs Dog Pawprint Wolf & Dog Puppies Dog & Wolf Behavior Details How to Distinguish a Wolf Utonakan & Tamaskan Dogs Is a Dog Stronger than a Wolf? Is a Wolf a Dog or is a Dog a Wolf? Which Dog can Beat a Wolf? How Similar are Dogs to Wolves? Between The Dog & Wolf Wolf & Dog Anatomy Dog vs Wolf Fight Pet Dogs & Tame Wolves Dog vs Wolf Size Dog and Wolf Genomes Wolf and Dog Diet Wild Dog vs Gray Wolf Wolf & Dog Pack Leadership WolfDog Breed Specifications Choosing a Wolfdog Puppy Sheep Protecting Dogs Wolves & Wolf-Dogs Coyotes & Shackals Dog Versus Wolf Types of Wolves Kandal Dog
Wolves as Pets... NOT a Good Idea!
The domestic dog is an extremely close relative of the gray wolf, differing from it by at most 0.2% of mtDNA sequence
It is important to note that the similarities in DNA sequence between two living organisms does not always mean they are even remotely similar.
Wolf: A wild carnivorous mammal which is the largest member of the dog family, living and hunting in packs is wolf.
Dog: A domesticated carnivorous mammal that typically has a long snout, an acute sense of smell, non-retractile claws and a barking, howling or whining voice is dog.
It takes 90 minutes for a dog to get used to a human, but 24 hours for a wolf!
Phylogenetic tree of the Canid species: Figure 1 of the 2011 PLoS Genetics paper clusters 509 dogs based on their genetic similarity. In this figure, dogs that are genetically similar to each other are grouped together and, not surprisingly, this grouping corresponds quite well with breed - dogs of the same breed are grouped together.
Some breeds do cluster together - for instance, all the retrievers are clustered together, as are the all the spaniels, but the relatively long branches connecting dogs within the same breed and the relatively short branches connecting the different breeds together is consistent with breeds which originated from a common dog gene pool long ago and have remained quite distinct.
Wolves are stunning animals which has been represented through our history, art, and culture for centuries. The origin of the domestic dog is not clear. Where did dogs come from? That simple question is the subject of a scientific debate right now. A new study suggests dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 9,000 and 34,000 years ago.
In May, a team of scientists published a study pointing to East Asia as the place where dogs evolved from wolves. Now, another group of researchers has announced that dogs evolved several thousand miles to the west, in Europe. This controversy is intriguing even if you are not a dog lover. Accounting for gene flow between dogs and wolves after domestication was a crucial step in the analyses.
Domestication is the process by which animals adapt to life with humans. This reflects a more complicated history than the popular story that early farmers adopted a few docile, friendly wolves that later became our beloved, modern-day companions.
Instead, the earliest dogs may have first lived among hunter-gatherer societies and adapted to agricultural life later. Analysis of the basenji and dingo genomes, plus a previously published boxer genome from Europe, showed that the dog breeds were most closely related to each other.
Likewise, the three wolves from each geographic area were more closely related to each other than any of the dogs. What this means is that Huskies have more in common, genetically speaking, with Boxers than with grey wolves, even though they may look more similar to wolves and have lived in the same geographic area. This means that dogs and wolves are farther removed from each other than humans have historically presumed. It illuminates the challenges scientists face as they excavate the history of any species from its DNA.
Scientists have long agreed that the closest living relatives of dogs are wolves, their link confirmed by both anatomy and DNA. If this were true, then the first dogs would have become domesticated not by farmers, but by Chinese hunter-gatherers more than 20,000 years before the dawn of agriculture.
Somewhere, at some point, some wolves became domesticated. They evolved not only a different body shape, but also a different behavior. Instead of traveling in a pack to hunt down prey, dogs began lingering around humans. Eventually, those humans bred them into their many forms, from shar-peis to Newfoundlands. The scientists did not find that living dogs were closely related to wolves from the Middle East or China. Instead, their closest relatives were ancient dogs and wolves from Europe.
A few fossils supply some tantalizing clues to that transformation. Dating back as far as 36,000 years, they look like wolfish dogs or doggish wolves. The oldest of these fossils have mostly turned up in Europe. In the 1990s, scientists started using new techniques to explore the origin of dogs. They sequenced bits of DNA from living dog breeds and wolves from various parts of the world to see how they were related. And the DNA told a different story than the bones.
In fact, it told different stories. A dog may have wolflike DNA because it is a dog-wolf hybrid. The Domestic dogs, wolves, foxes, jackals and coyote belong to the same Canidae family and they share more similar characteristics than differences. Canids evolution history started around 50 million years ago that's mainly categorised into two different categories - Cat like (feliforms) and Dog like (Coliforms).
The dog and the wolf are actually the same species. Their physical appearance is similar but their instincts, disposition and temperament vary widely. The gray wolf, or simply the wolf is the largest wild member of the Canidae family. Dogs are commonly seen in any place that is inhabited by people.
Although wolves and doges contain similarities in some aspects, but one came across more variations between the two. Wolf is basically categorized only as a wild animal as compared to the dog which is well known house Pet, for the reason that dog was domesticated so they would not act like wolf. Wolves being wild animals are not suited to live with people or to make a close relation like dogs. Unlike wolves, dogs have demonstrated themselves as a good companion and good Pet.
Wolves, however, are stronger with higher levels of energy and stamina. Wolf instincts and temperament differ quite dramatically as well.Wolves are stubborn, erratic, difficult to train, and a danger to children and other small animals. These qualities make them a poor choice to keep as a guard dog or household pet. As similar to wolves other members are also not domesticated and not advised to keep as a pet. But the dogs are domesticated and are great companions, they are right as pets at home.
According to Biological classifications, Zoologist and Taxonomist include the wolves in family "Canis Lupus" whereas dogs are placed in family "Canis familiaris" of Kingdom Animalia. In addition, there is a one of the most visible difference amongst both is a variation in physical appearance and structure. The wolf occupies a large body dissimilar to dog that is smaller in size than wolf. Muzzle of the wolf is also founded to be longer as compared to most of dogs. When it comes to compare their legs, the wolf comes with longer legs, larger feet and a wider cranium than the dog.
Wolves are well recognized hunters but a dog lacks this specialty because of its domestication. Wolves are much physically powerful than dogs. Despite the fact that wolves and dogs have the equivalent number of teeth, the differentiation is definite. The teeth of wolves are adapted for hunt. Unlike the dogs, the wolves have stronger molars, which help it to crush largest bones. Wolves include specific teeth used for holding onto their prey. Dogs can feed on dog food/kibble while wolves are carnivores and they need raw meat.
Wolf is considered to be cleverer than the dog and wolves are more conscious of their surroundings than the dogs. Dog barks while a wolf only howl, however dogs easily learns to howl and wolf can only make a sharp muffled sounding bark but wolves rarely do this. Wolves always love to be in crowd, even if it is a group of two or more. But dogs do not used to live in groups and they time and time again are seen combating one another.
When it comes to their sexual behaviours, the female dogs come into "heating period" twice a year while female wolves get into "season" only once a year. It has been noticed that only the alpha female wolf or head female wolf is permitted reproduction in wolf habitation. Some major differences can also be seen in skeletal structures of the two, asa wolf has longer legs with large feet and wider skull and narrow chest while a number of the dog's species don't possess this type of skeleton.
Wolf has an edge of running and moving fast with the help of their particular skeletal structure. During trotting wolf's back legs move backward and forward in the same line like its front legs, on the other hand dog places its back legs between its front legs during walking or running hence making the slow motion of dog as compared to faster wolf.
FINAL SUMMARY Dog is basically a domestic pet and wolf is a wild animal.
Wolf and dogs comparatively belongs to different families in Kingdom Animalia.
Intellect level of wolf is higher than dog.
Mostly dogs found to quarrel each other as compared to wolf incase their survival depends on living in packs.
Dog barks while wolf seldom and wolf paces, a dog trots.
A wolf is a good hunter where as a dog has lost this aptitude due to its domestication.
All members of Canidae Family are known as CANIDs
Canidae family includes a diverse group of 34 species
The biggest member of Canidae family is Gray Wolf
Smallest member of the family is Fennec Fox
Longest Member of Family is Maned Wolf
The shortest and slowest member of this family is Bush Dog.
Approx 3/4th member of this family are identified as endangered.
PREHISTORIC DOG From the start dog-genome researchers realized that along the way they might also discover a lot about the history of dogs and their innate behavior - the sorts of things that people who like dogs have always wondered about. No one expects to find a gene for loyalty, but maybe there are genes for herding behavior or retrieving or guarding. And although there is almost certainly not agene, or even a handful of genes, that accounts for the transformation from the wolf to the dog, a study of the population genetics of the two species could potentially speak volumes about the origin and history of domestication.
THE standard myth about the origin of the dog is that man found him to be a useful companion and so took him in. Dogs were sentinels or shepherds or they helped in the hunt. The oldest archaeological evidence of dogs with a morphology distinct from that of wolves is from about 12,000 years ago in the Middle East, suggesting an evolution coinciding with the rise of the first agricultural settlements and permanent villages, and pre-dating the domestication of other animals, including sheep and goats, by a few thousand years.
The view that dogs came along at about the same time as human beings settled down is so widespread and so often repeated in standard texts that it is more than a bit surprising to find genetic evidence flatly contradicting it. The evolutionary chronometer is a measure of ancient origins -- it cannot pick up divergence into separate breeding lines that has occurred in the past few hundred years. The most striking discovery Wayne's team made was that there is almost no correlation between a dog's breed and the mitochondrial DNA sequences it carries.
The point is, then, that if dogs were indeed domesticated more than 100,000 years ago, as Wayne's data suggest, there wasn't much selective breeding going on for most of those 100,000 years. Even if the step from wolf to dog was a small one, it apparently didn't happen very often. The evolutionarily correct way to state all this is that human beings, with their campfires and garbage heaps and hunting practices, but above all with their social interactions, represented an ecological niche ripe for exploitation by wolves.
Dogs and wolves come from the same family, thus they tend to have similar physical traits except for the fact that wolves are understandably stronger and difficult, if not impossible, to train. Wolves are not to be domesticated in any way and people are discouraged from keeping them as household pets. On the other hand, wolf hybrids or wolf dogs are quite easy to get nowadays. Wolf-dog hybrids are bred with certain characteristics in mind. The idea is to end up with a wolf hybrid that has a good combination of wolf and domestic dog looks and disposition. These are carefully cultivated hybrids that have actually become named breeds.
Wolf hybrids are available, too, and there are many combinations from which to choose. For those of us who prefer to go with a tried and true domestic dog, there are lots of breeds that have that cool wolf look without the wolf disposition. There is the Lupo Italiano, Kunming wolf dog and others that have cross-bred with wolves over the years. These animals are not for the average dog owner either mainly because of their wild genes, which can pose as a threat toward other animals or small children. So in case you really are fascinated by wolves, you can settle with something that looks just like it but are in no way directly related to wolves at all. Wolves are social by nature and demand a great amount of attention and interaction from their pack. This expectation translates onto the owner when a wolf is kept in captivity.
FACTS ABOUT WOLFDOGS: Wolf-dog hybrids might or might not be registered breeds with set breeding standards that are strictly adhered to. Be extremely cautious if you decide to get one of these animals. Inherited characteristics will vary, depending on the breeds crossed.
They shed A LOT, and will blow their coat twice a year. In which case you will need a good brush.
They experience extreme separation anxiety, and are destructive when left alone.
They all have very high energy, and require high intensity exercise every day or they will become bored and destructive.
They require early socialization to avoid aggressiveness as they mature.
They can be serious noise makers, with lots of barking and howling.
They are best suited for large open areas, or owners who can stick to a regimen of daily exercise and constant supervision.
And, some of these breeds are more difficult to own than others.
1. Alaskan Malamute Alaskan Malamutes were bred to be sled dogs because of their power and size. They have incredibly high endurance and strength levels. But despite all this, they make excellent pets and are a popular breed among pet owners. But do know that Malamutes may not sit well with families who have smaller pets, as their prey drive can sometimes get the best of them. Malamutes come in a variety of colors including gray and white, sable and white, black and white, seal and white, red and white, or solid white. They also have facial markings that resemble that of an actual wolf. Overall, they should be raised in places with cold temperature as their thick double coat makes them susceptible to overheating.
2. Siberian Husky According to the American Kennel Club, the Siberian Husky is a loyal, playful, and athletic breed that dates back to the ancient times wherein they were used as working dogs. With that, they require constant outdoor exercise especially during the cold weather. Lack of exercise may result in destructive behavior, so it is recommended that owners fence their lawn. Their similarities with wolves transcend more than just their physical appearances, as their characteristics include the need to be with a pack and their tendency to howl more than bark. They are generally a medium-sized breed too, weighing up to 27-28 kg in average. Like many dogs on this list, they must be introduced to smaller dogs or other animals at a young age because of their high prey drive. Despite that, they remain to be one of the ideal breeds for families and are especially good with children.
3. Akita The Akita is often compared to a Bear, however another animal that he resembles more closely is the wolf. Both are fierce protectors, strong and resilient. Let's take a look at side by side comparisons of the Akita VS Wolf. We will see how the two stack up in regard to: appearance, size, color, aggressiveness and stats. There are a lot of different wolves, all part of the Canidae family which includes dogs, so we will look at the Akita and the popular Grey Wolf. The Akita is an omnivore, eating meats, vegetables, fruits and grains. The wolf is primarily a carnivore. The American color is always 2 toned, sometimes 3. The Japanese Akita color is a bit simpler. It includes: Brindle, red and white. Despite the name, the Grey wolf can vary in coat color. Roughly 33% are black. A small percentage are a brown or white with brown markings. Those in Europe tend to have a black saddl, coloring across the back. For the Akita Inu, average life expectancy is 11 years. Health issues that eventually cause fatalities are cancer and heart failure. Bloat is also a risk for this breed and that is why feeding a proper diet is so important. For the wolf, the life span out in the wild is very short - only 8 years on average. This is due to wounds received including human traps, starvation and fatal injuries from other wolves while fighting for Alpha positions. A smaller number succumb to parvo and mange.
4. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog This relatively new breed has not many owners around the world. But its close resemblance to real wolves is enough to draw attention. The Czechoslovakian wolf dog is distinguished mainly by its iconic amber eyes and triangle-shaped ears that are erect like that of a wolf. They were reportedly first bred in Austria, Slovenia, and Hungary and then were imported to other countries not long after. They are actually a bred from German shepherds and Carpathian wolves with the goal to create a breed mixed with the strength of a wolf and the temperament of a German shepherd. While they may not be easily available, they are actually great house dogs and are fiercely loyal to their families. However, smaller animals should be introduced at a young age and socialization with other dogs should start early as well.
