Can You Domesticate A Wolf? ???? (Answered)

wolf PENNBLK e1642539695200

Affiliate Disclaimer
As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.
We may get a commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Even thou history shows wolves can be domesticated: the domestic dog is biologically a wolf already. If you wanted to domesticate a wolf today, it might not be possible.

red wolf snarling ZECR457

Is the Fastest Wolf in the World Capable of Being Domesticated?

The fastest wolf in the world has incredible speed and agility, which raises the question of whether it can be domesticated. Domestication typically occurs over generations, through selective breeding and adaptation to the human environment. However, considering the wild instincts and territorial nature of wolves, it remains highly challenging to fully domesticate even the fastest wolf in the world.

How Can You Domesticate A Wolf?

Around 15,000 years ago – wolves became domesticated for the first time. Over time, these early ‘friendly’ wolves turned into the dogs we know today (with a little help from us humans). It is potentially possible to domesticate wolves again – but they may not become dogs again.

The process of domestication is something that takes many generations – and concentrated ongoing efforts. This process results in the animals (or plants) no longer looking, or acting, like their wild counterparts – and producing young that are the same as themselves. For example – dogs are not at all like wolves in character – and dogs produce pups that are dogs. This is where domestication differs from taming. If you tame a wolf to act like a dog, its pups would still be wolves.

Domestication also allows for the shaping of that animal (or plant) to ‘do something’ for the humans who are domesticating it. Early wolf-dogs helped with hunting and to guard against other predators and dangers – so these features were encouraged. As a result they shaped the change from wolf-dog to just a dog.

To do this again today would entail current wolf owners and breeders to use this same process – now called selective breeding – to maximise the traits that they want their new domesticated wolf to have. Whether that was friendliness, greater size, longer legs or sharper teeth (!) – it would need to be repeatedly bred back into the animals over generations to produce this ‘new’ wolf. Not impossible – but domestication is not a rapid process and some animals never take to it.

Understand Domestication:

Firstly, you need to know how domestication and selective breeding work in order to be able to shape your domestication program. You also need to know your species really well. Being able to successfully keep an animal in captivity – and in large numbers – is essential for domestication to occur for best results – and some animals just don’t take to it. Imagine trying to set up a 50+ head polar bear breeding farm?

The Right Wolf:

The original wolf that was domesticated was the Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) – but there are two other species called wolf (the Ethiopian Wolf and the African Golden Wolf) and another 37 subspecies of the original Gray Wolf. They all have very different appearances and characters – some might be better than others at being domesticated – others might never be. You would have to choose very well.

The Best Individuals:

If you are looking to breed a specific appearance or behavior in your new domesticated wolf – you need to consider these when selecting your original stock. Deciding to have an animal that will be more friendly could take a lot longer if you start with the most aggressive species. Also, if you only capture the individuals who are on the outskirts of the species range, you may be starting with the weaker stock – the ones who aren’t strong and healthy enough to hold their own territory.

wolf in summer forest wildlife scene from nature MGQSTTX

Selective Breeding:

Working to domesticate a species like a wolf requires certain things of the breeding programme: it must have an active direction to follow. Just breeding anything with anything, or allowing the animals to breed freely together, won’t ever lead to domestication. They will just stay wild and keep their existing characteristics. Leading the program means increasing the breeding of those most suitable (say, the friendliest) and eliminating those not suitable entirely (for example any individuals that are nervous).

A Lot Of Time:

As with all experiments – you have to be patient. The first domestication of wolves took so long because it didn’t have a purpose, it was an organic process. Even today, you need to wait many generations before you will see clear changes. Wolves have a 2 month gestation period and a pup would need to be 6 months old or more before you could judge their character to see if they carried any of the traits you wanted. You have to keep them all too – to find out if you have been successful. Certainly not a small scale project.

Hopefully, if you want your domesticated wolf to look just like a wolf, this might only take a few decades of dedicated work. However, people have been taming and training wolves for decades already and this doesn’t appear to have worked out too well. They revert to type again each new litter.

Might be best to stick with what we got the first time?

Table of contents

About the author

Latest Posts

  • Fun Facts About Chameleons

    Fun Facts About Chameleons

    Did you know that chameleons are among the most visually stunning and unique reptiles on the planet? These fascinating creatures are known for their amazing abilities and distinct chameleon characteristics, which include far more than just their legendary color-changing skills. In truth, chameleons possess a great deal of adaptability, allowing them to thrive in various…

    Read more

  • Fun Facts About Donkeys

    Fun Facts About Donkeys

    As you delve into the world of donkey trivia, prepare to have your heart charmed by these adorable donkeys. Often overshadowed by their equine cousins, donkeys are fascinating creatures filled with interesting donkey facts that defy common misconceptions. From their pivotal role in history to their remarkable adaptability, these gentle animals harbor a wealth of…

    Read more

  • Fun Facts About Narwhals

    Fun Facts About Narwhals

    Shrouded in the frosty embrace of the Arctic Circle, the narwhal has long captivated the human imagination as one of the most enchanting inhabitants of Arctic wildlife. With their distinctive narwhal tusks spiraling through icy waters, these creatures, bearing the whimsical moniker ‘sea unicorns,’ beckon adventurers and scientists alike to unearth narwhal facts that converge…

    Read more