• The biggest difference is that dogs are domesticated, and wolves are wild animals. What that means is that dogs can be good pets and companions, while wolves are still wild and not suited to living with people. Because they are related, there are a lot of similarities, but wolves represent one end of the spectrum and domestic dogs the other. Wolves are generally bigger and considerably more intelligent than dogs. They are certainly more aware of their environment than dogs, and respond to other animals and humans differently. Wolves don't bond with humans readily the way dogs will. Wolves have a complex pack structure that dogs don't, even when they go feral and pack up. Wolves are constantly testing each other's dominance, while dogs generally accept whatever established heirarchy they live in. Wolves are active and able hunters, while many dog breeds have lost that talent. Wolves are stronger than dogs. Wolves pace, dogs trot. Dogs can be trained, wolves can't (with possible rare exceptions on both sides). In a wolf pack, only the alphas lift their legs to pee (even the alpha female will do this, though not necessarily all the time), and other pack members squat. The alphas will also prevent any other pack members from breeding, and when the pups are born, the whole pack helps raise them. Wolves are fascinating creatures but they aren't just big dogs. While they are the same genus as dogs (canis) they are a different species: the wolf is canis lupus, the dog is canis familiaris. While I don't know all the biological distictions that make them separate species, there are definate differences. Another difference is that most dog breeds are legal to own most places in the USA, while wolves are considered wild animals and therefore inherently dangerous (and in some places endangered) and are either illegal to own or require special licensing or other requirements beyond the means of the average pet owner. A final note: while wolves and dogs can interbreed, wolf hybrids have a bad reputation that is largely justified. (It's not the animals' fault, but the fault of those who breed and sell them. Unfortunately, it's the animals, the victims, and the uninformed buyers who pay the price.) If the wolf traits breed true as they often do, the result is an animal more wolf than dog, and just as unsuited to being a pet as a full-blooded wolf, or even more so. The damage and injuries that wolf hybrids have caused has resulted in some places outlawing them completely, while others have made the penalties for any damage or injury caused by wolf hybrids extremely severe. So for anyone who thinks that wolves belong anywhere but in the wild, the big difference is: Dogs make good pets. Wolves don't.
  • Merry Walker sums a lot of it up, but I would just like to add one thing. Wolves and dogs are both intensely social creatures -- but wolves are superbly adapted to be social with other wolves, and dogs are superbly adapted to be social with humans. The two types of social are not at all the same. As an illustration, dogs have a primate trait that wolves do not -- it's called "gaze attention". It's such a normal human thing to do that you probably never really think about it -- but if someone is looking at something we can't see, we turn around or move to see what they are looking at. Dogs do that too; if they see us looking at something, they look where we look. We have bred them to pay attention to the things that concern us. Wolves don't. If they see us looking at something, they ignore whatever we are looking at and the direction we are looking, in order to keep an eye on us. Their concern is not what concerns us, it is what we are going to do, and whether that will affect them in any way or if it is something they can take advantage of. In a wolf pack, much of their time is taken up with jockeying for position in the pack heirarchy, and that is still their concern when they are part of a human "pack". This is one of the many things which makes wolves very poorly suited for obedience training. Wolves probably *are* more intelligent than dogs, but it is not an intelligence particularly aligned with ours. Dog intelligence has been molded over thousands of generations to fit with our needs and intentions, so even if there is less of it, it's more useful as far as we are concerned. Dogs and humans understand each other, more often than not. On the other hand, we may understand wolves, if we take the time and effort -- but it is not a mutual thing.
  • -Wolves are extremely curious of everything. -They howl only, not bark(but in domestication they often learn to "emulate a bark"). -They have the ability to bend their neck to invert their head over their spine behind them and bit at the same time. A domestic dog can only quite point their head(nose) into the sky. They can generally move at up to 45 MPH(70 KMH) and are contestive of greyounds for speed(if not in some lighter and smaller than greyound physical build faster again). -*They tend to attemp to clinb rank by dangerous and sometimes deadly bickering(as a natural inbuilt instinct to be competitive), familiaris is often content with its lot. *Familiaris is known to be an evil enough animal by statistics to not worry about anything other than the knowledge and profficiency of a wolf handler for the point of deadly results. There is no final truth about the difference except ignorance of wolves behavior and relationship requirements to the human(s) being, different to those of familiaris , statistically. Remember it is a wolf. You wouldn't forget a red back or black widow or tarantula or wolf spider was not a wolf(Canis Lupus).

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