5. Kugsha Kugsha or known by the other name Amerindian Malamutes are wolf hybrids that are larger than the Siberian husky but smaller than a Malamute. The Kugsha has high energy and therefore needs a lot of exercise, an example of which is long daily walks. They need to keep busy or the tendency is they will get destructive. A Kugsha should not be kept indoors for so long, they can be trained to do some work like assisting with carrying heavy loads. Training and socialization with other animals and children should begin at a young age because of their predatory nature.
6. Samoyed Originally, Samoyed dogs were bred to herd reindeer and haul sledges. They got their name from the Samoyede people that resided in Siberia that regarded them as loyal companion who would keep them warm with their thick coat of fur. Modern Samoyed dogs are often kept as house pets because of their warm temperament and friendly personality. Owners should be aware of their health problems, which include kidney disease, hip dysplasia - a common ailment for large dogs, and diabetes. Other than that, they are excellent with children but will need training at an early age. The Samoyed is not related to the wolf or fox at all, instead their roots can be traced back to the primitive dog. A distinctive feature is their "Sammy Smile," which is described by their signature black lips pointing upward.
7. Tamaskan Another relatively new breed on this list is the Tamaskans. In fact, there are only 600 of these dogs around the world, but expect the numbers to grow over the years because of their popularity. They were fully recognized by the American Kennel Club last 2013 and were bred to look like wolves. The Tamaskan is known for its large, athletic body that is slightly bigger than that of a German shepherd. They have a variety of coat colors, ranging from red-gray to black-gray. These dogs are incredibly social and need constant exercise.
8. Canadian Eskimo Dog This rare dog is at the brink of extinction with a 2008 estimate of only 300 registered purebred around the world. The Canadian Eskimo goes by several names: Qimmiq, Canadian Husky, and Canadian Inuit Dogs and are an ancient breed that dates back to the time of indigenous canines. This dog has a powerful built and are extremely athletic. Like most spitz breeds, they have triangular and erect ears with a feathered tail. Their high predatory instincts do not make them an ideal family pet. But if you happen to own one, make sure they are placed somewhere cold to prevent any heat strokes.
9. Northern Inuit Dog Game of Thrones fans will know that these breeds are used to portray the Dire Wolves from the hit television series. They are a crossbreed of Siberian huskies, German shepherds, and Inuit dogs. They resemble wolves, but they are very friendly and are unlikely to show any signs of aggression. However, these breeds are not suitable for inexperienced owners. Training must begin at a young age to address behavioral problems like separation anxiety. Do note that these dogs are very smart and sociable, so getting along with other family dogs should come at ease.
10. Utonagan The Utonagan is a crossbreed between three dogs: Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherd, and Siberian Husky. They originated from Finland and are part of the Spitz family. At first glance, they look like wolves but are not directly related to them at all. This type of breed is strong and energetic, so a daily walk will do the job and avoid any destructive behavior. The Utonagan will do best in areas with cold weather because of their naturally thick coat. If you are to consider getting one, then make sure your house has an ample place to stretch their legs outdoors.
11. German Shepherd The German shepherd is undeniably one of America's favorite dog breeds. It is intelligent, amazingly versatile, loyal, and courageous. They are also known to defend their owners to death. With that being said, these dogs have been used for military, handicap assistance, and police work. The main problem with German shepherds is that they tend to be overprotective and remain loyal only to their family. This can be addressed by socializing at an early age and constantly doing so as they are grow up. So generally, the German shepherd may be an impressive dog for those who want something that resembles a wolf, but these dogs are not ideal for inexperienced owners. Their aloof personality tends to be an issue as well, they easily get suspicious, and while they do love their family, they tend to be not very welcoming toward guests.
12. Saarloos Wolfdog The last wolf hybrid on this list is the Saarloos Wolfhound, which is distinguished from other breeds by its powerful neck, long legs, broad head, and facial features that are very similar to that of wolves. It is as strong and energetic like the other wolf like breeds and will not fare well in apartments. They require daily exercise and need to be trained at a young age to instill discipline. The Saarloos Wolfhound actually show genetic associations with the gray wolf and it has been documented that it has indeed originated from them through years of crossbreeding. They come in three colors namely: red, white, and the most common wolf-grey because of their close connection to the gray wolf. These dogs are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners at all, and they are ideally kept with a pack of the same breed.
13. Alaskian Noble Companion Dog Temperament: Loyal, Curious, Anxious, Alert, Active. Alaskan nobles are a new breed, recognized for their stunning appearance and close resemblance to wolves. They are a crosbreed of Siberian Husky, German Sheppherd, Alaskan Malamute, along with other breeds. There are conflicting reports about whether or not these dogs carry wolf content. Do they make a good family pet? Not enough is known about this breed at this point. Alaskan nobles have been reported as being very affectionate, laid back, and playful with their owners. However, these same owners have also reported apprehension, and even aggressiveness towards strangers and children. Beyond these reports, Alaskan Nobles are known as being extremely loyal to their owners. They are very active dogs that love to explore and roam in free open space. Daily stimulation is required to occupy their intelligent minds. Just like any breed, they require early socialization to avoid becoming aggressive as they mature. They are also known to have very high separation anxiety.
14. Wolador Wolador dogs are a cross between Timber Wolves and Labrador Retrievers. These are large dogs that mature to 100 to 175 pounds. They tend to have black, black/tan, brown or red Labrador Retriever-type coats.
15. Wolamutes Wolamutes are Malamute X Timber or Gray Wolf hybrids. They are large animals, commonly weighing between 115 and 175 pounds. Wolamutes can look very wolf-like or could look more like a Malamute.
According to CanMap (the name of the DNA study), there were numerous breeds that had DNA similar to wolves. These were split between Nordic breeds, meaning they came from the Nordic countries and breeds which came from Asia. The Nordics consisted of multiple Spitz breeds. These domestic breeds are known for their long, thick fur, which is often pure white. They also have pointy ears, long muzzles, and a curly tail that rests on their back.
Although it is been centuries since dogs became domesticated, recent DNA studies have brought to light which of the recognized breeds are the most closely related to wolves and their ancestors. The study included 414 dogs from 85 different breeds and the results might surprise you!
1. Shih Tzu Although this breed looks nothing similar to wolves and other wild canids, the Shih Tzu is genetically one of the domestic breeds most closely related to wolves. It is thought that this companion breed originated in China around 800 BC.
2. Pekingese Like the Shih Tzu, this lapdog hails from China and despite its appearance and temperament, is one of the least diverged from its ancestors. This breed has been owned and adored by members of the Chinese Imperial Palace for centuries.
3. Samoyed A northern spitz-type from Russia, the Samoyed looks more believable when it comes to wild ancestors. This breed is social but primitive, still used for sledding and reindeer herding in its native land.
4. Lhasa Apso The Lhasa Apso is known for being a watchdog among Buddhist monasteries in its native Tibet. Researchers believe this breed originated roughly 4,000 years ago and its genetic makeup proves this to be true. Regardless of their appearance, the breed is one of the most closely related to wolves.
5. Tibetan Terrier As its name suggests, this breed originates from Tibet, but it is not a true terrier. Tibetan Terriers have been kept as purebred dogs in their native home for over 2,000 years.
6. Saluki The Saluki is a sighthound native to the Middle East and known for traveling the Silk Road with caravans and nomadic tribes. Salukis are thought to be one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, with ancient rock art showing Saluki-like dogs as far back as 10,000 BC. Genetically, the breed is still very closely related to its wild ancestors.
7. Afghan Hound Like the Saluki, the Afghan Hound is a sighthound that is also considered to be one of the oldest domestic dog breeds in existence. Genetic testing from this study proved they have little divergence from wolves.
8. Siberian Husky This northern breed hails from Siberia where it has been and is still used for sledding. Not only does the breed resemble its wild ancestors, it has changed relatively little genetically over time. Siberian Huskies allowed nomadic tribes to survive in the cold, harsh environment of the Russian north.
9. Shar-Pei Like most other Chinese breeds, the Shar-Pei is genetically very ancient. Despite its appearance, its genes are very similar to those of wolves. Although the exact history of the breed is uncertain, there are pottery images depicting Shar-Pei-like dogs as far back as 206 BC.
10. Basenji The Basenji is a small- to medium-sized hunting dog from Africa. Like other wild dogs and wolves, the Basenji is known for its yodeling rather than barking. Genetically, the breed is considered ancient and is closely related to its wild ancestors.
11. Shiba Inu The Shiba Inu is the smallest of the Japanese breeds and is also a very ancient dog. It was originally used to hunt rabbits and birds, but is most commonly seen as a family companion today. Its DNA makeup suggests it is one of the oldest living breeds.
12. Akita Often considered a larger version of the Shiba Inu, the Akita is a guardian dog from Japan. Like the Shiba, it is genetically very ancient and similar to its wild ancestors. Although the Japanese and American Akitas have become two very different types, and are ever considered separate breeds in some countries, they are still relatively similar.
13. Alaskan Malamute This large northern breed was developed for sledding and cart pulling and it is still used for this function today. With its wolf-like appearance, it does not surprise many to learn that this Alaskan native is very closely related to its wild ancestors.
14. Chow Chow Of all Chinese breeds, the Chow Chow looks most closely like its wild ancestors. Although still very different, the breed is genetically ancient and considered to be one of the oldest breeds still in existence. They have primitive temperaments and were used as guard dogs as far back as 150 BC.
Dogs are NOT descended from modern wolves but split from common ancestor 34,000 years ago.
U.S. scientists believe the genetic overlap observed between some modern dogs and wolves is the result of interbreeding after dog domestication
University of Chicago researchers said their study reflects a more complicated history of how canines came to be domesticated
Dogs and wolves evolved from a common ancestor between 11,000 and 34,000 years ago, according to new research. U.S. scientists said that part of the genetic overlap observed between some modern dogs and wolves is the result of interbreeding after dog domestication and not a direct line of descent from one group of wolves. They believe their research reflects a more complicated history than the popular story that early farmers adopted a few docile, friendly wolves that later became our modern canine companions.
Instead, the earliest dogs may have first lived among hunter-gatherer societies and adapted to agricultural life later, according to the study which is published in the journal PLoS Genetics. Researchers from the University of Chicago said that dogs are more closely related to each other than to wolves, regardless of geographic origin as they do not descend from a single line of wolves.
John Novembre, associate professor in the Department of Human Genetics at the university, who is also the study's senior author, said: "Dog domestication is more complex than we originally thought. "In this analysis we didn't see clear evidence in favour of a multi-regional model, or a single origin from one of the living wolves that we sampled. It makes the field of dog domestication very intriguing going forward" he added.
The team of scientists sequenced the genomes of three grey wolves - one of which was from China, one from Croatia and another from Israel, to represent the three regions where dogs are believed to have originated. They produced genomes for two dog breeds: a basenji, which originates in central Africa and a dingo from Australia, as both areas that have been historically isolated from modern wolf populations. The researchers also sequenced the genome of a golden jackal to serve as an "outgroup" representing earlier genetic divergence.
Their analysis of the basenji and dingo genomes, plus a previously published boxer genome from Europe, showed that the dog breeds were most closely related to each other. Likewise, the three wolves from each geographic area were more closely related to each other than any of the dogs.
Dr Novembre said the findings of the study tell a different story than he and his colleagues anticipated. Instead of all three dogs being closely related to one of the wolf lineages, or each dog being related to its closest geographic counterpart, they seem to have descended from an older, wolf-like ancestor common to both species. "One possibility is there may have been other wolf lineages that these dogs diverged from that then went extinct".
"So now when you ask which wolves are dogs most closely related to, it's none of these three because these are wolves that diverged in the recent past. It's something more ancient that isn't well represented by today's wolves", he added. The study shows how complex the early domestication of wolves was and Dr Novembre said his team is trying to collect every scrap of evidence to reconstruct what happened in the past. Scientists use genetics to reconstruct the history of population sizes, relationships among populations and the gene flow that occurred. So now we have a much more detailed picture than existed before, and it's a somewhat surprising picture.
GENETIC TESTING PROVES DOG ANCESTORS FORMED A SPECIAL BOND WITH MAN DURING THE ICE AGE Dogs were man's best friend as far back as the Ice Age and dogs and humans first bonded between 19,000 and 30,000 years ago, according to a study published in November. That was when wolves, ancestors of domestic dogs living today, were first tamed by ancient hunter gatherers, according to genetic evidence. Early tamed wolves may have been trained as hunting dogs or even protected their human masters from predators. The findings challenge a previous theory that dog domestication happened some 15,000 years ago in eastern Asia, after the introduction of agriculture. In reality, the history of the bond between dog and man appears to go back much further, to a time when fur-clad humans were living in caves and hunting woolly mammoths. Scientists used DNA analysis to establish what populations of wolves were most related to living dogs.
Parallel Evolution The team then compared corresponding genes in dogs and humans. They found both species underwent similar changes in genes responsible for digestion and metabolism, such as genes that code for cholesterol transport. Those changes could be due to a dramatic change in the proportion of animal versus plant-based foods that occurred in both at around the same time, the researchers said.
The team also found co-evolution in several brain processes: for instance, in genes that affect the processing of the brain chemical serotonin. In humans, variations in these genes affect levels of aggression. This shared genetic trajectory might explain why Fluffy can be helped by antidepressant drugs, the authors hypothesize.
The question of whether dogs and wolves are members of the same or different species is a controversial one. To begin with, species classification is a convention used to help aid in our ability to organize nature and it is anything but definitively objective.
This should not decrease the importance of classifying species, but before we begin to try and understand the question, we will benefit from understanding that the nature of the question is very philosophical. Always keep in the back of your mind that the personal preference of an individual will always be influential in subjective conclusions. Therefore, to try and be objective about the conversation I would like to discuss the big picture, and in biology, the big picture is always evolution.
Evolution is often described as cumulative processes so slow that they take between thousands and millions of decades to complete. This is only part of the picture. We certainly have an in-depth archeological fossil record that shows gradual changes in species over millennia, such as the development of feathers in dinosaurs or the eye-migration of flatfish, however biological changes can also happen in the wink of an eye at least compared to traditionally conceptualized evolutionary timescales. Most simply, evolution can be defined as change over time.
But what kind of change? Does any change constitute evolution? Does any duration sufficiently qualify for "time?" These are important considerations because whatever definition is chosen will create a first premise assumption from which any arguments will flow from the way the lens of a camera manipulates light before entering the camera body and forming an image, so too can a first premise assumption influence our perceptions so that our observations fit a desirable theory instead of the natural phenomenon.
Some evolution happens very slowly, however, these changes arose most probably due to mutation and sexual selection, not because these changes condoned a functional advantage in evading hazards or finding food. Most examples of evolution are due to a change in the characteristics of a group that enable it to survive, thus evolution can be viewed in this light as a response to changes in the environment. Typically, environments change very slowly and significant changes often ride on the back of natural disasters.
The evolution of dinosaurs into birds was due to a two-fold catastrophe. Approximately 200 million years ago, atmospheric oxygen declined nearly 20% causing one of the largest extinction periods in Earth's history. This killed off an unprecedented amount of land dwelling animals and threatened aquatic living organisms as well. As if global suffocation wasn't bad enough, to add insult to injury, an asteroid the size of Manhattan slammed into Mexico just a few millennia later.
