Regardless of which dog/wolf evolution theory you accept, Purebred Breeders knows you will agree that many dogs and wolves look a like. In fact, some breeds are even referred to as “wolfdogs” due to their uncanny resemblances to their undomesticated cousins. These are most notably the German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute, and the Siberian Husky, and one look at their photos will explain why. With some dogs looking so much like wolves, we have decided to explore the physical differences between the two, both for our amusement and your benefit. You never know when it may come in handy, right?
Dogs versus Wolves
Overall, dogs tend to have a smaller built. This includes their brain, skull and teeth. Besides being smaller, the cusp pattern of a dog’s teeth is far less complicated, and they also have much smaller paws (about half the size of a wolf’s). Wolves on the other hand have a broader skull, bigger and more defined teeth, as well as larger feet. Their legs are also longer along with their muzzle.
Other features that can help you identify or differentiate a wolf from a dog are the wolf’s narrow chest, inward pointing elbows, and outward pointing feet. Also, unlike a dog, the tail of a wolf does not curl upwards. Besides directions, the tails also differ due to a gland found at the base of a wolf’s tail. This gland allows wolves from a pact to be marked with the same scent using a pheromone that it releases. This is more a genetic fact, but Purebred Breeders thought it would be cool to point out that this function no longer exists in dogs due to their evolution!
At the end of the day our domesticated pooches are the love of our lives and we probably never compare them to wolves. But, Purebred Breeders thinks it is interesting that the little German Shepard pup rolling around right now could just as easily be a wolf centuries ago instead of a loveable, well-trained four-legged addition to the family. How this occurred makes for interesting reading, and frankly, knowing the differences could help if you find yourself in some areas. Although, We hope you never have to use this information to do more than show off at a doggy play-date!