Wild at heart

Why wolves are not good pets

source: New Scientist vol 199 no 2670, August 23 2008 p 35

Domestic dogs may be classed in biological terms as a canis lupus, or grey wolf, subspecies, however, there are major differences between wolves and dogs. Wolves are difficult to train, spooked by strangers and new experiences in general, and are aggressive in unpredictable ways. Wolves also scent mark to a greater extent than dogs, can be more destructive, and are more prone to escaping than dogs. Wolves howl rather than barking, and this may mean that communication with humans is limited. A fashion for owning wolves is evident from websites offering advice on the subject, but University of Pennsylvania's James Serpell counsels against this fad.