Predominantly, it is important to remember that changes to the environment are what drive these kinds of selection processes, especially when these changes create significant mortality rates a concept. The controversy over the classification of dogs and wolves can be seen on numerous levels, but one that stands out for me is the way in which many wolf-dog hybrid enthusiasts are very passionate that the correct term is not "hybrid" but "wolf dog", since both the dog - Canis lupus familiaris, and the wolf - Canis lupus lupus, are according to some scientists taxonomically sub-species of Canis lupus.
While this is a relatively recent distinction - originally, Carl von Line classified the dog as Canis familiaris, a different species than the wolf, the taxonomic nomenclature does not determine whether the mating of two animals qualifies as a hybrid. Hybridization is the interbreeding of individuals from genetically distinct populations, regardless of their taxonomic status (Stronen & Paquet, 2013). Wolves and dogs may be amazingly similar in their genetics, however they are clearly genetically distinct populations.
The supposedly infallible "fact" that dogs are descended from wolves took the world by fire with research into mitochondrial DNA and a publication which appeared in Science titled "Multiple and Ancient Origins of the Domestic Dog" (Vila et al., 1997). In this paper, the authors concluded that dogs were 135,000 years old, a conclusion which is sheer nonsense (Larson, 2011; Larson et al., 2012). Over the last decade, geneticists have published paper after paper pointing at different dates and different locations for domestication with very little consensus but most supporting the conclusion that dogs are direct descendants of the wolf.
One important reason for this is because the methodology behind examining mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) has a very debilitating first premise assumption: that the rate of mtDNA mutation is constant in dogs and wolves despite a massive wolf population bottleneck and an exploding dog population. This is a problem because both of these population effects cause genetic drift. Imagine if you take a population and reduce it to a mere handful.
How do you tell whether you are looking at the first members of a new species or the surviving members after a population endangerment? Likewise, imagine taking two dogs and deciding you will start your own breed. If your new breed goes through a population explosion, then their DNA will make up a unrepresentative sample of the historical population - this is called the "founder effect".
Genetic research is awesome, don't get me wrong, and it cannot be underappreciated that innovations in genetics have opened up wildly exciting new scientific avenues of investigation into organisms. However, genetic analysis is relatively new to the question of speciation in the animal kingdom and some insight to the Canis lupus dilemma can be gained by looking at the overall ecology of dogs and wolves instead of just their sequence of nucleic acids.
Research that examines genotypes, high-density single nucleotide polymorphisms, epigenetic methylations, mitochondrial DNA, etc., is literally a whole new world, but it is not the whole picture. The expression of a plant or animal's DNA is what creates its phenotype - from morphology to behavior, and it is the phenotype that is thus selected for in the environment and we can learn lots by simply examining the phenotype in and of itself.
When two genetically distinct species reproduce the offspring is called a hybrid. The behavioral isolation of dogs and wolves is astronomical because behaviorally there are almost no commonalities between them. In fact, leaving dogs aside for a moment, very important behavioral distinctions exist just between different groups of wolves that affect their offspring viability.
For example, one of the most important criteria for mate preference in wolves comes down to hunting strategies: wolves with similar hunting and foraging strategies are more likely to mate and teach these strategies to their offspring. Foraging behavior is a phenotypical characteristic that plays a major role in determining the ecological niche of a species, so much so that wolves who employ different foraging strategies also display different types of social relationships.
Very few dogs hunt for food. Even in societies which still use dogs for hunting, such as the indigenous Mayagna people of Nicaragua, dogs rarely make the kill. Their role in the hunt is to bring an animal to ground and make a loud ruckus until the humans can find it and make the killing blow with their machete.
In this capacity, dogs are pound for pound as efficient as a rifle in bringing in meat for the indigenous people of Nicaragua, and the dogs benefit by being given leftovers. It is certainly true that some dogs opportunistically take down and on occasion eat small animals such as rats, possums, cats, etc. However, dogs like other scavengers fill an important role in the grand ecological picture regarding the flow of biomass.
Dogs are frequently labeled carnivores like their wolf cousins, implying a predatory nature, however ecological foraging models are much more nuanced than simply whether or not the food consumed is animal or plant-based. Dogs are detritivores. Whether it is the kibble we drop in the bowl, the dump which feral dogs scavenge at, or even raw meat or table scraps being tossed from the table, dogs do not kill their food.
Whether feral or companion pet, the dog's niche relies on their ability to live in close proximity to humans - a quality which is typically severely impacted by interbreeding with wolves. Dogs utilize a very different and elongated socialization period that enables them to develop interspecies social bonds much easier, and thus the viability of hybrid offspring between dogs and wolves is severely impacted through both prezygotic and postzygotic barriers.
Quite simply, just because two animals are capable of interbreeding, claiming they are the same species does not make sense in light of almost all aspects of their phenotype outside of morphology and even then, calling a Chihuahua a wolf is simply absurd!
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Most Canids share similar physical traits and characteristics and have less differences. But they also have own exclusive individualities, where they surpass others. These Uniqueness of canids attract many people to domesticate them and kept as a pet.
Dogs are the world's most accepted pets and other animals from the same Canidae family are always an attraction and interest. Mainly wolf, jackal, coyote and foxes have an interest and desirability for domestication. Dogs have relatively smaller skulls with varying muzzles, physically smaller brains, smaller teeth and varying leg lengths as compared to wolves.
Smaller brains require less calories for dogs to survive. The paw of a dog is half the size of that of a wolf, and some dog's tails curl upwards, unlike that of a wolf. Dog teeth have less complicated cusp patterns and a much smaller tympanic bulla as compared to wolves.
Wolves have larger, broader skulls with a longer muzzle, physically larger brains, larger teeth and legs. They have a narrow chest with forelegs pressed into it. Elbows point inwards and feet point outwards.
Also, wolves have a pre-caudal gland at the base of their tail used to release a pheromone onto another wolf, marking that wolf as a member of a particular pack. This gland is vestigial in dogs and functions only minimally in dogs.
PHYSICAL TRAITS Dogs are the domesticated animal and groomed for specific needs, their traits vary extensively. Standards are almost comparable to other members of the same species. In General dogs have short and weak jaw and muzzle than wolves, coyote and similar to jackal and fox. Wolves have the largest brain among candid family member. The dog and Fox have thinner legs than wolves, coyote and jackals.
DOMESTICATION Dogs have been domesticated for a very long time now, and understandably more responsive to domesticating techniques than wolves. Dogs respond to the voice. Wolves to hand signals. The dog has lost some of its hunting ability because of domestication. But dogs can often read facial expressions of their human masters.
Dogs were the first domesticated animals, and their barks heralded the Anthropocene. We raised puppies well before we raised kittens or chickens, before we herded cows, goats, pigs, and sheep, before we planted rice, wheat, barley, and corn, before we remade the world. The wolf is a natural hunter. Wolf teeth are designed for hunting. Wolves have stronger molars than dogs, enabling them to crush large bones. Wolves could prey on little children. Dogs, on the other hand, are very friendly and playful towards children. Feral dogs have been known to kill small children and attack adults.
TRAINING According to National Geographic's award-winning show, Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan, humans need to dominate their pet dogs to get them to behave. The logic was that dogs are descended from wolves, and wolves live in hierarchical packs in which the aggressive alpha male rules over everyone else. However, many experts say Millan's philosophy is based on now-debunked animal studies and that some of his techniques - most famously the alpha roll, in which he pins a dog on its back and holds it by the throat are downright cruel.
Experts also suggest that wolves live in nuclear families where the male wolf is like the father and other wolves following the leader of the pack are like children following the lead of their parents. Many people believe they should train their dog as if they are part of a wolf pack.
Most wolf packs consist of a nuclear family of wolves with clearly defined hierarchies and behavior expectations. Domestic dogs are social animals that are most comfortable in a social group with clearly defined hierarchy and behavior expectations. The best way to train a dog is to assume a leadership role and structure a routine around a fair, consistent set of rules. Most healthy wolf packs achieve this with a minimum of physical discipline.
REPRODUCTION Most domestic dogs are sexually mature by the age of 6 to 12 months some large breeds take slightly longer. Wolves reach sexual maturity after two or three years. That's when they leave their pack in search of a mate. Female wolves come into season or heat only once in a year, while domesticated female dogs heat two times a year. Only the alpha female wolf is allowed to breed. There is no such hierarchy or difference amongst dogs.
BEHAVIOR Wolves are social and live in packs. They need fenced yards and constant monitoring. Dogs generally live by themselves, and most need no containment. Wolves are generally more intelligent and more aware of their environment as compared to dogs. But when it comes to sociability, dogs are generally more sociable with animals and sometimes with other pets as well. It is almost impossible to house train a wolf. Dogs, because they are domesticated, can be trained with relative ease to follow commands and perform various tricks.
WOLF BEHAVIOR In the wolf pack, there is a definite hierarchy which is strongly maintained and defended. There is usually only one male and female dominant breeding pair and the rest are arranged in order beneath them. This is similar to how your pack should be - adults first, then children, then dog. Dogs are very conscious of hierarchy and will attempt to find their own place if you do not set this for them. The nature of the cognitive similarities and differences between dogs and wolves is highly relevant to considerations of possible mechanisms for the origin of dogs.
I shall present results which show that wolves possess the potential to match dogs' levels of responding adaptively to human actions if the wolves have been carefully hand-reared by people skilled in raising wild animals. Hand-reared wolves match pet dogs' ability to follow human points to a desired object and to interpret the implications of human gaze being occluded by objects. Thus it is unlikely that dogs' ability to perform well on human-guided tasks is a newly evolved aspect of canine cognition.
However, there are important behavioral differences between dogs and wolves which make it unlikely that wolves served humans in the roles typical of dogs such as hunters' assistants and peoples' pets. These differences include wolves' far more rapid behavioral development, making it very difficult for people to adopt wolf pups, and dogs' reduced effectiveness as hunters, making them more motivated than wolves to accept human assistance in capturing prey. assistance in capturing prey.
DOG & WOLF DIET Although dogs fall under the category of carnivore, they are largely omnivores and can digest a wide variety of foods like vegetables, grains, fruits, plants and meat. Wolves primarily feed off meat and even fish, and attack medium to large sized ungulates with their hunting prowess. In the wolf pack, the dominant wolves will eat first if a kill is made, the rest waiting until after they have finished. For most dogs, dinner time is one of the highlights of their day. Therefore, it is a small but important point that in your home, dogs should be fed last after the family. Similarly titbits should not be given. This can be easily misinterpreted by dogs as being a weakness on your behalf rather than being benevolent. It also saves you from having a dog that sits drooling over visitors when they come to dinner!
SLEEPING PLACE The dominant wolf will choose the safest, warmest place in the territory to sleep. It is usually elevated so that they can look down over the rest of the pack. In your house, you have chosen your bedroom as the best place to sleep. If you allow your dog to sleep there and even worse on or in your bed, you have immediately put him on equal footing with you. Dogs that are made to sleep in the kitchen from day one will have little trouble in accepting this. For similar reasons, it also pays to keep him off the furniture.
DOG & WOLF HAIRCUT and GROOMING Dominant wolves will present themselves to subordinates for grooming, who will lick their faces and generally pay them attention. A dominant wolf would not be approached by a subordinate uninvited - the subordinate would know better than to do so. In order to reinforce your status, it is important to groom your dog every day in the initial period. This applies especially to those with short hair, which are often overlooked. This also gives you the chance to give your dog a quick health check. It also ensures that you will be better able to handle him if he needs veterinary attention. You cannot expect your veterinary surgeon to examine your dog if you cannot.
DOG & WOLF PUPPIES When wolves begin exploring their world they are still blind and deaf. If you have children, it is important that they also follow these guidelines: keep the dog out of the children's bedroom, do not let it take food from them or clear up under a baby's high chair until after the child has eaten. The children should assist you in grooming but this should only be done by them when the dog completely accepts you doing it and children should then only groom the dog under supervision. Assuming the domestic bitch is allowed to rear her young to maturity, her leadership will shape the puppy.
The female wolf has far less room for error than the domestic dog, which has the influence - good or bad, of its associated humans. The results show that on average, wolf and dog puppies develop their sense of smell at 2 weeks of age, their ability to hear by week 4, and their ability to see by 6 weeks.
However, the ability to walk and explore their environment begins at different times. Wolf pups begin walking and exploring at 2 weeks when they are still blind and deaf. Dog puppies don't begin these activities until about week 4. Wolf Pups Begin Exploring the World Before They Can See or Hear - What this means is wolf pups enter the critical period of socialization at two weeks with only their sense of smell to guide and inform them.
DOG & WOLF MENTALITY! Perhaps the biggest difference between a wolf and a dog, and also the thing that causes the most problems when owning a wolf is their mental state. Dogs only develop to the mental stage of a 10 to 30 day old wolf puppy. This means that mentally dogs never become adults, which allows humans to be able to tell a dog what to do because dogs want to please us. This lack of mental maturity also makes dogs more aggressive than wolves, since aggressiveness is many baby animals' natural defense. Wolves reach maturity at 2 to 3 years of age. Up until this point their minds are very much like that of a dog. When wolves do finally reach maturity, they become very independent, and possessive of anything that happens to find its way into their mouth. It is usually at this point that people who own a wolf or a hybrid find that they have an animal they can no longer control.
DOG & WOLF VOICE Dogs cannot howl the way wolves do and wolves cannot bark the way dogs do. Sure wolves have their short warning barks but a he is never seen barking like a dog just because a living creature went by. Wolves howl by themselves to get the attention of their pack, or the pack of wolves will howl to get the attention of another pack, usually to tell them to stay off of their turf! Wolves may also just start howling because another wolf has begun it's contagious.
DOG & WOLF EYES As for the physical attributes, a wolf's eyes are a rich healthy shade of yellow - many may have greenish shades, whereas a dog mainly has brown or blue eyes. Dogs usually don't change their fur color too much whereas in wolves there are drastically change- pups are born black fur with bluish green eyes which change to greyish colors with piercing yellow eyes. Wolves are crepuscular - they are most active at dusk and dawn.
DOG & WOLF HEAD The heads of wolves are bigger because of their larger brains compared to a dog. Their legs and hips are slimmer than that of a dog's, and are somewhat taller. Hence when they run their shoulders and hip are aligned and don't move much. It makes them faster and agile. A dog whereas because of his wider hips goes up and down, his whole body whipping, while he dashes through an open field.
Wolves also have longer snouts and sharp, alert ears as opposed to the attractive floppy ears and round snouts of our darling pets. All in all, it can be said that wolves and dogs are much different than it seems. Adopting a wolf hybrid as a pet is advised than going for a pure wolf breed, wolves are wild and cannot be trained easily the way dogs are. They like to hunt and the lust for a chase can get lethal with them which is not the case with a dog.
DOG & WOLF TEETH Both wolves and dogs have 42 teeth, but wolves have longer canines, which means that they can make quicker work of their prey. But they don't always!
