How to Become a Wolf Expert

Wanna become a wolf expert? Here's how!


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    Start researching wolves. Use any available sources! Also, decide whether you want to research any kind of wolf, or just a specific breed, like a timber wolf or an Arctic wolf.
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    Research what they eat. A wolf's main prey is ungulates such as moose, deer, elk, etc. and things like musk oxen and bison. They are opportunistic feeders though, and will sometimes eat smaller prey, plant buds, berries, etc.
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    Research their personality. Wolves are normally social animals with strong bonds, courage and loyalty, although they are afraid of humans. They are not the bloodthirsty killer many think them to be. They do not kill without reason; if a wolf attack seems unprovoked, assume there are reasons only the wolf knew - such as the human was on its territory.
    • Every wolf is different, too, so some are submissive and others more dominant. It's just like with dogs: the temperament varies depending on the individual animal.
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    Research their behavior. A wolf is born blind and deaf but with a strong sense of smell and the ability to crawl around, in a pack usually made up of two wolves and their other offspring.
    • As they grow their eyes open, and turn blue. Their eyes turn yellow, orange, or amber, or in rare cases turn green or stay blue, when they get older. When they are puppies they will drink their mother's milk as newborns then be weaned off of it to eat meat.
    • When they are first weaned off of it they will eat half digested meat the adult pack members regurgitate.
    • Then they move onto actual raw meat. For a few weeks the puppies play fight until they determine who is more dominant than the other (however, adult wolves still play with each other).
    • To invite another wolf to play a wolf will use the same play bow motion as your average dog. They may also make "dancing" movements which are also used in courtship.
    • Once they get older the pups will begin to follow the adults on a hunt, but not join in hunting. Then later they will join pack hunts.
    • The ways a wolf pack hunts can vary. One method is to have several wolves chase the prey to where other wolves are hiding.
    • Another method is to surround the prey and then close in on it until it notices the wolves, then charge at it. When the prey falls, before eating it, a wolf will do something called a jaw punch to ensure the prey is dead. It does this by walking towards the carcass, nudging it, and jumping back. If the prey doesn't move the wolves eat. The two parent wolves eat first. Some younger wolves may try to interrupt but if they do they are snarled and barked and and have to wait their turn. After a meal is over a wolf pack will cache the leftovers where they may return to eat them later. Also, a wolf pack will engage in group howling both before and after a hunt. Wolves do not actually howl at the moon but they do howl on lighter nights since those are better nights to hunt on. When landing after jumping their "toes" splay for balance and grip. They also have two methods of grooming themselves: licking themselves and nibbling the fur between their "toes". There is much more about wolf behavior though; it doesn't end there!
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    Research their "language". Wolves, unlike dogs, bark rarely. They will, however, emit a soft bark or low "woof" sound to alert other pack members of danger sometimes. They will growl and snarl, with the hackles raised, fur bristled, lips curled and body tense to show aggression. They curl their tails between their legs with flattened fur and ears to show fear. Also, they will lower their ears and narrow their eyes to show suspicion and a head tilt for confusion. They have submission exactly like that of a dog: there is either active submission, where they roll over, curl their tail between their legs, flatten their fur and ears, whimper a lot, and avoid eye contact, or passive submission, where they curl their tail between their legs and lower their body very close to the ground. If a wolf ruffles its fur, stares at another wolf, raises its tail, and possibly growls, it is showing dominance. Just like dogs, wolves sniff each others' rumps to gather information. They do it in the same position too. In courtship a male wolf will "hug" a female wolf's neck, the two will dance around each other and put their muzzle on each others' muzzle, and lick and nuzzle a lot. They'll also sleep side by side and walk side by side, bumping their bodies against each other. Then when the time finally comes (wolves mate in winter since young elk are born in spring and so are their pups), the female approaches the male and tries to be very playful while the male stands still. Also, a puppy will lick, nudge, or nuzzle an adult's muzzle to ask for food. Research their anatomy, especially if you want to draw a realistic one. Wolves have feathery shoulder fur, a blocky muzzle and blocky paws, clumpy belly fur, rough leg fur, fluffy tails, rounded triangle shaped ears, circular eyes and dull claws. They usually have a pelt of black, brown, orange-ish color, grey, or white. (White is either an Arctic wolf or a very old timber wolf).
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    Research captive wolves. Try going to a place where they have captive wolves like Wolf Haven International. Some captive wolves are fed berries and bits of cheese, and taught tricks! Remember, though, captive wolves' behavior is very different from wild wolves. This is part of the reason that terms like "Alpha," "Beta," and "Omega" were debunked.
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    Do even more research for multiple years and do wolf related stuff in real life that allows you to interact with or at least see some wolves.
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    Test your knowledge. If you feel you don't have enough to be considered an expert, do a lot more research.
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    You are now a wolf expert!


  • Don't watch anything by Shaun Ellis. He's been known to state "facts" about wolves that aren't true at all.
  • Observe a dog and see how similar its actions are to wild wolves!
  • Watch wolf documentaries.
  • Watch other wolf related things.
  • Try being a wolf enthusiast if you get bored with your research. This will help you become an expert!


  • Some people will tell you things about wolves that aren't true, such as: they howl at the moon, or they're vicious killers. Don't listen to them!
  • Wolves are generally afraid of people but they may attack if they have a reason!

Sources and Citations

  • Many websites, books, etc. that I don't even remember because I read them or went to them so long ago
  • The book Zoobooks: Wolves
  • Personal experience going to a place with captive wolves
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Categories: Wildlife