7 Reasons wolves would make terrible pets

Sophie Taylor 

There are many good reasons why we aren’t as inclined to live with wolves as we are with the domesticated dog. Here are just seven.

1. They don’t make good guard dogs

Guard dog wolf

Wolves are more likely to run and hide from visitors or potential danger as they are naturally fearful of the unknown. They wouldn’t sound a warning bark and they certainly wouldn’t greet your guests.


2. They don’t take kindly to being neutered

Wolves havent been neutered

The mother and father of a pack are formally known as the alphas. They determine pack ranking by finding a mate and creating their own crew rather than fighting to be 'top dog'.

Alphas are usually referred to as breeders. Wolf mates will stay together for life as dedicated parents developing complex family relations, much like penguins.

This is true of many mammals and also the reason some pet owners choose not to have their pets neutered, in order to preserve their natural instincts.


3. They’d be noisy neighbours

Wolf howling

Wolves howl at more than just a full moon. When in pack they will howl to find lost members, rouse each other for a hunt or warn off rival packs.

A lone wolf will howl to attract a mate or simply express their loneliness. A solo howl only lasts about five seconds, but a chorus of wolves howling can last for quite some time.

Biologists have found that wolves will react and howl back to human cries. There are even ‘howl nights’ in Minnesota where people will mimic wolf cries and wait for a response.


4. They’re nomads

Nomadic wolf

Almost a third of a wolf’s life is spent on the move, wandering around their territory. Wolves can walk up to 125 miles a day in search of nourishment.

According to biologists wolf territory is not simply spatial but spatial-temporal, which means packs will wander in and out of each other’s terrain depending on how freshly the other pack’s scents were laid.


5. Wolves would need a very fit owner

Wolves running

They can run up to 35mph for up to 20 minutes at a time. Mostly however, they are found to pad around at a constant rate of 5mph.


6. You couldn’t just own one

Three wolf friends

There are some lone wolves that live and hunt by themselves. However, most survive best in packs numbering anywhere from 12 to 40.

These groups have a complex system of social ranking that researchers are yet to fully understand.


7. There would be some restless nights

Wolf nocturnal

Although wolves are active during the day in winter, the rest of the year you’d have a nocturnal house guest on your hands.

Not the best walking buddy on a sunny summer day. 

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