One trait which both the animals share is protectiveness; dogs are protective towards their owner and wolves towards their pack mates. Detailed study of their behavior and physically appearance will bring more interesting contrasts between these two. You can share points of similarity or differences between these kins, in case we missed any.
Dogs are often compared to wolves, especially in marketing campaigns for food companies and in dog training methodologies. But just how similar or different are the two? According to DNA studies, the domestic dog is most closely related to the grey wolf.
There is point-two-percent difference between the DNA of a domestic dog, and the DNA of a grey wolf. The difference between a coyote and domestic dog is higher, at four per cent. There are around 400 modern breeds of domesticated dogs. Dogs are very closely related to wolves, most closely to the gray wolf, as measured by genetic testing.
For many years, dogs were thought to have descended from wolves, but the current thinking is that they share a common ancestor. Regardless, the two species are very closely related, and can even interbreed. I am not sure if any genetic testing has measured "family tree proximity" on a breed by breed basis, but in terms of size, form, and function, some breeds more closely resemble wolves than others.
Pack Leadership Your new dog will have a predetermined view of humans. This will depend on his genetic make-up and his previous experiences with humans. Despite this predetermined view, how you treat him in his first few weeks will make all the difference to the way in which he sees his place in your family hierarchy. The old way to dominate a dog was to beat it into submission. This is tough on the dog and also very difficult for the average pet owner to do. An alternative way is to use the ways that wolves use - the natural way and a method instinctively understood by our dogs. Even if you have had dogs before which have been well behaved, we strongly recommend that you keep to the guidelines for at least the first six months. Domestic dogs have retained 85% of there behaviour from the Wolf.
Living with Wolves It is important that your dog thinks that he is at the bottom of the pack. Suppose your dog is on the sofa and you want him to get off. If he is way below you in the pack he will do so without argument, if he thinks he is on equal terms, you will have to make him and if he considers himself above you he is likely to bite you if you insist because he feels you have no right to tell him what to do. The greater the difference in hierarchy between your dog and yourself, the more respect he will have for you and the more likely he is to comply with your wishes. So setting out the ground rules, right from start is really important even with the more submissive types of dog.
The single most important difference to remember is that, while wolves and dogs are closely related in evolutionary terms, wolves are wild animals. The healthiest wolves are found in the wild, as part of large ecosystems with no human influence. Dogs are inextricably bound to the human condition. The healthiest dogs are part of healthy human households in stable communities. Any attempt to compare behavior or nutritional conditions is fraught with peril due to the extreme, severe differences inherent in these wild vs. domestic settings.
UTILISATION OF POINTING GESTURES In general dogs are very good in understanding human pointing gestures. The comparison of such communicative abillities in socialised canids could help to understand the evolution and epigenesis of pointing gesture in man. The comparison of such communicative abilities in socialized canids could help to understand the evolution and the epigenesis of the gesture comprehension in man. We suggest to re-evalute previous, discrepant opinions about the outstanding performances of dogs and the bad achievments of wolves in the utilisation of human gestures by investigation of dog-wolf differences in a more complexe way.
Method - Results We introduce data concerning performance as well as behaviour of dogs and wolves at different ages in an object test with two possibilities. In this experiment the person shows by a pointing gesture, in which of two buckets a piece of meat is hidden. There were characteristic behaviour differences between the species in each age group. The establishment of eye-contact with the pointing collaborator took longer in wolves, they resisted their handle and the puppies even bit them now and then, until they were able to focus on the gesture.
The performance of comparable hand-raised 8 week old dogs and wolves did not differ when using smiple human gestures, e.g. the close, short-time pointing - distance between bucket and forefinger 15 cm. Anyway, at the test with far-distance, short-time pointing distance between bucket and forefinger 1.5 m.
Anyhow, the 4 month old dog puppies surpassed all hand-raised wolves of the same age. These results show, that an early and intensive socialisation is not enough to reduce differences behaviour and performance between young dogs and young wolves. The success of the adult wolves was accompanied by a higher willingness for cooperation with man.
Conclusion - Significance For the first time we provide evidence, that socialized, adult wolves do as well as adult dogs in reacting to a far-distance, short-time pointing. The age-related delayed utilization of human far-distance, short-time pointing in wolves shows, that these wild canids react to a lower degree on intensive socialization than dogs. These are able early in their development at a test with food to control agonistic behaviour and rather willing to cooperate with man.
The results support our synergistic hypothesis suggesting that positive feedback processes - both evolutionary and ontogenetic enhance the willingness in dogs to pay attention to man and thus create the base for complexe forms of dog-man-communication.
DOG & WOLF TOLERANCE AGGRESSION SKILLS This article proudly presented by WWW.PHYS.ORG and WWW.HNGN.COM and University of Veterinary Medicine (Vienna)
Dogs are regarded as more tolerant and less aggressive compared to their ancestors, the wolves. Researchers from the Messerli Research Institute at the Vetmeduni Vienna question this image. They show in a recent study that wolves interact with conspecifics in an even more tolerant way than dogs, suggesting that dogs have a steeper dominance hierarchy than wolves. The results will be published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
The good relationship between humans and dogs was certainly influenced by domestication. For long, it was assumed that humans preferred particularly tolerant animals for breeding. Thus, cooperative and less aggressive dogs could develop. Recently, however, it was suggested that these qualities were not only specific for human-dog interactions, but characterize also dog-dog interactions. Friederike Range and Zsofia Viranyi from the Messerli Research Institute investigated in their study if dogs are in fact less aggressive and more tolerant towards their conspecifics than wolves. They carried out several behavioural tests on dogs and wolves. The animals were hand-raised in the Wolf Science Center in Ernstbrunn, Lower Austria, and kept in separated packs of wolves and dogs. Range and her colleagues tested nine wolves and eight mongrel dogs.
DOMINANCE HIERARCHY To test how tolerant wolves and dogs are towards their pack members, pairs consisting of a high-ranked and a low-ranked animal were fed together. They were fed either a bowl of raw meat or a large bone. While low-ranked wolves often defended their food against the high-ranked partner and showed aggressive behaviour as often as higher-ranked wolves, this was different in dogs.
Low-ranked dogs held back and accepted the threats of the dominant dog. Overall, however, neither wolves nor dogs showed a lot of aggressive behaviour. If any, they showed threat signs. Wolves seem to be more tolerant towards conspecifics than dogs that seem to be more sensitive to the dominance hierarchy.
This was shown by the fact that also low-ranked wolves can challenge their higher-ranked partners and the dominant animals tolerate it, while in dogs aggression was a privilege of the higher-ranked partners. When humans domesticated wolves, they probably chose the submissive animals that were ready to adjust. Dog-human interactions are more about living together without conflicts, not about equality. Their ability to respect and follow others made dogs the ideal partners of humans. Dogs and wolves are rarely aggressive towards conspecifics. Range draws the following conclusion: Wolves are already very tolerant to their conspecifics. This was shown by the fact that high-ranked wolves accepted the threat behaviours by their lower-ranked conspecifics in the feeding experiment. This tolerance enables wolf-wolf cooperation which in turn could have provided a good basis for the evolution of human-dog cooperation.
Hunting and Predatory Behaviour Another key difference between dogs and wolves is that, despite what many modern-day dog owners still unassumingly believe, dogs are not hunters or predators. Wolves, living wild, seeking and catching their own food are natural predators and possess what we may term a "killer instinct." The very thing that caused certain groups wolves to evolve into domesticated early dogs in the first place, however, is their feeding from human leftovers, following human settlers and raiding the dumps they left behind, evolving into increasingly tame animals who were able to tolerate humans at close proximity. As Alexandra Semyonova explains in The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs, this eliminated the need for dogs to hunt, and they have lost that ability over the years. As evidenced by John Paul Scott and John L. Fuller in Genetics and the Social Behaviour of the Dog, even the largest breeds of dogs have smaller jaws and fewer rows of teeth than wolves, and have lost the drive to hunt and kill prey.
Myths of Pack Mentality Studies of captive wolves have given a false impression of wild-living wolf hierarchies. It is unfortunate that many of the everyday dog owner's understandings of wolf behaviour stem from early research studies involving captive wolves. As Jean Donaldson explains, attempting to study wolf families in captivity is equivalent to making assumptions about human behaviour based on observing the inhabitants of a refugee camp: We cannot expect the behaviour we observe to be representative of that exhibited in a "normal" environment - which, for wolves, is the wild. When caught and kept in captivity for research purposes, wolves do make aggressive challenges in order to maintain or heighten their status within the group. When living free, wolves, as Barry Eaton explains, live in relatively peaceful and co-operative family units. Studies by Raymond and Linda Coppinger have shown that wolves don't even always "pack" It is a survival strategy that they adopt when necessary and, for domesticated modern-day dogs, survival in the wild is not an issue. To further dispel the misconceptions of dogs as pack animals, keen to dominate us and become our leader, Coppinger and Coppinger also conducted extensive studies of feral dogs, noting that even these do not form set packs but, rather, are equally as happy to roam alone or with a casual group of acquaintances, which may change frequently, evidencing a far looser social structure and a willingness to "slot in" to various social situations without the need to assert authority.
Wolves are more tolerant than dogs !!!
DOG & WOLF BREEDING GENETICS This article proudly presented by WWW.SCOLASTIC.COM and WWW.THE ATLANTIC.COM and Stephen Budiansky
Studies of mitochondrial DNA suggest that Dog were probably originally domesticated in China no more than 15 thousand years ago. Wolves (canis lupus), coyotes (canis latrans), and domestic dogs (canis familiaris) are closely-related species. All three can interbreed and produce viable, fertile offspring - wolfdogs, coywolves, and coydogs.
Another study of Mitochondria DNA previously suggested that domestication occurred as much as 125,000 years ago due to the fact that dogs possess sequences not present in the wolf. Multiple and ancient origins of the domestic dog. Science 276:1687-1689. Vila, C. et al. 1997.
CANINE GENETICS Recent explorations into the field of canine genetics are changing the way we think about man's best friend: "man's best parasite" may be more like it and could help us repair the damage done by a century of inbreeding. THE starting point for this scientific reconsideration of matters canine is an extremely modest effort, colloquially known as the Dog Genome Project. In scale it is nothing like the Human Genome Project, a $3 billion federally sponsored program to map every gene in the human body.
The dog project will cost a few million dollars, with a lot of the funding coming from private breed clubs that want to develop genetic tests for inborn diseases that their particular breeds are susceptible to. The behavior doesn't necessarily depend on the percent wolf in the hybrid. Two hybrids from the same litter can be the same percent wolf on paper but can inherit a different combination of genes so that one is high in wolf content and the other is very dog-like.
A further confounding factor is that because adding the words "wolf hybrid" increases the value of a dog, a huge percentage of the wolf hybrids out there are actually just mixed breeds. Finding genes that cause this or that ailment is what most people think of when they think about gene mapping and genetic research, and pinpointing the causes of inborn diseases is certainly one of the obvious and direct payoffs that will come from a better understanding of the dog genome. But the genes an individual carries are more than a personal health chart.
They are also a logbook of the evolutionary voyage of the species. The dog's journey through the past 100,000 years in the company of man has left distinctive markers in the genes of the dog population. Just as an archaeologist can deduce nonmaterial attributes of a long-vanished civilization and its social hierarchies, superstitious beliefs, trading patterns from its material remains, so geneticists can deduce much about the history, evolution, and social ecology of a species from the patterns that all those forces have etched into its genes.
Merely getting to the point where scientists can make a serious study of the dog genome has required something of a breakthrough in the culture of science. For years science has maintained a rather aloof stance toward domestic animals in general, and toward dogs in particular. Traditionally, zoologists have considered domestic animals to be uninteresting, and have generally classed them as "degenerates" are unworthy of ecological scrutiny because they have lost their adaptive behaviors. Veterinary medicine aside, it is as if molecular genetics and the other great advances of twentieth-century science had simply bypassed the dog.
DOG EYES Dog's eye color varies, they can have white, blue, brown and yellow shaded eyes. Like, Siberian husky, Alaskan malamute has blue eyes. White eyes are very rare for dogs, Louisiana Leopard hound, Indian Rajapalayam are some rare examples, Some dogs from these breeds have whitish eyes. Yellow and brown color are common for most of the dogs.
WOLF EYES The wolf has small eyes of varying shades of yellow color. Blue or black eyes of wolves is considered as a genetic default. Coyote, Jackals and Fox eye Color Coyote a jackal and Fox, all three can have yellow and brown eyes. With varying shades of light and dark color- depending on climates.
DOG NAILS All the animals of Canidea Family have very similar paw shape, it is not easy to distinguish between their paw track print. Paw print size is another way to identify their track. Even some bigger dog's paw size is almost same like wolf and coyotes and smaller size dogs has a same size track print like foxes and jackals. To identify them, you need to analyse their paw size and pattern both that may provide an accurate track.
PAW TRACK ANALISYS Dog vs wolves track: Track of wolves, has marked for two big bloated front toes. Dogs have smaller and or rounded shape track.
Wolf vs fox track: Wolves and foxes have comparatively more gap, in between nails and toes. And usually they leaves nails print on the ground. Such figure provides them an improved balance at run and make a strong grip with ground.
Coyote and Fox track print Vs Wolves vs Dogs track: Coyote and fox will leave separate marking for nails, whether wolf's nail print will be adjoined with toe prints. And dogs usually doesn't leave nails print.
DOG EARS Dogs ears shape extensively varies, depending upon their breed. They can have naturally erected or hanging ears, also their size can vary very widely. The coyote has medium, outside straight ears. Jackal and foxes have moderately broad, bigger and erected ears.
WOLF, COYOTE, JACKAL, FOX EARS Which is a major difference with all other members of canidae family. The wolf has small, straight upward erected ears.
Dogs are the descendants of wolves and are classified as a subspecies of the grey wolf. Recent genetic studies, however, have shown that dogs descend from an extinct genus that diverged from modern-day grey wolves about 40,000 years ago. Because of their close genetic similarity, dogs and wolves share many physical traits.
Though they have some differences, like wolves have longer muzzles and a broader skull. That help them to take down larger prey. Wolves have physically larger brains. Wolves are much larger than coyotes and doesn't have a broader muzzle like wolves, but they have very similar and broad skull like wolves. Pointed muzzle of the coyote is a major difference from wolves.
FOX Compared to other canid of their family, foxes are slighter and weak. Also, they do not have strong muzzle and skull like other members.
BREEDING ISSUES SO why are there so many canine misfits around these days? If dogs domesticated themselves, if they have evolved their way into a cozy place in human society by instinctively ingratiating themselves, if they have learned behaviors that elicit a friendly response and play on our preprogrammed sympathies, then why are the veterinary journals full of case reports like this one?
Aggression is of course part of the dog psyche. Young dogs, particularly males, do frequently test the dominance status of higher-ranking males. Some other specific behavioral problems reflect innate propensities that have simply become incompatible with modern urban life. And of course some dog behavioral problems are owner problems. Because dogs are so good at picking up on social signals, our psychological failings readily affect the way our pets act.
