Do Wolves Make Good Pets? Here’s What You Need To Know!

As an animal lover, it’s easy to see yourself owning all kinds of cute animals you see. Of course, that doesn’t mean that what you envision is always a good idea! In many cases, while cute, these animals make terrible pets.

There is little doubt; the wolf puppies are adorable. Puppies are cute enough, but wolf puppies take cuteness to another level. Plus, wolves are powerful, mysterious, and wild creatures. There are many stories about people being raised as part of a pack of wolves, and many children will claim wolves as their favorite animal.

All of these make wolves a generally desirable pet. Many people fantasize and daydream about one day having wolves as their companions. But the reality of wolf possession is much different from the dreams you might have about it. Let’s talk about how to actually keep wolves as pets, and whether it’s a good idea or not.

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What Qualifies as a Wolf?

In America, owning a wolf race is a federal crime. However, wolves don’t need that many dogs in them to be considered wolf dogs. Most of the time, when you hear someone talk about keeping wolves as pets, it means wolf dogs that were only a few generations removed from actual wolves. By law, wolves can only have 2% of dogs in their DNA to be considered a wolf hybrid rather than a wolf.

Become a Wolf Pack

herd of wolves

Many people think their dogs think of them as part of a herd, but this is a little different with wolves. Wolf puppies are born unable to see and hear. When their eyes opened and they saw their first sight and heard their first voice, the first creature they saw became their flock; their whole world, and all they know. That’s a big responsibility; especially when you talk about animals with wild instincts, rather than the tendency for pets like dogs to have developed over centuries of coexistence with humans.

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Full Time Commitment

Every pet is a major commitment. When you get a pet, you are in charge of everything the pet needs. Large dogs can be a bit cumbersome for this reason, requiring plenty of food and ample space for running and exercise. But no dog takes up as much space as a wolf. While dogs would benefit from a large backyard, wolves need 10-15 square miles of space to stretch their legs!

In addition, wolves require almost constant attention. They are very social creatures, and as a pack of them, you must provide all the socialization your wolf needs. Also, if you leave the wolf alone, you run the risk of finding something to chew on or crush, which is something you should get used to if you keep a wolf as a pet.

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Sexual Maturity Brings Trouble


Most wolf owners do not realize what they are getting into. When they brought their wolf dog home, it was just an adorable little puppy. It looks similar to other puppies, although now its needs are much more intense. However, the problem does not start to become apparent until the wolf reaches sexual maturity.

Once this happens, the animal’s behavior will change drastically. Human males may not be able to approach wolves during certain times if there is a female dog in the same household. The wolf may become very aggressive and territorial, even if it is fixed.

Moreover, wolves start destroying everything once they reach sexual maturity. Everything is chewed and clawed. And don’t forget about territory marking! Dogs mark their territory too, but that is nothing compared to the frequency and strong smell of wolves marking their territory.

Say Goodbye to Anything Fun

Naturally, with adult wolves tearing up carpets, furniture, clothes and more, you can never get anything good again! This is one of the most difficult parts of wolf ownership to deal with. Everything you get will be destroyed quickly, so you may want to forgo updating your home!

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Wolf and Children

You may be surprised to learn that wolves actually really like children. They love to play with children, but they often end up hurting them by accident. You see, wolves don’t know how to play with humans, and they don’t realize how fragile human children are. Therefore, they play with human children as they play with wolf puppies. Often, this means taking it by mouth and carrying it around. While this may not hurt wolf puppies, it can be very dangerous for children and can cause great harm.

wolf with wolf puppies

The Legality of Keeping Wolves as Pets

As mentioned, it is illegal to keep real wolves as pets in America. However, wolves must be over 98% purebred to count as wolves, which leaves a lot of room for hybrid animals under federal law. That doesn’t mean you can go out and get a wolf dog today as a pet. Each state has its own laws regarding ownership of hybrid animals. Some states have outright banned these pets and others have made them legal if you get the proper permits. In some states, possession of a wolf dog is legal, so you’ll need to use your own common sense to determine if that’s really the path you want to take.

Dangerous Pets

The obvious reason why many places prohibit the possession of wolf dogs is the danger. Wolves do not have the same instincts as dogs. They have a predatory instinct that cannot be reproduced in generations. Even if your wolf dog loves you and won’t attack you, it can attack other people. Wolves are much more aggressive than dogs, and they exhibit territorial behavior that can lead to attacks. Not even every household member is safe. Some wolf-dog owners have found that their wolves become aggressive towards them under certain circumstances, despite lifelong friendships. Remember, this is a wild animal, although a bit of dog DNA has been mixed in with the wild wolf’s genes.

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Wolves Become Terrible Pets

Wolves are very admirable and majestic animals, but they are terrible pets. While they may look a bit like dogs, they don’t have as much in common as you might think. Dogs have evolved alongside humans as our companions and companions for thousands of years. Wolves, on the other hand, had been hunting and killing all that time without even thinking about partnering with humans. They have not developed any of the tendencies that dogs have due to their domestication. As a result, wolves can be dangerous pets, both for their owners and for others. They are territorial, often aggressive, and a liability to any owner. However, they are not illegal anywhere in the US, so depending on where you live, you may have to rely on your own sensibilities to decide if a wolf dog is really the right pet for you.

  • You may also be interested in: Can You Have a Fox as a Pet? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Image Credit: M. Zonderling on Unsplash