Difference Between Wolf and Dog

Wolf and Dog are a member of the species, Canis lupus. Wolf and Dog can be considered similar at first sight considering their looks and physical traits.

However, both are different and possess distinct features if observed further.

Wolf vs Dog

The main difference between Wolf and Dog lies in bodily appearance and anatomy. Wolf is larger with long tails, legs, and mouth while a Dog will be smaller in size with a short tail, legs, and jaw.

Wolf vs Dog

However, the above is not the only difference. A comparison between both the terms on certain parameters can shed light on subtle aspects:


Comparison Table Between Wolf and Dog (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonWolfDog
DescriptionWolf is a non-domesticated carnivorous animal.A dog is a domesticated four-legged animal with different breeds.
Family NameCanis LupusCanis familiaris
Is it possible to tame or domesticate?NoYes
Adaptability to TrainingNo or less adaptabilityYes, they can be trained
Which is stronger?Wolf is stronger and has a tremendous force for bitingA dog is less strong
Which is more faster?Wolf is more fasterLess fast
Which one is larger?Wolf is largerA dog is smaller in size
Which one is heavier?Wolf is heavier, the smallest one may weigh around 75 poundsA dog is not so heavy, average weight can be around 50 pounds
Which one is taller?Wolf is tallerA dog is shorter in height
TeethVery strong and adapted to hunting environmentNot suited to hunting
MolarsStrongerLess strong
LegsLong legsShort legs
Jaws and MouthLarge/LongShort
How is the sound made?HowlingBarking
Socialization with other speciesNo, or lessYes
Frequency of breedingOnce a yearMany times a year
Dependency on Male after breedingYesNo
How much time does it take for little ones/puppies to mature?Less time is takenMore time
How much time do puppies take to learn?Take less time to learnMore time to learn
Dependency on HumansNoYes
Feeds onRaw meats, large animals, plants, deer,Whatever humans provide, but not large mammals
Quantity of FeedMore compared to DogsLess
Are they great hunters?YesNo
Who is cleverer?Wolf is clevererLess clever
Whether they like staying in groups?YesNo
The technique employed for preyingEye stalking, followed by chasing, obtaining the prey, biting with teeth with a strong killer force so that prey is dead (known as killer bite)Don’t follow a killer bite
Who leads an easier life?Wolf will not have an easy life as it will have to find the prey on its ownA dog will have an easy life as it depends on humans


What is Wolf?

Wolf is the largest member of the Dog family or a family known as Canis lupus but is a wild animal. Wolf is also known as a Gray Wolf.

The average lifespan of Wolf is around 6 to 8 years. Wolf will weigh around 40 to 175 pounds.

Wolf though does not tend to attack humans but Wolf will feed on large mammals such as deer, goats. Wolf can survive for more than a week without eating.

Wolf is a wild animal that cannot be tamed and even trained to live with humans.

Wolf has two common species viz. the red Wolf and Gray Wolf. The red Wolf is smaller than the gray Wolf.

Gray Wolf staying in the forest is called a “timber Wolf”. Wolf is considered a very intelligent creature because of its physical attributes, the ability to be self-reliant and hunt with a great deal of planning.

Wolf will live in groups. Also, the hunting will be done in groups with traveling large distances.

Wolf can consume around 20 pounds of meat at a single time. Wolf can survive in diverse and even unwelcoming climates due to their physical characteristics.


What is Dog?

The dog is a domesticated animal and in fact, can be considered as the first one in this category. The dog belongs to the family of Canis familiaris.

The dog will have four legs, make a barking sound and will have shaggy tails.

The dog will usually weigh from 3 to 175 pounds. The dog is an omnivorous animal eating a variety of food of plant and animal origin.

The height of a Dog can vary from 6 to 33 inches.

Dogs are great friends of humans and depend on humans for their continuous existence. A well-trained dog can hear, smell and see better than humans and hence tamed either for fun or as a safety mechanism for protection against intruders.

However, Dog will still feature certain wild behaviors such as marking their territories.

The dog has been descended from Wolf and possesses some attributes of Wolf. There are different breeds of dogs such as German shepherd, bulldog, Labrador, boxer, greyhound, Pomeranian, and others.


Main Differences Between Wolf and Dog

  1. Wolf is a wild animal and is a carnivore. A dog is a tamed or domesticated animal and is an omnivore.
  2. Wolf is not suited to living with humans and is self-reliant and not dependent on humans for survival. A dog is suitable for living with humans and dependent on humans for survival.
  3. Wolf is very strong and large with larger teeth, jaw, and skull. A dog is not so strong and not so large with smaller teeth, jaw, and skull.
  4. Wolf is faster and kills the prey with one bite. A dog is less fast and will not have a killer bite.
  5. Wolf will breed at a specific time in a year and that too once. A dog will breed multiple times.
  6. Wolf cannot be trained to perform certain things. A dog can be trained.
Difference Between Wolf and Dog



It may be a bit difficult to distinguish a Wolf from a Dog if both of them are sitting side by side unless their physical attributes are being closely observed at a material extent.

Again this difference has to be based on the relevant breeds under the scope and their behavior over some time. This assessment is necessary as both Wolf and Dog belong to the same species and have 99% similar DNA.

Key Differences Between Wolf and Dog (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Wolf and Dog



  1. https://academic.oup.com/icb/article-abstract/7/2/319/105658
  2. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?type=printable&id=10.1371/journal.pone.0086409
  3. https://www.jwildlifedis.org/doi/abs/10.7589/0090-3558-17.3.343
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