There is also a marked tendency, noted by dog breeders and veterinarians alike, for expectations and realities to clash, because members of an increasingly urban society do not always know what they are getting themselves into when they bring a high-energy herding or hunting dog into their lives. But there are several reasons to think that canine aggression and other behavioral problems as they exist today are not a "normal" part of the evolved relationship. Nor are they merely the result of individual owners' personality traits. Over the course of 100,000 years there should have been a considerable amount of selectio, even if it was largely unwitting against aggressive dogs.
Studies of urban dogs found that strays were only a third as likely as owned dogs to exhibit aggression toward people when approached. Most wolves are not really aggressive either. There is only one "alpha," or dominant, male in a pack. Most wolves, and most dogs, are not alpha in the natural scheme of things. Genetic markers imply that up until a century or so ago people did successfully develop many highly distinctive varieties of dogs. Everything from lap dogs to attack dogs, bird dogs to sled dogs without a loss of overall genetic diversity, and without a rise in physical or behavioral abnormalities. The evidence also suggests that the problems that have arisen are less a direct consequence of deliberate breeding practice, as is usually alleged, than a largely avoidable side effect of it.
Historically, dogs were mostly categorized by general type. As Wayne's genetic data show, interbreeding and a flow of genes on a worldwide scale was continuing even as this segregation into types was taking place. The types were distinct in both physical appearance and behavior. They clearly had been selected with specific human aims in mind. Genetic data confirm that the past century of dog breeding has produced some extremely inbred animals. The real source of genetic trouble in many breeds is not so much that dogs are being bred for looks or to meet other narrow criteria as that the breed has relatively few founders.
One strikingly counterintuitive conclusion of modern genetic studies is that the worst way to correct these mistakes of the past is to weed the carriers of genetic diseases out of the breeding population. The central fallacy of the racist view of eugenics was embodied in the claim that purity is genetically invigorating. The key is not to cull the carriers that is, animals that possess just one defective gene and so don't exhibit the ailment, but, rather, never to breed two carriers. Clearly, dog breeders are becoming far more sophisticated in their understanding of genetics and more forthright in facing up to inbred problems that just a few years ago they tended to disregard.
Defiant of human fashion and whim, selected only in accordance with the ancient evolutionary dictate that demands nothing more than an ability to get along with rather gullible human beings, mutts are really what dogs are about. If worst comes to worst, perhaps they will set us straight, just as their ancestors so ably did, at least for 99,900 of the past 100,000 years.
What exactly is a wolf-dog hybrid? Simply put it is a cross between a captive wolf and a domestic dog. A wolfdog, also called a wolf-dog hybrid or wolf hybrid is a canid hybrid resulting from the hybridization of a domestic dog (Canis lupus familiaris) to one of four other Canis sub-species, the gray (Canis lupus), eastern timber (Canis lycaon), red (Canis rufus), and Ethiopian wolves (Canis simensis).
WOLFDOG DESCRIPTION Intra-hybridization between dogs and other subspecies of gray wolves are the most common wolfdogs since dogs and gray wolves are considered the same species, are genetically very close, and have shared vast portions of their ranges for millennia. Such hybridization in the wild have been detected in many populations scattered throughout Europe and North America, usually occurring in areas where wolf populations have declined from human impacts and persecutions. At the same time, hybrids are also often bred in captivity for various purposes.
Inter-hybridization of dogs and two other North American wolf species have also occurred historically in the wild, although it is often difficult for biologists to discriminate the dog genes in the eastern timber and red wolves from the gray wolf genes also present in these wolf species due to their historical overlaps with North American gray wolves as well as with coyotes, both of which have introgressed into the eastern timber and red wolf gene pools.
At the same time, because many isolated populations of the three wolf species in North America have also mixed with coyotes in the wild, it has been speculated by some biologists that some of the coywolf hybrids in the northeastern third of the continent may also have both coydogs and wolfdogs in their gene pool. Hybrids between dogs and Ethiopian wolves discovered in the Ethiopian Highlands likely originated from past interactions between free-roaming feral dogs and Ethiopian wolves living in isolated areas.
The term "wolfdog" is preferred by most of the animals' proponents and breeders because the domestic dog was taxonomically recategorized in 1993 as a subspecies of Canis lupus. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the United States Department of Agriculture refer to the animals as wolf-dog hybrids. Recognized wolfdog breeds by FCI are the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog and the Saarloos Wolfdog.
Prehistoric wolfdogs Evidence for prehistoric domesticated wolfdogs in the Americas dates back at least 10,000 years while fossil evidence in Europe points to their use in hunting mammoths.
Teotihuacan wolfdogs In 2010, experts announced that they had found the remains of many wolf-dogs that had been kept by the warrior class of the Teotihuacan civilization in Mexico's central valley about two thousand years ago, and that, in light of this evidence, certain animals commonly depicted in the art of that culture, which had been thought to be strange dogs or coyotes, were likely instead wolf-dogs.
North American Gray Wolf-Dog In 1998, the USDA estimated an approximate population of 300,000 wolfdogs in the United States - the highest of any country world-wide, with some other sources giving a population possibly as high as 500,000. In first-generation hybrids, gray wolves are most often crossed with wolf-like dogs, such as German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, and Alaskan Malamutes, for an appearance most appealing to owners desiring an exotic pet. Purebred Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies are not wolves, or part-wolves, were not bred from wolves, and these breeds were not developed by breeding to wolves anytime recently that is a separate animal called a wolf-dog. Based on studies by Dr. Robert Wayne at UC Berkeley, sled dogs are no more closely related to wolves than Chihuahuas. There is very little genetic difference between any dog and any wolf, coyote, or jackal, etc., so little, in fact, that genetic tests cannot tell how much wolf is in deliberately bred wolf-dogs. The domesticated canines and their wild cousins CAN interbreed. However, pedigrees on Malamutes and Siberians are available back ~20 generations -to the early 1930s at least, and these dogs are not wolf crosses - Malamutes are Malamutes, Siberians are Siberians.
British wolfdogs Wolfdogs, as illustrated in The Menageries: Quadrupeds Described and Drawn from Living Subjects by W. Ogilby, 1829. The first record of wolfdog breeding in Great Britain comes from the year 1766 when what is thought was a male wolf mated with a dog identified in the language of the day as a "Pomeranian", although it may have differed from the modern Pomeranian breed. The union resulted in a litter of nine pups. Wolfdogs were occasionally purchased by English noblemen, who viewed them as a scientific curiosity. Wolfdogs were popular exhibits in British menageries and zoos.
MODERN WOLFDOGS Wolf Dog hybrids are bred to be a companion and pet. Currently, at least seven breeds of dog exist that acknowledge a significant amount of recent wolf-dog hybridization in their creation. One breed is the "wolamute", aka "malawolf", a cross between an Alaskan Malamute and a timber wolf. Four breeds were the result of intentional crosses with German Shepherds - one of the original intentionally bred wolf-dog crossbreeds, and have distinguishing characteristics of appearance that may reflect the varying subspecies of wolf that contributed to their foundation stock. Other, more unusual crosses have occurred; recent experiments in Germany were conducted in the crossing of wolves and Poodles. The intent behind creating the breeds has ranged widely from simply the desire for a recognizable companion high-content wolfdog to professional military working dogs. Typical examples include: German Shepherds, The Saarloos wolfdog, The Czechoslovakian Wolfdog, The Lupo Italiano, The Hierran Wolfdog, The Kunming wolfdog.
HEALTH OF WOLFDOG Wolf-dog hybrids are generally said to be naturally healthy animals, and are affected by fewer inherited diseases than most breeds of dog. Wolfdogs are usually healthier than either parent due to heterosis. Some of the established breeds of wolfdog that exist today were bred specifically to improve the health and vigor of working dogs. There is some controversy over the effectiveness of the standard dog/cat rabies vaccine on a wolfdog. The USDA has not to date approved any rabies vaccine for use in wolf-dog hybrids, though they do recommend an off-label use of the vaccine. Wolfdog owners and breeders purport that the lack of official approval is a political move to prevent condoning wolfdog ownership.
TEMPERAMENT & BEHAVIOR The temperament of a Wolf Dog hybrid can vary depending on the percentages of Wolf versus domestic dog used in its creation. It is important to acquire a Wolfdog from a reputable experienced breeder. Wolf-dog hybrids are a mixture of genetic traits, which results in less predictable behavior patterns compared to either the wolf or dog. The adult behavior of hybrid pups also cannot be predicted with comparable certainty to dog pups, even in 3rd-generation pups produced by wolfdog mating with dogs or from the behavior of the parent animals.
Thus, though the behavior of a single individual wolf hybrid may be predictable, the behavior of the type as a whole is not. The majority of high wolf-content hybrids are very curious and are generally no more destructive than any other curious or active dogs. A wolf's behavior is typically more socially shy and timid toward humans than that of a dog. Due to the variability inherent to their hybridization, whether a wolf-dog cross should be considered more dangerous than a dog depends on behavior specific to the individual alone rather than to wolfdogs as a group.
WOLFDOG TRAINABILITY AND OBEDIENCE Wolf Hybrids are extremely intelligent animals that can be trained with consistent reward based training methods. The Wolf Dog hybrid does not respond well to forceful training methods due to its sensitive natural. The view that aggressive characteristics are inherently a part of wolfdog temperament has been contested in recent years by wolfdog breeders and other advocates of wolfdogs as pets.
Proponents of wolfdogs as pets say that the higher wolf-content animals are naturally timid and fearful of humans, but that with proper human association, training, and responsible ownership nearly all wolfdogs can become good companions, especially if their association and training begins at an early age. Even in cases of wolfdogs displaying consistently dog-like behavior, they may occasionally retain some wolf-like behavior such as digging dens, chewing up household items, climbing fences, and, to varying degrees, displaying some difficulty in housebreaking in relation to how high their wolf genetic content is. Low wolf-content wolfdogs rarely have these problems any more strongly or significantly than any other large-breed dog.
OTHER WOLFDOG CHARACTERISTICS Wolf Dog hybrids have a sensitive disposition. Wolf Hybrids are generally good-natured and entertaining. Wolf Hybrids are however inquisitive independent thinkers that can be rather aloof especially with strangers. Wolf dogs or Wolf hybrids mature slowly and do not reach physical maturity until 3 years of age. Wolfdogs are renowned for their heightened senses. Wolf hybrids have amazing eyesight along with remarkable hearing and and acute sense of smell. Like the Wolf, Wolf Dog hybrids are very athletic and are capable of lightning speed and great endurance.
Weight: - Female Wolf Hybrids typically weigh 70 - 100 pounds. Male Wolfdogs are generally larger than females Wolfdogs and weigh between 80 - 125 pounds at maturity.
Height: - Adult male Wolf Dog hybrids are generally 26 - 33 inches at the shoulders. Female Wolf Dog hybrids are a bit smaller and usually are 25 - 32 inches tall that the withers.
Coat: - The coat of a Wolf hybrid is usually heavy and dense.
Color: - Wolf Dog hybrids come in a variety of colors. The most common colors for Wolf Hybrids are a grizzled sable (agouti), white or black phased. The coloration of all Wolf Hybrids should be well blended.
Children & Pets Compatibility: - A Wolf Dog hybrid's large size and high-energy level do not make it a good choice for families with smaller children. Wolfdogs or Wolf hybrids can do well with other dogs when properly socialized at a very young age and raised together. Wolfdogs are not recommended with smaller sized pets especially cats.
Activity Level - Wolf Hybrids typically have a high-energy level and require adequate mental stimulation and exercise. Wolf Hybrids do not do well when confined to the indoors the majority of the time. A Wolf Dog hybrid requires a large properly fenced yard where the animal can run and romp.
Life Expetance - The average life expectancy for a Wolf Hybrid is 12 - 15 years.
The breed and line/genetics of the dog involved is important. Particularly with lows and mids. You may have difficulty finding someone who uses quality dogs, let alone accurately represented wolf!
The breed of dog in the mix is largely up to personal preference, although you do want to stay away from breeds that tend to be overly human or dog aggressive - such as chows, pitbull or any other terriers, akitas, or any of the dogs intended for fighting, livestock guarding, or home defense.
Bear in mind, when choosing a pup, that both aggression & extreme shyness are due in part to genetics. If her parents are terrified of you, or growling and charging you through the fence, she may be the same way. Is this something you are willing to risk? Things like hip dysplaysia and eye defects are also genetic - the parents should be screened for any hereditary diseases that the dog breeds involved are susceptible to.
Doglike aggression combined with the wolf's intensity, reflexes, and physical prowess is a bad recipe! Most breeders also avoid breeds that are not at all wolflike in appearance, after all, even a first generation wolf/lab or wolf/poodle looks far less wolflike than a pure bred malamute dog! All wolfdogs can be wonderful friends, whether they are 10% or 98%. "Wolf Content", or the approximate amount of wolf genes evident in an animal, is a useful way to give an idea of what the animal will look and act like the same way that knowing a domestic dog's breed is useful.
Low content wolfdogs - no matter their supposed "percentage" on paper, make much better "pets" in the conventional sense. Low contents have many advantages: They are usually better in the house, if you were wanting a full-time house dog. More likely to enjoy car rides, visiting your friends/family, walks around downtown, therapy dog or agility work, or any of the other things that high contents are often averse to. Low contents are normally less timid than highs, and make better "All-Around dogs". It's easier to break your vet in to wd's with a low content, than a high. It's also easier to avoid mentioning your wolfdog's heritage, if need be, until you find a vet who accepts them or teach YOUR vet that they are not "wild animals".
High content wolfdogs - True "high content" animals are virtually identical to a pure wolf, in both looks and behaviour. These guys are indescribably fascinating to watch and interact with. Their intelligence & perceptiveness is off the scale, as is their creativity and ability to get whatever it is they are interested in. That includes opening doors, windows, & the fridge. Wolves play roughly with each other, but are normally gentle and affectionate with their humans if properly raised. The biggest difference between wolves and dogs, behaviourally, is the intensity, awareness, and reactivity if the interaction. Wolves are more "hardwired" to act on external stimuli, dogs have had this suppressed & selectively bred out of them for thousands of years. The amount of wolf in your animal will determine which end of this scale she leans towards. Wolves truly have a mind of their own, their well thought out conclusion on a given situation matters more to them than yours does, and that's something that needs to be considered and accommodated to some extent.
Wolves have captured our imaginations in fairytales, movies and folklore throughout human history. The similarity of the species to domestic dogs can tempt us to try cross-breeding them with the wild wolf, but the results are frequently disappointing. We must keep in mind that there is a world of difference in that tiny fraction of DNA that separates dogs from wolves - about 1% in the case of the former, versus nearly 2% in the case of humans and apes. The more wolf in a hybrid, the wilder the animal! Socializing a dog with a human or a horse only takes 90 minutes of introduction between the ages of four and eight weeks. After that, a dog usually has little fear of humans.
Training wolf mixes can be very different than dog training, depending on "content level," which refers to how much wolf is in the hybrid. A high content wolf-dog is mostly wolf with a small amount of dog, and a low content wolf-dog is mostly dog with a small amount of wolf. A mid-content wolf-dog, then, would be about the same on both sides. Low and mid content wolf-dogs can be trained like any standard or mixed breed dog. Wolves develop faster than dogs, relying on nothing but their sense of smell in the early stages of puppyhood, while they are still blind and deaf.
As each new sense emerges, they are initially shocked and afraid of the new stimuli. These significant, development-related differences in dog and wolf pups' experiences put them on distinctly different trajectories in relation to the ability to form interspecies social attachments, notably with humans. With a wolf pup achieving even close to the same fear reduction requires 24-hour contact starting before age three weeks, and even then you won't get the same attachment or lack of fear. Many experts agree that wolf-dogs are not ideal pets for everyone.
GENDER Gender is another thing entirely up to personal preference, if this is your only dog. Some folks do better with one sex or the other. Female dogs supposedly listen better to men. Female wolfdogs do tend to be more submissive/"softer" critters and may be somewhat easier to raise. Intact males are often grouchy and disagreeable during the fall & winter months, so consider that also. Intact males love to spray, but higher content intact female wolfdogs are reputed to spray as well. Some people find males to be calmer and less "clingy", and get along better with other dogs. Females, in general, are more likely to get into same-sex fights and do more damage.
Males are more inclined to stop at posturing. Keep in mind that this is all based just on various folks' experiences, and all dogs are different, so your experiences with dogs in the past should guide this choice. If you have other dogs/wolfdogs at home, that should be your primary factor: it is advisable to get an animal of the opposite gender as your current one. In a multi-dog household, have a backup plan/extra containment if, one day, two of your same-sex animals no longer get along.
EPIDEMIC Having a wolfdog appeals to many because of the belief that these animals are the "best" of both worlds. They will have the beauty and looks of a wolf, but the temperament and personality of a loving, doting dog. The desire to own one of these illustrious animals has increased their demand and led many to try and breed them. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to tell how many wolf hybrids are being kept as pets at any given time because some people who have legitimate wolf hybrids choose to register them as Husky, Malamute, or Shepherd mix, to avoid legal issues.
Some who claim they have a wolfdog actually have a mix of dog breeds that end up having similar characteristics to a wolf. Without knowledge of the animal's lineage, there is no way to tell if the dog is a wolf hybrid or not. Experts familiar with phenotypic traits of wolves are the best at making educated guesses as to an animal's background. But it is still guesswork. The issue occurs when a dog who is thought to have wolf genes ends up in a shelter. These animals are considered inherently dangerous, so many shelters do not want the liability of adopting them out and they end up being euthanized. A fraction of these dogs may end up in sanctuaries specifically designed for wolves and wolf hybrids.
We do not recommend that the Average Pet Owner keep a predatory carnivore as a pet, whether it's a wolf, a lion, a bear or crocodile - even if they have been socialized or tamed for generations. We also do not recommend the average pet owner keep a wolf-dog as a pet. Both wolves and wolf-dogs require expert care and facilities and the AVERAGE PET OWNER is unable to provide either.
Wolves and wolf-dogs are not marauding killers, they do not carry children off into the forest and murder them, and they do not disguise themselves as Grandma and hide under the bed covers. But with the average pet owner they can be socially shy, aggressive, and "unpredictable" this last is generally due to ignorance on the part of the owner on the differences between wolf behavior and dog behavior. Many people exaggerate the wolf-content of their wolf-dogs in a sort of macho arrogance. Unethical breeders often flat-out lie about wolf-content to boost the price of their "cubs."
GENERAL TIPS Wolf dogs should not be owned in a city. They should be kept in rural areas. They need a large enclosure, and HC wolves will get nervous and scared in busy environments.
Understand that wolves and dogs are very, very different. Certain breeds, such as Huskies and German Shepherds, are more similar to wolves than others, but they are still completely different animals. Don't get a wolf just because you've owned dogs and assume they'll be the same.
Educate yourself about wolves further than wolf care. You need to know the facts about how wolves act, live, and exist in the wild.
Obedience training is essential. Your wolf dog should be taught to follow you, not his or her instincts. This can be very difficult, another reason why only experienced dog owners should own a wolf.
Make sure the wolf has a lot of space to roam around. They can get very stressed in a small place.
No matter how docile a wolf is, it will never be completely tame. Even a wolf hybrid, depending on his wolf ancestry percentage, can have wild instincts.
Wolves can be domesticated. You cannot act "Alpha". These animals will make you earn their love, trust, and respect. Check all local laws and don't jump head-first into something you know nothing about. Even a low content wolf-dogs can be a challenge for people with no northern breed experience.
However, there are many people who have had exactly the opposite experience. Their animals were pets from the beginning, carefully bred for temperament, well socialized, obedience trained, and housed in special facilities, not your average neighborhood, 4', chain-link, yard fence. These owners researched wolf behavior, prepared their containment facility, and were aware that they had an animal on their place that required careful handling.
They are NOT the Average Pet Owner. They do not leave children alone with their pets, and they do not allow them to rampage through the neighborhood trash cans and cat population - good policy for any pet owner. They can be a good pet, but only with a lot of work and a lot of knowledge. Before you go buy a wolf or wolf dog hybrid, do your homework and make sure you understand all that goes into taking care of these animals.
1. Know what a wolf hybrid is. A wolf hybrid, also called a wolf dog, is an exotic animal that is a mixture of a domesticated dog and a wild wolf. Most consider an animal a wolf hybrid if they have a pure wolf ancestor. This wolf should be at the most 5 generations back to be considered a wolf hybrid. They are scary dogs but can be cute if trained well. However, consider why do you feel the need to own a wild animal in a domesticated setting. They are mostly considered companions instead of pets. Low Content (LC) hybrids only contain 1-49% wolf content. Mid Content (MC) hybrids contain 50-74% wolf content. High Content (HC) hybrids are 75%+ wolf. HC hybrids are almost indistinguishable from a pure wolf. They may only contain 1-3 dog traits. While a LC hybrid won't act like a dog, they are better for someone new to wolf dogs. They are more outgoing, easier to train, though they still have the wolf stubbornness and independence.
2. Investigate your local laws. Wolf ownership is not legal everywhere. In the United States, the legality of owning a wolf varies from state the state. Some states completely ban private ownership, some ban only certain exotic animals, others require a license, and others have no laws. Look up your state, region, or country's laws to make sure it is legal for you to own this type of animal. Some states allow up to 98% wolf; others draw the line at 75%, 25%, or "no first generation crosses".
3. Consider the price. Wolves and wolf hybrids are not cheap. They average around $1500 and can go over $2000. This is more expensive than most purebred dogs. Decide if that is the kind of money you would like to spend on an animal. There is no way to prove the animal's pedigree. Experts at Wolfdog Rescue Resources, Inc. state that over half of the wolf hybrids being kept actually possess no wolf DNA. Other experts claim that the majority of wolf dog breeders are selling hybrids that actually are only dogs. When buying a wolf or wolf dog, make sure to get it checked out by an expert if at all possible. This can save you from dropping thousands of dollars on a fake.
4. Remember: Wolves are not domesticated animals! Dogs have been bred to be submissive and to assist humans; they have been bred to be pets. This process has taken 10,000 years. Wolves, on the other hand, have spent the last 10,000 years being wild. Though people keep wolves as pets when they have raised them from a puppy, they are still instinctual animals that can't completely be tamed. Do not take a wolf from the wild. If you are interested in owning a wolf, do not get one from the wild. Instead, adopt one from a wolf sanctuary. Taking wolves out of the wild can be very dangerous and might end in injury or even death.
5. Talk to an expert. If you are still interested in owning a wolf or wolf hybrid, visit a wolf sanctuary. Many sanctuaries have both wolves and wolf dogs that you can observe. Before getting one of these exotic animals, talk to an expert at the sanctuary. They can help answer your questions, give you more information, and help you understand the responsibility that goes into owning a wolf or wolf dog. Try finding wolf and wolf dog owners in your area. Contact them and arrange a meeting. They can be a valuable source of information since they own an exotic animal. Some of these sanctuaries rescue wolf hybrids and may let you adopt one from them.
6. Train the wolf. You cannot get away with buying a wolf or wolf hybrid and hoping it will figure out how to be a good pet. Wolves are not dogs. They need a lot of training to become suitable as a companion, which takes a lot of time and effort on the owner's part. These animals are cunning and extremely intelligent. They pose a much greater challenge than dogs. Some wolf hybrids are docile, while others are essentially wild. If you don't have the patience or time to train and care for the wolf, don't get one. If you have never owned and trained a dog, do not attempt to get a wolf or wolf hybrid. Many owners who aren't prepared for their wolf or wolf dog end up either dropping them off at sanctuaries, which are already overcrowded, or taking them to the animal shelter where they will likely be put to sleep. Letting them go into the wild almost guarantees they will die. Adopting a wolf then getting rid of it does irreparable harm to the wolf. Since they are pack animals, being split from their home and pack can cause the wolf to get extreme anxiety and even fall ill.
7. Know that affection might be confused with aggression. Wolves show affection differently than dogs. Sometimes this affection can be confused with aggression. Wolves greet each other with affection, but since they can't give hugs, they use their mouths. Wolves will chew on pack-mates' faces in greeting or as affection. Wolves may do this to people, too. Most of the time, the wolf will approach you, touch its nose to yours, and then lick your teeth. However, if you get scared and pull away, the wolf will grab your face with its teeth to bring you back so it can greet you and show its affection. Wolves love small children, but they might get excited, jump on them, and try to carry them with their teeth by the head or arm. This could cause injury to the child when the wolf was only showing affection. These demonstrations of affection can easily be confused for attacks.
8. Build the proper living conditions. Wolves like to roam, and they will hop fences, break off chains, and dig their way out of yards. This can be very dangerous, because the wolf might be mistaken for a wild wolf or coyote and be shot. Or it might kill neighbors' livestock or pets. Never let the wolf roam free. LC and some MC wolves can exist in a normal fence without breaking free. MC and HC wolves are most likely to try to break free. They need 6-8 feet fencing, along with other security measures. The fence cannot have any footholds for the wolf to climb because they can climb out of fenced in enclosures. You also need to dig-proof the area you will keep the animal in. Some LC will break free while some HC will stay in the fence. It depends on how bad the animal wants to be free, how bored they are, and how much outside the fence excites them. A large fenced in enclosure is ideal. Wolves and wolf dogs need a lot of room to run and play.
9. Socialize the wolf dog. Wolves are social, pack animals, so they require canine companionship. Just as important is socializing your wolf or wolf dog to people and places at a very young age. This starts training the wolf or wolf dog to be around people in a domesticated setting. The wolf dog needs to be taken from its mother at 2 weeks old and bottle fed. They need to immediately start being socialized to both male and female humans so they will be used to humans for the rest of their life. Wolves need another canine for companionship and to meet their emotional needs. You need to place the wolves with another canine of the opposite sex around the same size. This ensures the wolf or wolf dog will not be lonely.
10. Become the Alpha. You have to be the Alpha of your wolf. When the animal is a puppy, start training them to submit on cue. This doesn't mean that the adult will always submit - wolves are very independent and self-assured. But the wolf or wolf dog will know you are the Alpha and the one in charge. While training the pup, never hit, bite, shout, or pin or shake the puppy by the scruff. Wolf parents don't punish their pups for chewing and biting. They are very tolerant parents. Try to refrain from physically dominating the wolf, because this could damage the relationship.
11. Feed them the right food. Wolves exist on a meat diet. Pure wolves and HC hybrids won't be able to exist on dry dog food. Most wolves and wolf hybrids eat 2-5 pounds of meat daily. Venison is great for wolves. You can feed them fresh road-kill deer, but this requires a permit.
12. Provide entertainment for the wolves. Wolves can get very bored, which could result in them breaking free from their enclosure to find stimulation. Build things inside their enclosure area to keep them active, like platforms. Wolves need to be mentally stimulated on a regular basis. Make sure there are trees around and use old logs to hide treats inside. Another good idea is providing swimming areas, like water troughs, swimming pools, creeks, or ponds, for them to lay in and to dig inside. Sandboxes or dirt piles are great for them to dig in. Leash train them as pups so you can take them out on a leash. You should use two leashes when you walk them - one on the collar or harness, the other a slip leash. You should walk them every day.
13. Make sure you have available veterinarian care. Most vets don't know how to care for wolves or wolf dogs. Many will even refuse to provide treatment on these types of canines. Make sure to find a vet who will care for your wolf before you purchase one.
A few subtle differences exist between wolf tracks and dog tracks, but they're similar enough that they can be difficult to distinguish. In fact, Western Wildlife Outreach, a wildlife conservation organization, says it is impossible to identify tracks as belonging to wolves or dogs with 100 percent certainty. To help distinguish between these closely related canines, investigate the size of the tracks, the spacing of the tracks and the path they take. Geography and other factors may help you distinguish between tracks made by the two animals.
PAW SHAPE Both wolves and dogs produce four-toed, oval-shaped tracks. While both are largely similar in gross appearance, one difference is sometimes visible: The middle toes of domestic dogs are slightly larger than the lateral toes are, whereas the four front toes of wolves are the same size. Dogs often drag their toenails when walking, which produces slightly messier tracks than the often-pristine tracks of wolves. It can be impossible to distinguish a large dog from a wolf from a single track. Instead, if possible look for the pattern of the trail left by the animal.
Dogs' pattern of walking reflects their domestic lifestyle. They do not rely on stealth, and tend to walk erratically. Their hind foot tracks seldom register within their forefoot tracks. They may also approach strange objects directly. Wolves on the other hand, tend to walk more directly when travelling. Their trails reflect this, as the track of the hind foot is placed within or directly in front of the forefoot. Wolves will also approach strange objects cautiously, often circling widely to investigate rather than approaching directly.
The best way to determine if wolves are present is to find their tracks. Wolf tracks are fairly easy to pick out, as they can be more than twice as big as a coyote's. They can sometimes be confused with the tracks of large dogs, but the key is in how they walk. Whether it's on a packed trail, or through deep snow, a wolf wastes very little energy while traveling. Their tracks are nearly always in a straight line, with the left and right paws only slightly offset, usually 6 inches or less. Compared to wolves, dogs walk like they are drunk.
Their tracks are distinctly scattered, and often appear more "wandering." Also, even on hard trails, dogs tend to drag their toes when they walk, whereas wolves generally leave a cleaner stride. In deep snow, distinct tracks are rarely visible. Look for a narrow trail with in-line footprints. When a pack runs through deep snow, they usually step in the same tracks as the wolf in front of them, which leaves even more pronounced prints. Also, you can usually see where their bodies have pushed a trail through the snow. The way they travel often makes it tough to determine how many are in a pack.
PAW SIZE The tracks of wolves are usually larger than the tracks made by dogs. The average wolf track is about 4 inches long and 4 inches wide. While that's not an infallible method for distinguishing between the two, the majority of tracks measuring longer than 4 inches belong to wolves, not dogs. However, some very large dogs may produce tracks of about this size.
ROUTING PATHS Dogs often wander about widely, nonchalantly traveling from one interesting smell to the next. By contrast, wolves seek to maximize their energy efficiency and move with a purpose. These behavioral differences can manifest in the tracks of the two canids. Whereas wolf tracks typically occur in nearly straight lines between resource patches, dog tracks may meander about wildly. Wolves usually travel single-file. In deep snow, each one may place his feet in the tracks left by the wolf in front of him.
GALT-RELATED CLUES The stride length of wolves is much longer than that of dogs, but because stride length varies with the pace of the animal and such factors as the grade of the land, it is not always a good diagnostic criterion. Trackers distinguish wolf tracks from dog tracks by noting that wolves "single-track": Their hind feet prints fall on top of their front prints. By contrast, dogs have proportionally wider chests than wolves do, which causes their rear feet to fall beside, rather than on top of the prints made by the front paws. Additionally, the left and right tracks are often less than 6 inches apart from each other.
SOCIAL CLUES Take every possible piece of evidence into account when examining unknown tracks, besides the details of the prints, consider other clues that may inform your conclusion. First, consider the geography of the area - wolves live in only a few locations south of the U.S. - Canada border, including parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. Additionally, the habitat should provide some clues, as wolves seldom dwell in suburban or urban areas, preferring vast wilderness. By contrast, coyotes and dogs are common in human-altered habitats.
RISK-TAKING COMPARISON: DOGS vs WOLVES This article proudly presented by WWW.THEBARK.COM and Karen B
Humans tend to be risk-averse, which is often illustrated by our decision when offered either $100 or the opportunity for a 50-50 shot at receiving either $200 or nothing. In general, humans go for the sure thing. We are not, as a species, risk-prone, or we would gamble on the shot at getting the bigger payoff.
It turns out that a number of studies across a broad range of species have shown that how a species responds to risk is predictable based on their feeding ecology. Animals who depend on erratic, ephemeral food sources, such as meat that they hunt or fruits that are patchy and only ripe for a brief time, tend to be risk-prone. They are willing to gamble on the big payoff. Species that eat diverse types of food or food that is more reliably available, such as vegetation, are risk-averse.
Some of our primate relatives are like us, and some are the opposite. For example, bonobos and lemurs, who both eat a very diverse diet that is mainly vegetarian are risk-averse like us, choosing a sure thing of lower value over a chance at something better. Chimpanzees and capuchin monkeys - both meat and patchy fruit eaters are different, being risk-prone and choosing the option that may yield a big reward but could leave then empty-handed. This pattern has appeared in closely-related species birds, too, where those who eat insects are risk-prone, while species who eat seeds are risk-averse.
Scientists haven't fully explored how widespread this pattern of feeding ecology predicting risk-taking behavior is, but wolves and dogs are an interesting test case. These two species diverged quite recently in an evolutionary sense, but their feeding ecologies differ greatly. Wolves are primarily hunters and dogs are mainly scavengers. Hunting has a high failure rate, but the rewards of a big kill are enormous. In contrast, the source of food for the vast majority of dogs worldwide is human refuse, which tends to be available far more regularly.
In a recent study called "Exploring Differences in Dogs' and Wolves' Preference for Risk in a Foraging Task" scientists investigated whether wolves and dogs conform to the pattern seen across so many other species. Based on their different feeding ecologies, they predicted that compared with each other, wolves would be risk-prone and dogs would be risk-averse. The study was done at Wolf Science Centre in Austria, using dogs and wolves who were raised and live at the facility and have had the same overall experiences there.
The subjects of the study were trained to choose either a bowl that contained a dry pellet of food or a bowl that had a fifty percent chance of containing a piece of meat and a fifty percent chance of holding a stone. After each choice, the subject was given the contents of the bowl. All the wolves and dogs in the study were subject to tests to confirm that they understood the choice they were making and also to confirm that they preferred the meat to the dry food pellet.
The researchers found that the pattern of risk-taking seen in other species also applied to wolves and dogs. As expected, wolves were more risk-prone than dogs. However, there is more to this study than that simple conclusion. Wolves learned the system faster than the dogs, and the researchers acknowledge that they may have understood it better than the dogs. Additionally, dogs' preference for the meat versus dry food pellet was not as strong as it was for wolves. Therefore, the risk of losing out and getting nothing for the chance to get something only a little better than a food pellet may not have been worth it to dogs. There was greater variation among individual dogs in risk-taking strategy compared with wolves, who were more similar in their choices, so it is possible that there are dogs who are risk-prone as well as dogs who are risk-averse. Dogs made the risky choice from 38 to 76 % of the time, while wolves took the risky option 70 to 95 % of the time.
Overall, despite the conclusions made from the data in this study, direct comparisons of the choices made by these two species may require further study. It would be very interesting to learn more about decisions to take risks by dogs and wolves in a study with more than seven of each species, though I realize possible subjects for a study such as this are limited. It would also be fascinating to know about the decisions foxes and coyotes would make if presented with the same choices. Comparative research that include dogs as one species among many allow us to learn a great deal about how their evolutionary history and ecology have affected their behavior. It's one of many ways that we can deepen our understanding of the animals who share our homes and live in our hearts.
Wolves are proud beautiful animals, but its still easy to see in them bits of the domestic dogs we have come to love. Habitat Plays A Role - Most of the wolves worldwide are subspecies of the mighty gray wolf.
Although they all have common genes, their location has had an effect on their physical characteristics, feeding practices and basic nature. Some of the gray wolves can and are in some circles, considered a different species due to their extreme isolation from one another.
Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) The wolf from which most others arise, the gray wolf is the largest of the canid species. They can be found in a wide variety of habitats throughout most of North America. These animals survived the ice age and are thought to be the ancestor of domestic dog. They may not, however, survive mankind.
Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus arctos) The Arctic Wolf can be found on the islands of the Canadian Arctic and the north coast of Greenland. Because of their extreme isolation and the harsh conditions of their environment, not much is known about this subspecies of gray wolf. We do know that their coat grows almost pure white and thicker than their cousins to maximize wamth in constant cold.
Tundra Wolf (Canis lupus albus) Also called Eurasian Arctic wolf, this animal is found throughout northern Europe and Asia, often in the arctic and boreal regions of Russia. Among the largest of the grey wolves, these animals have a fine coat of fur and are often hunted for it.
Arabian Wolf (canis lupus arabs) The Arabian wolf was once found throughout the Arabian Peninsula, but now their territory has become scattered to bits of several different countries. This subspecies is smaller than most and tend to live and hunt in small packs of 2 or 3 animals. They are also one of the few that aren't known to howl.
Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) The Mexican wolf is one of the most endangered canids on the planet. Originally they were found through most of northern Mexico and parts of the Southern US, and they were declared an endangered species in 1976. What remains of the breed lives in zoos and wolf sanctuaries.
Russian Wolf (Canis lupus communis) Found in north-central Russia and one of the 5 subspecies found within the Russian Federation. One of the largest of the grey wolves, the Russian Wolves are champion predators. Because of this, they thrive in the wild and their numbers grow quickly. These animals are also known to be more aggressive towards humans than other greys. For these two reasons, the Russian wolf is legally hunted to keep their numbers down.
Italian Wolf (Canis lupus italicus) Also called the Apennine Wolf, the Italian wolf is found in the Apennine Mountains in Italy, some areas of Switzerland and parts of southern France. A medium sized wolf, their bloodlines are thought to be particularly pure and relatively unaffected by domesticated dogs.
Eqyptian Wolf (Canis lupus lupaster) Once found throughout the Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula, now the Egyptian wolf is only found in northern Egypt and northeastern Libya. This subspecies is relatively small and often mistaken for the Golden Jackal. They are critically endangered due to over hunting.
Eurasian Wolf (Canis lupus lupus) Also called Common Wolf, European Wolf, Carpathian Wolf, Steppes Wolf, Tibetan Wolf and Chinese Wolf. Originally found throughout Eurasia, now they are only seen in Central Asia. The fur of this subspecies is generally shorter, more dense and richer in color than their cousins in North America.
Eastern Wolf (Canis lupus lycaon or Canis lycaon) Also called Eastern Timber Wolf, Eastern Canadian Wolf and Eastern Canadian Red Wolf, there has been speculation as to whether they are actually a subspecies of the grey wolf. They are thought to be a hybridization between the grey wolf and red wolves or coyotes and a distinct species in their own right (Canis lycaon). The Eastern Wolf is smaller than their cousins and often have physical characteristics similar to coyotes - who they've have been known to inter-breed with.
Great Plains Wolf (Canis lupus nubilus) Also called Timber Wolf and Buffalo Wolf, this is the most common subspecies of grey wolf in the continental US. The range of these animals used to cover the whole of the US and southern Canada. However relentless hunting and habitat destruction has resulted in their protection as an endangered species. Luckily the Great Plains Wolf has made a great comeback and their numbers are rising again.
Northwestern Wolf (Canis lupus occidentalis) Also called Rocky Mountain Wolf, McKenzie Valley Wolf, Canadian Wolf and Alaskan Wolf, the Northwestern Wolf is found in western Canada and in Alaska all the way down the Aleutian Chain. Over the past decade 11-20% of the Alaska's wolf population is harvested every year thanks to people like Sarah Palin. They are predators perfectly suited for their environment, so numbers remained large in spite of the hunting.
Indian Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes) or Canis indica Also called Desert Wolf, the Indian Wolf is another of the subspecies that can be considered its own species (Canis indica). It has been suggested that their bloodlines have not been crossed with any other subspecies for 400,000 years. They can be found in eastern India and because of their habitat are smaller than their North American cousins.
Iberian Wolf (Canis lupus signatus) These animals can be found in northern Portugal and northwestern Spain and differ physically from the more common Eurasian Wolf. The Iberian Wolf gets their latin name from the dark marks on their tail and on both front legs. Signatus means "marked".
Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis) The Ethiopian wolf is one of the rarest mammals on the planet & can be found only in the tiny Afro-alpine region of the Ethiopian mountains. These animals were once thought to be jackals and their local name, ky kebero means red jackal. However recent genetic tests show that their bloodlines are more closely related to the big grey of North America. Which of course, makes their existence on the African continent a bit of a mystery.
Red Wolf Species (Canis rufus) The red wolf is not the same species as the gray wolf, although there is speculation that they are a naturally occurring hybridization of grey wolves and coyotes. These animals used to be found most areas of the southeastern US, however now they are only found in southeastern Texas and Louisiana. The Red Wolf is smaller than the grey with longer ears and shorter fur which is displayed in various reddish colors.
One of the coolest African wild dog facts is that they are the most efficient hunters of any large predator, and succeed at a rate of over 80%. The African wild dog, also known as the Cape hunting dog, and African painted dog, is a large, intelligent, canine with a complex social life similar to a wolf.
African wild dogs regularly appear on peoples least-liked animals list. This page however, is unashamedly partial and will attempt to gain favor upon these fabulous fellows whose intense social drives echo back to the first four paws to ever recline beside us in dark caves of centuries past. Wild dogs are achingly social, playful, and full of mischief and raw energy.
They are constantly on the move, rarely staying in one location for more than a day or two, and this need for roaming space has contributed to their critical status in the wild. There are no preserves large enough to comfortably contain a pack of African wild dogs, and when they stray out onto farmlands and roadways, they fall prey to car bumpers and farmers bullets.
The African wild dog is the second largest canine in the world, with the northern grey wolf being much heavier, but not neccessarily taller. These dogs make lots of eerie noises and their habits of grinning and bowing to one another to show submission and friendship is perceived as skulking, and kind of creepy to many observers. The most unfortunate habit wild dogs have is their hunting style, or rather their killing style. As opposed to using a choke hold or a kill bite like most predators, African wild dogs will as a group grab a piece of their victim and basically tear it apart. This is an absolutely horrific sight, but actually may be a shorter death for the hapless victim.
The African wild dogs intensely close pack structure is its greatest strength, making the pack a force to be reckoned with. Wild dogs are the most efficient hunters in Africa. They are successful 80% of the time in bringing down antelope, pig, and massive prey such as zebra and wildebeast that may easily be 10 times the size of an individual dog. After the hunt, the meal is freely distributed to pups, the nursing mom, and the sick, old or injured. African wild dogs are rarely aggressive with each other. In fact, it is often a race to submission rather than dominance, with each dog giving the other a wide-lipped grin, bowing their heads low and "ha-ha" or "huffing" in reverance. The wild dog pack is extremely tight-knit and works as a big, well-oiled machine because of this harmony.
Wild dogs don't generally kill these big adversaries, although there are accounts of them doing so. Usually though, the plan is just to gain whatever the larger animal had in its possesion, or drive it from their territory. Within the pack generally only the dominant male and female, called the Alpha pair, will reproduce. After a six week pregnancy the Alpha female will find a safe place, often an abandoned aardvark den, where she may deliver up to 20 puppies in a single litter - the most in the canine kingdom! More commonly about 10 puppies are born. The entire pack helps in the rearing of this one litter. In the world of wild dogs it is the submissive animal who can most fervently beg that tends to eat first. At some point, however, in a strange twist, the mother will join in the hunts - being the Alpha female with lots of experience- and several designated "babysitters, usually males, will stay behind. Because the entire pack contributes to the raising of one large litter of puppies a year, African wild dog puppies catch on quick, and may be seen out hunting with the pack by the time they are 6 months old.
Female African wild dogs are often larger than males, and many male/female roles in the pack structure are reversed. Although the pack most often hunts together, when the Alpha female has a young litter, it is usually a small group of adult males that will remain back at the den with her, tending to the many pups, while a hunting party of swift and powerful females set out first thing in the morning, and then again in late afternoon to procure the two meals a day the pack enjoys. But in one of the most unique role reversals, small groups of young females wean away from the pack to form a new pack of their own, or join a pack whose females have also left, while the majority of young males stay with the pack their entire lives, dutifully tending to the needs of another males puppies. Amazing!
The African wild dog is an incredibly vocal animal emitting squeaks, chirps and hoots reminiscent of many common birds, but they make very few of the sounds created by the more familiar dog species we may have overheard. They really do not bark at all, and instead of howling in the night, a separated wild dog looking for the pack makes a "hoo" noise which sounds almost exactly like an owl! While hunting and feeding, the pack chirps and squeals like a flock of small birds, or a noisy pod of dolphins! They also make many cackling noises similiar to hyenas - although there is no relation. Almost all animals are driven to play as youngsters, practicing fight or flight techniques that will make them successful adults. But many canine species maintain high levels of play and joyful interaction with no real purpose all through their adult lives leading to mature animals that are full of curiosity and richness of character.
Wild dogs are known by many different names including painted dog, painted wolf, cape hunting dog, African hunting dog, singing dog and ornate wolf. They are the most efficient hunters of any large predator with an 80% success rate. Wild dogs don't use a kill bite when hunting, the pack will actually begin to eat their prey alive, which may be a big reason for their unpopularity, but is often actually a quicker ending. The African Wild Dog is the second largest dog species after the grey wolf.
Wild dogs or African wild dogs are also known as painted dogs or cape hunting dogs, they are the second largest member in wild canidae family just behind the gray wolves who are the largest extant species in canidae family. Lycaon pictus is the scientific name for wild dogs and they are in endangered protection status as described by IUCN. Gray wolf who is also known as true wolf or timber wolf is the world largest extant animal of canidae family which weighs up to 47 kg and its length varies from 4.9 ft to 5 ft 5 inch including head & body. They are also considered in endangered protection status by IUCN.
Wild dogs which are just behind the gray wolves can weighs up to 32 kg with the body length of 4 ft 2 inch including head. They are found in African savannas and lightly wooded areas. Females are smaller than males and western African wild dogs are generally smaller than southern African wild dogs due to natural habitat. Gray wolves are found in Europe, Asia and North America especially in Alaska & Canada. They hunt in group called pack, and they prey on big and medium sized animals like moose, muskoxen, deer and bison on the other side African wild dogs also hunts in group name pack and they mostly prey on small and medium size animals like impala, gazelle, calves of wield beast, antelope and springbok. After killing their prey wolves became aggressive while eating on the other side wild dogs share their prey quiet calmly.
Wild dog can run with a great speed of 68 km/hr for a long distance and they hunt till the death of prey that's why their hunting success is 81% on the other hand gray wolf can run with the speed of 54 km/hr to 69 km/hr and they can quickly achieve a speed of 45 to 55 km/hr. Both wolves and wild dogs have unique identification symbols from which they have been identified, wolves have the unique howling through which they can communicate and on the other hand wild dogs have the unique marking on the body from which they have been identified and it is a fact that no two wild dogs have the same marking. Now before going further let's take a brief look in the given below table on compare wild dog Vs gray wolf.
WILD DOG vs GRAY WOLF COMPARISON Wolves preys are bigger and larger than African wild dogs which makes them dangerous than wild dogs in hunting but wild dogs hunt technique is far better than wolves that s why their hunting is 81% success. This is a case where both canidae family members hunt in a pack but here we are talking about their individual comparison and fight. As according to shape and size wolf has the upper hand over wild dogs as wolf is heavier, larger, taller and have bigger canine teeth than African wild dog, which make a sense that it can kill the wild dog quiet easily but it is not an easy task as it looks for wolf because wild dogs are very intelligent and they can easily found their opponent weak point. At last I would say if there is a fight between African wild dog and Gray wolf then there is 80% chance of winning for Gray wolf.
The only question is WHO WILL WIN BETWEEN THE PACKS?! : )
Until recently, dogs were believed to be intellectually inferior to wolves. For example, a 1985 study conducted at the University of Michigan at Flint demonstrated that wolves were typically able unlock a complicated gate mechanism after watching a human do it a just a single time, yet domestic dogs were unable to complete the task even after watching it being opened several times. These results led to the conclusion that dogs' were less intelligent than wolves.
Dogs are pretty smart. They can have huge vocabularies, they can infer meaning in the growls of other dogs, and they can effortlessly figure out if other dogs want to play or fight with them. But their intelligence might be limited to the social domain. Indeed, while they outperform chimpanzees in social tasks, chimpanzees outperform them in many other tasks. And they might have developed their impressive social skills as merely an accident of natural and artificial selection. Previous research has shown that dogs can use lots of different forms of human communicative signals to find food, and they can also inform humans of the location of hidden food, by looking back and forth between that human and a second location. But what is it about dogs that allows them to comprehend and invoke human social communication?
One of the classic experiments that shows the cognitive difference between wolves and dogs is the pointing task: Whereas a dog even a 3-month-old puppy will readily follow the direction a person points in, wolves just don't get it. That contrast has been cited as evidence that dogs may have gained social intelligence not present in wolves. When they were subjected to these test, domestic dogs, exhibited great skills at following human directional and informational cues.
Even stray dogs nearly always solved the problem immediately. The dogs consistently outperformed wolves. Though, wolves' has a much larger head in comparison to their body size and other canids. Whether dogs head vary, coyote and jackal have almost similar head and foxes are having a comparatively smaller head. One experiment carried out with a wolf and a dog, both of same age and same trainer. The trainer kept two upturned bowls in front of the dog, one out of which had a snack. She then pointed snack bowl and the dog went to fetch the reward from the upturned bowl.
She did the same with the wolf and the wolf got his snack from the bowl she pointed to. Next time with the dog, she pointed to the wrong bowl which he went to look under. And the dog was deceived having trusted the human for centuries now. It went to the wrong bowl only because its trainer pointed at it. The wolf however, relied on his senses than what the trainer told him. Despite her pointing at the wrong bowl, he went straight to the one with the snack. This shows how the mental development and thinking differs. lso Wolves are the most intelligent count among family.
WOLF vs DOG LOGIC Wolves do better on some tests of logic than dogs, a new study found, revealing differences between the animals that scientists suspect result from dogs' domestication. In experiments, dogs followed human cues to perform certain tasks despite evidence they could see suggesting a different strategy would be smarter, while wolves made the more logical choice based on their observations. In fact, dogs' responses were similar to human infants, who also prioritize following the example of adult humans. During the tests, a researcher would repeatedly place an object in Box A and allow the subjects to find it. When the experimenter then switched and put the object in Box B, human babies and dogs were confused and continued to search for it in the first box. Wolves, however, easily followed the evidence of their eyes and located the object in Box B. The finding could help scientists learn more about the evolution of social behavior, not just in dogs but in humans as well.
HUMAN CUES The differences reflect an emphasis on different learning styles. The researchers think the differences between the dog and wolf subjects, both of which had been raised in human captivity in these experiments - arises from genetic traits that have been bred into dogs over 10,000 years of domestication by humans. Wolves and dogs diverged from a common ancestor at least 15,000 years ago, scientists think. Other experiments have noted that dogs are more attentive to the human voice and subtle vocal changes than wolves another trait that likely results from domestication.
DOG - HUMAN CONNECTIONS In some ways, domesticated animals resemble human infants because both learn primarily by following and listening to adult humans, rather than judging all new situations for themselves. Children are programmed to learn from their elders when it comes to crossing the street and other dangerous situations in which following their own curiosity and instincts are not the best learning mechanisms. It is similar for domesticated dogs, which are bred to be able to follow human cues when it comes to situations like not eating food off the table, rather than following their own instincts to go for the chicken. This ability makes dogs easier to train - a key requirement for a domesticated species. Even though the wolves used in the experiment were raised in captivity, their parents or their parents' parents were wild, so the test wolves are not domesticated creatures with traits hard-wired into their genes over thousands of generations.
SOCIAL EVOLUTION The point of the research is not just to learn about the domestication of dogs, but to use dogs and wolves as a test case for studying how social behavior can evolve, and especially how it may have evolved in humans. By studying how dogs learned to socialize with humans, scientists hope to understand more about how humans came to socialize with humans. Interestingly, dogs and babies did react differently to one aspect of the experiment: When the human researcher was replaced by a new person, dogs forgot their lesson about Box A and followed their eyes instead.
Infants, however, responded the same with multiple human teachers, continuing to trust the human over the visual evidence. The researchers suggest that babies are programmed to take instruction equally from all adults and integrate it with their general understanding of the larger world. For dogs, it seems the relationship with the individual human is important, and teachings don't easily generalize to all situations. To test how well dogs and wolves could learn from one another, the researchers created a problem that wolves and dogs were equally motivated to solve: a food treat locked inside a box.
The only way to open the box was with a lever. They trained one dog to operate the lever with its mouth, and another dog to use its paw. The wolves were raised with the dogs and treated them as members of the same pack. Then they let wolves and dogs see the box opened by one of those two methods. If dogs have better social intelligence across the board, they should do better than the wolves at learning by example and getting at the treat. The jury is still out on whether dogs have lost a mental ability.
There is a trend with a lot of strict prey model raw feeders, and that is that they seem to be feeding raw simply because "it's what a wolf would eat in the wild." If you don't already know, strictly prey model means no supplements, no fruits or veggies, no dairy, and if you mention grain, you might as well be the anti-christ. But are there options beyond the realm of what is considered "acceptable" in typical prey model raw that could benefit some dogs? Is it really ideal to be this strict, or by ruling out everything except for meat, bone, and organ, are they limiting the potential of their dog's diets? Wolves are carnivores that require high amounts of energy to succeed in the wild. Their existence is closely intertwined with the availability of large herbivores such as deer, moose, caribou, and buffalo. On a day to day basis, wolves are opportunists and will eat any number of small birds and mammals, and even some indigenous plants and berries. But the overall health of the pack is dictated by the availability of large herbivores.
This means that despite what many raw feeding resources like to claim, both domesticated dogs and wolves do in fact possess amylase, although in the pancreas and small intestine rather than in the saliva dogs far moreso than wolves. Therefore, a dog's nutritional requirements very well may differ from that of wolves. Many raw feeding advocates commonly reason that dogs share 99.8% of their DNA with wolves, therefore their ideal diet should be exactly the same as what a wolf would be eating in the wild. This information commonly stems from this Robert K. Wayne Ph.D's quote, found in his study, Molecular evolution of the dog family, Theoretical & Applied Genetics, June 1993, Vol. 9, No. 6. Dogs, through thousands of years of domestication, have adapted to a more omnivorous lifestyle and thus can survive on the many, varied nutritional offerings of humans, though meat would clearly be a preference for most. As far as marketing, the question has less to do with "what", and more to do with "how" each species meets their nutritional needs. Domestic dogs, for the most part, get their nutrition daily. Wolves and feral dogs may go days or weeks between meals. This necessarily affects how we formulate a daily ration for our pet dogs as compared to their wild counterparts. Dog owners should always consult with their veterinarian on the most appropriate feeding strategy and diet choice for their pet.
Clearly, dogs are carnivores. They may not be obligate carnivores like cats or ferrets, but after considering a dog's jaw structure, teeth, short, acidic digestive system, and predatory behavior, it is hard to deny that a domesticated dog is still a carnivore rather than an omnivore. The fact that they have the ability to digest starch certainly doesn't mean that they require it as part of their diet - it simply means that it can be digested, it can be utilized, and that starches and grains may have their place in a domesticated dog's diet depending on the individual dog's energy level, metabolism, and even genetics. Biologically, are their systems the same, any differences when it comes to form or function?
One need only open a dog breed book to realize the tremendous variation, in terms of form and function, in our domestic dogs. Wolves are built to be top tier predators often exposed to extreme environmental conditions. And some domestic breeds are very close to the wolf in that regard. Wolves are susceptible to many of the same viruses, parasites, and pathogenic bacteria that affect dogs. It should also be said that the diet of a wild canine is surely not optimal. Wolves die young, with an average lifespan of only 6 to 8 years old, for many of these reasons. What would a wolf eat if it was able to be provided with the best possible nutrition?
In the search to provide the best possible diet for your dog, realize that simply basing your decisions off of what a wolf would eat in the wild, or what is more "natural", is not the best choice. Also keep in mind that there is not one specific diet that every single dog would be able to thrive on. Dogs should be looked at as individuals that have differing nutritional requirements which depend on many factors, including but not limited to energy level, metabolism, health, and genetics. Limiting your options to strict limitations based on what wolves eat is unnecessary, misguided, and even potentially dangerous. Supplements, fruits and veggies, dairy, and even grain can be a helpful addition to many raw diets. Choosing to feed a raw diet should be a step in providing optimal nutrition to your dog, rather than just a step in providing the most "natural" diet.
GRAIN DIET Have Dogs Evolved To Eat Grains? It really should not surprise anyone that dogs and wolves are not genetically identical. I have to admit that this research does suggest that dogs may be better able than their wild counterparts to handle starch in their diets. It is very likely that evolution is at work in domestic dogs when it comes to diet. But to really understand the ramifications of this statement, we need to review how evolution works. No individual evolves from a genetic point of view. Instead, populations of animals evolve due to changes in living conditions they must adapt to.
Rare individuals are born with a mutation that allows them to survive and reproduce better than all the others so that this new gene eventually, over hundreds of thousands of years, becomes the new norm. I believe that when it comes to the canine diet, we are witnessing evolution in action. Rare, mutant dogs can somewhat handle the high carb diets we feed them, while the rest of the pets are sickened by them. After analyzing this study, I still think that ancestral diets are best for the majority of dogs.
Games provide your dog with a major opportunity to find out his position in the pack. Games that dogs play can be roughly divided into three types:
1. Killing. These are games with squeaky toys. The squeak is designed to mimic an injured animal which arouses the killing instinct in some dogs and makes them excited. It is the typical game played by the terrier type of dog. The dog continues to enjoy the game until the toy is sufficiently damaged to cease squeaking. Then the dog will lose interest.
2. Chasing. This is probably the most commonly played game. It is usually the favourite game of dogs to herd or chase such as collies or greyhounds. It is often the favourite game of submissive dogs who do not want to play the more dominant strength games. It is important to encourage dogs that enjoy chasing games to play with toys. Otherwise they may play unacceptable games such as chasing joggers, bicycles or chase the postman down the drive!
3. Possession. These are games of tug-of-war. They are games of strength and are played to find out who is stronger, both physically and mentally, and hence who is better equipped to lead the pack. They are generally played by more dominant dogs, the social climbers, the ones who want to be the leaders of the pack. If your dog enjoys this sort of game, it is important that you play to certain rules so that your dog learns the right thing from the games.
The rules are as follows: You keep all of the toys, so you decide when to play. You need to play often - as often as you can - but you must initiate the game.
You must win the tugging match more often than not.
You must take the toy away at the end of the game.
By following these rules, your dog will consider you to be physically and mentally stronger than himself and consequently more suitable for pack leadership than he is. If you have children, it is important to form a coalition with them so that when they play a tug-of-war, always under supervision, you can assist them to win if necessary.
Master, Supervize And Control ! When you get your new dog, find out what his favourite games are and buy some appropriate toys. All dogs play, but unfortunately there will be some who do not know how to play with toys. If this is the case with your dog, you will need to teach him. Choose all the times when your dog gets naturally excited and invite him to play. The more movement and energy you put into the game, the more likely he is to join in. Keep all toys yourself. This is the dominant way to behave and will give you higher status. You should decide when games should be played and decide when to finish. Always take the toy away at the end of the game. For the first two weeks, it is recommended that you play with the dog 20-30 times a day. This may seem a lot, but the games only have to last for one minute or so. Produce the toy only when the dog is being good. 10 these games should be played after the dog has been shut in alone for a period of time. Begin doing this as soon as you get the dog home, increasing the period of isolation gradually. After two weeks, reduce the number of games played to a substantial level. Since you own all the toys and they remain a novelty for the dog, your dog should not become obsessed with the games and you can use them as a reward for good behaviour.
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